A Message From IMA President Tim Lamb
Association Updates
Presidents Club and Winners Circle Loan Awards
The Iowa Mortgage Association will present the Winner’s Circle and President’s Club awards at the IMA Fall Conference on Oct. 12. As an ongoing recognition program, the awards recognize outstanding mortgage loan production for 2020. Entries must be submitted with the online entry form by Sept. 9. Recognition levels and additional awards include:
  • Top Producers (minimum loan origination eligibility is $18 million or 120 units of residential loan volume in 2020 for Winner’s Circle and $25 million or 180 units of residential loan volume in 2020 for President’s Club.)
  • Five top producers by purchase volume
  • Top total volume production from lender at a bank, credit union and mortgage company.
Mortgage Pro and Affiliate of the Year Awards
The Iowa Mortgage Association will present the 2021 Mortgage Professional of the Year and Affiliate of the Year Awards at the 2021 IMA Fall Conference on Oct. 12. The awards will be given to two people who have made a difference in the industry. Nominations must be submitted by Aug. 11.
Upcoming Events
IMA Golf Outing
Oct. 11, Copper Creek Golf Course, Pleasant Hill
IMA Fall Conference
Oct. 12-13, Prairie Meadows Event Center, Altoona
Industry News
Reynolds Vetoes Mortgage Fees Bill
Gov. Kim Reynolds recently vetoed SF 567 a bill that would have added mortgage bankers to the list of lenders already permitted to impose certain charges, fees or costs upon a borrower in connection with mortgage financing. Despite the bill receiving no opposition throughout the legislative process and passing unanimously in both chambers, the Iowa State Bar Association became concerned about potential title insurance implications and requested the veto. In her veto message Reynolds wrote, “Since passage, legitimate concerns have been raised by stakeholders ... regarding the potential scope and consequences of Senate File 567. I believe the State of Iowa will ultimately benefit from a more full and deliberative legislative process in which these concerns can be addressed.” However, the message also highlighted that the governor “recognize[s] and supports the intended purpose of the legislation” and encouraged lawmakers to work on the legislation in the next session.
HUD Action on Appraisal Discrimination
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved a conciliation agreement between JPMorgan Chase Bank and an African-American woman, resolving the woman’s claim that the mortgage lender, relying on an appraisal that she believed was inaccurate, valued her home at an amount lower than its actual worth because of her race. As reported by the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago homeowner believes her home was appraised under market value due to her race and her neighborhood. The homeowner applied for a loan to refinance her condo and was surprised when the appraisal valued her home at $278,000; $1,000 less than she had paid for it six years earlier. The homeowner decided to apply at another bank and got a second appraisal, but this time did not disclose her race on the application form. The second appraisal was $62,000 higher than the first.

Under the conciliation agreement, JPMorgan Chase Bank will pay $50,000 to the woman and provide home lending advisors and client care specialists with mandatory training on the reconsideration of value process and fair lending issues related to appraisals, including specifics regarding how to handle complaints of discrimination in the appraisal process.
CFPB Corrects New HPML Escrow Exemption
In the June 3, 2021 Federal Register, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a notice adding a comment to its official staff commentary that it included in a recent higher priced mortgage loan escrow exemption final rule but that was not incorporated into the code of federal regulations.

Specifically, a comment was added to the CFR, explaining the threshold differences in the new HPML escrow exemption and the existing “small creditor" exemption. The comment explains the existing small creditor HPML escrow exemption establishes an origination threshold of no more than 2,000 mortgage loans secured by first liens on a dwelling but only first liens on a dwelling that were sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred to another person, or that were subject at the time of consummation to a commitment to be acquired by another person, are counted toward the 2,000-loan threshold. Whereas the new creditor exemption sets an origination threshold of 1,000 loans secured by first liens on a principal dwelling but all loans made by the creditor and its affiliates secured by a first lien on a principal dwelling count toward the 1,000-loan threshold, whether or not such loans are held in portfolio.
New Federal Holiday: Juneteenth
On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law S.475 — known as the Juneteenth National Independence Act — making June 19 a federal holiday. This act amended section 6103(a) of title 5 USC adding Juneteenth as the newest federal holiday since Martin Luther King Day. This is significant for financial institutions because several compliance regulations contain timing provisions which prohibit federal holidays from being counted as a “business day.”

Because of the short notice of an additional federal holiday, and lack of regulatory guidance, creditors were left to make risk-based decisions on how to handle pending loan closings that included Saturday, June 19 in their rescission period or three-day waiting period between delivery of the Closing Disclosure and consummation. To date, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has not issued formal guidance but instead released a statement stating “the CFPB recognizes that some lenders did not have sufficient time after the Federal holiday declaration to consider whether and how to adjust closing timeline.” The same statement implied the CFPB may be coordinating with other regulatory agencies in providing further guidance, “Any guidance ultimately issued by the CFPB would take into account the limited implementation period before the holiday and would be issued after consultation with the other FIRREA regulators and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors to ensure consistency of interpretation for all regulated entities.” At the time of this publication, the CFPB has not issued further guidance.
RESPA Escrow FAQ
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a set of frequently asked questions that provide an overview of the escrow account provisions under Regulation X. The FAQs address a variety of topics including key definitions, account analysis, deficiencies, shortages, surpluses, HUD’s public guidance documents and more.
Published by Iowa Mortgage Association