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December 3, 2009 10:07 am

We’ve found that a few comments were not reflected in the summary, due to some confusion on using the site’s comment interface. We’ve fixed the problem and they will be reflected in the final version.

November 12, 2009 8:42 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room! The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, or EISA, is the federal law requiring the creation of the tire fuel efficiency information program described here. The bold text prior to “(EISA)” in paragraph 2 is a link to view the entire EISA bill.

November 20, 2009 7:16 pm

Requiring tire manufacturers to have printouts of the ratings is an interesting idea. In the proposed rule, NHTSA specifically asked for suggestions for ensuring that consumers receive the new tire rating information.

Regarding the proposal that the NHTSA adopt an Energy-Star like system in addition to the label, would consumers understand that the Energy-Star like system refers solely to the tire’s fuel efficiency?

NHTSA is also considering whether to include a combined rating that would convert all three metrics on the above label – fuel efficiency, safety, and durability – into one overall rating. Should the agency adopt such a combined rating? Would consumers find a combined rating useful when purchasing replacement tires?

November 21, 2009 10:45 am

What do you think about BarbaraB’s suggestion for a dedicated internet terminal provided by tire retailers? Would an NHTSA-specific “kiosk” be useful to consumers who can’t (or don’t care to) look up tire information on their mobile devices?

November 14, 2009 9:50 pm

Hello NYCMuscleman18,

You make an interesting point about the qualitative and quantitative differences in scoring. If NHTSA created a standardized metric on which all tires would be measured, some tires would receive a higher score, perhaps a 100, and other a lower score, such as 40. Would that be enough information that the first tire would serve the consumer better for fuel efficiency than the second tire, or would you prefer a more concrete quantitative approach?

Moderator

December 3, 2009 10:02 am

Yes, there was a problem with the data being added to the survey plugin. There were 8 who responded with “yes” and one with “not sure.” We will correct these figures in the final version.

November 17, 2009 4:11 pm

Todd,

Would you find a different graph or visual representation helpful or would the stars alone suffice to give you all the information you needed to make an informed decision?

April 27, 2010 7:59 pm

Thank you. This is a helpful suggestion. We’ll put in citations to the NPRM where we can in the final summary. Once the rule comment period closes, we’ll also talk to the agency more generally about what would be useful to them.

April 25, 2010 3:56 pm

This comment was emailed to Regulation Room on 4/22 from the President of Morris Area Freewheelers.

Regulation Room,

Distracted driving due to cell phones can be stopped.
Making it illegal won’t stop the carnage.
Making it impossible will.

Software now exists that renders cellphones inoperable when the built-in GPS indicates the phone is moving over some threshold, e.g. 10 mph.

You can purchase and install this software now.

Legislation that forces manufacturers to make this software part of the phone’s firmware can be used to stop distracted driving.

Just look at our drunk driving laws. They are total failures.

People get killed by drunk drivers every day.

This technological problem can be totally solved by technology.

Driving while texting is DWB – Driving While… more »

…Blind.. You may as well be blind.

It has already been proven that cell phone use in cars renders driver safety statistics comparable to drunk driving, regardless of whether they are doing it hands free or not.

And the carnage continues.
« less

June 3, 2010 11:06 pm

Welcome, Hgranato. You raise a unique point. Is regulating peanuts in this manner arbitrary? What do other commenters think?

June 4, 2010 12:21 am

Thanks for your insightful comments, Msolo. What does the rest of the room think about the idea of keeping 1-2 seats unoccupied prior to flight? Should this apply to all flights?

June 4, 2010 3:28 am

Thanks, all, for such a spirited discussion. To those who have have experienced flight with severe peanut allergies, would having a “no nut” section of the plane comprising multiple rows help? Some commenters have drawn analogies to no-smoking sections in restaurants — would this be a viable compromise?

June 4, 2010 12:25 pm

An interesting point has been raised: compensation for bumping a passenger may be well above the combined cost of the original ticket price and the cost of having to change travel plans. Is this an unfair boon for passengers? Should the compensation match what the passenger actually ends up spending?

June 4, 2010 12:50 pm

This is an interesting point on the rights of volunteers to be bumped. The proposed rule has requirements for written explanations by airlines, in Section 250.9. Should this be explicitly extended to those who volunteer to be bumped? Or are these rights not enough?

June 4, 2010 1:07 pm

Thank you for your comment – many people are concerned about the lack of clear and understandable rules on what passengers’ rights are. The proposed rule makes some changes in requiring what airlines tell passengers, at Section 250.9. Do these changes go far enough?

June 5, 2010 2:49 pm

Thank you – your browser is working and you have posted successfully. That’s a good example of a contingency plan airports could consider.

Though the statistics on tarmac delays are through April (as posted on this site), do you think airlines should provide airport information to those purchasing tickets?

June 5, 2010 3:02 pm

That’s a good point. It has been suggested by other participants that there be “peanut-free zones” on flights, just as there are non-smoking zones in restaurants, where the zones are to be maintained on the airplane at all times and are kept the same for every flight. Would this address the issue of residue, or would more be needed to keep passengers and flight attendants who handle peanuts out of the area?

June 5, 2010 3:51 pm

This raises an interesting point that has been mentioned here by other commentators: even with prior notice, flight personnel often overlook those passengers with peanut allergies. Besides better training, what else could be done to make flight personnel more aware of the issue as they balance their other duties? Should notices of keeping “buffer zones” or “no peanut zones” free of peanuts be included in the routine safety announcements? Should personnel be required to check off a list of self-designated passengers with peanut allergies and make note of where they sit before in-flight service?

June 5, 2010 4:06 pm

This raises an interesting point: should rules include the right of airlines to take off should the problem become fixed more quickly than expected? Should airlines give an estimated length of delay but require passengers to arrive at the gate half an hour or an hour before that, in case the issue is resolved quickly?

June 7, 2010 12:00 pm

Thank you for your comment, jmb. In case other contributors are interested, a press release summing up the Mt. Sinai study mentioned here is available at http://www.mountsinaifpa.org/about-us/news-archive/rate-of-childhood-peanut-allergies-more-than-tripled-between-1997-and-2008.

