The CFPB has issued a final rule to assist lender compliance with RESPA and TILA homeownership counseling requirements. Under RESPA, a lender must provide applicants for a federally related mortgage loan with a list of certified homeownership counselors. TILA prohibits a creditor from making a high-cost mortgage loan unless it receives written certification that the borrower has obtained mortgage counseling from an approved counselor. The final rule updates a 2013 CFPB interpretative rule regarding the list requirement.
Regulation X gives lenders two methods for generating the required list. A lender can use a tool developed and maintained by the CFPB on its website. Alternatively, a lender can use data made available by the CFPB or HUD, provided the data are used in accordance with instructions provided with the data. The final rule provides instructions for lenders to use in complying with the second method for generating a list. The rule addresses the number of counselors to appear on a list, the use of zip codes to generate a list, counselor contact information, accompanying information, and combining the list with other disclosures.
The final rule also addresses the qualifications necessary to provide pre-loan counseling for high-cost mortgages and lender participation in such counseling.