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consumer protection

New Secure Settlements Offerings to Help Mortgage Lenders Increase Consumer Protection


Secure Settlements Inc. has announced that it has launched two new lender-subscription fraud tool programs assisting in the evaluation, monitoring and reporting of closing agent risk. Closing Guard is the result of the continuing evolution of the SSI risk management program, designed to help lenders uncover and reduce fraud risks while simultaneously providing better consumer protections surrounding the residential mortgage closing.Click to continue

CFPB and FTC Reach Agreement on Consumer Protection Powers

Handshake/Credit: Digital Vision

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have signed a memorandum of understanding to coordinate efforts to protect consumers and avoid duplication of federal law enforcement and regulatory efforts. The Dodd-Frank Wall StClick to continue

FTC Cracks Down on Texan Violating the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule

Fingerpoint/Credit: Comstock

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to halt the misleading claims of a defendant, Christopher Mallett of San Antonio, Texas, who allegedly deceived consumers by using multiple Web sites to impersonate federal consumer assistance agencies or pretend to be affiliated with them.Click to continue

Housing Reform Plan to Dissolve GSEs Submitted by Obama Administration


The Obama Administration has delivered a report to Congress that provides a path forward for reforming America’s housing finance market. The Administration’s plan will wind down the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and shrink the government's current footprint in housing finance on a responsible timeline. The plan also lays out reforms to continue fixing the fundamental flaws in the mortgage market through stronger consumer protection, increased transparency for investors, improved underwriting standards, and other critical measures.Click to continue

Arizona Attorney General settles with Pulte on consumer protection violations

Homebuilders/Credit: Goodshot

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has announced a $1,181,400 settlement with Pulte Home Corporation and Pulte Mortgage LLC, resolving the sState’s investigation into allegations that Pulte’s pre-qualification practices, earnest money deposit policies and Spanish-language marketing efforts violated Arizona’s consumer protection law. The settlement, in which no admission of fault or finding of liability is made, will be submitted to the Maricopa County Superior Court for final approval.Click to continue

Indiana victims of escrow fraud receive $125,000 in restitution


Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has announced 97 financial fraud victims have received $125,679.22 in restitution for taxes and insurance bills that went unpaid by defunct American Escrow, a Chicago-based company. In early 2009, angry homeowners from dozens of states flocked to the Internet to trade stories about what losing their escrow money meant for their families and to file complaints against the company.Click to continue

NLIHC applauds Dodd-Frank Reform Bill's protection of tenants


The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) applauds the expected enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protections Act (HR 4173), which has passed the House and Senate and is likely to be signed by President Barack Obama this week. While the bill's financial reform and consumer protection provisions have been well documented, the act also includes housing provisions important to low-income households and communities.Click to continue

CSBS and AARMR reach settlement agreement with CitiFinancial

Courtroom Wide Pic

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR) have announced a 35-state settlement, in which CitiFinancial agreed to remit a $1.25 million penalty. The agreement between state mortgage regulators and CitiFinancial was executed following an examination conducted by the Massachusetts Division of Banks to determine compliance with state and federal consumer protection laws.Click to continue

Columbia Law School study finds: Federal action resulted in more defaults and riskier lending

Home Foreclosure

Federal action to exempt national banks from state anti-predatory lending laws resulted in more defaults and riskier lending compared to other banks, a study funded by the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School found. At the same time, the study found anti-predatory lending laws enacted by some to protect consumers from abusive and unfair mortgage practices saved many people from losing their homes to foreclosure.Click to continue