Written by JiJi Bahhur, Regulatory Compliance Counsel
On Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its first version of the 2013 Dodd-Frank Mortgage Rules Readiness Guide. The Guide is made for use by financial institutions of all sizes to evaluate their readiness and to help them come into and maintain compliance with the upcoming mortgage rule changes.
According to the CFPB, the Guide serves the following purposes:
- Assists regulated entities in achieving compliance with the mortgage rules
- Highlights key issue areas that may be closely examined during a review
- Focuses the industry and examiners on key elements of a compliance management system that may warrant review, modification, or other enhancement.
- Part I, Summary of the Rules
- Part II, Readiness Questionnaire
- Part III, Frequently Asked Questions
- Part IV, Tools
I especially like the Readiness Questionnaire, as it is a great tool for a self-assessment in determining the credit union’s progress towards compliance with the new mortgage rules. Why do I like it? I’m a checklist person and the questionnaire is laid out in way where you can focus in on one particular item at a time and go down the list of questions under that item to see if you have covered key areas. Here’s an example from the Questionnaire:
“Policies and Procedures
1. Do your policies and procedures reflect the appropriate provisions in the following rules? (Note: The below list does not encompass all possible provisions that may apply to your institutions. For a more detailed list of all provisions, requirements, and exemptions please visit http://www.consumerfinance.gov/regulatory implementation/)
- Ability-to-Repay and Qualified Mortgage Standards (Reg Z 1026.43)
To the extent you seek to preserve your ability to make loans that are not Qualified Mortgages, do your policies and procedures address the key components of the ability-to-repay provisions, including:
- Obtaining and verifying certain financial information related to the consumer(s)?
- Ensuring that borrowers have sufficient assets or income to pay back the mortgage?
- For adjustable-rate mortgages, that the monthly payment is calculated using either a fully indexed rate or an introductory rate, whichever is higher?
- Any exemptions that apply and a full description of when the exemptions apply and conditions for exemptions (e.g., for a customer trying to refinance certain risky loans only after specific conditions are met)?"
The Guide will be updated periodically as rule clarifications and amendments are finalized or available.