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Compliance

FHFA Reaches $122 Million Accord With Société Générale Over MBS

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced it has reached a settlement with Société Générale, related companies and specifically named individuals for $122 million. The settlement resolves claims in the lawsuit FHFA v. Société Générale, et al alleging violations of federal and state securities laws in connection with private-label mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during 2006.Click to continue

CFPB Targets Credit Card Companies

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has called on the nation’s top credit card companies to make credit scores and related content freely available to their customers. A report released by the CFPB found accuracy issues top the list of credit reporting complaints the Bureau has received from consumers. The CFPB also warned companies that provide information to credit reporting agencies not to avoid investigating consumer disputes.Click to continue

Florida Man Sentenced for Role in Loan Mod Scheme

Black Gavel Pic/Credit: Brand X Pictures

A Florida man was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison for defrauding thousands of homeowners in a $4 million nationwide home loan modification scheme. Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) Christy Romero, Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts made the announcement.Click to continue

National Fair Housing Alliance Takes Aim at BofA Over Racial Loan Profiling

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The National Fair Housing Alliance announced a housing discrimination complaint against the Bank of America Corporation based on its treatment of prospective Latino borrowers seeking mortgage loans. NFHA’s investigations in Charleston, SC found that Bank of America denied prospective Latino borrowers’ requests to speak with a loan officer about obtaining a home loan or quoted prospective Latino borrowers a higher monthly payment and closing costs, compared to treatment of similarly situated but less qualified prospective white borrowers. The complaint has been filed with the U.S.Click to continue

ICBA Seeks Exemption From Fed Reporting Regulations

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The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) is calling on federal banking regulators to exempt community banks from new reporting burdens designed for larger financial institutions. In a recent comment letter to the banking agencies, ICBA raised questions about the validity and usefulness of the information requested through the proposed changes to quarterly call reports and urged an exemption for banks with total consolidated assets of $10 billion or less.Click to continue

Clayton Holdings to Assist WBK With CFPB Examinations

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Weiner Brodsky Kider PC (WBK) has announced it has selected Clayton Holdings LLC to assist in its program to help mortgage originators and servicers prepare for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) examinations. Clayton is a leading provider of loan due diligence and consulting services to the mortgage industry.

The program is designed to:

►Simulate CFPB examinations of origination and/or servicing operations to measure an institution’s ability to detect, prevent and correct practices that may violate CFPB-governed statutes and regulations.Click to continue

FFIEC Guidance and the Great Social Media Debate

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The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), this past December, published a 19-page document detailing practices related to social media. In it, the FFIEC states “the use of social media by a financial institution to attract and interact with customers can impact a financial institution's risk profile. The increased risks can include the risk of harm to consumers, compliance and legal risk, operational risk, and reputation risk.Click to continue

Two Floridians Sentenced in $4 Million Loan Mod Scheme

Black Gavel Pic/Credit: Brand X Pictures

Two Florida men were sentenced to serve 84 months in federal prison for defrauding thousands of homeowners in a $4 million nationwide home loan modification scheme. Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) Christy Romero, Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts made the announcement.Click to continue

The Not-So-Transparent Ways of the CFPB

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I have approached the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) a few times over the course of my joiurnalism career. Whether that’s been for a comment, clarification, a potential interview with an official or otherwise, the Bureau has consistently stonewalled me. Frustrated, I cited the CFPB’s so-called plan to make their actions and operations more transparent to the public.Click to continue

FinCEN Announces Regulations Geared Towards Anti-Money Laundering

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The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) finalized anti-money laundering (AML) regulations that will require the housing government sponsored enterprises (Housing GSEs) to develop programs for the prevention of money laundering and to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) with FinCEN. This Final Rule adopts, without significant change, all of the regulatory provisions contained in FinCEN’s November 2011 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.Click to continue