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Comp Blog

NCUA Reminds CUs of New Homeownership Counseling Requirements

By: Danielle Wright

CommentMonday - January 13, 2014

Last week NCUA issued a Regulatory Alert reminding credit unions of three new homeownership counseling requirements:

1.   As of January 10, 2014, the RESPA regulation (Reg X) requires that credit unions provide a written list of homeownership counseling organizations to applicants of federally related mortgage loans within three days of application.  The term “federally related mortgage” is defined as a loan secured by a dwelling and includes purchase-money and non-purchase-money closed-end credit and HELOCs.  It does not include reverse mortgages and loans for timeshares.  The rule specifies two methods for obtaining the list: (1) using a tool developed and maintained by CFPB on its website, and (2) using data made available by CFPB or HUD.  In addition, the list must include certain explanatory text indicating that the applicant can find other approved counseling agencies by contacting CFPB or HUD.  

2.   As of January 10, 2014, the Truth in Lending regulation requires credit unions that make mortgage loans to first time borrowers that permit negative amortization to confirm that these first-time borrowers have received homeownership counseling before consummation. The required counseling must be provided by a federally certified or approved homeownership counselor. A credit union cannot direct a member to choose a particular homeownership counseling agency.  

3.   As of January 10, 2014, the HOEPA rule has been amended to require credit unions making high-cost mortgages (including HELOCs, refinancings and closed-end home equity loans with high rates or high fees), to receive written certification from an unaffiliated, certified or approved counselor that a member received counseling on the advisability of the HOEPA loan.  A member may not obtain counseling until after receiving the initial good faith estimate on a closed-end transaction or the initial HELOC disclosures required by Regulation Z.     

For more information see NCUA’s Regulatory Alert  No: 14-RA-02


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