The Louisiana Land Title Association (LLTA) announced that Marx Sterbcow of the Sterbcow Law Group has been named the President of the association for the 2017-2019 calendar years.  The LLTA was formed in 1955 to protect the land title industry in Louisiana and currently has close to 500 active members.  The LLTA also appointed Leslie Bolner with Seale & Ross, PLC,  as its President-Elect, and Ronald Ward with Landmark Title Group as its Vice President.  John McCarthy, with First American Land Title Insurance Co., has assumed the role as Immediate Past President of the LLTA.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve the title insurance industry throughout Louisiana and I look forward to helping the Louisiana Land Title Association continue its mission of ensuring that title agents, small and large, have a voice.  I look forward to continuing the progress that this trade association has made over the 63 years.”

Marx Sterbcow, the Managing Attorney for the Sterbcow Law Group LLC, has been invited to speak at the 2018 RESPRO 25th Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.  The session titled “CFPB Enforcement and Technology Monitoring Expectations for Affiliated Business Arrangements” is scheduled for 9:00-10:00 AM on April 11, 2018.  This presentation will discusses how a new technology oversight compliance software reporting tool helps RESPA governed Affiliated Businesses Arrangements “AfBA” stay compliant based on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Meridian Title Consent Order.  The session co-presented with Francis “Trip” Riley, Partner at Saul Ewing, and will be moderated by Charles “Chuck” Cain, EVP WFG National Title Insurance Company and Of Counsel to the Sterbcow Law Group.  Marx Sterbcow and Trip Riley are two members of the Meridian Title legal team who were involved in representing Meridian Title in connection with the CFPB Consent Order.

The presentation will provide critical information which all affiliated businesses should be aware of as it pertains to the monitoring of AfBA disclosure forms in real time.  In addition we will discuss how the use of this new technology also adds operational value to any companies operational compliance and business development needs.  We will explain how the CFPB Enforcement division views this type of technology monitoring as a critical piece for all settlement service companies, especially those in the title industry, as a new expectation for medium to large-sized companies to adopt.  We will provide an in-depth look into how a growing number of title agencies across the United States are already utilizing this title production overlay software compliance and business intelligence technology, and how this technology will help companies stay RESPA compliant, and what the future holds for these types of applications as they enter the marketplace.

To Register for the 25th Annual RESPRO Conference click here

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray, announced today in an email to CFPB employees that he will be stepping down as the Director at the end of November.  It is widely expected that Richard Cordray will run for Governor of Ohio but he did not address his future in the email he sent to his employees.

Who will replace Richard Cordray is a huge question because of President Donald Trump will likely face a hostile audience by Democrats and some Republicans in getting a new Director appointed and confirmed.  If the Trump Administration pushes someone who wants to gut the CFPB it could haunt the Republicans politically because the agency is highly popular with consumers.  The process with likely take several months to appoint and confirm a new CFPB Director although the Trump Administration could pick an Interim Director in accordance with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA).  The Interim Director would be in charge of the CFPB until a potential nominee was confirmed by the Senate.  The FVRA process is not new to the CFPB because prior to Richard Cordray’s confirmation the CFPB was overseen by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner until Cordray’s confirmation.

The CFPB under Director Richard Cordray’s leadership over $12 billion in relief was recovered for nearly 30 million consumers.  His departure could likely spell the end of his “Regulation by Enforcement” and usher in a period of more written guidance to the industry.  However, the “Regulation by Enforcement” agenda has recently been minimized due to a smaller number of enforcement personnel and fewer resources given to that division while he led the CFPB.

Marx Sterbcow of the Sterbcow Law Group will present at the Escrow Institute of California’s 70th Anniversary Conference  at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, California on May 5, 2017.  The Escrow Institute of California “EIC” Annual Conference is May 4-6, 2017.

The session “Understanding CFPB Enforcement under Unfair Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP)” is from 10:15 – 11:45 AM.  Mr. Sterbcow is co-presenting with Matthew Davis with the Davis & Davis Law Group.

Marx Sterbcow, Managing Attorney, of the Sterbcow Law Group will present in two sessions at the 2017 Real Estate Service Providers Council “RESPRO” Annual Conference at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 19, 2017.  The RESPRO Conference is from April 18-20, 2017.

