HUD Asks Board to Exercise Restraint in Enforcing New RESPA Requirements

image The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the first four months of 2010, the staff of the Mortgagee Review Board (MRB) will exercise restraint in enforcing new regulatory requirements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), due to take full effect on January 1.

The MRB instructed its staff to exercise such restraint in considering an action against FHA-approved lenders (includes reverse mortgage lenders) who have demonstrated that they are making a good faith effort to comply with RESPA’s new requirements said a statement from HUD. 

In addition, HUD is asking other federal and relevant state enforcement agencies to exercise the same 120-day restraint in enforcement for non-FHA originators and other settlement service providers who demonstrate the good faith effort to implement RESPA’s new rules.

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In determining whether a mortgagee has made a good faith effort, MRB staff will consider whether the mortgagee has relied on the new RESPA rule and other written guidance issued by the Department, and the extent to which the mortgagee has made sufficient investment and commitment in technology, training, and quality control designed to comply with the new rule.

"We will work with those who are making an honest effort to work with us as we implement these important new consumer protections," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "While we will not delay implementation of RESPA’s new requirements, we are sensitive to the concerns of the industry as it integrates these new rules into their day-to-day business practices."

Starting January 1, 2010, HUD will require that reverse mortgage lenders and brokers provide consumers with a standard Good Faith Estimate (GFE) that clearly discloses key loan terms and closing costs.  HUD published a FAQ specifically for reverse mortgages at the end of October. 

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  • Does this announcement cover the actions of the lenders in that 120 day period or the regulators? Generally the regulators will not see what was done in most of the first 120 days of the year by lenders until later in the year. I hope they are referring to lender actions.

    For example, if a lender blows GFE requirements for the first time on April 26th and the department does not review it until June, I hope the less stringent standard is intended to cover situations like that.

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