When 2010 RESPA changes were on the horizon, the industry clung to the promise of enforcement leniency as we adapted to new concepts and forms. There’s no such pledge by the CFPB with this round of changes. CFPB Director Cordray has noted, “People have had close to two years to get ready for this. Nobody should be surprised by this.”
Cordray made note of the CFPB’s efforts to assist in implementation efforts by conducting webinars and issuing various tools. Director’s Cordray’s comments seem to make clear the expectation that creditors have familiarity with the information the CFPB has made available. After all, these webinars and other tools on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule Implementation page are free of charge and available around the clock. Just make sure that you check back often to be alerted to any updates.
The CFPB’s training and tools need to be taken full advantage of, but also make sure you’re taking full advantage of other training opportunities as well. Seek out as much information as you can. Of course, even then there will still be things that are unclear. After all, this is really the case with most regulations. For those items, document and understand the logic you used for making the decisions you did.
We can hope for leniency for those requirements that are unclear or seemingly subject to different interpretations. There should not be the expectation for leniency, however, for items that are clearly addressed in the rule itself or that the CFPB has otherwise addressed. Will you make mistakes? Absolutely, but hopefully they will be technical and the exception rather than the rule and you can demonstrate corrective action taken (Audit, Train, Audit, Train)!
Don’t wait for your next exam when violations have already occurred to learn what you don’t know or fully understand. Don’t be surprised by this.