An Information Smorgasbord For Fat Tuesday
- Our good friends at the CFPB issued a bulletin on servicing requirements yesterday. There’s a part of me that finds this amazing considering that a good chunk of the recently released mortgage regulations, not to mention parts of Dodd-Frank, underscore the need for servicers to have policies and procedures in place to provide accurate and timely information to consumers in a way that allows them to find out about their mortgages without being sucked into a bureaucratic vortex. Still the CFPB felt the need to reiterate that “[w]hen handing over the processing of loans, mortgage servicers should not lose paperwork, lose track of a homeowner’s loss mitigation plans, or hinder a consumer’s chances of saving their home from unnecessary foreclosure.” I am going to cut the CFPB some slack on this one. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the nation’s largest servicers are still having a tough time getting their act together, which is somewhat mind boggling to me. Guidances like this get me thinking about the NFL doctors who made the amazing discovery a few years ago that 300 lb men with amazing speed lunging at one another’s head might actually be bad for someone’s health. Incidentally, although the CFPB only has direct supervisory jurisdiction over institutions with $10 billion or more in assets, I personally would not ignore their advice.
- Peace in North Carolina. The feud between NCUA and North Carolina state banking officials has officially come to an end, meaning that NCUA will no longer be conducting independent audit examinations of all state chartered institutions. It looks as if the state cried uncle on this one since it is discontinuing a program under which it allowed the State Employees’ Credit Union to release its CAMEL ratings to the public. With the public now protected from having the most accurate information about its credit union’s financial condition, we can all breathe a little easier. By the way, the President is going to be visiting the Middle East later this year, and although the early thinking is that we shouldn’t expect much of a breakthrough on Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, I say if this problem can get resolved, there is hope for all the world’s intractable dilemmas.
- Because we don’t already have enough oversight of consumer issues, the Federal Trade Commission yesterday released a report mandated by Dodd-Frank assessing the accuracy of consumer credit reporting agencies. The finding that is getting all the headlines is that “five percent of consumers had errors on one of their three major credit reports that could lead to them paying more for products such as auto loans and insurance.” But the finding is somewhat deceptive. The FTC isn’t saying that the survey shows that all of these errors lead to material differences in someone’s credit, in fact in only 5.2% of the cases in which a material defect was found on one of the reports resulted in a change in credit score sufficient to change the individual’s ability to get a loan. In the immortal words of John Adams: “Damn lies and statistics.”
- Janet Yellin, who is considered a front-runner to succeed Chairman Bernanke at the FED, gave a speech yesterday in which she explained that even if you don’t know it, the bond buying program has been good for the economy. So there.
- Finally, don’t forget tonight is the State of the Union Address. My personal suggestion is to tape it, fast forward through the applause and get though the substantive part of the address within about 2 minutes.
Entry filed under: Advocacy, Compliance, General, Political, Regulatory. Tags: Federal Trade Commission consumer credit report, Janet Yellin, NCUA and North Carolina, servicing requirements, State of the Union.