May 29, 2014
Thursday Edition
CFPB takes action against RealtySouth for mortgage disclosure violations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered RealtySouth, the largest real estate firm in Alabama, to pay $500,000 for inadequate disclosures that could leave consumers unaware of their rights to choose service providers during the home-buying process. The practices identified by the CFPB’s investigation illegally benefited TitleSouth LLC, an affiliated company owned by the same holding company that owns RealtySouth.

The Bureau charged that RealtySouth violated the Real Estate Settlement and Practices Act (RESPA), which protects consumers during the home-buying process by prohibiting kickbacks for referrals of real estate settlement services. RealtySouth’s preprinted form purchase contracts, which its agents provided to homebuyers preparing to make an offer on a home, either explicitly directed or suggested that title and closing services be conducted by its affiliate, TitleSouth.

While RESPA allows real estate companies to refer their customers to affiliated businesses, the law requires them to provide consumers an “Affiliated Business Arrangement” (ABA) disclosure that clearly states their right to shop around for a better price and that they are not required to use the affiliated company. The disclosure RealtySouth gave consumers did not comply with the law; it did not properly highlight consumers’ rights, and the required language was buried in a section of text that also made marketing claims about the company’s prices.

Click here for the full article.

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Washington wire

This week, the Senate takes its traditional Memorial Day recess, while the House comes into town for a couple of days to take up the Intelligence Authorization Act.

Here is what you need to know about credit unions on Capital Hill this week:

  • The House Financial Services Committee will complete a markup of pending regulatory relief legislation.
  • Full Senate Consideration of Mark McWatters’ nomination to the NCUA Board is possible this week.
  • CUNA and the League will send a letter today to the leadership of the Senate Banking Committee urging consideration of the IOLTA bill and the bill to make privately insured credit unions eligible to join the Federal Home Loan Bank system.

For more on the above topics, plus this week's floor schedules click here.

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InfoSight spotlight: Foreign Sanctions Evaders List

OFAC has released its list of those persons identified as Foreign Sanctions Evaders, implementing Executive Order 13608. The list targets individuals and entities that OFAC has determined to have violated, attempted to violate, conspired to violate, or caused a violation of U.S. sanctions on Syria or Iran. It also lists foreign persons who have facilitated deceptive transactions for or on behalf of persons subject to U.S. sanctions. Transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States involving FSEs are prohibited.

This list is not part of the Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) or Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) list, although names may appear on both. Credit unions should check persons and transactions against this list, as well as the SDN and PLC list for possible matches. If a match is found, contact OFAC at 1-800-540-6322.

Transactions involving a listed party must be rejected. Accounts held for listed persons must be restricted, and may not be operated without authorization from OFAC.

Visit the OFAC FSE Topic for information on the FSE and other OFAC related information for the explanations and details you need to remain in compliance.

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LEVERAGE can help file Call Report data

Credit union's recently filed first quarter 2014 Call Report and Profile information. However, it won't be long before the July 25 deadline approaches. LEVERAGE Audit & Consulting can help credit unions who have trouble filing their data or who are short staffed.

The NCUA is looking at penalizing credit unions that were late in filing for the first quarter. The late penalties could be assessed in the range from $10 per day to a maximum of $1 million per day or one percent of total assets, whichever is less.

Contact a LEVERAGE business development consultant to learn more about how LEVERAGE Audit and Consulting can ease the burden of Call Report data filing.

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In This Issue
Thursday Edition
CFPB takes action against RealtySouth for mortgage disclosure violations
Washington wire
InfoSight spotlight: Foreign Sanctions Evaders List
LEVERAGE can help file Call Report data
LSCU & Affiliates Media


2014 Alabama Cooperative Image Campaign Ad 
The LSCU Cooperative Image Campaign features a TV ad illustrating the credit union difference. Viewers are sent to www.betternameforbanking.com to learn more.



2014 Florida Cooperative Image Campaign Ad
The LSCU Cooperative Image Campaign features a TV ad illustrating the credit union difference. Viewers are sent to www.betternameforbanking.com to learn more.

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