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Inside Washington (01/10/2008)
* WASHINGTON (1/11/08)--California Assemblyman Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), chairman of the state Banking and Finance Committee, is working to pass a state bill that would require lenders with state licenses to fill out monthly reports with their loan modification data. The information would then be publicly available (American Banker Jan. 10). The bill is scheduled to be voted on Monday. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) has introduced legislation that would require loan servicers to report their data to the Federal Reserve Board. Though some lawmakers are pushing for reports, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair has stated that the requirements in legislation are unnecessary. The industry is willing to file the reports voluntarily, she stated, noting that the Hope Now alliance could be enough. Hope Now is a group that aims to improve outreach to assist struggling borrowers ... * WASHINGTON (1/11/08)--The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) has issued revised policy guidance on the examination of mortgage fraud programs for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The guidance details standards for overseeing the programs the government-sponsored enterprises have created to minimize fraud. The new guidance permits the enterprises to designate scenarios that rise to a pattern of reportable cases of mortgage fraud or possible mortgage fraud; expands the immediate notification requirements to the OFEHO to include situations involving insider fraud; revises the timeframe and format for reporting to follow the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network requirements; and adds clarification to the definition of mortgage fraud ... * WASHINGTON (1/11/08)—A regulatory outlook in the Jan. 10 issue of American Banker noted the following: The Internal Revenue Service is thinking about new restrictions on tax preparation companies that offer refund anticipation loans to ensure that selling the loans and preparing the returns are completely separate functions; the Federal Reserve Board is expected to soon offer a rule to define unfair and deceptive practices for the mortgage and credit card industries; and the Department of Housing and Urban Development may soon release a new, scaled-back Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act overhaul plan, which would set standards for good-faith estimates for borrowers and provide more disclosure of loan terms …


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