Rakuten mounts third attempt for industrial bank charter

After withdrawing two previous bids, the e-commerce company submitted an application to the FDIC outlining a significantly simpler business model for a proposed industrial loan company.
Source: American Banker

California's DFPI issues subpoenas to debt collectors

The state agency alleged potential violations of “unlawful, unfair, deceptive or abusive” practices by a dozen companies.
Source: American Banker

First Busey to expand around Chicago with acquisition

The Illinois company will pay $191 million for the parent of Glenview State Bank.
Source: American Banker

Agent Disclosures and “Reasonable Diligence”

  Editor’s Note: Ever wonder about the legal precedents that underlie modern day disclosure and due diligence practices of real estate agents/brokers? Read on to learn more about a landmark litigation case that changed the agent/broker liability landscape.  Agent Disclosures and “Reasonable Diligence” – Lawsuit that Started it All by Isaac Peck, Editor If you’ve been […]

The post Agent Disclosures and “Reasonable Diligence” first appeared at Working RE Magazine.

Source: Working RE Magazine

CFPB clarifies role of supervisory guidance

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a final rule Tuesday clarifying that supervisory guidance is not backed by the same force as law or regulation.

First proposed in October 2020, the CFPB’s final rule codifies the statement, with amendments, that the Bureau and other federal financial regulatory agencies issued in September 2018, which clarified the differences between regulations and supervisory guidance.

In 2018, five federal agencies issued a joint statement explaining the role of supervisory guidance for regulated institutions.

The agencies included the Federal Reserve Board, the CFPB, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. They said that supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law, and the agencies do not take enforcement actions based on supervisory guidance.

In its new final rule, the bureau confirmed that supervisory guidance does not have the same force and effect of law that is seen in laws or regulations. It said it does not take enforcement actions or issue supervisory criticisms if companies don’t comply with supervisory guidance. Rather, supervisory guidance outlines supervisory expectations and priorities, or articulates views regarding appropriate practices for a given subject area.

“In contrast to supervisory guidance, regulations do have the force and effect of law and enforcement actions can be taken if regulated institutions are in violation,” the bureau explained. “Regulations are also generally required to go through the notice and comment process.”

This new rulemaking formalizes the CFPB’s stance, and makes the original 2018 statement binding on the agency.

This was not the only final rule the CFPB issued on its last day under President Donald Trump’s administration. The CFPB also announced Tuesday some insured depository institutions and insured credit unions will now be exempt from regulations to establish escrow accounts for some higher-priced mortgage loans.

The post CFPB clarifies role of supervisory guidance appeared first on HousingWire.

Source: HousingWire Magazine

Altabancorp in Utah faces calls to sell from its biggest shareholder

Members of the Gunther family who own nearly a third of the company’s stock are urging the board to consider strategic alternatives.
Source: American Banker

In defense of the individual real estate agent

I saw a social media post recently by our local ‘mega-agent’ entitled: “Breaking News: Individual Real Estate agents added to Endangered Professions List!”

This post compares the individual real estate agent to “a tennis player using a wooden racket” or “a football player with a leather helmet.” The individual agent is on life support, it exclaims.

Total nonsense. Here’s an entirely different perspective.

The individual agent

‘Indy Bob’ is classified as an individual real estate agent only because he doesn’t have other licensed agents on his team. And yet, Bob has surrounded himself with a top-notch team of highly-skilled professional photographers, staging experts, graphic designers and other specialists.

Bob takes a huge amount of pride in the presentation and marketing of a property, and he works with clients personally from the pre-listing stage all the way through to the closing.

He keeps his clients fully informed on listing and market activity throughout the process. Bob is a quick phone call away if clients ever have a question, and he always provides a comprehensive, insightful response. 

With Indy Bob, homebuyers and sellers have a direct connection with a highly-skilled expert who cares deeply about delivering results.

When clients receive an offer, they get all the benefit of Indy Bob’s expertise. If there’s a problem, Bob’s got the solution. He negotiates the best possible price and terms on his client’s behalf.

When it comes to finding his clients a new home, does Bob hand them off to a junior agent? Nope!

Once again, homebuyers get all the benefit of his skill and experience as he walks them through the buying process, from the research stage to the possession date.

Bob didn’t get all this skill by accident or experience alone. He went out of his way to learn additional skills that he knew he needed to excel in his chosen profession. Bob has worked hard, and now he’s got a thriving real estate business, fueled by a never-ending stream of incoming referrals from thrilled past clients.

