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Inside Washington (09/06/2011)
* WASHINGTON (9/7/11)--The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has completed its investigation of illicit foreclosure practices by mortgage servicers and provided the results to state attorneys general, a spokesman for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said. States and large mortgage servicers are negotiating charges that banks were robo signing---sign off on foreclosure documents without properly reviewing them--in the processing of thousands of mortgages (American Banker Sept. 6) . But state attorneys general do not know the full scope of the banks’ robo-signing practices, or how many homeowners were affected by the practices. Although neither HUD nor the attorneys general would discuss the report, Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for Miller’s office said the findings were the key to the states’ negotiating position … * WASHINGTON (9/7/11)--The Credit Union National Association has released its analysis of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) final rule that would require most non-government employers to inform employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) through a poster mounted in the workplace. The NLRB said that the rule, which will become effective on Nov. 14, "will increase knowledge of the NLRA among employees, in order to better enable the exercise of rights under the statute." Credit unions will be subject to the rules, but CUNA staff added that credit unions that already comply with Labor Dept. posting requirements will be in compliance with the new NLRB rule… * WASHINGTON (9/7/11)--The term “abusive”--the standard in the Dodd-Frank Act under which Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CPFB) can prohibit certain acts and practices by banks--has yet to be defined. Bankers and lawyers argue that the term gives the CFPB too much flexibility (American Banker Sept. 6). As described by Dodd Frank, the CFPB can determine a practice or product to be abusive if it “materially interferes with the ability of a consumer to understand a term or condition of a consumer financial product or service; or takes unreasonable advantage of a lack of understanding on the part of the consumer of the material risks, costs, or conditions of the product or service; the inability of the consumer to protect the interests of the consumer in selecting or using a consumer financial product or service; or the reasonable reliance by the consumer on a covered person to act in the interests of the consumer.” Bankers worry that the bureau will determine that certain products are inherently abusive, said Suzanne Garwood, a lawyer with Venable LLP …


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