CFPB Gears Up to Examine Mortgage Firms

January 11, 2012
Wall Street Journal 
consumer financial protection bureau news

Now that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is up and running, thousands of non-bank mortgage lenders and brokers are being tapped for in-depth, government review of everything from their advertising practices to their loan volume. In its new "Mortgage Origination Examination Procedures" guide, the agency outlined how its examiners will evaluate the nonbank mortgage firms, beginning within a few weeks. The recent appointment of the bureau's first director, Richard Cordray, has set the wheels into motion to regulate the nonbank financial industry. Consumer advocates claim nonbank mortgage lenders contributed to the housing collapse in 2008. "The mortgage market cannot work well for consumers if the spotlight shines only on one part of it, while the rest is left in darkness," Cordray said. "Our supervision program will illuminate the entire marketplace by making nonbanks play by the same rules as the banks." Critics of the agency counter that banks and nonbanks should not be treated the same since nonbanks are not federally insured, nor do they use depositors' money to make loans.
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