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Amending amendments...Repealing final rules...Agency chaos. What’s a compliance officer to do?

Donna Cameron, Director of Regulatory I/O, CRCM, CCBCO

Jan 08, 2018

Well, we expected “regulatory change” in 2017, but I’m not sure we expected it to take the form it has. 

  • Before the initial HMDA, Prepaid Accounts, and Mortgage Servicing amendments could even take effect, they were amended yet again. And the CFPB issued a proposal to further amend the TRID amendments that are effective on October 1, 2018.

  • The Arbitration Agreements rule was finalized in July, and repealed in November. The new Payday Lending rule is now in Congress’s sights, with a bipartisan group in the House introducing a resolution to repeal. Recent determinations by the GAO that two “guidance” documents from 2013 were actually “rules” and subject to Congressional review could result in the floodgates being opened and Congress potentially repealing agency guidance.

  • The CFPB has indicated that it will be delaying the Payday Accounts rule’s mandatory compliance date (currently, April 2018), and that the HMDA rule is being “reconsidered”; specifically, whether to further revise reporting thresholds and data fields.

  • Then there’s the turmoil at the CFPB. Two interim Directors...lawsuits...a hold on new guidance...potential changes in enforcement activity. Even the existence of the agency itself is in question!

 

What is a Compliance Officer supposed to do? 

Hiding under a blanket and hoping it all goes away has never been an option, tempting as that might be these days. 

What we shouldn’t do is react to things that haven’t happened yet. It’s wise to stay informed, but don’t get caught up in the “what if” game.

What if the rule is repealed? What if they amend HMDA again? What if all this guidance we’ve been depending on is found to be invalid?
A lot of time and energy can be wasted in speculating about what might happen, but experience has shown us that we can’t even begin to imagine all the possible scenarios.

We need to focus on what we know and let the rest work itself out. HMDA became effective on 01/01/2018. If it changes again, we’ll deal with it. As it stands now, we need to be working on implementing the rules on beneficial ownership, mortgage servicing, Reg CC, and TRID.

If we have well structured change management systems in place, we will not be so easily rattled when the inevitable happens. While we might wish things would calm down for a little bit, it doesn’t seem likely, so our best defense is to implement repeatable processes that we can rely on no matter what the “change” is...amendments, repeals, or the dismantling of an entire agency. Find a system that works well for you, and stick with it.

For an example of a robust, consistent approach to change management, download Continuity’s complimentary eBook, Compliance Management Goes Full Circle, to learn more about finding a system that works for you.

 

Continuity’s RegAdvisor® Pro offers a change management system that helps eliminate the “noise” and ensures that you only have to deal with the regulatory issuances that impact your institution. If you'd like to learn more, contact us for more information!

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