Today, April 15, 2015 at 1pm President Diane Evans of the American Land Title Association testified before a congressional sub-committee, alongside several other industry representatives, regarding regulatory burdens on non-depository financial institutions.
A representative of Equitable National Title Group, LLC viewed a live stream of the roughly 2 1/2 hour hearing that touched on everything from payday loans to the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures going into effect on August 1, 2015.
Most notably Mrs. Evan's (ALTA President) testimony provided an industry prospective of the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau's alleged over-regulation of industry compliance where she expressed 3 major concerns:
1. Unforeseen Issues: Ms. Evan's touted concerns that the industry needs time to adapt without fear of retaliation or enforcement from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This lead to a proposal of a non-enforcement period in which industry companies would be given the opportunity to implement new disclosures and regulations without fear of Government fines or lawsuits as a result of failure to comply or potential mistakes during the implementation. Her proposal included a timeline of August 1, 2015, when the new disclosures take effect, through the end of the calendar year.
2. Current CFPB implementations prohibits the industry from disclosing the actual cost of a Title Insurance Policy on the Government mandated disclosure. Her point being that it is rather ironic that an agency dedicated to full-disclosure of obligations of the consumer would not include the actual cost of premium.
3.The CFPB has not, to date, provided appropriate risk management guidance for industry constituents. In layman's terms, it is at the discretion of the CFPB to decide who and what is compliant with the interpretation of certain scenarios being left open-ended.
On the panel with Ms. Evan's was Paulina McGrath, President of Republic State Mortgage, who agreed that CFPB implementation leads to higher costs and fewer choices for consumers, as the financial aspect of retaining the necessary resources to remain compliant is burdensome for smaller businesses. Mrs. McGrath proposed targeted relief for small lenders with no prior compliance infractions under the premise that they continue to remain compliant year over year.
Hard pressed for time, congressional representatives each had 5 minutes to question the panelists of their choice. Congressional Representatives have 5 additional days to submit their questions to the committee council who will forward them to the panelists for answers.
Equitable National Title Group is following this story closely and will provide updates as they come to us.