Saturday, March 21, 2015

CFPB adopts plan to publicly disclose consumer complaint narratives

The CFPB needs to make it easy for consumers to complain about what the lender or servicer did, such as by providing a stock set of complaints with check boxes beside them, and allow consumers to fill in any additional details.

Boxes for each of these (for example)

  • Servicer Force-Placed hazard insurance on my property
    • I already had insurance that had not expired and complied with requirements
    • Force-placed insurance company charged more than my previous policy, so obviously the servicer did not submit it for competitive bidding:
      • 1.5x or less
      • between 1.5x and 2x
      • between 2x and 3x
      • between 3x and 4x
      • between 4x and 5x
      • 5x or more
    • Servicer did not alert me of the expiration of the hazard insurance policy or the need to renew it.
  • Servicer lied about terms of loan mod
    • Servicer told me I'd have to miss payments in order to qualify for loan mod
    • Servicer strung me along for months without making a determination of whether or not to provide a loan mod.
    • Servicer claimed to lose paperwork I submitted
      • 1 time
      • 2 times
      • 3 times
      • 4 or more times
  • Servicer failed to provide me with notice of acceleration or intent to foreclose
etc.  These should come from typical complaints people file.  YOU could help by providing a comprehensive list of items you know about.

People get an extra benefit of such a table of complaints and exacerbations lies.  It alerts them to issues that could arise, and it helps them to think back to whether it happened or not, so they can include EVERY worthy THING in the complaint.

CFPB Monitor - CFPB adopts plan to publicly disclose consumer complaint narratives

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 07:22 AM PDT
The CFPB has adopted its controversial proposal to publicly disclose consumer complaint narratives in its Consumer Complaint Database.  Its plans for disclosing the narratives are set forth in a final policy statement.   According to the Federal Register document announcing the policy statement, the CFPB will not disclose any narratives for at least 90 days after the statement's publication in the Federal Register.  In the notice's supplementary information, the CFPB states further that it will not disclose narratives "until sufficient time has elapsed to allow the Bureau to adequately complete and assess" various actions needed to implement the policy statement, such as modifying its website, online complaint intake form and company web portal.
Consistent with its proposal, the CFPB will not publish a complaint narrative unless the consumer has given consent by checking an opt-in form that the CFPB plans to include in the submission phase of the complaint process.  A consumer can withdraw his or her consent at any time by informing the CFPB and the narrative will be removed from the database.  (In response to a commenter's concern that companies might require non-disclosure agreements from consumers creating an account, the CFPB states that it "would likely look disfavorably upon agreements that require a consumer to withdraw his or her consent to have a narrative published as a condition of settlement.")
The policy statement indicates that the CFPB "intends to apply to all publicly-disclosed narratives a robust personal information scrubbing standard and methodology" to address the risk of re-identification, which is modeled after the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Safe Harbor Method.  The CFPB does plan to disclose 5-digit zip codes next to narratives, except were the population in the zip code contains fewer than 20,000 people.  (In such cases, the CFPB plans to disclose the 3-digit zip code unless the 3-digit zip code population is less than 20,000.)
The CFPB's proposal would have allowed companies to submit an unstructured narrative response to appear next to the consumer's narrative.  In response to industry comments that legal, business and reputational concerns would limit a company's ability to provide meaningful public-facing unstructured responses, the CFPB will provide companies within the company web portal a "set list of structured company response options" and a company will have the opportunity to recommend which option, if any, it would like included as a public-facing response.  The list is intended to relieve companies from having to assess "what level of detail will address a complaint while protecting confidential information."  A company will not be required to provide a public-facing response, and while the CFPB states that it generally plans to adopt a company's recommended response, it reserves discretion "to assess whether there are good-faith bases for the recommendations."
With regard to the timing of posting a consumer narrative and a company response, the CFPB plans to disclose the narrative when the company provides its public-facing response, but not later than 60 days after the complaint is routed to the company.  (The CFPB's complaint system gives companies 15 days to provide an initial response to a complaint and 60 days to provide a final response.)  This timing is intended to guarantee that a public-facing response, if provided within the 60 day period, will be disclosed contemporaneously with the consumer narrative.
We share industry's disappointment with the CFPB's action.  From the time the CFPB first announced its plan to publicly disclose complaint data, we have had concerns about disclosing unverified date.  The CFPB's decision to disclose consumer narratives only exacerbates those concerns.
We take little solace in the CFPB's comment in the policy statement's supplementary information that this concern is sufficiently addressed by its disclaimer on the complaint database that "we don't verify all the facts alleged in these complaints but we take steps to confirm a commercial relationship between the consumer and company."  We doubt many consumers, even if they read the disclaimer, will appreciate what that means for a complaint's validity and will continue to assume that a complaint is true because it is being published on a government website.  In other words, complaints will take on an unwarranted level of credibility by virtue of them appearing on the CFPB's website.
The CFPB prides itself on being a data-driven agency.  Its disclosure of consumer narratives is the antithesis of being data-driven.  Instead, the CFPB will be publishing anecdotes much in the same way as an Internet gripe site.
To address industry comments that the complaint database should include positive feedback in conjunction with complaint narratives, the CFPB also issued a notice and request for information about "the potential sharing of consumer compliments about providers of consumer  financial products and services and more information about a company's complaint handling."  Comments on the RFI are due on or before 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register.  In the RFI, the CFPB describes two potential avenues for sharing positive feedback: by providing more information about a company's complaint handling and by collecting and providing consumer compliments independent of the complaint process.
With regard to complaint handling, the CFPB is seeking information on potential ways it could "record, calculate, standardize, short, share, and visualize the data" associated with complaints "in ways that reveal positive company behavior."  Among the potential metrics suggested by the CFPB are total number of complaints by product and issue and timeliness and speed of responses.  The CFPB also seeks comment on adding a consumer feedback process to its complaint system that would allow a consumer to rate a company's handling of his or her complaint.
With regard to soliciting, collecting and sharing compliments, the CFPB asks for comment on expanding its "Tell Your Story" feature on its website to share compliments and establishing a new database to take and publish compliments.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

