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In a letter outlining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's upcoming priorities, Acting Director Dave Uejio, wrote that the bureau would be focusing on relief for folks who are still struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic and racial equity. However, his letter outlines concerns on the mortgage servicing side that were brought to his attention in Supervisory Highlights findings.
"As you know, protecting economically vulnerable consumers is core to the mission of the CFPB and a key reason why the agency was created," said Uejio in his letter. "One thing we can do immediately is focus our supervision and enforcement tools on overseeing the companies responsible for COVID relief. I am concerned about the findings described in last week’s Supervisory Highlights edition that companies are failing to properly administer relief through the crisis."
According to Uejio's letter, "mortgage servicers gave consumers incomplete and inaccurate information about CARES Act forbearances, failed to process forbearance requests and collected and assessed late fees despite having approved forbearances."
Uejio added that servicers also withdrew money even though consumers were in deferment. He states that such actions harm consumers who are already suffering from financial hardships brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic. Uejio also stated that the CFPB will take aggressive action to ensure that regulated companies follow the law and meet obligations to assist consumers as the pandemic continues.
"I have directed SEFL to always determine the full scope of issues found in its exams, systemically remediate all of those who are harmed, and change policies, procedures, and practices to address the root causes of harms," said Uejio. "For the Prioritized Assessments that do not already do this, I want Supervision to follow up to ensure it is done, without conducting new follow-up exams. Companies that have not already received instructions from our examiners should expect to receive letters in the mail soon."
He added that in some cases, penalties may be necessary.
Click here to read the full letter from Acting CFPB Director Dave Uejio.