April 9, 2010

RESPA: DEPUTY DIRECTOR IVY JACKSON IS SHUFFLED OUT OF RESPA DIVISION

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) made a number of surprising management changes last month including the shuffling of Ivy Jackson, the Director of the Office of RESPA and Interstate Land Sales to the Office of Insured Health Care Facilities. Ivy Jackson's departure took the real estate industry by surprise and created uncertainty for state regulators who were relying on her to educate them the new RESPA regulations this year.

The Sterbcow Law Group would like to thank Ivy Jackson for her contributions over the years at RESPA. She will always be remembered as a federal regulator who was fair to the real estate industry and to consumer interests while at RESPA. Ms. Jackson's work ethic, honesty, and experience will be missed.

HUD promoted Teresa Baker Payne to the position of Assistant Deputy Assistant Secretary and Barton Shapiro was named Acting Director of RESPA and Interstate Land Sales. Ms. Payne and Mr. Shapiro both bring experience to their new positions. Ms.Payne and Mr. Shapiro both are excellent choices for their respective roles at HUD.

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July 14, 2009

MORTGAGE DISCLOSURE IMPROVEMENT ACT (MDIA) GOES INTO EFFECT ON JULY 30, 2009

On July 30, 2009, some of the provisions of the Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act of 2008 (MDIA) go into effect and lenders, mortgage brokers, title agents, real estate agents, and real estate brokerages need be alert as to these new federal governmental regulations. Here are the details for the MDIA:

1. The 3/7/3 Rule requires a seven business day waiting period once the initial disclosure is provided before closing a home loan (business days are everyday except Sundays and Holidays). This means that before a borrower can close on a transaction the borrower must receive the initial Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and initial TIL statement disclosing the final Annual Percentage Rate (APR) seven days prior to closing.

2. If the final annual percentage rate APR is off by more than .125% from the initial GFE disclosure then the lender must re-disclose and wait yet another three business days before closing on the transaction.

3. The consumer has the right to cancel and not proceed with the transaction if they so choose.

4. Lenders are forbidden from collecting money for appraisals, loan applications, etc. prior to the delivery of the Truth In Lending (TIL). Lenders can only collect from the borrower the credit report fee at the time of prior to delivery of the final TIL. No other fees are permitted to be collected at the time of application. If the TIL is sent by mail, additional charges can occur after the 3rd business day after the borrower receives the TIL in the mail.

5. The following language must be clearly written on the initial and final TIL: "You are not required to complete this agreement merely because you have received these disclosures or signed a loan application."

If you are a real estate agent or title agent you need to manage the process very carefully by:

A. Making sure that you check the initial Good Faith Estimate and Truth In Lending form for your buyers and look for discrepancies in charges. The new rules were put in place to protect consumers from being low balled one figure by a loan officer only to find out at the closing table that the fees charged were much higher. The new MDIA rules will absolutely delay closings if these steps are not followed carefully.

B. Buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals should not schedule a closing until the borrower has completed the seven day waiting period as required in the initial TIL.

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May 24, 2009

OREGON SENATOR JEFF MERKLEY INTRODUCES TRANSPARENCY FOR HOMEOWNERS ACT AND PROMOTING MORTGAGE RESPONSIBILITY ACT OF 2009

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has introduced two new legislative bills that the real estate industry and public need to be keenly aware of: Senate Bill 911 known as The Transparency for Homeowners Act and Senate Bill 912 known as The Promoting Mortgage Responsibility Act. Sen. Merkley believes that abolishing the Yield Spread Premium (YSP) will stop the real estate mortgage problems in the United States because by eliminating the YSP will kill off the mortgage brokerage industry who rely on the YSP as part of their compensation. There have been abuses with the YSP and never was that more apparent during the sub-prime mortgage craze but if Senator Merkley was really interested in reigning in abusive practices they why didn't he address the Service Release Premium (SRP) abuses which far exceeded the abuses of the Yield Spread Premium? Robert Blake of the Mortgage Insider criticizes both bills as an attempt by the banking lobby to kill off their competition.

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