Industry News

Federal guidelines target scofflaw real estate lenders

OCC addresses practice of influencing appraisers

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The U.S. regulatory agency for national banks is cracking down on unlawful and unfair lending practices. Earlier this month, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which charters, regulates and supervises national banks, issued "OCC Guidelines Establishing Standards for National Banks' Residential Mortgage Lending Practices." The guidelines, which the OCC introduced "as a further step to protect against national bank involvement in predatory, abusive, unfair or deceptive residential mortgage practices," will become effective in April. These guidelines will become part of the OCC's regulations. "These standards further the OCC's goal of ensuring that national banks and their operating subsidiaries are not involved directly or indirectly through loans that they purchase or make through intermediaries, in predatory or abusive residential mortgage lending practices." A part of the guidelines offers strong language relating to bank and bank subsidiary conduct with appraisers. ...