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Industry Leaders: Reverse Mortgage Rules Too Much

In a prepared statement that it submitted to the Senate Financial Institutions Subcommittee, the American Bankers Association aired concerns about a dry-up in risk in the financial markets, an increasingly serious dilemma that it blamed on Congress for trying to prevent past mistakes from occurring again. The ABA delivered the statement in response to a new loan officer compensation law, a voluminous text with multiple rules and regulations that drove up costs and lost hours for brokers.

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CFPB Likes Social Media Commentary

As it gears up for a formal operations launch in July, the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continues to accept comments from the public on the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure program, which it opened to commentary in May. But there is something else unusual about the commentary period. The CFPB wants the public to participate in the finalizations for Know Before You Owe by logging into their social media accounts and literally comment about the rule online. This is in addition to other commentary.

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Leery Lenders Delay Housing Recovery

Wary of an uncertain economic climate, new regulatory legislation, and the potential for burdensome capital restrictions, the nation's top lenders financed fewer mortgage loans in 2010 than in 2009 to keep their ledgers in the black a cumulative pattern that analysts and news reports say hampers housing and, potentially, recovery in the broader economy. According to analysis conducted by The Wall Street Journal, the 10 largest mortgage lenders in the country denied 26.8 percent of loan applications last year, up from 23.5 percent in 2009.

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House Dems Urge Dodd-Frank Implementation

Angling to get ahead of new fears that the U.S. market may veer off-track with European financial markets in a sovereign default scenario, several members of Congress released a statement Thursday that called for the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, citing the vulnerability of growth to changes in international derivatives markets. Recent news reports suggest added risk in the European financial and derivatives markets, which possible sovereign defaults may impact.

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Fed, CFPB Get New Inspector General

Fed

The Federal Reserve released a statement today announcing that Mark Bialek will head up internal investigations as inspector general of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

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Attorneys General Fight OCC on Overreach

On Tuesday attorneys general from 48 states and territories aired their concerns about federal overreach in a letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, charging that the regulatory agency will sidestep state consumer financial laws and misinterpret the intent of the Dodd-Frank Act if it moves forward with a controversial preemption rule. The letter claimed that existing rules put the OCC in conflict with Dodd-Frank, state consumer financial laws, and past Supreme Court cases.

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Largest Mortgage Fraud Perp Gets Sentenced Next Month

Following 97 months in federal custody for his role in a high-level money laundering scheme, Thomas Kontogiannis still faces heat in the courts, as he awaits sentencing in July for the part he played in a $92 million mortgage-fraud payout between 2003 and 2007. Prosecutors accuse the former Long Island financier of "mastermind[ing] the largest mortgage origination fraud on record," staging property sales with misrepresented mortgage loans that Kontogiannis sold to lending institutions in the secondary market.

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Letters Put CFPB on Defense

Signaling new flak in ongoing exchanges between members of Congress and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, two House committees addressed Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner in a letter last week with concerns about Treasury Department adviser Elizabeth Warren's refusal to unveil her involvement with mortgage servicers and state authorities in their negotiations. The letter is the second to address widespread concerns about the CFPB's dealings, marking a defensive posture for the agency.

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Another Taylor Bean Exec Lands in Jail

The saga of a nearly $3-billion fraudulent scheme that resulted in two bank failures, billions of dollars in losses, and the loss of over 2,000 jobs came to a close on Wednesday when courts found the culprits guilty on counts of fraud and false statements, among other charges. The sentencing follows several other convictions in a case authorities bill one of the largest instances of bank fraud in U.S. history.

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