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CFPB Pursues Screening Standards for Mortgage Originators

The ""Consumer Financial Protection Bureau"":http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) unveiled new rulemaking proposals Thursday that would require background checks for mortgage originators and complement a previous rule that prohibits loan officers from steering borrowers to higher-priced products.


Together with these rules, others would provide consumers with discounts for paying mortgage origination points, mandate comparison plans for those interested in tracking different products, and ban brokerage firms from charging fees that vary by the loan size.

""Mortgages today often come with so many different types of fees and points that it can be hard to compare offers,""


CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. ""We want to bring greater transparency to the market so consumers can clearly see their options and choose the loan that is right for them.""

The bureau said that new rules would stem from jurisdiction under the Dodd-Frank Act, which calls for measures to do away with longtime practices seen as deceptive and unfair.

If they take effect, the new rules would add to a list of measures related to the financial reform law that aim to refashion the way the mortgage industry packages and sells home loans to borrowers.

One would supplement an earlier rule finalized by the Federal Reserve last April that prohibits mortgage loan originators from receiving dual compensation, effectively tying off any financial incentives from a loan product's term and conditions or in instances where loan officers receive payments directly from borrowers.

In line with new background checks for mortgage brokerages and companies, the rules would also tack on new fitness and transparency requirements, obligating loan officers to print their license and registration numbers on documents.

New rulemaking proposals Thursday seem to lockstep with earlier statements by the CFPB, which said that it would outline rules this summer and seek to finalize them by January 2013.