June 7, 2010 1:18 pm

Thank you for wanting to contribute. All comments you post will be considered by the DOT. All postings under the “People’s Comments” boxes (which is where you’ve posted here) are the comments that will be considered and summarized. By posting, it does open it up for discussion by other contributors, because all comments are public as part of the rule-making process. You do not have to respond, however, or include any identifying information – all comments made on this site will be considered no matter what.

We look forward to your contribution!

June 11, 2010 12:30 pm

Thanks for your comment. The DOT has proposed requiring updates within 30 minutes when there are known delays. In your case, this may have helped your family. The DOT is also considering specifying the methods carriers have to use for updates, which would include weather conditions. Do you think requiring uniform standards of disclosure would help avoid the situation your family faced?

June 11, 2010 12:32 pm

That’s an interesting point. Many major airlines seem to have the policy that for customers canceling a non-refundable ticket, the entire cost, including taxes, is applied as a credit to future ticket purchases. They will, however, include a cancellation fee (approx. $100-150). This is true for JetBlue, United, and US Airways. Do any contributors know of airlines that do not allow the cancellation of non-refundable tickets to be used as a credit like this?

June 14, 2010 3:15 pm

@Elle: thank you for the website.
@Mulder: thank your for your comment. You seem to draw a distinction between reported food allergies and actual food allergies. Do you have any knowledge of any study or paper that draws out the importance of such a distinction in terms of public policy?

June 14, 2010 3:33 pm

I found this particular article to be interesting: http://www.justnews.com/travelgetaways/23871727/detail.html

June 14, 2010 3:50 pm

Thank you for your comment. Do you have any other suggestions for how amenities should be presented to the consumer?

June 14, 2010 3:59 pm

I found your point about time delays interesting. Do you think a person who needs absolute timely delivery of luggage, by informing the airline of such a need, should be treated any differently then then the person who is not terribly inconvenienced by a 2-4 hour delay?

June 14, 2010 4:02 pm

Thank you for your comment. Do you have any suggestions for how to enforce/provide incentive for airlines to give accurate estimates? Would you for example support certain penalties?

June 14, 2010 4:07 pm

Thank you for your comment. Should the airlines be required to ask every passenger whether they are allergic to peanuts/other allergies, or do you think it should be up to the person with the particular allergy to inform the airline ahead of time?

June 14, 2010 7:39 pm

You make an interesting comment about the airline business model. Do you have any ideas about how airlines might treat their customers better without having to increase prices? Or do you think that simply treating customers well–along the lines you suggest–would more than make up for lost revenue by attracting more business overall?

June 14, 2010 8:03 pm

Transferability is a good suggestion. What if there are people who know for sure that they do not want to transfer their ticket? Should the airlines have a mandatory transferability fee, which they would then refund to people who end up not transferring their ticket?

June 15, 2010 6:13 pm

Thank you for your comment and sharing your personal experience with voucher based compensation.

Were airlines to offer monetary compensation, how do you think the compensation should be calculated or capped, given the caps that the department has in mind?

June 15, 2010 6:23 pm

Thank you for your insightful comment and alternative suggestion. With regard to your comment on the caps, what do you think would be a better amount, in your opinion to limit overbooking, or, if as you say the auction scheme is a better alternative, how do you think the DoT should go about implementing and enforcing such a system for the airlines?

June 15, 2010 6:48 pm

Thank you for your comment. A few other posters have also brought up the issue of forcing emergency landings in case of a reaction, but you are the first to have brought up the point that such an event effects all the passengers. Do you know of any instances or studies that might indicate how many flights are forced to land due to onboard allergic reactions?

June 15, 2010 6:54 pm

Thanks for the comment. Do you have the specific cases or links that address this distinction?

June 15, 2010 7:33 pm

Thank you for the input. You raise an important issue concerning the tradeoff between providing additional facilities to benefit passengers but also possibly increasing consumer costs.

June 15, 2010 8:07 pm

Thank you for your input and for sharing a personal story of how your family was directly impacted by this issue. You raise a very interesting point concerning the effects of peanut allergies not just on those that suffer from them, but also the impact they have on families/friends. The DOT is interested in learning more about how one family member’s allergy can impact the travel plans of the entire family.

June 15, 2010 8:31 pm

Thank you for your input. The DOT would be very interested in seeing any data that you have on the airborne risks associated with peanut consumption on commercial flights.

June 15, 2010 11:24 pm

Thank you for your post. You are correct; much of the discussion has focused on children with peanut allergies and has neglected the impact allergies may have on adults. We certainly encourage more people to post about the impact of peanut allergies on adult airline travelers.

June 16, 2010 3:24 pm

Thanks for your input, kateinhawaii.

The comparison between non-smoking flights and peanut-free flights is an interesting one.

Beyond the fact that smoking has been showing to cause a plethora of health problems for all people, why do you that some airlines have banned smoking but not peanuts? Do you think that banning or restricting peanuts can be left to the airlines, with those airlines seeking to attract peanut-allergy sufferers, and thereby increase business, or would more direct government action be necessary, along the lines of a smoking ban?

June 16, 2010 3:41 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences, AllergyDad.

How do you think a ban on peanuts in flight should work? Would it be a good idea to ban peanut product sales throughout the airport? If a complete ban is not feasible (in that people might bring peanut products onto the plane on their own), what other measures might the DOT take to ensure the safety of allergic passengers?

June 16, 2010 3:51 pm

Thanks for your input, FoodAllergyMom.

You raise an interesting point about the costs of peanut allergies. If otherwise productive members of society cannot work due to allergies, there might be more general effects on economic efficiency.

Do you, or do any of our commenters on either side of the issue have any economic data relating to lost productivity due to peanut allergies? It would be useful to the discussion and to DOT to know what the full current costs of peanuts on planes, and the benefits that may be realized by banning them.

June 16, 2010 8:07 pm

Excellent suggestions, Darkhelmet22. The idea of automatically including certain options with a clear option to remove them is intriguing. Does anyone else have suggestions on what options should be considered “standard”?

June 17, 2010 5:51 pm

Thank you for your comment. The studies that you mentioned are exactly the type of information that the DOT is looking for.

June 17, 2010 5:56 pm

Thank you for your comment howie. The DOT would like to see any information you may be aware of concerning the relative safety of peanut products on airplanes.

June 17, 2010 6:09 pm

Any data that you might have about the prevalence or severity of peanut allergies would be useful to the DOT.

June 18, 2010 1:05 pm

thank your for the link Antanagoge!

June 18, 2010 1:16 pm

Thank you for your comments Antanagoge. The rights discussion is an important one when trying to evaluate public policy. If there are any other areas of the DOT proposal you think would benefit from a clarification of the rights issue, or the lack thereof, please comment on those issues as well.

June 18, 2010 9:32 pm

Hi again, Antanagoge, and thanks for providing a link to that study. Is it possible to post the entire article as well, or is that unavailable? Also, while we truly appreciate your interest in the peanut allergen regulation, if you have comments on one of the other proposed regulations, I’m sure the community would appreciate hearing from you.

June 21, 2010 4:39 pm

Thanks for your comment. There’s been quite a bit of back and forth going on regarding ADA classifications and research regarding food allergies. If you (or anyone else here) have any links to these studies, it might be worth sharing so everyone (not to mention the DOT) can dig into the data a bit more.

June 21, 2010 5:00 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience. Do think the proposed changes could have helped you in that situation?

June 22, 2010 5:58 pm

Thanks for your input. MickC. Short of suing for your baggage fee back, what might be a good enforcement mechanism for passengers to get a refund?

June 22, 2010 6:10 pm

Thanks for the input, steyermark. The comparison to phenylketonuira (PKU) is an interesting one. Do you have any information on the prevalence of PKU that you could share with us, so that we can discuss the relationship between PKU and allergies?

June 22, 2010 6:21 pm

Thanks for your input, mcs24. If airlines were banned from serving peanuts, do you think it would be ideal for them to advertise that fact, so as to reduce the likelihood of people bringing peanuts onto the plane?

June 22, 2010 6:26 pm

Thanks for your input, Marge. Do you think that there should be stricter baggage fee rules, or stricter fee rules in general, for smaller markets served by one or very few regional connector airlines, because of the dependence travelers in smaller cities and rural areas have on them?

June 22, 2010 6:39 pm

Thanks to Mulder and mcs24 for this dialogue. Is there anyone else who has an idea for a compromise between full allowance and an outright ban on peanuts?

June 23, 2010 1:36 pm

kaukkonen thank you for your post. Do you have any suggestions as to where the DOT should draw the line in banning products that may contain peanut products?

June 23, 2010 1:45 pm

Thank you for your post. Would the airlines disclosing pricing information on their website and requiring passengers to visit it before purchase be sufficient? or is more needed to properly disclose additional fees?

June 23, 2010 1:57 pm

Thank you for your comment Cyberjev. Do you have any specific suggestions as to ways that education can be used to limit potential exposure?

June 23, 2010 2:07 pm

thebob, Thank you for your comment. Do you believe that a peanut free zone would be sufficient to alleviate the problem? or requiring those with allergies to disclose them prior to flight and then ban peanuts only on that flight?

June 23, 2010 2:17 pm

Thank you for your comment. Do you believe it would be sufficient to ban peanut products on flights only when an allergy sufferer discloses this prior to flight?

June 23, 2010 2:35 pm

Thank you for your post midimagic. The DOT is interested in hearing alternative solutions.

June 23, 2010 2:46 pm

Thank you for the comment JJ. What level of disclosure is sufficient? Is it enough for airlines to just display additional fee information on their website?

June 23, 2010 4:44 pm

Thank you for your comment Andy. You have indicated that you travel often, the DOT would appreciate any information that you might have concerning the other areas of the proposed rule changes.

June 23, 2010 5:10 pm

Thank you for your comment. One of the more difficult questions the proposed ban presents is exactly which products need to be banned, and which are safe. Would you have any further information as to which types of products pose an airborne threat? Do all products containing even small amounts of peanuts pose a risk?

June 23, 2010 5:51 pm

Thank you for your post. As a Medical professional, if you are aware of any studies or other medical information that is available, it would be useful to the DOT.

June 24, 2010 12:12 pm

Thank you for your detailed comment!

June 24, 2010 2:32 pm

Thank you for your comment! Would you mind elaborating on the type of study you would require before any action is taken by the DOT on this issue?

June 28, 2010 3:11 pm

Could you clarify how this quote helps us think about the best solution to the peanut allergy issue? The goal here is to have a discussion that will ultimately help DOT make better decisions about how to (or not to) regulate. Effective comments focus on the agency’s proposal and express concerns, suggestions, and recommendations clearly. See Effective Commenting on the Learn About Rulemaking page.

June 29, 2010 7:01 pm

Thank you for your post. Do you have any thoughts on the specific regulatory proposals for dealing with baggage fees?

July 2, 2010 10:21 am

Thank you for your comment. One of the more difficult questions the DOT faces, if they decide to ban peanuts, is which products must be banned, and which are acceptable. Do you have any thoughts on this issue? Are products with only trace amounts of peanuts still dangerous?

July 4, 2010 1:15 am

Thank you for commenting. If you don’t mind sharing, what are you researching and to what purpose?

July 5, 2010 10:47 am

Thanks for your comment, PracticalJo. How do you think airlines should deal with the transition period? Perhaps the airlines should be required to have their planes cleaned according to some protocol that would ensure that peanut allergens were safely removed from the plane, too?

July 5, 2010 10:53 am

Thanks for sharing your personal story with us, PracticalJo. Your experiences and suggestions are welcome and encouraged on other parts of the proposed rule as well.

As a reminder, the matter that you all are commenting on is a proposed rule, not a proposed bill. It will be put into force by the DOT according to its legislative mandate, following standard administrative law procedures.