Do you think Bob would ever give up his successful real estate practice and go to work for the local mega-agent? Not in a million years.

The mega-agent

When I refer to the mega-agent, I’m talking about the famous real estate agent on the billboards all over town, the radio waves and probably TV. You know the one I’m talking about. There’s at least one in every major market.

They’re marketing machines, that’s for sure. But let’s be clear: All that money they tell clients they spend on marketing? It’s got very little (or nothing) to do with getting homes sold. They’re marketing themselves. To get more clients.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Just please don’t insult my intelligence and tell me they’re spending all that marketing moola on a client’s behalf. (Also, that “guarantee” program? Pffft. That’s a topic for another day.)

We’re No. 1!

The mega-agent is the Wal-Mart of real estate. In all likelihood, they are the No. 1 agent in a local area in terms of total sales. But here’s what they don’t tell you about their impressive sales ranking:

Those sales are an accumulation of all their agents (sometimes 50 or more) compared to the sales of each individual agent, partnership, or small customer-service-focused team. Not exactly a fair or meaningful comparison.

The mega-agent is the face of the mega-team. But if you call the number on that billboard, don’t be under the illusion that you’ll ever get the privilege of talking to the “celebrity” mega-agent. Instead, clients will be assigned to someone on ‘The Team.’

The problem is, who knows how much experience or skill that team member has? You have to wonder why they ever decided to work for another real estate agent in the first place, right?

Then again, they could be good. Who knows?

Often, brand-new real estate agents naively join these mega-teams, attracted by the promise of “team comradery” and the opportunity to learn at the feet of the famous mega-agent. They get trained all right, in “How to chase after ‘leads’ generated from the mega-agent’s Internet lead-generating machine.”

These team members often become disillusioned with their assigned work and never actually learn how to become a successful independent agent. Because, why would the mega agent train them to become a competitor?

I don’t care what anyone else says about the individual agent’s role now or in the future. Achieving the best possible result in real estate will always require a dedicated expert with the right combination of integrity, experience and skill.

This is not to say that every individual real estate agent is as skilled, experienced and dedicated as Indy Bob. They’re not! But you’d be surprised by the number of hard-working, dedicated, highly-skilled individual agents there are flying under the radar quite successfully, serving their clients and getting the job done.

Just don’t expect to see them on a billboard.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of HousingWire’s editorial department and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Ted Greenhough at ted@agentskills.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Sarah Wheeler at swheeler@housingwire.com

The post In defense of the individual real estate agent appeared first on HousingWire.

Source: HousingWire Magazine

Western Union stores join MoneyGram under Walmart's roof

The pandemic has made for strange bedfellows. Case in point: Western Union and MoneyGram will soon share Walmart as a landlord.
Source: American Banker

CFPB exempts some credit unions from escrow regulations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Tuesday some insured depository institutions and insured credit unions will now be exempt from regulations to establish escrow accounts for some higher-priced mortgage loans.

The final rule will take effect upon publication in the Federal Register, and will exempt the HPLM escrow requirement for any mortgage made by an insured depository institution or insured credit union and secured by a first lien on the principal dwelling of a consumer if all three of the following criteria are met:

  • The institution has assets of $10 billion or less
  • The institution and its affiliates originated 1,000 or fewer loans secured by a first lien on a principal dwelling during the preceding calendar year
  • Certain of the existing HPML escrow exemption criteria are met

This final rule was implemented as a requirement under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. The law, signed in 2018 by President Donald Trump, was seen as a rollback of the Dodd-Frank Act and was the administration’s attempt to bring regulatory relief to community banks across the U.S.

“Dodd-Frank’s costly regulations gave large banks a negative advantage at the cost of small banks throughout the country,” Trump said at the signing.

But this may be one of the last rollbacks the bureau sees for a while. Monday, President-elect Joe Biden announced he is nominating Rohit Chopra to lead the CFPB.

Chopra is a CFPB veteran, having previously served as assistant director, where he was the bureau’s top student loan watchdog. In 2011, the Secretary of the Treasury appointed him to serve as the CFPB’s student loan ombudsman, a new position established in the financial reform law. As one of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s, D-Mass., first hires as she constructed the CFPB, Chopra was on the ground floor as the bureau was built.

He is expected to return the bureau to a more aggressive regulatory regime.

The post CFPB exempts some credit unions from escrow regulations appeared first on HousingWire.

Source: HousingWire Magazine

FHFA asks for input on GSEs' exposure to climate change

In a request for information, the agency sought feedback on how it should prioritize climate risks as part of its supervision of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks.
Source: American Banker