By the Division of Banks


July 17, 2012

Re: Coordination with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Confidentiality

To: Licensed mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers and mortgage loan servicers

The Division of Banks (Division) has issued this Industry Letter to notify mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers and mortgage loan servicers that the Division has initiated coordinated examination efforts with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the federal consumer protection agency created by the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The CFPB, like the Division, is focused on consumer protection and is specifically charged with ensuring there are adequate protections in the laws regulating consumer financial products.

In 2011, the Division entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the CFPB to establish a foundation for cooperation and coordination for the supervision of providers of consumer financial products and services, including non-depository mortgage lenders, mortgage servicers, private student lenders, and other larger participants in certain financial markets. The Division and the CFPB will be working together to ensure effective enforcement of State and federal consumer protection laws and to minimize regulatory burden and efficiently deploy supervisory resources. Further, the MOU provides that State regulators and the CFPB will consult each other regarding the standards, procedures, and practices used by State regulators and the CFPB to conduct consumer protection examinations of these providers of consumer financial products.

The Division, wherever practicable, will be coordinating participation with the CFPB on examinations of licensees doing business in the Commonwealth. We will work to combine resources to minimize the imposition of duplicate efforts on regulated entities. These efforts will be coordinated by staff of the Division and the Division may also participate on coordinated examinations scheduled through the CSBS/AARMR Multistate Mortgage Committee for those large entities operating in multiple states. In addition, we will share information regarding regulated entities.

The Division is also issuing this important reminder regarding Reports of Examinations of regulated entities. Please be advised that the Division's Reports of Examination and all records related thereto and confidential Reports of Examination issued by any federal or State regulatory agency which are in the possession of the Division are confidential and privileged. Reports of Examination and related materials are not public records and are not subject to subpoena. You are reminded that copies of these Reports of Examination are furnished to a regulated entity for its use only and shall not be exhibited to any other person, organization or agency without prior written approval of the Division.1 This prohibition against sharing copies of the Report of Examination would apply relative to any third party including any federal or State regulatory agency, quasi-public agency or any law enforcement agency. Regulated entities must have procedures in place to ensure that all Reports of Examination and information related to such Reports are kept confidential.2 If you should receive any requests for a copy of your Report of Examination, please notify the Division immediately.

If you should have any questions please contact Cynthia Begin, Chief Risk Officer at (617) 956-1523 or cindy.begin@state.ma.us.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

David J. Cotney
Commissioner of Banks

1 See G. L. c. 255E, s. 8 and G. L. c. 93, s. 24D

2 See also Division of Banks Regulatory Bulletin 1.1-104 Requesting Public Information; and Regulatory Bulletin 1.1-101 Examination Policies and Procedures.