The first session “Unfair Deceptive Abusive Acts Practices UDAAP: The Cloud Still Hangs Low” is from 1:30 PM– 2:30 PM in the DaVinci 3 Ballroom. Mr. Sterbcow is co-presenting with Francis (Trip) Riley with Saul Ewing. The presentation will focus on how UDAPP will continue to effect CFPB’s actions on settlement service providers and how RESPA regulated Affiliated Business Arrangements (AfBAs) need to be cognizant of their marketing and advertising efforts. We will address cases of interest and suggest tips that every company should incorporate.

The second session “RESPA: Stretching the Envelope on Prohibited Referrals” is from 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM in the DaVinci 3 Ballroom.  Mr. Sterbcow is co-presenting with Stan Gordon with Gordon & Associates and Francis (Trip) Riley with Saul Ewing.  The presentation will focus on the basic parameters of what is prohibited referral activity have expanded under CFPB which has resulted in a chilling effect on the financial settlement service industry.  The ambiguity in RESPA on defining a referral and the perceived risks in marketing activities in various circumstances will be discussed.  The presentation will provide some clarifications on when an endorsement of a service provider becomes a prohibited referral.  The session will also address whether it is a violation of Section 8 for a nationwide real estate brokerage group to promote a service provider throughout its owned or affiliated companies to their management and sales agents.  How considerations under PHH and RESPA exception Section 8(c)(2) need to be considered and is the exception absolute as implied by the current ruling.

The Legal Description and Dodd Frank Update have teamed up again to provide their 5th annual Regulatory Outlook Webinar on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 (2:00 – 3:30 P.M. EST) educating mortgage, title and settlement services professionals on the compliance trends and issues to expect in the New Year.  The yearly webinar series has quickly become one of the most important educational sessions each year to find out what in store for the State of the Settlement Service Industry in the coming year.

This webinar features instructors Francis “Trip” Riley of Saul Ewing, Loretta Salzano of Franzén and Salzano, and Marx Sterbcow of the Sterbcow Law Group. These nationally-recognized attorneys will join moderator Danielle Kaiser of NATIC in a discussion of the pressing political, regulatory and compliance issues to watch in 2017 and how to prepare your business.

Instruction will include:

Marx Sterbcow of the Sterbcow Law Group will speak on “The Essentials IV — CFPB Consent Orders for Compliance Officers” at the Mortgage Bankers Association Regulatory Compliance Conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, September 18, 2016 from 3:30 PM to 4:45 PM. The session will be a comprehensive overview of key Consumer Financial Protection Bureau consent orders and it will provide tips on how to apply the findings to your mortgage business.

For more information about the MBA Regulatory Compliance Conference please click here.

On April 21, 2016 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed suit against two owners of a company who resold loan applications containing sensitive personal data to lenders and data brokers without assessing the sources of those leads or purchasers they sold the lead data too. The CFPB filed suit against the owners of D and B Marketing, Inc. d/b/a T3Leads, Dmitry Fomichev and Davit Gasparyn. T3Leads is a lead aggregation company based in Burbank, California that purchased and sold payday and installment loan applications without properly vetting buyers and sellers.

T3Leads and two other parties were previously sued by the CFPB in December of 2015 in a separate lawsuit but this suit targets the individual co-founders of T3Leads.

CFPB Richard Cordray stated that “T3Leads steered consumers towards bad deals with lenders it didn’t vet and with no regard for how consumer’s information would be used. This is a reminder to the middlemen who buy and sell consumer loan applications: if you engage in this type of conduct, you risk the consequences of harming people.”

Lead aggregators buy consumer information (also called Leads) from Lead Generators, which are websites that market payday and installment loans. These Leads often contain personal information such as a consumer’s name, telephone number, home and email addresses, references, and employer information.

The CFPB claims jurisdiction over T3Leads and the two co-founders for violating Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices [UDAAP].

In these lawsuits the CFPB alleges that T3Leads did not vet or monitor its lead buyers, exploited consumer’s lack of understanding of the risks, costs, and conditions of the loans being applied for, and put consumer information at risk of being trafficked for illegal purposes. T3Leads purportedly sold consumer information to Indian Tribes and lenders based in foreign countries who according to the CFPB “often skirt state laws or deny the jurisdiction of U.S. courts.”

