NATNews Blog > December 2015 > ​Trade Associations call for Homebuyers Assistance Act Inclusion in House Spending Bill

    ​Trade Associations call for Homebuyers Assistance Act Inclusion in House Spending Bill

    12/7/2015 9:12:21 AM
    Title insurance, real estate and lender associations have banded together to encourage the U.S. House of Representatives to include the Homebuyers Assistance Act (H.R. 3192) in the year-end spending bill.
     
    The Homebuyers Assistance Act would provide limited liability for those who in good faith attempt to comply with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule through until Feb. 1, 2016.
     
    H.R. 3192, which was introduced by Reps. French Hill (R-AR) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), was passed by the House of Representatives on Oct. 7 by a bipartisan vote of 303-121. A similar bill (S. 1711) was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN). S. 1711 would direct the CFPB to observe a temporary safe harbor for companies working in good faith to comply with TRID until Jan. 1, 2016.
     
    The letter, directed to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI),  House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), was signed by 21 industry trade associations and consumer groups, including American Bankers Association, American Land Title Association, American Resort Development Association, Appraisal Institute, Community Home Lenders Association, Community Mortgage Lenders of America, Consumer Bankers Association, Consumer Mortgage Coalition, Credit Union National Association, Housing Policy Council of Financial Services Roundtable, Independent Bankers Association of Texas, Independent Community Bankers of America, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Mortgage Brokers, National Association of Realtors, Real Estate Valuation Advocacy Association, The Appraisal Firm Coalition, Texas Bankers Association and Texas Land Title Association.
     
    “Since the regulation became effective on Oct. 3, the businesses and financial institutions our organizations represent have experienced challenges with this complex regulation,” the letter stated. “The TRID rule brought extraordinary process change to the entire home financing industry and the millions of consumers it serves. Although the rule came into effect six weeks ago, numerous significant questions remain causing considerable inconsistency in the rule's application by lenders, investors, vendors and due diligence companies that review loans for compliance. These problems can be resolved, but additional time and guidance from the CFPB, as well as protection from private litigation, are essential to avoid unnecessary costs and other harm to consumers.”
     
    The associations noted CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s acknowledgement in testimony before Congress in September that TRID implementation would not be perfect, and also highlighted the Oct. 1 letter from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) member agencies acknowledging that “additional technical and other questions are likely to be identified once the new forms are used in practice after the effective date.”
    However, they advised these comments are not sufficient to offer the protections the industry needs in the early stages of TRID implementation.
     
    “The FFIEC letter does not offer a hold-harmless period, and regulators are unable to protect the industry from the liability risk during early days of compliance,” the letter stated. “Congress should recognize this risk and protect industry from regulatory and civil liability as it makes good- faith efforts to comply with the many new TRID requirements.”