July 6, 2010 9:59 am

Thank you for your comment bill. I take it you support a full ban on post purchase price increases. Would a less strict proposal, such as forcing airlines to disclose price increases and requiring customers to affirmatively agree to them, be sufficient? Would a partial ban on price increases preventing them 30-60 days before the flight work?

July 6, 2010 6:33 pm

Thank you for the comment smr. If you are aware of any scientific research on the subject, the DOT is interested to know about it. Could peanut free flights or a peanut free zone be effective as an alternative to a full ban?

July 10, 2010 1:09 pm

Thank you for your comment. You raise an interesting issue about finding the right balance to accommodate everyone’s needs.

July 10, 2010 4:19 pm

Thank you for your comment kerryk. You raise an interesting point that not all travelers can be treated equally. Do you, or any other posters, have any suggestions as to what can be done to better accommodate younger passengers?

July 12, 2010 3:15 pm

Thanks for your thoughts, Ken and Joel, and welcome to Regulation Rooom. We will keep your posts in mind as we prepare our summary of the discussion on this site–come back periodically to see if we are done, and to read other users comments–you keep us honest!

In the mean time, check out the rest of the website and rule proposals. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

July 12, 2010 3:05 pm

Thanks for your comment, jdanilson, and welcome to Regulation Room. We will keep them in mind while creating our discussion summary. In the mean time, please share your thoughts on other portions of the rule.

July 13, 2010 11:57 am

Thank you for your comment. This type of information would likely be useful to passengers, but collecting it may come at a cost to consumers due to increased flight costs. To what degree is this an acceptable expense?

July 13, 2010 12:11 pm

Thank you for your comment piendmontgilr, While improving the way fees are regulated and defined is important; how should this information best be disseminated to travelers? Will display on airline providers websites be enough to let people know what services are included in the listed price and which are not?

July 13, 2010 12:21 pm

Thank you for your comment, mithrandir. What type of action would be effective; would peanut free zones be enough? (or pet free zones) Could airlines make certain flights peanut free upon prior request, and use clean planes for those flights?

July 13, 2010 12:23 pm

Thank you surfmaniac8. What do you think the best way to disseminate this information to the public is? Is display in the carrier’s website enough?

July 13, 2010 4:42 pm

Thank you for your comment, alpet. You raise some very important concerns. The DOT is particularly interested to hear possible solutions. Should all fare increases be prohibited within 30-60 days prior to the flight? Should restrictions be placed upon the way airlines can advertise, if so how?

July 13, 2010 4:44 pm

Thanks for your comment, Fairness. We will keep them in mind while creating our discussion summary. In the mean time, please share your thoughts on other portions of the rule.

July 14, 2010 7:00 pm

Thank you for comment. In particular your concern over the actual mechanism to ensure a free flow of information between passengers, airlines, and travel agents. Do you have any suggestions to address this concern or any other concerns/suggestions regarding the proposed rule, in particular bundling charges?

July 14, 2010 7:04 pm

Thank you for your comment. Please elaborate what might be adequate compensation say if you booked a flight well in advance, received confirmation, and made plan accordingly, only to have the scenario as you described occur? What, for example should be the compensation for the additional 5 hours tacked onto your original flight schedule?

July 19, 2010 12:35 pm

Thanks for the heads up. We will keep that in mind.

July 19, 2010 12:37 pm

Thanks for your comment, dwilson99. Do you think this should apply to just the ticket price, or to all charges and fees as well? For example, should airlines be able to charge a fuel surcharge if the price of oil skyrockets? Or perhaps they should be forced to eat the loss when that happens?

July 19, 2010 12:42 pm

Thanks for your comment, openreels. The issue with international flights is that people let back into the airport might need to go through Customs and Immigration again. Do you think creating a special terminal zone where people could wait without having to be re-admitted by Customs and Immigration would be a viable solution, at least for international flights?

July 19, 2010 12:46 pm

Thanks for sharing your concerns. How do you think the airlines might accommodate people with special medical needs during tarmac delays?

July 19, 2010 12:54 pm

Thanks for your valuable input, sofiem. Do you have a source for your price decrease statistic? The DOT can only use publicly available data in making its decisions.

July 19, 2010 1:10 pm

Thanks for your comment, peterell. How might airlines be required to guarantee a limit to wait times? Perhaps they should be required to keep minimum staffing levels based on the time of day, or day of the week?

July 19, 2010 1:20 pm

Should there be any requirement on the part of the passenger to notify the airline of such a connection beforehand? Otherwise, aren’t we making the airline an insurer for someone’s business and/or leisure plans? It may be that we want to do that–but what might be the costs associated with unlimited reimbursements?

July 19, 2010 1:28 pm

Thanks for sharing those studies with us, Buzzard. We will see that they get to the DOT. In the mean time, please feel free to share your thoughts on other parts of the rule. Your’s is just the kind of input we need.

July 20, 2010 11:17 am

Thank you for the comment mcheung. You bring up some interesting suggestions. What are the possible implications of these suggestions; will they disproportionately impact smaller aircarriers who only have small planes? What effect will it have on the number of flights offered during peak hours?

July 20, 2010 11:48 am

Thank you for your comment cochranels. You raise a good point about disclosure, many of the proposed rule changes would require additional mechanisms for disclosure of new information to consumers. How do you think this can best be done. Should airlines be required to display information about flight/fare changes only on their website? Should third party ticket sellers also be required to disclose new information to consumers?

July 23, 2010 10:30 am

Thank you for the comment dentedskull. You raise a good issue about passenger safety.

July 23, 2010 10:35 am

Thank you for the comment, heyetec. You seem to have some knowledge about the relationship between airlines and local airports. The DOT is interested to know if it would be possible for tarmac contingency plans to be part of the airlines contract of service? Is this possible or are tarmac delays so uncertain that enforcing an airline wide policy simply is not practical?

July 26, 2010 9:25 am

Hi Fairness; thanks for your comment! Any suggestions on how a simplified refund system might work?

