CFPB moves to help consumers, banks with regulation compliance

“Both consumers and industry will win when the new rules are understood, applied, and carried out evenly and effectively,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a statement. “Mortgage borrowers, who have dealt with much heartache since the financial crisis, deserve this level of attentiveness.”

In order to assist both industry and the public with the execution of the rules, the agency said on Wednesday that it would take a number of steps, such as making plain-language guidelines and expectations and coordinating with other federal agencies. The CFPB will also publish updates to the federal interpretations of the regulations that will respond to consumer and industry comments and concerns. 

Further, “readiness guides” are set to be available this summer, the agency says, and will include preparation checklists for banks.

The regulations with the Jan. 21 deadline issued by the agency include several amendments to the Truth in Lending Act, including the ability-to-pay and qualified mortgage provisions of Dodd-Frank, which require lenders to “make a reasonable, good faith determination of a consumer’s ability to repay.” 

Qualified mortgage rules also attempt to tamp down on risky lending practices, restricting certain points and fees tacked onto loans, among other features. It would also give creditors a “safe harbor” from lawsuits. 

Other recent CFPB rulemakings aim to tackle the bonuses that mortgage originators gain from steering consumers into loans with particular terms and the way in which subprime mortgages are issued. 

Financial institutions have been largely critical of the bureau’s actions, which they claim are overly restrictive.