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CFPB Set to Propose New Rules for Mortgage Servicers

The ""Consumer Financial Protection Bureau"":http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) steamed ahead with proposals for new rules Tuesday that would require mortgage servicers to notify homeowners about changes to their interest rates and insurance policies.

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The bureau criticized the mortgage servicing industry for a ""lack of accountability and a lack of transparency"" in a statement it released Monday.

The CFPB said it would publish proposals for the rules this summer and seek to finalize them by January next year.

""The mortgage servicing rules we are considering reflect two basic, common-sense principles ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô no surprises and no

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runarounds,"" CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. ""For too long, mortgage servicers have not been held accountable to their customers, and the result has been profoundly punishing to homeowners in distress.

""It's time to put the ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├ï┼ôservice' back in mortgage servicing,"" he added.

Under the new rules, servicers would need to tally up mortgage payments for homeowners every month, issue notifications about interest-rate changes for many adjustable-rate mortgages, and stay transparent about so-called force-placed insurance policies.

Servicers would also need to inform homeowners in distress of their options to prevent foreclosure, although the CFPB refrained from immediately disclosing any of the options.

Other rules in the pipeline would require servicers to promptly credit consumer accounts with payments, clean up and ensure transparency for records, and correct errors quickly upon notification from servicers.

The CFPB continues to roll forward with new rules for the servicing industry since going live in July and undertaking transfers of responsibility from seven regulatory agencies.

Cordray has frequently made mention of his intentions to issue new rules for the servicing industry in speeches since President Barack Obama signed off on his recess appointment in January.

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