THE Community Mortgage Lenders of America (“THE CMLA”) would like to thank the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the “Bureau”) for allowing us to comment on the Bureau’s Guidance and Implementation Support, Docket No. CFPB-2018-0013.
As the only Washington, DC based advocacy group focused solely on the needs and concerns of mid-size and small community-based mortgage lenders, THE CMLA is dedicated to ensuring these needs and concerns are heard and understood throughout Congress as well as the Agencies.
Our members are of the view that the Bureau provide clear guidance on each regulation with specific parameters regarding implementation as well as any penalties which may be associated with regulations.
The past several years have seen a massive increase in consumer financial services regulations. The increase in regulations is particularly burdensome for mid-size and small community-based lenders which, unlike Wall Street banks, do not have dozens of legal experts in house or on retainer to assist with compliance questions.
THE CMLA has the following recommendations to enhance the Bureau’s ability to assist the industry with compliance with rules and requirements:
The Bureau should accept inquiries regarding compliance and guidance with its regulations by telephone, email, or through its website. Reponses to inquiries should be provided by the Bureau within 24-48 hours of receiving the inquiry. For questions that require additional research, we strongly encourage the Bureau to provide an initial response within 48-72 hours which allows for any additional follow-up within the required time frame for submission.
The Bureau should track all questions it receives from the industry and consider each in making annual adjustments to regulations or commentaries to address ambiguities.
If there are frequently received questions, the Bureau should publish written guidance or Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with written interpretations to assist industry stakeholders on regulatory implementation. An example of which was the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s RESPA FAQs, which the industry regularly used as a resource.
THE CMLA also suggests interactive webinars on proposed and final rulemakings. Webinars should provide information about regulatory requirements and practical examples of how to comply with new requirements, as well as take and answer questions during the webinars. Questions not answered, as well as those that are, can be compiled through follow-up written communications such as FAQ documents posted on the website.
We also encourage both comprehensive final rule summaries and short one-page summaries for final rules. Both summaries can be especially helpful for smaller lenders with limited compliance resources.
As part of a continuing educational process, The Bureau should place all its compliance resources, including webinars, final rule summaries, and FAQ documents, in a central location on its website for easy and quick access, and frequently update compliance guides on its website so industry stakeholders always have the most recent information accessible.
As a final proposal, The Bureau should conduct annual outreach with industry stakeholders, especially mid-size and smaller community lenders, to receive feedback on its current compliance resources and what additional resources would be helpful to the industry.
Thank you for this opportunity to respond to your request.
THE Community Mortgage Lenders of America