July 27, 2010 12:59 pm

Thank you for your comment, Amish. The DOT understands your position about completely banning overselling. Is it possible that increasing financial compensation to bumped passengers will be enough of a financial disincentive for airlines to fix the problem?

July 27, 2010 1:13 pm

Thank you for the comment, kkpingle. If the DOT does change the way airlines structure their fees, what type of disclosure procedures will be needed? Is displaying fare change information on the carriers website enough?

July 28, 2010 11:19 am

Thank you for your comment. Would you mind elaborating on the six sigma approach? Thank you!

July 28, 2010 11:20 am

Should there be any other factors such as weight involved in the calculation for when if ever the airlines should charge for baggage?

July 31, 2010 12:04 pm

Thank you for your comment, thetravelerman. Most consumers seem to be in favor of regulating airline pricing, but little has been said about the impact this may have on airlines/airports which will eventually carry over to effect passengers. The DOT wants to know more about these potential impacts.

July 31, 2010 12:09 pm

Thank you for the comment, Karen Williams. The DOT appreciates hearing about the impact of the current system.

August 1, 2010 5:48 am

Thank you for the comment. Allowing passengers to deplane without much wait time would certainly make travel more pleasant. The DOT is concerned about potential costs of such a system. For example, this may place a large financial burden on airlines/airports and lead to an increase in ticket prices. Would this be worth potentially paying more to fly?

August 1, 2010 7:43 pm

Thank you for the clarification heyetech!

August 1, 2010 7:49 pm

Thank you for sharing your experiences brooke.browne. If an airline carrier is honest about the problem causing the delay and makes attempt to rectify the situation but nonetheless is unable to, what kind of compensation if any do you think would be in order. Or do you believe that a good faith effort on the part of the airline carrier is sufficient?

August 5, 2010 1:09 pm

Thank you for your comment. Do you think additional fees should be leveraged if a passenger is bumped to a next flight that causes him or her to miss an important event/connection?

August 5, 2010 1:11 pm

Thank you for your comment. You mentioned you do not think there should be a cap on the amount airlines should have to pay. Other than that are there any other guidelines for compensation that you would think is appropriate?

August 5, 2010 1:19 pm

Thank you for your comment. Would you mind elaborating on any and all responsibilities the airlines might have towards passengers who choose to deplane? You mentioned it should be on the onus of the passenger to get back to the plane on time but should the airlines be also responsible for keeping passengers updated on the status of the departure time?

August 5, 2010 1:28 pm

Thank you for your comment. You mentioned Eurocontrol – do you think a similar agency should replace the FAA in the United States or do you have other recommendations for solving some of the problems you have highlighted?

August 5, 2010 1:40 pm

Thank you for your comment. You mentioned that all airlines should have a tarmac contingency plan. Are the there any other elements you think all such plans should have?

August 10, 2010 12:34 pm

Thank you for the comment, FedupPAX. You raise an interesting idea of allowing airlines to use each others gates when appropriate. The logistics of this idea may be difficult to implement though.

August 10, 2010 5:47 pm

You raise an interesting position. A number of posters have been concerned over the possibility that deplaning might increase delays for all travelers by overburdening busy airports. Anyone have thoughts on this?

August 12, 2010 1:33 am

Thank you for your comment. The idea that the DOT should directly determine baggage fees is an interesting one. What does everyone think about this, and – if you agree – what would be a reasonable price?

August 12, 2010 1:37 am

Thank you for your comment – do you think that the DOT’s proposed rules for compensation for bumping would be enough of a deterrent to airlines/remedy for passengers? Or do you think more should be done, and if so, what would you propose?

September 22, 2010 8:32 am

There is no discussion on the final summary.

February 8, 2011 10:28 am

Thanks for your comment Jason and welcome to Regulation Room! You’re saying you agree that safety should be a consideration, but that this proposal will cost too much.

DOT and FMCSA are interested in hearing ideas that you and other commenters may have. Do you have suggestions for how to reduce the expected cost without sacrificing safety?

February 8, 2011 11:15 am

It sounds like you have something to say about the proposed hours of service rule. You can tell DOT about that here: http://www.regulations.gov/#%21documentDetail;D=FMCSA-2004-19608-4095

If DOT could take care of that problem, do you think requiring EOBRs makes sense?

February 8, 2011 11:22 am

Thank you for your great comment aaron and welcome to Regulation Room! You raise a lot of good, practical points likely to get FMCSA’s attention.

You mentioned that the government could subsidize production of new trucks so that they come pre-fitted with EOBRs. Could you share more details about how you see this working? Would truck owners receive subsidies to equip old trucks as well? What do other commenters think about this proposal?

What do think of the ideas jeff raises below?

Also, aaron, maybe you have ideas about what whether FMCSA should phase in compliance by carrier size. You can read and discuss the current proposal here.

February 8, 2011 11:26 am

You can see the current specifications for what EOBRs must be able to do here. Do you think cell phones could handle it? If not, is there more in the specifications than FMCSA really needs?

February 8, 2011 12:14 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room Jason and Merc! This issue post deals with DOT’s question regarding who would have to use an EOBR. Specifically, the DOT has asked whether short haul carriers (including SH HazMat carriers and SH passenger-carrying CMVs) should be required to switch to EOBRs and, if so, what the best way to implement this requirement would be? Do you have any suggestions regarding who should be covered by this proposed rule?

February 8, 2011 12:48 pm

Thank you for your comment Merc. Is there a reason why you believe 24 hours is not enough time when the documents are all electronic as opposed to hard copy? You suggest 48 hours, is there any particular reason you believe it should be extended to this particular point?

February 8, 2011 2:57 pm

Thank you for your comment sewest, and welcome to Regulationroom! Improving safety is one of FMCSA’s primary reasons for considering the switch to mandatory EOBR use. It seems from your other comments that you own or operate at least one truck. Do you see some type of mandatory EOBR use improving or harming safety? Any knowledge you have about how these devices would work in the real world would be very helpful for FMCSA.

February 8, 2011 5:23 pm

Thanks for commenting on this issue as well sewest. As the owner of one truck, are there specific aspects of these new costs that concern you more than others?

