CFPB honcho rips servicers: Readers respond

by Ryan Smith21 Feb 2014
The number-two man at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had some harsh words for the mortgage servicing industry this week, saying servicers are harming consumers. CFPB Deputy Director Steve Antonakes, speaking at a Mortgage Bankers Association conference, said he was “deeply disappointed by the lack of progress the mortgage servicing industry has made.”

Antonakes said customers were receiving “erratic and unacceptable treatment” from servicers. “Our nation's mortgage servicers manage a debt portfolio of nearly $10 trillion for millions of American homeowners,” he said. “This kind of continued sloppiness is difficult to comprehend and not acceptable.”

MPA readers had a few things to say about that. Here are some of the responses posted on our forum.

MPA reader John was only too happy that it was servicers feeling the CFPB’s wrath.

“Yes, let’s get the CFPB on to servicers and off of originators - please!” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Jim in Connecticut thought it was about time that the CFPB took a look at servicers.

“What? You mean they're finally going to try to crack down on the ‘Designed to Foreclose’ servicer shenanigans that have systematically destroyed the ability of hundreds of thousands of people to own their own homes, whilst enriching countless other well-connected individuals?” he wrote.

A reader posting as Contrary to U.S. Principles…, however, felt the CFPB had too much power and too few constraints.

“One department making, enforcing, judging, and sentencing you with no oversight,” Contrary wrote. “Government efficiency at its finest?”

Reader Bayview Mortgage Inc, on the other hand, felt the CFPB needed to add another regulation to those governing the service industry. Bayview wrote that the company received several wrong-number calls a day from borrowers whose mortgages had been transferred from Citibank and Bank of America to Bayview Financial Loan Servicing – a different company – for foreclosure.

“This process of transferring bad loans to foreclosure servicers would stop if a rule were enacted saying if the borrower is behind in payments, the servicing can't be transferred,” Bayview wrote.

Reader Ed, however, felt the CFPB was unfairly demonizing servi

"I am sure that there are some examples of mortgage services providing poor service but the fact is the majority of servicers do a pretty good job in a really tough environment," he said. "The CFPB though is happy to paint all of us with one brush because it makes them look as if they are being vigilant.  It has become a very political agency of this government."

What do you think? Did Antonakes go too far, or was he right on target? Give us your take in the comments below.
 

COMMENTS

  • by Nathan Smith | 2/21/2014 12:22:25 PM

    Reader Ed is spot on. The CFPB is thrilled to use a broad brush to paint entire segments of the lending industry as incompetent or guilty just to make themselves appear vigilant.
    There are horrible servicers, but also horrible originators and investors. However, those remain minorities in a much bigger population. 2 often the CFPB's reaction is way too broad and stringent, with the net effect of keeping a whole, whole lot of consumers from home mortgages.

  • by B. Lee | 2/22/2014 9:46:32 PM

    I have been in the mortgage industry for approximately 27 years, several of those years in a mortgage mortgage servicing environment. In a capacity of customer service representative and customer service trainer, I can vouch that if you call the majority of servicers 5 times with the same question, you are likely to get at least four different answers. Additionally, the overall customer service industry does not strive to provide superior customer service. Not to mention the training methods for mortgage mortgage servicing personnel is geared toward systems knowledge and does not include training in actual customer relations.

Poll

Is TILA-RESPA a good or bad thing long term?