b'by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, the FHA,with their title agent, which the plaintiffs alleged was a and VA. The New York Attorney General alleged thatkickback in violation of Section 8 of RESPA. However, Caliber Home Loans loss mitigation practices violatedthe Fourth Circuit held that the purpose of RESPA New York state law by prioritizing interest-only andSection 8 was to protect consumers from practices short-term modifications that created an unacceptablethat tend to increase unnecessarily the cost of certain risk of re-default, sending modification offers tosettlement services. Plaintiffs had not alleged that the borrowers stating that the modifications would lowercost of their settlement services had been inflated as their monthly payments but failing to mention thata result of the relationship, and though the deprivation those payment reductions would be temporary, andof impartial and fair competition between settlement representing that borrowers payments may increaseservice providers could in certain cases be a tangible or adjust after the introductory trial modificationinjury, that was not the harm that congress enacted period but did not affirmatively state that the borrowers[Section 8(a)] of RESPA to prevent. payments would in fact increase. Caliber Home Loans agreed to revised loan modification waterfall provisions that include fee waivers, interest rateLooking Ahead to 2021reductions to 3.75%, term extensions of up to 40 years,We expect that the Biden administration and aprincipal deferment, and partial loan forgiveness.Chopra-led CFPB will re-invigorate federal enforcement The New York Attorney General estimated the fullactivity in the mortgage lending and servicing space. amount of loan forgiveness offered by the company toOver the past four years, federal enforcement has be approximately $17 million.largely focused on closing out financial crisis-era Florida Attorney General Reaches $11 Millioninvestigations, lawsuits, and administrative actions Dollar Settlement with Ocwen over Mortgageinitiated during the Obama administration. Under the Servicing PracticesTrump administration, federal agencies appeared In October, Ocwen Financial Corporation and severalreticent to bring new enforcement actions related affiliated entities agreed to settle claims brought by theto mortgage origination and servicing, except in the Florida Attorney General concerning Ocwens mortgageareas of protecting specific groups such as the elderly, servicing practices. The lawsuit, filed in Florida federalmilitary servicemembers and veterans, and minorities, court, alleged that Ocwen had violated various state andand the expected uptick in state activity did not federal laws, including the CFPA, RESPA, HPA and thefully materialize, especially in the areas of mortgage Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, throughoriginations and servicing.making untimely payments of borrowers insuranceDuring the early days of the Biden administration, premiums, improperly imposing lender-placed insurance,federal agencies may focus on extending CARES Act and overcharging for property preservation inspections.moratoriums on foreclosures, lengthening forbearance To resolve the lawsuit, Ocwen agreed to a total settlementperiods, and launching investigations and enforcement amount of approximately $11 million, which includesactions related to compliance with COVID-19-related $2.15million in relief to Florida borrowers, $2 million in civilmeasures. So far, the CFPB has announced no public penalties, $10,000 in administrative fines, $2 million inCOVID-19-related enforcement actions in the mortgage attorneys fees and costs, $5.55million in late fee waivers,lending space, though we expect that at least some and at least $1 million in debt forgiveness. The consentCOVID-19-related investigations or exams have been judgment resolved the Florida Attorney Generals 2017initiated. Democrats on the Hill have criticized the Trump lawsuit, but does not resolve a similar CFPB-filed lawsuit,administration and federal agencies for not sufficiently which remains pending.protecting homeowners from foreclosure or ensuring that homeowners understand mortgage relief options. Fourth Circuit Rules that Bare Statutory Violation ofOne likely priority of federal agencies during the first RESPA Insufficient to Confer Standing Under Spokeo months of the Biden administration will be ensuring that In the wake of the 2016 landmark Supreme Court rulingthe largest segment of consumer debt (mortgage loans) in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, No. 13-1339, courts continueis no roadblock to economic recovery, either through to consider what constitutes an injury sufficient toan expansion of mortgage relief options, continuation confer Article III standing in federal court. In March,of foreclosure forbearance relief, enforcement actions the Fourth Circuit in Baehr v. The Creig Northropagainst large mortgage servicers, or both.Team, No. 19-1024, reaffirmed that a mere statutory violation is insufficient to confer Article III standing.States may follow a similar approach: several states Theplaintiffs in Baehr alleged that they were deprivedand the District of Columbia have issued guidelines of an impartial and fair competition between settlementthey expect financial institutions to follow when service providers in violation of RESPA because theirproviding borrowers with mortgage loan forbearances real estate agent had a marketing services agreementor other hardship-related relief. The New York 18'