MBA Vice Chair Lopez Urges Transparency, Certainty in Regulatory Schema

DALLAS–Mortgage bankers face a “bewildering” number of challenges in today’s market environment.

Mortgage Bankers Association Vice Chairman Rodrigo Lopez, CMB, executive chairman of Northmarq Capital Finance, Omaha, Neb., said risk management, quality assurance and fraud prevention continue to be “top priorities” for the real estate finance industry and a key focus of MBA’s compliance efforts.  

“We have successfully been working with federal agencies and the GSEs to resolve key issues facing the industry,” Lopez said here at the MBA Risk Management, Quality Assurance and Fraud Prevention Forum. “Restoring certainty and clarity between lenders and the GSEs is critical for the long-term health of the secondary mortgage markets.”  

Lopez said a key challenge remaining is a “lack of transparency” from regulatory agencies issuing new compliance guidelines and rules. “As a result, lenders have been forced to work with rules that are not always clear,” he said. “Washington must issue clear standards that provide clarity and reduce uncertainty.”  

Lopez said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, set to go into effect Oct. 3, will “touch every aspect of the mortgage loan.”  

“MBA supports additional disclosures, but many issues remain to be resolved,” Lopez said. “So far, the CFPB has provided only limited guidance on the new rules. MBA is urging the CFPB to resolve a number of issues, including differences between state and federal laws, that threaten to add layers of complexity to the mortgage loan process.”  

Lopez said an MBA-supported bill in Congress that gives mortgage lenders a safe harbor for good-faith TRID compliance is “absolutely necessary” to protect both lenders and borrowers.  

Lopez added that upcoming proposed changes to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act have also raised concerns among mortgage lenders and servicers.  “It is critically important you know your HMDA data, and that you understand the potential for that data to be used in disparate impact claims,” Lopez said. “We are concerned that too often, policy changes result in enforcement confusion.”