TILA Rescission in the wake of Jesinoski

Truth In Lending Act (TILA)

See the full law here:
See the regulation Z here:

Congress intended the right of rescission to protect the consumer from putting the family home at risk by using the home or the equity in it to secure a loan. It doesn't apply in mortgage loans for the purpose of PURCHASING the house.  The TILA right of rescission doesn't protect the home purchaser; it protects the borrower who has the home or equity in it.

When looking at laws, read the whole area of a topic to find the definitions and rules of construction, like this one:

15 U.S. Code § 1602 - Definitions and rules of construction 

(x) The term "residential mortgage transaction" means a transaction in which a mortgage, deed of trust, purchase money security interest arising under an installment sales contract, or equivalent consensual security interest is created or retained against the consumer's dwelling to finance the acquisition or initial construction of such dwelling.

The SCOTUS recently affirmed the simplicity of rescission in Jesinoski v Countrywide Home Loans.

Read a discussion of the opinion here:

The lender, upon receiving a rescission notice may either accept the rescission or dispute it.  If accepted the lender must return all payments and terminate its security interest. The borrower then must tender the loan proceeds to the lender. Should the lender wish to contest the rescission notice, it should send a letter so stating to the borrower. Then either the lender or the borrower may file a declaratory judgment action to determine whether the notice was valid. Warning, if the borrower files a lawsuit, there is a filing fee and there is an obligation by the borrower to certify that they are making a pleading in good faith and upon a reasonable investigation. That should weed out a lot of truly frivolous claims. Without that mechanism in place, anyone can send a letter and assert a rescission demand, but if they do, they will be sanctioned. 

In the case of the borrower defaulting, the lender might file a foreclosure action or initiate nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings as appropriate. The borrower would then assert rescission as an affirmative defense to foreclosure or in a declaratory judgment action to halt a nonjudicial sale. 
Remember, courts have the discretion to not only determine whether there is a proper basis for a rescission notice but also to reorder the creditor's and debtor's obligations in the event rescission was proper. Even if the rescission notice is well founded, a court can still require the borrower to show an ability to tender before forcing the lender to return funds and void a security interest.

Charlatans and Bozos in the foreclosure pretense defense industry have made grand pronouncements about how many lawsuits borrowers will file for rescission or injury resulting from having a rescission effort denied.  Frankly, I have no idea how many borrowers gave the lender a TIMELY TILA rescission notice.  But it makes no sense for the majority of borrowers over the past 7 or 8 years because many bought at the peak of the market, and 3 years later they had underwater loans because of the collapse of house values generally.  How could they pay that back?  Well, the arithmetic would allow subtraction Borrower Repayment minus Lender Repayment.  That might yield a sufficiently low amount for the borrower to sell the house in order to raise the money for repaying the lender.   But, in many cases, borrowers would still fall short, and they could not repay the lender, so the court would not order a rescission.

