March/April 2022 Reverse Mortgage Magazine

ATTORNEYS MONITORING AGENCIES that oversee lenders say regulators will increasingly pursue people and entities that don’t comply with details of lending laws. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been coordinating with other federal agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), as well as state attorneys general, to ensure broad enforcement of the various laws, especially fair lending, according to attorneys at the Venable law firm in Washington, DC and New York. Since it was formed in 2010 after the financial crisis and through 2020, the CFPB issued $1.6 billion in penalties. Enforcement actions resulted in $12.9 billion in consumer relief that included monetary compensation, principal reductions and canceled debts, according to fact sheets provided by Venable during a seminar titled “Update on Consumer Financial Services Investigations and Enforcement.” As for 2021 and the future, the actual number of cases has ticked up substantially in the past year, with a tendency for enforcement actions to name individuals or executives and not just companies, says Jonathan L. Pompan, a partner in Venable’s Washington office. Coordination Enforcement activity has been increasing, largely due to those coordinated efforts among various agencies because of the fair lending priorities of the Biden administration, according to seminar participants, who made clear that their comments were not legal advice and were for informational purposes. “I think a common theme in enforcement and regulatory agency announcements is coordination,” says Venable Partner Michael J. Bresnick, adding that anti-redlining initiatives are an example. The various agencies will continue working under one large task force, rather than each agency having its own investigation, he says. Those efforts signal where the agencies are putting their priorities. Bresnick served as the executive director of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force at the DOJ during the Obama administration. He points to the Trustmark National Bank settlement, where the Mississippi-based lender was cited for discriminatory practices late last year. According to an October news release from the CFPB, the agency worked with the DOJ. “The joint complaint alleged that Trustmark engaged in unlawful discrimination against applicants and Regulators Ramp Up Investigations Attorneys Outline Trends in Federal, State Loan Regulations By Thomas A. Barstow Michael Bresnick Jonathan Pompan 28 REVERSE MORTGAGE / MARCH-APR I L 2022