On June 22, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued its third update to its exam procedures for mortgage servicers. In its press release, the CFPB stated that mortgage servicers should “note a greater emphasis” on complaint handling, responses to requests by borrowers, and fair lending issues. According to the CFPB, the update provides additional guidance on examiners’ review of “expedited evaluation of complaints or information requests from borrowers facing foreclosure.” The CFPB also noted that it is “conducting targeted reviews of mortgage servicers’ compliance with fair lending laws.”
On that same day, the CFPB also issued its Supervisory Highlights – Mortgage Servicing Special Edition. The report focused on what the CFPB described as the impact of “failed technology” on consumers. According to the CFPB, “some mortgage servicers continue to use failed technology that has already harmed consumers, putting the company in violation of the CFPB’s new servicing rules . . . Specifically, examiners have observed problems with loss mitigation and servicing transfers.” The CFPB highlighted two problems observed by examiners: (1) information about loan modifications is “late, incorrect, or deceptive due to technological breakdowns or malfunctions”; and (2) consumers get the “runaround” when loans transfer to a new servicer with incompatible computer systems.
The CFPB noted that some servicers have “made significant improvements in the last several years, in part by enhancing and monitoring their servicing platforms, staff training, coding accuracy, auditing, and allowing for greater flexibility in operations.” However, the CFPB cautioned that a “growing point of emphasis” for examiners will be “requir[ing] servicers to submit specific and credible plans describing how changes in their information technology systems will offer assurance that they can systematically and effectively implement the changes made to resolve the issue identified” by the examiners.