Consumer Finance Insights
September 22, 2016

Mortgage Lender Agrees to Pay $2 Million Administrative Penalty to Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks

On September 21, 2016, a mortgage lender settled an action brought by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks by stipulating to the entry of a consent order to resolve claims of “alleged non-compliance with applicable Massachusetts and federal statutes, rules, and regulations governing the conduct and licensing of those engaged in the business of a mortgage lender, mortgage broker, and mortgage loan servicer, in Massachusetts.”  The consent order alleged that the lender collected late charges from consumers in excess of the amount permitted by Massachusetts law or in excess of the amount permitted by their loan agreements.  Under the terms of the order, the mortgage lender agreed to (i) pay $2 million as an administrative penalty; (ii) submit an “internal control plan” setting policies and procedures to ensure proper management, adequate training, and other internal controls; (iii) engage an independent auditor to review the lender’s mortgage loan servicing portfolio; (iv) establish and maintain policies to ensure that it does not charge excessive late charges and that it complies with Massachusetts law and federal law.  The order required that the lender specifically “enhance its policies and procedures” to ensure compliance with the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.  The consent order was entered without any admission of wrongdoing by the lender.