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Tag Archives: Dodd-Frank

Housing Looms Large, As Ever, For Bernanke, Lawmakers

A hearing held by House lawmakers Wednesday with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recast housing and the Dodd-Frank Act as issues critical to the economic recovery. The central banker said that 30 percent of home sales recently consisted of foreclosures and properties in distress, reflecting ongoing trouble for a market underpinned by high home vacancy rates and downward pressure for home prices. The underwriting process, down payments, and pending regulations also took center-stage during the discussion, with House members spotlighting recent servicer consent orders.

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CFPB Convenes Panel to Review Mortgage Disclosure Forms

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took steps Tuesday to engage mortgage lenders by forming a small business panel to review the integration of mortgage disclosure requirements into a single uniform document. The Dodd-Frank Act obligates the bureau to streamline conflicting rules and statutory requirements from the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth-in-Lending Act. The CFPB billed the panel as a way to increase transparency with mortgage lenders.

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CFPB Proposes Draft Mortgage Statement for Borrowers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau called for public comment on a draft it recently proposed for a mortgage statement required for borrowers under the Dodd-Frank Act. If approved, mortgage servicers and assignees of the loan would need to distribute the statement to borrowers with information that includes the principal loan amount, current interest rate, any late payments and penalties, and contact information for both the servicer and a housing counselor. A draft version of the statement shows that servicers would also need to break down past payments.

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Gingrich Rout Shows How Housing Remains a Political Bludgeon

Republican presidential candidates used housing issues in Florida to trump up their bona fides in separate addresses Tuesday. With nearly all precincts reporting in Florida, former Gov. Mitt Romney routed former House speaker and rival Newt Gingrich by 46.4 percent to 31.9 percent. The Dodd-Frank Act, new mortgage rules and regulation, and foreclosures all made appearances in addresses by Gingrich and Romney. Numerous analysts credit housing-related ads helping the former Masschusetts governor head off a primary threat.

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Cordray Fends Off Continuing Concerns, Criticism at Hearing

Newly appointed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray fended off another round of concern and criticism at a congressional hearing Tuesday even as he portrayed Congress as an important check on the bureau├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós power. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle stayed true to their parties├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó positions by alternately casting Cordray├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós recess appointment as a potentially dangerous abuse of presidential power and as a needed solution to congressional gridlock.

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Cordray Defends CFPB at First Congressional Hearing

An awkward and slightly tense air greeted Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray at his first congressional hearing Tuesday, where the new appointee cast his agency as one that would strive to reduce duplication and increase transparency. Although careful in their approach to the new director, Republican committee members frequently cited their concerns about federal overreach, the constitutionality of his recess appointment, and interests for transparency. The CFPB can now supervise nonbank financial entities.

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GOP Candidates Thrash GSEs, Dodd-Frank at Debate

Candidates for the Republican presidential nomination roundly criticized Freddie Mac Monday, taking swipes at rival and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for services he rendered to the mortgage company as an independent contractor in 2006. Yesterday The Gingrich Group ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô founded by its namesake and currently doing business as the Center for Health Transformation ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô revealed that Freddie Mac paid Gingrich $25,000 in monthly fees for consulting services he rendered to the mortgage company as an independent contractor.

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Housing Finance Reform Mired in Primary Politics

Presidential hopefuls remain quiet on subjects related to housing finance reform ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô except when it comes to politics. With former House Speaker Newt Gingrich trumping former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the South Carolina primary Saturday, the latter went on the attack Monday by reportedly criticizing his opponent for a $1.6-million contract he signed with Freddie Mac to advise the GSE at one time. These rows touch offer the only debate for candidates over housing, signaling only peripheral discussion of a still-lagging sector.

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Witnesses Criticize, Call for Repeal of Volcker Rule

Witnesses testifying before the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday warned lawmakers that the controversial Volcker Rule could tighten bank liquidity and make U.S. financial institutions less competitive with banks overseas. Once finalized by regulators, the rule ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô unless modified or repealed by lawmakers ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô will enact a provision under the Dodd-Frank Act that prohibits U.S. banks from engaging in short-term proprietary trading practices. Douglas Elliott, a fellow with the Brookings Institution, called for an outright repeal of the Volcker Rule.

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