Regulatory Brief Highlights for June 2021: Rules from the Top, Fair Lending, and CFPB’s Busy Month
With people taking time off for summer holidays and vacations, chances are your week is looking a little quiet. It’s the perfect time to catch up on the latest regulatory updates from the Ncontracts team of compliance pros.
Every month the Ncast Regulatory Brief brings you the latest regulatory news and expert insights. What’s happened over the last 30 days? Here are a few highlights from this month’s podcast episode. (Remember you can always log into Ncomply for updates and implementation guides on changes to state and federal regulations.)
Where the Buck Stops
While the regulatory agencies are typically the ones making headlines, the industry saw impact from two decisions stemming from the highest levels of the government.
Juneteenth. President Biden signed legislation recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday. As our recent blog post mentioned, the short notice caught the mortgage industry off guard as they struggled to determine the impact on disclosures and whether closings needed to be delayed. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a statement saying it understood lenders didn’t have much time to prepare, but it didn’t address lenders’ concerns about litigation risks and recission rights. Guidance may be forthcoming.
Supreme Court Rules FHFA structure is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that the structure of the Federal Housing Finance Agency is unconstitutional because it has a sole director who may only be removed by the president for cause, not at will. Immediately after the decision, President Biden removed FHFA Director Mark Calabria, who had been appointed to a five-year term by former President Trump in 2019. Sandra Thompson, a 23-year veteran of the FDIC who has served as deputy director of FHFA’s Division of Housing Mission and Goals, was named FHFA acting director.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reversed course on a rule finalized by the prior administration that would have removed the definition of discriminatory effect, made it more difficult for plaintiffs to initiate a disparate impact case against lenders, altered the burden-shifting framework to the plaintiff, created new defenses, and limited available remedies in disparate impact claims. The rule was never truly implemented due to a preliminary injunction which effectively froze the rule. Now there is a proposal to re-implement the standards from 2013.
Meanwhile, new HMDA data became available with the FFIEC releasing the 2020 HMDA data report for nearly 4,500 reportable FIs.
CFPB’s busy month
June featured plenty of CFPB guidance, rulemaking, and rule reversals. Of note, the CFPB released:
- Supervisory Highlights for Summer 2021, which included a root cause analysis of fair lending violations that led to enforcement actions.
- FAQs on Reg E and mortgage servicing on escrow account overages and shortages.
- An interpretive rule restoring supervision of Military Lending Act compliance.
- A final rule amending Regulation X regarding additional assistance for borrowers experiencing COVID-19-related hardship. Taking effect August 31, 2021, it establishes temporary special safeguards to help ensure that borrowers have time before foreclosure to explore their options.
For more details on these developments, plus insights into FFIEC’s update of the Operations booklet (the first since 2004), Texas’s new data breach notification requirement, changes to Florida’s telemarketing laws, and changes of interest to depository institutions, tune into the podcast. You can also subscribe on your favorite podcast platform!
Topics: Risk & Compliance