February 9, 2011 5:50 am

Thank you for your comment, thewanderer, and welcome to Regulation Room! Because you think that three years is too long, how long do you think that the proposal should be? Do you think that all carriers should be required to comply by the same time, or should larger carriers be required to install EOBRs sooner than smaller ones?

You also raise a lot of interesting points about Hours of Service noncompliance, and FMCSA must determine whether the costs of an EOBR rule will outweigh the societal benefits. Hours of Service noncompliance and driver fatigue as they relate to costs/benefits are a part of another discussion on Regulation Room, so perhaps you would like to contribute to the discussion of “What will this cost?” (http://archive.regulationroom.org/eobr/what-will-it-cost/#3)

February 10, 2011 4:14 pm

Thank you for your comment, Brian! It seems like you may have some knowledge or experience in this industry. Could you explain why or how, in your opinion, requiring EOBRs could restrict drivers’ flexibility and productivity? Do you think that EOBRs should be required at all?

February 11, 2011 11:26 am

FMCSA has done a significant amount of cost/benefit analysis which you can find under the section “What will this cost?” on this website. Do you think FMCSA’s analysis fully addresses your concern about shipping flexibility? Can you think of better ways for FMCSA to help small trucking companies use EOBRs without undermining flexibility?

February 13, 2011 8:03 pm

Thank you for your comment pfifreight, and welcome to Regulation Room! You raise an interesting issue about the other players who are involved in the shipping business (shippers, brokers, and dispatchers). How could FMCSA address the problems you mentioned with these players to be able to “fix the system,” as you say? Would it be best to change the hours of service rules to take these problems into account (FMCSA is actually in the process of proposing changes to the HOS rules in another proposed rule. Information about that rule can be found here)? Or would the best solution be to regulate those other players if possible? Is there another way to improve safety while also addressing your concerns?

February 14, 2011 12:52 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room ts safety! Thank you for your helpful comment. As a safety consultant for the industry, is there any more information you could provide about the current state of HOS compliance or other safety related information? Information about small businesses would be particularly helpful since they make up 98% of the regulated trucking industry.

February 15, 2011 11:22 am

Jmorris, you raise an important pratical point about some of the gray areas that exist between SH and LH carriers. Would any of the options FMCSA has proposed for covering SH carriers (such as requiring all SH drivers to use EOBRs all of the time) fix the problem you see?

February 15, 2011 11:29 am

It sounds like you’re talking about an alternative EOBR, one that is not part of a Fleet Management System. Is that right? FMCSA is interested in collecting data about the availability and cost of EOBRs. Do you have any links that you could share with information about other devices on the market (like the XATA Turnpike)?

February 15, 2011 2:32 pm

As part of a small trucking company, could you share specific details about how this would place a great burden on you?

February 16, 2011 12:25 pm

This is a great comment with a lot of useful information that FMCSA is looking for.

What do other users think about ryanbarnett’s comment? If a logs-only EOBR were offered, would trucking companies be interested in purchasing this?

February 17, 2011 12:19 pm

It sounds like you agree with another commenter, pfifreight, that truckers can only do so much under both current trucking regulations and the proposed EOBR regulations because shippers and receivers are not held more accountable for their part in the process. Is there a way to make shippers and receivers have a bigger stake in compliance to lower the burden on truckers? Are there other ways for FMCSA to lower the costs of the proposed regulation?

February 18, 2011 11:39 am

If these EOBRs had a broader range of features that drivers and companies could use for different purposes, do you think the companies would be more willing to foot the bill for purchasing, installing, and maintaining them? What other features do you think would make the cost worthwhile, especially for small companies?

You may also want to add your voice to the “What about Privacy concerns” section based on your comment that EOBRs are for tracking equipment and liabilities, not for tracking drivers. You can access it by clicking here.

Does anybody else know any reasons why small and large carriers should have different deadlines to comply with the rule?

February 19, 2011 12:48 pm

You can use any EOBR you want, as long as it meets the current EOBR specifications. If the EOBR breaks, you can use the paper logbooks until it’s fixed. FMCSA’s estimates of how long each EOBR lasts are based on the Qualcom MCP-100 model. Qualcom says that its early units are still working after a decade, so FMCSA has used that to calculate costs per unit over 10 years. Is this a fair estimate? Do you know how long other models last?

February 20, 2011 4:02 pm

Do you know drivers that already have EOBRs installed? Do they find themselves driving faster to avoid penalties?

It also sounds like you have something to say about the HOS rules themselves. FMCSA is in the process of making changes to those in another proposed rule. You can submit a comment at regulations.gov.

February 21, 2011 3:27 pm

Thanks for your comment. As to your and gadfly12′s concern about the actual number of documents that you still need to keep, the new EOBR requirement will ease the burden for documents by eliminating the need for paper RODs, but not for other supporting documents. According to the FMCSA:

“Although the “foundation” RODS Record of duty status burden would drop dramatically, primarily due to the elimination of paper RODS, the overall supporting documents burden would not be reduced.”

Hope this clears things up. Do you think that this requirement would still be of benefit for reduced record keeping, even with the supporting documents requirement?

February 23, 2011 12:50 pm

It seems like you agree with ts safety’s comment that EOBRs should only be required for drivers who have repeated HOS violations. Do you see any safety benefit to requiring EOBRs for more drivers? Do you think it would increase HOS compliance overall?

If you are interested in the cost/benefit analysis of the proposed regulation, you might want to check out the post.

February 27, 2011 12:53 am

Virgil Tatro, your poem is clever, but rulemaking isn’t about voting or just expressing your opinion. The kind of comments that really matter are those that explain exactly why the agency should or shouldn’t do something. One person with some new information or a really good idea will have more impact than 1,000 people who just give an opinion.

So, how do you make comments that count? Focus on parts of the agency proposal that will affect you directly, or that you know something about. Express your concerns and suggestions clearly. To learn more about effective commenting click here.