Yes, a few rescission lawsuits will come up, but not that many.  The Foreclosure pretender defenders will gladly take those borrower's money for filing the action.

Bob Hurt            Blog 1 2   f  t  
2460 Persian Drive #70
Clearwater, FL 33763
Email Call: (727) 669-5511
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Are Attorneys Smart Enough to Pay Finder Fees?

Are Attorneys Smart Enough to Pay Finder Fees?

Apparently not.  It seems to me that attorneys should have the intelligence, acumen, etc, to figure out how to pay for a marketing service (ultimately, sharing fees) without suffering torture by the bar as a consequence.  After all, they can hire paralegals to do attorney tasks, and they pay those paralegals, either as contractors or as employees, ultimately sharing fees with them.  But Florida attorney S. Tracy Long didn't get away with it.

What do I care?  Well, I DON'T care about Long because he's just another foreclosure pretender defender who led many clients to loss of their houses  while taking monthly payments from them for the "privilege."  However, if I knew of a worthy, reliable attorney who would actually purchase or do a comprehensive examination of the mortgage transaction (see and then aggressively fight for a settlement or damages for the damaged mortgagor, I'd spread his fame far and wide.  I wouldn't mind at all if he paid me for that service, either as a percentage of his fees, or as a per-paying-client honorarium.  Cheated borrowers across America feel desperate to find just one honest attorney who will help them beat up the lender and others who injured them at the inception of the loan.


Delray Beach attorney suspended for multiple foreclosure-related offenses

Delray Beach attorney S. Tracy Long was suspended for one year and must pay $11,500 in restitution following charges of sharing fees with a non-lawyer and foreclosure-related offenses.
The Florida Supreme Court approved the suspension in late November. It was announced Friday by the Florida Bar.
According to a conditional guilty plea signed by Long, in 2011 he used two companies to market foreclosure defense and loan modification work to be done by his law office. One of the firms hired a non-attorney, who obtained 31 clients for Long. The non-attorney had a contract with the firm that hired him to get 12 percent of the legal fee _ a violation of the Florida Bar's rules of professional conduct.
Four other Florida Bar cases against Long charge:
  • He failed to pay a mediator $875 after he said he was dissatisfied with the mediator's service.
  • He failed to adequately communicate the chance of success to clients in a foreclosure case he accepted to defend in 2011 for $2,500. The case had been adjudicated in 2008 and the Bar says there was a statute of limitations that prevented Long from addressing the foreclosure case. Long's clients were forced to vacate their home in October 2011.
  • He failed to properly represent a church in a case against the City of Sunrise in which he accepted $2,500. The lawsuit was filed in federal court, where Long was no longer licensed.
  • He was hired in August 2012 to defend a foreclosure in New Jersey, where he is not licensed to practice law. Long hired a New Jersey attorney to handle the case but the attorney did no work on the file. The homeowners paid $6,500 but a default judgment was entered against them in April 2013.

Learn how to solve a mortgage problem.  Visit and study now!

Bob Hurt            Blog 1 2   f  t 
2460 Persian Drive #70
Clearwater, FL 33763
Email Call: (727) 669-5511
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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Keep and Bear Arms and accessories in Missouri

Francis Slay and Sam Dotson are KOOL-AID DRINKERS.  These fools obviously don't understand the Second Amendment or the brilliant changes to the Missouri Constitution wrought by the voters.  See the changes below.  Slay and Dotson stupidly whine that people should have to report guns stolen from them.  These men refuse to admit that people WOULD report the theft IF the cops would find and return them without repercussion.  But gun owners know the cops will come looking for them if someone else uses a stolen unregistered gun to commit a crime.  And once the cops know a person had a gun, they know he probably has more, and that "heads-up" will make them dangerous to the gun owner in any of a variety of ways.

Slay and Dotson whine that felons can possess firearms under the amended text. How Stupid!  Of COURSE they can, but they, being felons, probably flout the law anyway, and will get firearms anyway if they please.  Even so, felons have paid their debt to society.  And while society might not trust them (because most become repeat offenders), felons have a right to self defense just like anyone else does.  Felons should have the right to own and possess firearms.

