Articles Posted in RESPA: YIELD SPREAD PREMIUM

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.
Continue reading

The Director of the Office of RESPA and Interstate Land Sales for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ivy Jackson, clarified an major issue today that addresses industry confusion over the Yield Spread Premium “YSP”. Several wholesale lenders issued guidance that the new RESPA restrictions required anyone who is not funding their own loan to have all the YSP, any money made on the interest rate, credited to the borrower. Some wholesale lenders were under the belief that anyone who brokered a loan would not be allowed to make any money on the loans interest rate or YSP.

For example under the current rule if the par rate today was 5.5% and its paying 100.500% that the broker would make their origination of 1% plus .5% on th rate in YSP. However, some wholesale lenders have been issuing guidance to mortgage brokers throughout the country that say the new RESPA restrictions forces the loan originator to credit the .5% YSP to the borrower at closing. This is not accurate as Ivy Jackson clarifies below:

Ivy Jackson said this is not accurate and states that “while true that any YSPs are now shown as a credit to the borrower in Box 2 under “Your Adjusted Origination Charges.” The rule eliminates the 1% cap on origination charges for FHA loans.

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act “RESPA” regulations set to take place on January 1, 2010 has purportedly been delayed by HUD for six months. We are now waiting for an official announcement to take place by HUD to officially confirm the six month delay which should make the new implementation date on or around July 1, 2010.

We don’t know what precipitated this possible delay by HUD but the real estate industry has stepped up their criticisms on the new rule, including a recent letter sent to HUD by numerous trade organizations, issues with the new Truth In Lending Act form “TILA” integration, and other federal enforcement agencies concerns about the transparency of the new HUD-1 have forced HUD to re-evaluate parts of the new rule. Of course one of the other problems is that many in the real estate industry are still very much unaware or uneducated on the new RESPA Rule.

UPDATED at 10:39 PM:

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.
Continue reading

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank officially introduced legislation to create the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). The legislation, which is backed by the Obama Administration, would consolidate the consumer protection powers of the fifty various federal financial regulatory agencies by creating a single regulatory agency. The creation of this single regulatory agency is the single most important aspect of the proposed 229 page Consumer Financial Protection Agency proposal.

The current financial governing system encourages abuses in the industry to take place because of the loopholes created by an inefficient and ineffective regulatory structure. The loopholes are exploited even further by the mass infighting that many of the governmental regulatory bureaucracies regularly display. The consolidation of these various federal agencies into one rule-making and investigative federal division should provide more uniform rules for those in the real estate industry and for consumers of real estate products.

The CFPA will have sole authority to draft and interpret regulations under the existing consumer financial services and fair lending statutes. The recent Good Faith Estimate/HUD-1 Settlement Statement forms developed by HUD and the Truth In Lending Act form is a prime example of decisions being made by one federal agency without input from a completely different agency. The biggest benefit consolidation presents to the industry and to the consumer is that this will increase the number of enforcement investigators. The consolidation of regulatory investigators is crucial because quite often investigators in one agency stop investigating abuses that relate to other agencies due to a myriad of reasons.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading