October 13, 2021
Rohit Chopra, Director
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
1700 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20552
Re: Need for Pre–Foreclosure Protections in 2022 Due to the Ongoing COVID–19
Dear Director Chopra:
Congratulations on your confirmation as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We are excited to work with you to improve protections for consumers.
We write to ask that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issue an Interim Final Rule extending certain key pre–foreclosure procedural safeguards into 2022. A significant number of homeowners are still in forbearance periods. As things currently stand, borrowers who exit forbearances in 2022 will have no automatic pre–foreclosure protections. Servicers will be permitted to initiate foreclosure immediately after the end of the forbearance unless a borrower submits a complete application packet, which few are doing during this crisis due to the shift to a streamlined modification framework and the relaxation of reasonable diligence practices.
Strong enforcement of the RESPA servicing rules can act as a deterrent to servicing practices that don’t align with investor or homeowner interests and contribute to unnecessary foreclosures. Robust supervisory activity is crucial to prevent foreclosures and preserve home equity, especially in the communities of color that have been hit hardest by the pandemic. We urge the Bureau to use all available tools to achieve the goals outlined in this letter.
Thank you for your attention to these extremely important issues.
National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients)
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Housing Law Project