On May 4, the CFPB announced that as part of its impending 5-year review of mortgage rules, it was proposing a plan to assess the effectiveness of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) mortgage servicing rule. The proposed assessment plan focuses on the 2013 RESPA Servicing Final Rule, which was issued in January 2013 and amended before it became effective on January 10, 2014. The CFPB intends to issue an assessment report no later than January 10, 2019. While this report will likely not include specific proposals to modify the rule, the CFPB states that the report will “help to inform the Bureau’s thinking as to whether to consider commencing a rulemaking proceeding in the future.”
The purpose of the assessment is to determine how well the 2013 RESPA Servicing Final Rule has met its objectives of (1) responding to borrower requests and complaints in a timely manner; (2) maintaining and providing accurate information; (3) helping borrowers avoid unwarranted or unnecessary costs and fees; and (4) facilitating review for foreclosure avoidance options. The proposed assessment plan seeks to compare servicer and consumer activities and outcomes to a baseline that would exist if the 2013 RESPA Servicing Rule’s requirements were not in effect. To do so, the CFPB will use loan-level data from a small number of servicers, data from the National Mortgage Database, and the American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers , consumer complaints, servicing data from a private vendor, and information obtained from supervision and enforcement activities.
The CFPB is soliciting comments on a variety of issues related to the assessment, including the feasibility and effectiveness of the assessment plan and recommendations for modifying, expanding, or eliminating the 2013 RESPA Servicing Rule. Comments must be received 60 days after the CFPB’s notice is published in the Federal Register.