Category: The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

What exactly is “Consumer Law?”

When we tell people that we are lawyers, they inevitably ask, “What kind of lawyer are you?” When we say that we are consumer lawyers, they quickly move on to another topic of discussion. We find that few people—other lawyers included!—have an accurate conception of what consumer law is. Even other monikers like “consumer rights law” and “consumer protection law” still leave people at a loss concerning what we do.

It’s true: “consumer law” can be a bit confusing because it encompasses so many areas of the law. Generally, however, it deals with issues arising out of consumer credit transactions and deceptive sales practices. These seemingly simple areas involve a host of laws including federal laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Driver Privacy Protection Act, and state laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive business practices, mortgage foreclosure, and fraud, just to name a few!

  1. Defending Debtors’ Rights

Stopping harassment, defending collections lawsuits, providing consumer credit counseling, and working to settle and eliminate consumer debt short of bankruptcy.

  1. Credit Reporting

Fighting the effects of identity theft and employment background check errors, correcting improper credit reporting; advising about bankruptcy, and stopping unauthorized credit inquiries.

  1. Mortgage Lending

Defending foreclosure suits, fighting foreclosure “rescue” scams; stopping predatory lending.

  1. Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Stopping abusive patterns of excessive and harassing collection calls to cell phones without consent.

  1. Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices

Holding businesses accountable for playing fair in the marketplace.

credit card sharksWe once met a client who had been searching online for a lawyer regarding a debt harassment issue that had plagued him for over five years. His searches, frustratingly, consistently led him to personal injury attorneys. Finally, a friend told him to look up “consumer” attorneys. He immediately found our firm and found the help he needed. Don’t let this be you! If any of the above describe what you’re dealing with, contact us today.

As consumer lawyers, we are proud to advocate for and protect the rights of everyday people from all walks of life. We look forward to serving you, too.

To learn more about consumer protection law and the Zamparo Law Group, please visit the firm’s website. You may also ask for a free case review. The Zamparo Law Group is connected on social media, please follow us and share our resources we share on our Facebook page. You may call the Zamparo Law Group with any questions by dialing (224) 875-3202.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau enforces rules for mortgage settlement and servicing.

Mortgage loan servicing and Regulation X, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

Real estate purchase and sale transactions are significant financial events for consumers. The paperwork and disclosures involved in real estate buying and selling is complex. The state and federal consumer protection laws are designed to protect real estate consumers. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), established by Congress on December 22, 1975, is the federal law regulates the real estate settlement service process. The U.S. Consumer Financial and Protection Bureau (CFPB) enforces RESPA and its rules for mortgage settlement and servicing. Regulation X is the body of law that implements RESPA. In 2014, a final rule amending Regulation X lists mortgage servicing rules and regulations to make the loan settlement and servicing process fair and transparent for consumers.

January 2014, final rule modifications to Regulation X for mortgage servicer regulations.

Final rule changes to Regulation X, amended by the CFPB, January 17, 2013, and effective January 10, 2014, provide substantive and technical rules and procedures to improve the process of loan settlement and servicing. “Changes included modifying the servicing transfer notice requirements and implementing new procedures and notice requirements related to borrowers’ error resolution requests and information requests. The amendments also included new provisions related to escrow payments, force-placed insurance, general servicing policies, procedures, and requirements, early intervention, continuity of contact, and loss mitigation.[i]” The ineffective and inefficient policies and procedures in home loan modifications needed updating to protect consumers.

The January 2014 Regulation X final rule changes implement Dodd-Frank Act sections stating mortgage loan servicer obligations with respect to “periodic mortgage statements, disclosures for ARMs, prompt crediting of mortgage loan payments, requests for mortgage loan payoff statements, error resolution, information requests, and protections relating to force-placed insurance.[ii]

The final rule amendment also requires mortgage loan servicers to establish policies and procedures to provide borrowers with loss mitigation options for delinquent loans, notably procedures “providing delinquent borrowers with continuity of contact with servicer personnel capable of performing certain functions.[iii]

Modifying and streamlining the servicing related provision of Regulation X, the final rule revises professions relating to mortgage servicers obligations to provide disclosures to borrowers and the management of escrow accounts.