Of particular importance is the CFPB’s seemingly new tool it is using for UDAAP enforcement called “Reverse Vendor Management Oversight“. T3Leads is accused of failing to vet or monitor its upstream lead generator vendors whom it was purchasing its leads from. The monitoring of upstream vendors is a concept that could have particularly ground shaking effects on every industry the CFPB regulates including the entire residential lending industry.

The Bureau alleged that T3Leads:

“Ignored false or misleading statements about lenders obtaining consumer applications: Consumers who applied for loans through T3Leads’ lead generators had no control over who received their application and had to trust T3Leads’ selection of lenders in its network. But those lead generators suggested that its lenders met certain standards, and often falsely claimed to match consumers with lenders that “follow the rules” or offer “reasonable” terms.”

Failed to vet or monitor purchasers: T3Leads failed to vet purchasers before adding them to its network or selling them leads, and did not require lenders to provide information about whether they complied with state laws.

Steered consumers toward unfavorable loans: T3Leads’ process often steered consumers to lenders offering less favorable loan terms than otherwise available. In particular, consumers were likely to be connected to lenders that ignore state usury limits or claim immunity from state regulation and jurisdiction. These entities often charge higher interest rates than lenders that do comply with state laws, and they often paid the highest prices for leads from T3Leads.”
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Marx Sterbcow, the Managing Attorney, of the Sterbcow Law Group, and Charles Cain, Vice President, Agency, WFG National Title Insurance Co. will present at the 2016 National Settlement Services Summit [NS3] at the Le Meridien & Sheraton Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

The session titled “Ethics: UDAAP, Reverse Vendor Oversight and Legal Malpractice” will discuss how Title agents and attorneys are expected to adhere to the highest ethical standards, and how Dodd Frank’s ban on Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP) have given the CFPB broad authority to root out questionable activities. Learn how UDAAP is requiring agents to gear up when it comes to ethical conduct, particularly in the area of RESPA compliance. The presentation will explain how UDAAP could make vendor management liability and oversight a two-way street through a new enforcement tactic known as “Reverse Vendor Management Oversight”. Reverse Vendor Management Oversight could challenge the bounds of legal malpractice by requiring title agents, lawyers, and attorney notaries to be on the lookout for vendor compliance issues with their clients. Speakers will share real-world examples, and attendees will walk away with actionable tips for remaining UDAAP compliant in an increasingly active RESPA and UDAAP enforcement environment.

October Research Corporation has generously offered a Discount Code to attend NS3 for all friends and clients of the Sterbcow Law Group. To receive your Discount Code please contact the Sterbcow Law Group and we will send you the special discounted rate code to attend NS3.

Marx Sterbcow, Managing Attorney, of the Sterbcow Law Group will present in two sessions at the 2016 Real Estate Service Providers Council [RESPRO] Annual Conference on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans.

The first session ” Uncertainties to Website Endorsements and Intra Company Organizational Endorsements” is from 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM in the LaSalle Ballroom. Mr. Sterbcow is co-presenting with Stan Gordon with Gordon & Associates and Francis (Trip) Riley with Saul Ewing. “There are a variety of views as to whether the inclusion of a service provider on a website is a permissible endorsement or a referral in violation of RESPA. Can it be a referral when there is no direct consumer communication? Is the website in the nature of an electronic directory even if it has a link to the service provider? The CFPB’s action have caused uncertainty and an over action in this area. The same uncertainties exist in an integrated group of companies driving an endorsement of a service provider down to its management and sales agents. Today many would say that is a referral.”

The second session “Who’s Your Vendor? Vendor Management for Affiliated Business Title Agencies” is from 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM in the LaSalle Ballroom. Mr. Sterbcow will co-present with Charles Cain. “Notaries, searchers and abstractors, marketing companies, lead generation portals, recording companies, even couriers are sources of liability for you and your lender. How do the real estate broker and agent fit into the issue? Find out what the issues are and how you can respond when your lender customer asks what you do to address fourth-party vendor management liability. During this session, two noted attorneys will discuss real processes in order to provide answers and not just pose more questions. This advanced-level affiliated business arrangement vendor management compliance session is designed to provide specific examples based on our latest experiences across the country.”