February 27, 2011 9:48 pm

Could you elaborate on your view that EOBR requirements are overly costly and skewed toward the tech providers? You should head over to the What will this cost? post and let others know what you think.

Also, you may interested in the DOT’s proposed rule specifically dealing with HOS policies:
http://www.regulations.gov/#%21documentDetail;D=FMCSA-2004-19608-4095

February 28, 2011 4:02 pm

That looks like a much cheaper option than the one FMCSA pointed to. Do you know if it meets the EOBR specifications?

Can you post a link to the product you mentioned so other commenters can see if it would work for them?

April 2, 2011 11:36 pm

Thanks for your comment, truckdrivernews. Check out FMCSA’s analysis of here. Your comment will be most helpful if you draw on personal experiences or specific data.

The fatigue-related accident rate you mentioned came from slide #21 of a webinar by Ralph Craft of FMCSA. Here is what he has to say: “The NHTSA Driver Related Crash Factors are those coded by police at the at the crash scene. Everybody agrees that this number is severely under reported… more »

…by law enforcement officers. FMCSA believes the real number for fatigue in large truck crashes is in the range of 10-15%. Industry groups claim the number is lower, and safety advocates believe it is higher.”

What do you think? You can read FCMSA’s analysis of fatigue-related crashes in detail
here. « less

May 21, 2011 10:34 am

Gordon, The paragraph you are referring to is a quote from another commenter. We’ll double check that we’ve got the quote correct. The effort now is to make sure we accurately include everything that was raised in the comments.

October 18, 2011 10:40 am

Hi Cherylchevarria! Thank you for your comments. It sounds like you think travelers who use earphones have enough privacy. DOT is also considering allowing kiosks to have loudspeakers. Do you think they should? What about other users: are there additional privacy issues with loudspeakers on airport kiosks?

October 18, 2011 10:43 am

Do you think that making airport kiosks work basically like ATMs would be enough? One of the things DOT is considering is whether airports are different from other places where people use kiosks, they are especially concerned that airports might be too noisy. Do you think the proposed volume levels are high enough?

October 24, 2011 11:26 am

Hi Chandler2, welcome to Regulation Room. DOT is proposing these regulations now because it believes that inaccessible kiosks are a violation of the Air Carrier Access Act. In addition, DOT has estimated that the benefits of this proposal will outweigh the costs. You can read more about its estimates the Kiosks: Benefits and Costs of Accessibility post. Do you think that DOT has taken everything into account in its estimation?

October 28, 2011 6:58 pm

Hi recon14193, and welcome to Regulation Room. It seems like you feel that the overall benefits, like better accessibility for people with disabilities and financial benefits to airlines, outweigh the costs. What do you think of King Slav’s comment below, that this cost is too much for airlines without enough benefit? Do you see any other benefits to airlines that might outweigh the costs?

November 1, 2011 2:56 pm

Based on conversations with kiosk vendors, DOT estimates that the additional $750 it costs to make a Kiosk accessible is a fixed cost that will not change over time. You can read more about their estimates in Section 5.5 of the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA). As discussed in section 2 of this post, DOT believes that there are benefits to travelers with disabilities that can’t easily be given a dollar value. Are there other benefits to travelers with disabilities that DOT is missing?

November 1, 2011 3:12 pm

Hello whitneyq. Since it would help to have a standard set of symbols, do you think that DOT should specify how the alphabetic keys are arranged so that the layout there is standard too?

November 1, 2011 3:13 pm

This is an interesting suggestion, whitneyq, thanks. Could you provide a little bit more information on the guidelines, and perhaps a link to them, so that others can see what you mean? Also, what might make these better than the guidelines DOT is suggesting here?

November 3, 2011 10:35 am

Hello, gregory.p.care, and welcome to Regulation Room. What do you think of the standards that DOT is proposing for kiosk accessibility? Are they enough, or are they missing something?

November 4, 2011 2:19 pm

HI jbjordan and thank you for contributing such excellent comments.

In DOT’s past rule makings, airlines pushed back hard on DOT’s cost-benefit analysis and succeeded in convincing DOT not to issue the proposed rule. From what you’ve written it looks like you have some experience in accessibility design; DOT would benefit from any input you or others might have on their cost estimates or how long it will take airlines to implement the new rules. You can comment on those issues on the Kiosk which/when post.

November 4, 2011 4:05 pm

Hi, joanneread, and thanks for your input about avoiding flashing lights and verbal recognition. One suggestion that DOT is considering is having kiosks equipped with a telephone-style handset attached to them. Do you think that this might be a potential work-around for travelers who have difficulty speaking loudly?

November 14, 2011 11:03 am

Hello again, Joanneread. The team at Regulation Room looked into your concern about needing additional assistance, and we think we’ve found something helpful. TSA, the agency in charge of airport security, maintains a list of Tips For the Screening Process for travelers who may need extra assistance. Specifically, they say “”Your companion, assistant, or family member may accompany you and assist you during a private or public screening. After providing this assistance, the companion, assistant, or family member will need to be rescreened.” Hope this helps.

November 25, 2011 3:13 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room and thank you for your participation, rjaquiss. DOT is currently proposing that websites comply with a Level AA standard (how does effective commenting work?). Also, DOT would appreciate you sharing a story you may have on the difficulty of using travel websites that are not accessible.

November 29, 2011 10:22 am

Thank you for your comment, webrunner949. DOT is seeking comments on what methods should be used to monitor compliance. Do you have any suggestions for methods that should be used by outside sources to ensure that sites are compliant? Should DOT itself check for compliance?

November 29, 2011 10:25 am

Welcome to Regulation Room, aews175. It looks like you are addressing the proposed benefits to travelers with disabilities from kiosk accessibility, which can be discussed further at the Kiosks: Benefits and Costs of Accessibility post. It would be helpful if you told DOT specifically why the benefits they list have little impact and make specific suggestions on what could be done to make your travel experience easier.

November 29, 2011 12:15 pm

Hi aews175. Can you explain a little more about your comment? Do you mean that you think that if DOT consults with people with disabilities and looks at currently available technologies, developing kiosk standards should be straightforward? What do you think about the standards DOT is proposing?

