Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum Announces Adoption of Rules for Home Mortgage Loan Servicers Rules provide guidance for consumers and industry
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced today that the Oregon Department of Justice has adopted rules that regulate the conduct of home mortgage loan servicers. The rules adopted today are intended to clearly identify conduct that violates the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act, a consumer protection law that has been in effect since the 1970s.
In announcing today's adoption of the rules, Attorney General Rosenblum said, "We appreciate the input we received in the rulemaking process and we are committed to continuing discussions so we have rules that protect Oregon homeowners, while providing clear guidance to loan servicers."
The Department of Justice adopted temporary rules in February 2012 and then proposed more detailed servicer rules that were modeled after servicer standards included in a nationwide settlement agreement with the nation's five largest loan servicers. The Department initiated a public hearing and comment process which concluded on July 17, 2012. Copies of the written comments may be found on the Department's web site: http://www.doj.state.or.us/consumer/foreclosure_fraud.shtml. As a result of that process, Attorney General Rosenblum, who took office on June 29, 2012, decided to adopt as permanent the temporary rules that had been in effect since February. In addition, the Department will reinitiate the rulemaking process to explore whether any changes are needed to the rules adopted today, as well as any need for more detailed servicer rules.
Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services Director Patrick Allen said, "I look forward to working with the Attorney General to ensure consumers are protected and we maintain a healthy mortgage market."
The rules adopted today place no new obligations on local banks and credit unions but make it unlawful for a mortgage loan servicer to:
- Assess a late fee or delinquency charge for a full payment made on or before the payment's due date or within the grace period applicable for the payment;
- Assess or collect any default-related fee or charge that the servicer is not legally authorized to assess or collect under the terms of the residential mortgage loan, deed of trust, or mortgage;
- Misrepresent to a borrower any material information regarding a loan modification;
- Misrepresent any information set forth in an affidavit, declaration, or other sworn statement detailing a borrower's default and the servicer's right to foreclose;
- Fail to comply with the notice provisions of a federal law known as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act; or,
- Fail to deal with a borrower in good faith.
Oregon Department of Justice: 503-378-6002