Alert November 12, 2013

CFPB Issues Interpretative Rule and A Guidance Bulletin on HOEPA Homeownership Counseling Lists

The CFPB issued an interpretive rule describing the data instructions for lenders to use in complying with HOEPA. The HOEPA rules require, among other things, that lenders provide applicants with a list of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies. In order to comply with the requirements to provide a list of homeownership counseling agencies under the HOEPA rules, lenders have two options: (1) use a tool developed and maintained by the CFPB on its website, or (2) use data made available by HUD and the CFPB to generate a list of homeownership counseling organizations. The interpretive rule provides instructions for lenders to use in complying with the second option. The rule is effective January 10, 2014.

In conjunction with the interpretative rule, the CFPB issued a guidance bulletin in response to concerns from the industry that lenders who choose the second option—to use data made available by HUD and the CFPB. The bulletin provides that while lenders work to incorporate the second option into their systems, they may direct borrowers to the CFPB’s housing agency website to obtain a list of housing counselors.