CFPB Issues First No-Action Letter to HUD Housing Counseling Agencies
On September 10, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today issued three new policies to promote innovation and facilitate compliance: the No-Action Letter (NAL) Policy, Trial Disclosure Program (TDP) Policy, and Compliance Assistance Sandbox (CAS) Policy. The Bureau proposed the policies in 2018 and received public comments on each from a diverse array of stakeholders.
The Bureau issued its first NAL under the new NAL Policy in response to a request by the HUD on behalf of more than 1,600 housing counseling agencies (HCAs) that participate in HUD’s housing counseling program. In 2018, HUD brought concerns to the Bureau about HCAs and lenders not entering into agreements that would fund counseling services due to uncertainty about the application of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Expressing similar concerns, the Coalition of HUD Intermediaries filed a comment letter in February 2019 noting the insufficiency of the Bureau’s old NAL Policy and supporting the new NAL proposed policy. The no-action letter essentially states that the Bureau will not take supervisory or enforcement action under RESPA against HUD-certified HCAs that have entered into certain fee-for-service arrangements with lenders for pre-purchase housing counseling services. The NAL, which is an exercise of the Bureau’s supervisory and enforcement discretion, is intended to facilitate HCAs entering into such agreements with lenders and will enhance the ability of housing counseling agencies to obtain funding from additional sources. Read the full press release.
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