April 23, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Republicans have stepped up their pressure to limit the wide-ranging powers of the nation's watchdog over consumers' money matters. The head of a key House committee overseeing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said he would no longer accept the testimony of Richard Cordray, the bureau's director, before his panel because he doesn't believe Cordray was legally appointed to his post. Cordray, who delivered his semi-annual report to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, was set to do the same in coming weeks in the House, as required by law. But Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)
April 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON — Got a beef with your mortgage company or loan servicer? Lots of people do, and thousands of them have been turning to a federal complaint hotline for action — or at least a quick response from the lender. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has opened up its bulging online complaint hotline files to public view, and the contents are startling: Although the CFPB's complaint window is open to various financial disputes — credit cards, student loans, credit reporting agencies, bank loans to consumers — by far the biggest source of complaints is home mortgages.
April 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Federal regulators are conducting an extensive investigation into an alleged mortgage insurance kickback scheme that pushed up costs for home buyers dating from the mid-1990s. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in disclosing its first action Thursday, said the investigation revolves around a scheme in which banks and other lenders required private mortgage insurers to seek backup insurance from lender-owned reinsurance companies. The backup insurance essentially was worthless and amounted to an improper payment to the lender by the mortgage insurer to acquire new customers, consumer bureau officials said.
March 28, 2013 |
Bank of America Corp., which handles customer service on about 15% of U.S. home loans, has accounted for 30% of the mortgage complaints logged by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a new database made public by the federal watchdog. The level of customer discontent - far greater than at home-lending rivals Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. - reflects BofA's struggles since its 2008 acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp. in Calabasas. Countrywide had become the No. 1 mortgage firm by specializing in subprime and other high-risk loans.
March 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Senators questioned two of President Obama's nominees for key financial regulatory positions, and Democrats and Republicans appeared to like both of them. But only one of those candidates is expected to be confirmed. Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor, was on track to be confirmed as chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission after Tuesday's hearing by the Senate Banking committee. However, the path for Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who has been renominated by Obama, was still blocked by Republicans who want changes to the agency.
March 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Jeanette Ogle, a 92-year-old widow with a reverse mortgage on her house, got a huge birthday surprise recently: She did not lose her home at a scheduled foreclosure auction that had drawn scrutiny from federal and state agencies and consumer advocates. Because of obscure federal rules that critics say have snared unwitting elderly homeowners across the country, Ogle's home in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., had been set for foreclosure on Feb. 27, her birthday. But after interventions on her behalf by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, AARP and the Arizona attorney general's office, the auction was canceled.