A little too Late…crash happened! HUD reconsiders RESPA rule on incentives

Now if “steering” was involved…

WASHINGTON – June 4, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is taking a closer look at the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act’s (RESPA) prohibition against the “required use” of affiliated settlement service providers. DinSFLA: They need to take a closer look if these were part of “Appraisal Fraud” & “Illegal Kickbacks”.

It violates RESPA if a consumer is required to use a particular mortgage lender, title company or other settlement service provider that’s affiliated with another business in their mortgage transaction. However, it’s less clear whether it’s a RESPA violation if it is offered as a discount or other incentive to steer them to a lender, title company, etc. DinSFLA: COERCION or not COERCE is the Question! I wonder what they would think of the Mills using their own title companies to close on their foreclosures? Any violations?

HUD is currently trying to determine if incentives violate the “required use” requirement. As part of the process, HUD published a notice about the issue and is seeking public comment.

HUD took the step because it has received a number of consumer complaints, many of which focused on a home builder that might reduce the cost of a home (by adding free construction upgrades or by discounting the home price) if the homebuyer uses the developer or builder’s affiliated mortgage lender. In some cases, the incentives may not represent true discounts if the homebuyers ultimately pay more in total loan costs.

According to HUD, consumers also say that the timing of the contract with the builder precludes them from shopping around, and the builder’s lender can then charge higher settlement costs or interest rates not competitive with non-affiliated lenders. HUD says that the steering of clients ” effectively violates” the “required use” ban in RESPA.

“It is our intent to keep an open mind on how to approach this vexing question over what is, and what is not, ‘required use,'” says David Stevens, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner. “Clearly, consumers are complaining that they are being presented offers they believe they can’t refuse, and are essentially being required to use certain affiliated service providers.”

HUD’s current definition of “required use” reads:

“Required use means a situation in which a person must use a particular provider of a settlement service in order to have access to some distinct service or property, and the person will pay for the settlement service of the particular provider or will pay a charge attributable, in whole or in part, to the settlement service. However, the offering of a package or (combination of settlement services) or the offering of discounts or rebates to consumers for the purchase of multiple settlement services does not constitute a required use. Any package or discount must be optional to the purchaser. The discount must be a true discount below the prices that are otherwise generally available, and must not be made up by higher costs elsewhere in the settlement process.”

HUD’s call for comments is published in the Federal Register. To view the document (PDF format), go to:http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-13350.pdf

Comments must refer to the docket number and title:

Docket No. FR–5352–A–01 RIN 2502–A178 Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA): Strengthening and Clarifying RESPA’s “Required Use” Prohibition Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Comment due date: Sept. 1, 2010.

HUD strongly encourages people to submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal atwww.regulations.gov.

Comments can also be mailed to:

ANPR to the Regulations Division Office of General Counsel Department of Housing and Urban Development

451 7th Street, SW. Room 10276

Washington, DC 20410–0500

No FAX comments are accepted.

© 2010 Florida Realtors®

RELATED STORY:

ARE FORECLOSURE MILLS Coercing Buyers for BANK OWNED homes? ARE ALL THE MILLS?

Lenders Unload Mortgages to Collection Agencies

What we were discussing this morning…

dcbreidenbach, on April 26, 2010 at 9:51 am Said:in a prior posting it was stated that defense attys press people to be concerned about deficiency judgements unnecessarily. This advice may be practical for some homeowners but is extremely dangerous for borrowers generally. The current practice of most collectors is to press foreclosure on the mortgage–ignoring the note. This is an inverted approach that enables the collection agency to acquire the property and proceeds of its disposition without ever demonstrating who holds the note, or possession of the note. The collector obtains the home today, settling the mortgage, but is fully capable of selling the note deficiency balance collection rights to an even worse collection agency. The collectors are legally able to lay in the weeds for as much as 5-10 years depending on state laws and the facts of the case. When the homeowner is “back on his feet” with a good job, restored credit and other assets accumulated, the collector shows up with the old note and deficiency judgment and makes the claim plus interest accrued in the meantime. Just when the homeowner thought it was over-he/she is drawn back into the horror. another opportunity for them exists; they know you owe a deficiency amount-they record it and wait for you to die ——-then they come after your estate for proceeds of your life insurance and pension payouts that you thought were to help your family! Be wary of advice that says “dont worry-be happy” ; these people feed on deception, its a way of life to them. Beware disinformation—find attornies if you have deficiencies–force the collectors to warrant that the deficiency is waived. And get a warranty from an employee of one of the big name banks at the minimum that you will not be pursued. Trust them not.
Given any opportunity to screw you they will!

Lenders Unload Mortgages to Collection Agencies

19 April 2010 @ 05:11 pm EDT

Lenders are selling second mortgages and home-equity lines in default to collection agencies that have the right to collect this money potentially for decades.

“It’s a big business, and investors are coming out of the woodwork,” says Sylvia Alayon, a vice president for Consumer Mortgage Audit Center, which analyzes mortgage documents for lenders, advocacy groups, and attorneys.

Real estate professionals will be doing their short-sale clients a big favor if they urge them to get professional advice before they sign agreements, Alayon says.

A new government short-sale program, which takes effect Monday, aims to prevent banks from reselling this debt. Sellers covered under the program will receive notice that secondary lien holders have received part of the proceeds of the sale “in exchange for release and full satisfaction of their liens.”

 Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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To ROB a COUNTRY, OWN a BANK: William Black

William Black, author of “Best way to rob a bank is to own one” talks about deliberate fraud on Wall St. courtesy of TheRealNews

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