Articles Posted in CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU

Marx Sterbcow is speaking at the Michigan Land Title Association (“MLTA”) Annual Convention on July 11, 2022 at the Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, Michigan.  The presentation “Regulatory Update — Joint Ventures & the CFPB” will provide an overview of how to properly set up an affiliated business arrangement, discuss the expectations regulators look for in Marketing Services Agreements, and give insight on where CFPB enforcement is and where it is headed in the future.

Marx Sterbcow, the Managing Attorney at the Sterbcow Law Group, will be speaking at the National Settlement Services Summit in Orlando, Florida with Kris Kully, Partner at Mayer Brown, along with moderator Tracey Read, Editor of RESPA News.  The session “RESPA Step by Step” will discuss the step-by-step process of how to properly structure affiliated business arrangements from start to finish.  The presentation will talk about the important issues in the operating agreement to operation compliance concerns to what the CFPB and state regulators want and don’t want when they are looking at these types of arrangements.  The presentation is from 11:20-12:10 AM in the International Ballroom.  NS3 is considered the premier annual conference in the real estate settlement services industry.  The conference is being held at the Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate.

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it has rescinded the highly controversial Compliance Bulletin 2015-05, “RESPA Compliance And Marketing Services Agreements” and issued new  the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) guidance on Section 8 on the topics of “Gifts and Promotional Activities” and “Marketing Services Agreements“.  The rescission of Compliance Bulletin 2015-05 clears up the widespread confusion that former CFPB Director Richard Cordray created when he issued the MSA bulletin.  The CFPB’s Brian Schneider wrote the “CFPB provides clearer rules of the road for RESPA marketing service agreements” on the Bureau’s blog “[I]n order to provide clearer rules of the road and promote a culture of compliance, the Bureau is publishing guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the RESPA Section 8 topics.  The FAQs provide an overview of certain provisions of RESPA Section 8 and respective Regulation X sections,  and addresses the application of certain provisions to common scenarios described in Bureau inquiries involving gifts and promotional activities, and marketing services agreements (MSAs).”

Schneider wrote “the Bureau determined that Compliance Bulletin 2015-05, Compliance and Marketing Services Agreements, does not provide the regulatory clarity needed on how to comply with RESPA and Regulation X and therefore is rescinding it.  The Bureau’s rescission of the Bulletin does not mean that MSAs are per se or presumptively legal.  Whether a particular MSA violates RESPA Section 8 will depend on specific facts and circumstances, including the details of how the MSA is structured and implemented.  MSAs remain subject to scrutiny, and we remain committed to vigorous enforcement of RESPA Section 8.”

One of the biggest takeaways in the MSA guidance is in the Bureau’s use of a real estate agent entering into a MSA agreement with a lender.  In the past MSAs where lenders entered into MSAs with individual real estate agents or real estate teams was considered off limits due to the direct consumer interaction that real estate agents and real estate agent teams had so MSAs were largely limited to real estate brokerages since this was seen as a business to business arrangement due to the brokerages limited interaction with consumers.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Sues a Chicago Mortgage Company Alleging “Redlining” Violations Based on Political Speech and Social Commentary Broadcast on Conservative Radio Station

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the controversial brainchild of Senator Elizabeth Warren, filed suit in Chicago yesterday against Townstone Financial, a small mortgage company, charging “redlining” violations based on political speech and social commentary broadcast on a conservative radio station.  The Complaint alleges that statements made about crime in Chicago and support for police discouraged African-Americans from applying to their company and that the fact that their weekly radio show was broadcast on a conservative talk radio station discriminated against African-Americans.

James Bopp, Jr. of The Bopp Law Firm of Terre Haute, Indiana and co-counsel for Townstone, said that “The CFPB is using this case to drive all banking and mortgage companies away from advertising on conservative talk radio and to punish mainstream conservative political speech and social commentary.  The CFPB has long been controversial and just lost a case in the United States Supreme Court for being improperly structured.  They have been waiting years to file a case on the eve of a Presidential election to damage conservative voices.  This is another federal agency weaponized to attack conservatives that needs to be stopped.”

Marx Sterbcow, Managing Attorney for the Sterbcow Law Group, and Sean Burke, Partner at Mattingly Burke Cohen & Biederman, have been selected to present at October Research Corporation’s 2019 National Settlement Services Summit conference “NS3” at the Waldorf Astoria’s Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, June 18th from 3:10-4:00 PM.  The presentation titled “Title Insurance Compliance Management Systems for Tomorrow” will focus on technological expectations the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “CFPB” expects many settlement service providers to have in place in today’s environment.  The presentation will discuss how regulators are not satisfied with manual processes for compliance monitoring anymore and why the use of automated compliance management overlay technology systems is a tool that regulators like from a compliance standpoint but also how this technology will benefit companies who use it as well.

Marx Sterbcow will also join Richard Horn, Partner with Garris Horn PLLC and Sean Burke, on Thursday, June 20, 2019 as part of NS3’s “Ask The Experts” round table where they will provide insight on the latest “Regulatory and Enforcement Issues” on the federal and state level in the title & mortgage industry.  This presentation will take place in the Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom.  The NS3 Conference is widely considered one of the premier compliance conferences in the title, mortgage, and settlement services industry.

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 with the Sterbcow Law Group’s RESPA Law Resource Center has been invited to speak at the Real Estate Settlement Providers Organization’s “RESPRO” 26th Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 27, 2019 at 8:45 AM at the Ritz Carlton Hotel’s Carrollton Ballroom.  The presentation “Whither the CFPB: State Unfair Deceptive Abusive Acts Practices, Regulatory and Private Sector Compliance Issues, Activities and Requirements” will review the most recent federal and state mortgage, title insurance, and real estate brokerage regulatory actions.”  The session will discuss how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and various state mortgage and title insurance regulatory agencies are interpreting UDAAP/RESPA.  The session will also discuss what compliance expectations the CFPB’s Enforcement division will have when a company is under investigation and the general outlook of what is going on or not going on at the CFPB.  The presentation will hit on issues involving private sector mortgage lending compliance involving Affiliated Business Arrangements and those how those expectations extend to class action mitigation risks.

Charles “Chuck” Cain from Cincinnati, Ohio (Executive Vice President Agency at WFG and Of Counsel to the Sterbcow Law Group) and Francis “Trip” Riley from Princeton, New Jersey (Partner with Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP) will co-present with Mr. Sterbcow in this session.

Marx Sterbcow of the Sterbcow Law Group has been invited to speak at the American Land Title Association’sALTA Large Agent Conference at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.  ALTA’s Large Agent Conference is January 13-15, 2019.

The presentation “RESPA UPDATES” will discuss a variety of topics from the latest on RESPA Enforcement by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “CFPB” to how the new political landscape in Washington, D.C. may put the CFPB’s current enforcement ideology in the spotlight.  The presentation will also provide the latest RESPA Best Practices tips involving: advertising services agreements & marketing agreements, co-branded website advertising, advertising & marketing practices, title agency affiliated business arrangements, title joint ventures, office leases, and the challenges involved with many lead generation programs.  Craig Haskins, the Chief Operating Officer, of Knight Barry Title, Inc. headquartered in Wisconsin will moderate the RESPA UPDATES session.

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.

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