Furthermore, the amendment wisely removes the proscription against concealed weapons.  Most people feel nervous seeing others walk around with a pistol strapped on.  Most would prefer not seeing it, and concealment is a good idea for many reasons.  But if EVERYONE knew people might be armed, concealed or not, then EVERYONE would treat others with more respect.  Thugs would become very careful about holding others up, mugging, carjacking, becoming violent and disrespectful, etc.

Bottom line, unrestricted right to own and possess and bear weapons should remain intact until our society begins to impose laws controlling procreation of and by the stupid and mentally defective, and controlling procreation by parents who cannot support their brood without public assistance or private charity, controlling procreation by parents ignorant of the principles of family maintenance and child-rearing, and controlling the hiring and training of police so as to guarantee that they know and respect constitutional rights.

Of course, that might not happen for the next few thousand years.  Therefore the right to keep and bear arms and normal accessories (including silencers, huge magazines, automatic rifles and shotguns and pistols, lasers, tasers, and protective gear) should mean exactly that.

Missouri Constitution Article I
Section 23. Right to keep and bear arms—exception.—That the right of every
citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or when
lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; but this shall not
justify the wearing of concealed weapons.

The Right to keep and bear arms changed recently...,_Amendment_5_(August_2014)

Section 23. That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons. The rights guaranteed by this section shall be unalienable. Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the general assembly from enacting general laws which limit the rights of convicted violent felons or those duly adjudged mentally infirm by a court of competent jurisdiction.[6]

March 02, 2015 5:15 pm  •  

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Since its adoption, scholars and lawyers have debated what the Second Amendment means, and how it applies. Until recently, there seemed to be a consensus that reasonable regulations on guns, the purchase of guns, and the use of guns were both constitutional and wise policy.

That consensus no longer exists in our state.

Last year, we argued against a proposed constitutional amendment that made Missouri law far more protective of guns than the federal Second Amendment requires. We spoke out against the new state amendment because there are too many guns on the streets. Guns are too easy to get, and the plentiful supply of legal guns means they are readily available to criminals. Hundreds of guns are stolen from law-abiding citizens each year: In 2014 alone, more than 470 guns were reported to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department as stolen. The number of unreported stolen guns in Missouri is not known, because even the simple requirement that legal owners report stolen guns to local police departments is apparently too controversial to be a law.

We also argued that the proposed state constitutional amendment was ambiguous. We warned, loudly and in many venues, including the courts, that it could lead to unforeseen results, results that could endanger our city.

But despite the warning and even though the language was ambiguous, sponsors of the proposed amendment were not dissuaded. They asserted that the amendment could not be used to protect the "right" of a convicted criminal to carry a gun anywhere he pleased. One of the amendment's proponents, a state senator, even said explicitly that the intent of the amendment was to leave in place the laws prohibiting convicted criminals from carrying guns.

Reassured by this, voters of Missouri adopted the new amendment. Now, we are starting to see the troubling results of that decision.

Last week, a state judge in St. Louis declared that the law banning criminals from carrying guns was unconstitutional, based on the amendment. He ruled that a convicted felon in undisputed possession of a firearm cannot be charged.

The judge's decision will be appealed, though the law will still be enforced, and the city will follow the case closely through the court system. Also pending in the Missouri Supreme Court is a challenge brought by law enforcement officials and an advocacy group of parents to declare the amendment itself invalid. The outcome of neither case is certain.

The Missouri Legislature, therefore, should not wait.

Many voters took legislators at their word that Amendment 5 would not make it more dangerous for police officers and more difficult for prosecutors to their jobs. It has. Legislators should act immediately to restate the law barring felons from possessing firearms.

In the meantime, we should be resolved as a region to take a hard look ourselves at gun laws. We cannot stand by and allow careless state policy to trump reasonable regulations aimed at keeping our families safe. We must begin to push the limits at the local level, looking at all of our legal options, whether that is a new ordinance, new policing strategies, or a new gun docket in the court system to track those gun criminals that are prosecuted. And we must press our legislative delegation to either fix the law, or to revisit the constitutional amendment in 2016, and let the voters decide whether they want to keep this amendment on the books now that we know how bad its results are.

Francis Slay is mayor of St. Louis. Sam Dotson is the city's police chief.


Bob Hurt            Blog 1 2   f  t  
2460 Persian Drive #70
Clearwater, FL 33763
Email Call: (727) 669-5511
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