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Call to Action: TRID "Hold Harmless" Legislation Passes House, Efforts Shift to Senate

John Councilman
Oct 08, 2015

Throughout the year, NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals, has taken the lead among mortgage, real estate and housing industry groups to advocate and lobby on behalf of you and homebuying consumers for a fair and workable set of rules for TRID. As you are aware, the new guidelines are now officially in effect as of this past Saturday, Oct. 3, but our work continues.

Based on our analysis we anticipate that the worst of the disruption from the new TRID rule will occur 60 days into the new rule being in effect. Therefore, we are pressing Congress to act immediately to provide protections for consumers and mortgage professionals.

Yesterday, because of your efforts and those of our coalition, the U.S. House of Representatives voted by vote of 303 to 121 to pass HR 3192, The Homebuyers Assistance Act, which will provide for a "hold harmless" period until Feb. 1, 2016. The vote was bipartisan and well above the number needed to override a veto by the President.

Now, NAMB members should focus their efforts in the U.S. in support of S 1711, sponsored by Sens. Tim Scott and Joe Donnelly. Our industry needs to push forward in the face of veto threat headwinds coming from the White House and opposition from CFPB. This is absolutely critical in order to protect our clients and the housing industry from unneeded disruption in the homebuying process.

HR 3192 in the House and S 1711 in the Senate will both provide critically important protections from civil damages that mortgage professionals who are making the most sincere 'good faith' efforts imaginable to comply with TRID might still be subject to. Without these protections you and your fellow mortgage professionals may have no choice but to conduct your business in an overly conservative manner. Access to credit will be made more difficult for otherwise qualified homebuyers.

We feel strongly that the Homebuyers Assistance legislation must become law in order for mortgage companies to operate without the fear of litigation over computer glitches and other minor errors that do not even begin to approach bad behavior. Unfortunately, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has declined to guarantee a safe harbor or "hold harmless" period for the transactions that are now taking place under TRID. 

To demonstrate clearly the work we have in front of us, I would like to share a letter I recently received, and which copied the other key industry leaders on this matter. These two key U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee Chairmen praised our efforts to clarify the TRID regulations and to express their disappointment in the CFPB Director's unwillingness to respond to consumer and industry concerns about the new regulation.

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, chair of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and Congressman Randy Neugebauer, chair of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee, both warn in their letter that CFPB Director has pressed forward with implementation of TRID without adequately considering the overwhelming and bipartisan support for a continued "hold harmless" period as contained in HR 3192. A copy of their letter can be accessed by following this link: HFSC TRID Letter to NAMB.

We cannot simply hope that the CFPB will appropriately respond to our concerns. We must continue to push for a legislative solution. I encourage you to contact your Member of Congress to thank him or her for their support if they voted yes. Attached is a breakdown of the vote: HR 3192 Final Vote (How did your congressman vote).  I also hope you will contact your two U.S. Senators and ask them to follow the lead of the House and pass S 1711. 

 Finally, I hope you will contact the White House and register your support for HR 3192 and S 1711 with the President. While his staff has already issued a veto threat of this bill, we work to either override a veto or educate the President so that he will decide to negotiate with the Congress and attempt to find a solution agreeable to all parties.

It is apparent that the CFPB Director is not able to provide the protections for consumers needed during home buying transaction. We need to ask Congress and the President to step in and protect homebuyers. 



 

John Councilman, CMC, CRMS of AMC Mortgage Corporation in Ft. Myers, Fla. is president of NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (239) 267-2400 or e-mail jlc@amcmortgage.com.

 

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