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Home | Featured | Industry Leader Calls CFPB Deputy Director’s Comments ‘Irresponsible’
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Industry Leader Calls CFPB Deputy Director’s Comments ‘Irresponsible’

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After Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Deputy Director Steven Antonakes decried mortgage servicers for not doing enough to mend the industry after the recent housing crisis, one industry leader called his comments "inflammatory and without benefit to the audience."

Ed Delgado, president and CEO of the Five Star Institute, believes the deputy director's remarks are not only ill-timed but also counterproductive.

Speaking before an audience of Mortgage Bankers Association members Wednesday, Antonakes said he is "deeply disappointed by the lack of progress the mortgage servicing industry has made," and added that "too many customers continue to receive erratic and unacceptable treatment."

Near the end of his speech, Antonakes said, "My message to you is a tough one. I don’t expect a standing ovation when I leave."

However, Delgado suggests Antonakes' message was more than simply unpopular with its direct audience. Since the speaking engagement, Antonakes' remarks have been picked up and reiterated by media outlets across the nation, sending a message to consumers that the industry has not improved and their financial futures are not secure. Not all agree.

Sending this message "at a time when collaboration and cooperation are critical to the industry—
not just to servicers but also to homeowners who need to have confidence in those responsible for managing their mortgages—is simply irresponsible—with little merit," Delgado said.

In spite of Antonakes' "deep disappointment," the industry has completed more than 6.8 million loan modifications since 2007, according to HOPE NOW, a private-sector industry alliance. Foreclosures have retreated drastically; REOs are back at pre-crisis levels; and the market is stabilizing.

Furthermore, while Antonakes points to the 4,900 mortgage complaints the CFPB receives each month, this amount is "diminutive when placed in context with the nearly 80 million mortgages currently in service across the U.S. market," Delgado said. In fact, this translates to complaints on 0.006 percent of mortgages.

"To chastise an audience of mortgage servicers without conceding their enormous efforts as well as the impact of federal government programs is both inaccurate and negligent," Delgado said. Referencing Rep. Jeb Hensarling's (R-Texas) popular quote about Dodd-Frank’s Volckner Rule, Delgado said "given the remarks of Mr. Antonakes, it appears that the CFPB is a solution in search of a problem."

Disclosure: The Five Star Institute is the parent company of DS News and DSNews.com. The views expressed here do not reflect those of the editorial staff.

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About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock
Krista Franks Brock is a regular contributor to DSNews.com and TheMReport.com. She previously served as managing editor of DS News magazine. Prior to joining DS News, she was managing editor of Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle magazine based in Athens, Georgia. She is currently a freelance writer and editor for various online and print publications. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia, where she also earned a minor in Spanish.

4 comments

  1. Avatar of Michelle Moss

    Now I understand how a country can self destroy. Where is the leadership of this great Nation named USA? Is absurd and no sense.

  2. Avatar of Jim Moran

    “SHINING THE LIGHT”
    (2014: The Year of “Trust” and “Transition” in America)

    Mr. Delgado,

    Thank you for your spot-on comments about an over-reaching administration which, by design, uses its bureaucratic minions to divert, distract and deflect attention away from itself.

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Deputy Director Steven Antonakes’ comments of derision about a vital segment of a major industry in the free-market society in America were, as you point out, ill-timed, counterproductive, “inflammatory and without benefit to the audience”.

    Clearly CFPB Deputy Director Antonakes’ remarks were intentional and not accidental.

    Deputy Antonakes intended his remarks to benefit the administration’s extension of government power, and influence by more intervention into the private free-market sector of the American economy.

    Mr. Delgado, your response that “at a time when collaboration and cooperation are critical to the industry— not just to servicers but also to homeowners who need to have confidence in those responsible for managing their mortgages—is simply irresponsible—with little merit,” was very kind and generous, given Deputy Antonakes’ insulting and assaulting remarks to his immediate audience and to all hard working individuals in this financial industry, as well as to borrowers across America.

    Antonakes’ expressed that he is, “deeply disappointed by the lack of progress the mortgage servicing industry has made,”… “too many customers continue to receive erratic and unacceptable treatment.”, which translates to government knows best;… freedom is not the answer… but rather more government is, at least in his mind and in the message this bureaucratic minion conveyed on behalf of this administration.

    Rather than allow Deputy Antonakes to divert, distract and deflect attention away from the federal government’s involvement in creating the problem(s) in the first place by mandating lenders to make irrational “erratic and unacceptable” loans, knowing full well these loans were destined to failure, you were courageous in stating, “To chastise an audience of mortgage servicers without conceding their enormous efforts as well as the impact of federal government programs is both inaccurate and negligent,”.

    After all, hard work and freedom aren’t the answer according to this administration, because it has already decided central government knows what is best for you… PERIOD!

    Thanks again for your courage to shine the light.

    God bless you and God bless America.

    Krist Peetz (c) 2014
    Consultant/Economist

  3. Avatar of Charles Mangan

    Mr. Delgado,

    Again, you twist the facts to fit your political agenda. Many of your readers wish you would stay out of politics and stick to providing information on industry events.

    Twisting facts – “deeply disappointed by the lack of progress the mortgage servicing industry has made,” is not synonymous with “..sending a message to consumers that the industry has not improved and their financial futures are not secure. ..”

    To that end, try reading CFPB’s latest Supervisory Highlights report (which covers supervision work completed between July and October 2013) detailing shoddy servicing practices that continued to plague consumers throughout 2013.

    Taking action against mortgage servicing practices that harm consumers is a key priority for the CFPB, as it should be.

    Examiners found servicers that were requiring borrowers to waive existing claims in order to get a forbearance or a loan modification agreements. Really? Haven’t they learned? Some servicers were failing to honor existing loan modifications after a servicing transfer (aka “engaging in unfair practices”).
    Other servicers misrepresented payment plans in their marketing and others in which the servicers falsely told borrowers they would receive refunds from their escrow accounts.

    Examiners also found several cases in which servicers provided incorrect information to consumer reporting agencies by misreporting short sales as foreclosures.

    What about new orginations (to be serviced), try reading the April 2013 Fitch report “Growing Risks in Large CMBS Loan Deals in 2013” by Sommerville and Rothfeld. Have CMBS originating banks learned anything from their unbridled securitization of bad debt from ’05-Sept 15, ’08″

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Deputy Director Steven Antonakes was “spot on” in his remarks. Ed Delgado should (again) check his facts before he (inaccurately) adds his commentary.

    • Avatar of Michelle Poe

      Antonakes was confrontational, intentionally intimidating, and insulting to the audience. It was an embarrassing way for MBA to start the national servicing conference and left a sour taste in my mouth and every colleague I spoke with felt the same way.

      Although I agree with Ed on this matter, I take note that this time his opinion is presented as a news article couched as an interview with an industry leader rather than as commentary piece like last time. No matter how it’s presented – news or ed-op – the DSNews editorial staff still specifically disavows and distances itself from Ed with: “the views expressed here do not reflect those of the editorial staff”.

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