By the Division of Banks

February 11, 2008

Subject: Advance Notice of Proposed Regulations

To Whom It May Concern:

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the Division of Banks' (Division) intention to issue regulations applicable to mortgage lenders, and to provide an opportunity to comment on the content of any regulation in advance of its construction by the Division. The proposed regulation sets forth the Division's requirements of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 255E, section 8 as amended by Chapter 206 of the Acts of 2007.

On November 29, 2007, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law Chapter 206 of the Acts of 2007, An Act Protecting and Preserving Home Ownership. Chapter 206 included, in part, establishing a license requirement for loan originators; requiring that additional information be recorded with each owner-occupied real estate mortgage; creating a foreclosure database to be maintained by the Division; establishing a 90-day statutory Right to Cure after a default on a 1-4 family owner-occupied residential property; a counseling requirement for adjustable or variable rate subprime mortgages; and increasing penalties for violations by mortgage brokers and lenders.

In addition, Chapter 206 amended section 8 of General Laws chapter 255E to now require that the Division include an additional evaluation in its inspection of mortgage lenders that have made 50 or more home mortgage loans in the preceding calendar year. This evaluation will assess and provide a publicly available report of the record of the mortgage lender's performance in meeting the mortgage credit needs of communities in the Commonwealth.

The Division invites all interested parties to provide input to the proposed regulation. Comments may address, but do not have to be limited to:

  • The applicability of the current Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations (209 CMR 46.00 et seq.) to the activities of mortgage lenders;
  • What evaluation criteria in the current CRA regulations would not be applicable in the review of licensed mortgage lenders;
  • What additional criteria should be considered in evaluating a mortgage lender's performance in meeting the mortgage loan credit needs of communities; and
  • The means by which the Division should assess qualifying mortgage lenders' performance in meeting the mortgage credit needs of communities in the Commonwealth.

The Division welcomes comments on proposed regulations from interested parties which should be submitted by March 3, 2008 via e-mail to dob.comments@state.ma.us or by mail addressed to the undersigned at One South Station, Boston, MA 02110.

Very truly yours,

Steven L. Antonakes
Commissioner of Banks