CFPB PUBLISHES THE FINAL FINAL ESCROW RULE (WE HOPE.)

Recently the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published what we hope is the final final revised rule for escrows on higher-priced mortgage loans (HPMLs). This final final rule amends the final rule the CFPB issued in January 2013.

The January final rule lengthened the time for which a mandatory escrow account established for a higher-priced mortgage loan (HPML) must be maintained. The rule also established an exemption from the escrow requirement for certain creditors that operate predominantly in “rural” or “underserved” areas.

The purpose of the final final rule is twofold.

  • First, the January 2013 rule can be read to cut off existing rules regarding verifying a consumers ability to repay a HPML and prepayment penalties. The existing rules are replaced by more stringent rules effective in January 2014. The final final rule assures the existing requirements continue in place until January 2014.
  • Second, the final final rule clarifies how to determine whether or not a county is considered “rural” or “underserved” for purposes of applying an exemption in the 2013 Escrows Final Rule.

A copy of the final final rule is available here.

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