These policies and procedures should make the loan modification process more efficient and effective. Despite the new changes, some lenders and banks fail to update their practices to meet the new standards, or they make serious mistakes and violate the law, for which there are available consumer remedies.

Knowing what to expect under new federal rules and how to spot a RESPA, Regulation X violation

Consumers have the right to a prompt and clear exchange of information and a responsive relationship with mortgage servicers with Regulation X as amended. The CFPB publishes a mortgage consumer summary of the rules for mortgage servicers. Regulation X provides remedies for consumers, for violations of many of the communication, information, error, disclosure and documentation requirements of mortgage servicers.

If your mortgage loan servicer fails to provide or transfer information, or they fail to timely work to update accurate information, there could be a Regulation X violation. Likewise, if there are changes to an adjustable mortgage rate, your servicer must notify you within a specific amount of time. If you have problems paying your mortgage loan, there are procedures in the law to help you at no cost. At any point in the process of obtaining or servicing a mortgage loan, there can be a failure to follow the law. Consumer protection attorneys can review the facts in your situation and tell you whether your mortgage loan servicer is violating RESPA rules, Regulation X and otherwise.[iv]

The Zamparo Law Group, P.C. is a consumer protection law and litigation firm that files lawsuits against violators of federal and state consumer protection laws. Learning how to spot consumer rights violations is important so that informed consumers can stand up to those who violate the law.

To learn more about consumer protection law and the Zamparo Law Group, please visit the firm’s website. You may also ask for a free case review. The Zamparo Law Group is connected on social media, please follow us and share our resources we share on our Facebook page. You may call the Zamparo Law Group with any questions by dialing (224) 875-3202.

 

[i] Federal Reserve Bank, Regulation X, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

[ii] Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mortgage Servicing Rules under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X)

[iii] Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 2013 Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Mortgage Servicing Final Rules.

[iv] Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Have a mortgage? What you can expect.

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Roger Zamparo Jr. Attorney

Consumer Protection Podcast: Roger Zamparo walks us through an issue spotting exercise in a variety of consumer protection laws, state and federal.

Roger Zamparo recently presented an overview of consumer protection law and litigation on the podcast hosted by the Illinois Professional Licensing Consultants. The program titled, Spotting consumer protection issues and litigation with Roger Zamparo, highlights sources of consumer protection law and several examples of how unfair and deceptive business practices affect consumers.

Zamparo Law Group

The Zamparo Law Group defends consumers from deceptive and unfair business practices, abusive collection tactics, identity theft, and a host of other anti-consumer behaviors.

Topics covered in this podcast interviewclick here to listen now!

  • What is consumer protection law and how do attorneys help you recover from harm?
  • Does an injured victim pay attorneys fees or collect at the end, like in personal injury law?
  • What are the sources of law identifying conduct resulting in a consumer protection violation?
  • A brief overview of fair debt collection laws and what types of wrongs to watch for.
  • How the fair credit rules work and what the credit reporting agencies should do to protect you.
  • About the Driver Privacy Protection Act and concern about motor vehicle records.
  • What the Telephone Consumer Protection Act requires of telemarketers.

Roger Zamparo received a B.A. from Ohio University and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School (where he is currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees). In his 35-year litigation practice, he has represented individuals and corporations in both state and federal courts. He has concentrated on several areas, including consumer law and legal malpractice. Please contact the Illinois Professional Licensing Consultants at (224) 847-3202 to be connected with Roger Zamparo if you have a consumer protection question or need to consult on your legal matter.

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Zamparo Law

Consumer Rights

At the Zamparo Law Group, P.C., we focus on helping consumers enforce their rights under a variety of state and federal laws. These include…

  • The Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act
  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

Because of various provisions in many of these consumer protection laws, our services can often be provided to consumers at a much lower cost than traditional legal services, and sometimes for free (court costs excluded). We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and to discuss your rights under the law.

Contact Us for a free case review today or dial (224) 875-3202 now, and ask to speak to a consumer rights attorney.

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