Credit unions urged to review CFPB final rule amending mortgage servicing rights in wake of pandemic

Credit unions should review a June 30 rule temporarily amending certain mortgage servicing requirements under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Regulation X to assist borrowers affected by the COVID-19 emergency, their federal regulator said Monday in a “regulatory alert.”

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), in is alert, noted that the CFPB rule only applies to servicers that service mortgages secured by a borrower’s principal residence. The rule – which takes effect Aug. 31 — does not apply to small servicers, the agency said.

Key provisions of the rule, NCUA said, are that it:

  • defines a COVID-19 related hardship as “a financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the national emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic” declared March 13, 2020 (beginning on March 1, 2020) and continued Feb 24 of this year.
  • Modifies early intervention requirements of live-contact messages and reasonable diligence obligations to “help ensure that borrowers experiencing a COVID-19 related hardship have timely and accurate information about their loss mitigation options.” That includes that servicers must take additional actions, until Oct. 1, 2022, during live contacts related to a COVID hardship.
  • Permits servicers to offer loan modifications to borrowers facing a COVID-19 related hardship based on an evaluation of an incomplete application if specified criteria are met.
  • Sets up temporary COVID loss mitigation procedural safeguards to ensure a borrower has a “meaningful opportunity to pursue loss mitigation options.” NCUA said that, from Aug. 31 through Dec. 31 – unless an exception applies – a servicer must meet at least one of the specified safeguards before initiating any judicial or non-judicial foreclosure process where a borrower became more than 120 days delinquent on or after March 1, 2020, and the applicable state statute of limitations regarding foreclosures expires on or after Jan. 1, 2022.

NCUA Reg Alert 21-RA-08 (July 2021): CFPB Amends Mortgage Servicing Requirements for Borrowers Affected by the COVID-19 Emergency