Meeting between OK Dept. of Consumer Credit and Mortgage Broker Assn. Fails to Resolve Dispute

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A face-to-face meeting between the director of the Department of Consumer Credit and the newly elected president of the Oklahoma Association of Mortgage Brokers left both parties hopeful of a resolution in a conflict dealing with fees charged to consumers, although neither group appeared willing to budge.

A dispute began earlier this year when examiners from DOCC showed up at the offices of supervised lenders and accused some of them of not being forthright with consumers when it came to disclosure of fees charged to cover administrative costs. Director Donald Harding said it was a matter of disclosing the purpose of the fees so the consumers knew where their money was going.

Bryan Carroll, who took over as OAMB president late last month, told members of the Commission on Consumer Credit Wednesday that he believed a meeting earlier in the day between he and Harding was very cooperative and very forward-thinking but admitted that the two sides were not in agreement on the issues.

Harding provided a statement of policy to the commissioners that outlined the procedures of the agency regarding oversight of mortgage brokers. The policy was based on advice from Assistant Attorney General Walter Jenny, an attorney general opinion from 2003, and the statutes that created the agency.

It's not as if we're pulling the rug out from the industry, Harding said of the policy statement. This does not change policy that we've had in place for years.

The issue focuses on a difference between the loan origination fee that must be shown on line 801 and the mortgage broker fee that is listed on line 808, both of which are found on the mortgage broker/borrower agreement. According to Harding, the loan origination fee cannot be charged by the mortgage broker if a separate lender is used for the transaction.

The mortgage broker fee on line 808 is the fee that is allowable for services rendered by a mortgage broker. However, a dispute has evolved as to whether consumers are being charged fairly or if they are paying the same fee twice.

Examiners began responding to consumer complaints earlier in the year, calling for refunds to consumers in some cases. Examiner Lindell Stevens said he was aware of at least two refunds paid by supervised lenders, but he said he was not aware of any mortgage brokers who had paid a refund as a result of the dispute. …