November 30, 2011 6:31 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, ntwales. It seems like you are saying that quality assistive technologies are already being displayed at conventions catered to customers with disabilities. If so, could you take look at DOT’s proposed standards for accessible airline kiosks as well and tell us if you think those meet the same quality that you are talking about?

December 1, 2011 12:13 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room and thank you for your input, mbsimon. DOT is proposing to require airlines to make checking-in an accessible function for covered airline websites (If you’re interested, you can read the proposed rule language at http://archive.regulationroom.org/air-travel-accessibility/agency-documents/rule-text/#382.43). But nothing specifically address the point you raise about some airlines not allowing those with tickets flagged as needing special assistance to check-in online or at a kiosk. Do you think this should be made clearer in the final regulation? Also, could you provide the names what airlines you know of that don’t let people with these flagged tickets… more »

…check-in online or at kiosks? You might also be interested in commenting on the proposed kiosk accessibility standards. « less
December 1, 2011 1:29 pm

Thank you for sharing your personal experience with telephone reservations, alposner, and welcome to Regulation Room. Does anyone else have personal experiences they could also share about their issues with telephone reservations or air travel websites? DOT needs to know more about what people with disabilities are experiencing when they travel.

December 1, 2011 2:17 pm

Hi lhare, thank you for sharing your knowledge. Since you see biometric identification technologies as a potential barrier to accessibility, what do you think of jbjordan’s comment that DOT should propose accessibility regulations for biometric readers even though they aren’t widely used right now?

December 1, 2011 2:18 pm

Do you have any suggestions for how DOT can resolve this problem? Cherylechevarria has suggested that airport kiosks should be more like ATMs. Would that help?

December 1, 2011 2:19 pm

Hi timniles and welcome to regulation room. It sounds like you’re pointing out a problem with both kiosks and websites: that airline kiosks are not accessible and even though the information is online and available to travelers through personal mobile devices, those websites are also not accessible. Is that right?

Are you suggesting that connecting personal mobile devices, such as iPhones, to kiosks would help make the information accessible?

December 1, 2011 4:25 pm

Thank you for your comment albertrizzi. As you may know, w3c’s WCAG 2.0 standards that DOT is proposing here are only technical standards, not performance standards (you can read an explanation of the difference in these comments). Do you agree or are the w3c standards enough?

December 1, 2011 4:28 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room and thank you for your comment, wi9hf. DOT is proposing that covered websites be required to comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards. The standards are intended to create websites that will work better with tools that persons with disabilities utilize such as screen readers. Do you think that it would also be better to require airlines to also provide an alternative text only site?

December 1, 2011 7:47 pm

DOT is proposing that airlines be required to make only their primary websites accessible. Do you think airlines should be required to make all of their communications with travelers accessible?

December 2, 2011 12:05 pm

Hi, jalexander. DOT thinks that accessible redesign may benefit people with nonvisual disabilities, but has not tried to quantify that value. What issues do you feel people with cognitive, hearing and deaf/blindness disabilities have with website accessibility? In what ways would an accessible website improve their air travel experience?

December 2, 2011 2:43 pm

DOT is currently proposing that websites be required to conform to the WCAG 2.0 Level AA accessibility standards (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/). Do you think that these standards will not be compatible with the technology you mention? If so, what other sorts of modifications should DOT consider?

December 4, 2011 10:10 am

Hi jalexander. Thank you for your comments. Privacy is certainly a major concern of these regulations. Can you give us an idea of what kind of changes or guidelines would help make credit card use more private at these kiosks?

December 4, 2011 1:16 pm

Regarding time-outs, do you think jbjordan’s suggestion would work? Do users with disabilities need more time?

Do other commenters have experience with the Amtrak kiosks? Do they work well? Should DOT consider these as a model?

December 4, 2011 1:18 pm

Chrisa and Jalexander, at this point the proposal is limited to interactive kiosks. However, DOT recently issued a clarification of some parts of the proposal. They explained that an “automated kiosk” is “a self-service transaction machine…available at a U.S. airport to enable customers to independently obtain flight related services.” So these regulations would cover more than just check-in kiosks, in particular it would cover self-service kiosks that are past security check-points.

Perhaps these kiosks would be able to perform the scheduling functions you asked about?

That clarification is available in several forms on the agency documents page. The relevant section is on pages 16 and 17 of the PDF.

December 4, 2011 1:18 pm

Chrisa and Jalexander, at this point the proposal is limited to interactive kiosks. However, DOT recently issued a clarification of some parts of the proposal. They explained that an “automated kiosk” is “a self-service transaction machine…available at a U.S. airport to enable customers to independently obtain flight related services.” So these regulations would cover more than just check-in kiosks, in particular it would cover self-service kiosks that are past security check-points.

Perhaps these kiosks would be able to perform the scheduling functions you asked about?

That clarification is available in several forms on the agency documents page. The relevant section is on pages 16 and 17 of the PDF.

December 5, 2011 8:24 pm

Welcome to RegulationRoom and thank you for your comment. Do you think requiring open-captioning would be a better/easier solution?

December 5, 2011 8:49 pm

It looks like you’re responding to the Moderator’s question to you in Section 1 of the Website Implementation Post about your experiences with booking a flight over the telephone.

December 9, 2011 11:00 am

Thanks for your comment, bigdaddy, and welcome to Regulation Room. What types of personal mobility devices are you talking about? Could you tell us a bit more about what types of information you would like the airlines to send to these devices?

December 9, 2011 11:00 am

Thanks for your comment, bigdaddy. DOT has asked “Would it be valuable and feasible for DOT to require that airlines work with the disability community (by, for example, establishing a committee on website accessibility) to assist carriers in maintaining accessibility through periodic site monitoring and feedback?” in Section 3 of this post. Is this similar to what you are suggesting?

December 11, 2011 2:49 pm

Thanks for your comment, bigdaddy. Other commenters have raised a similar point that separation may be stigmatizing for people with disabilities. Can you tell us more about the universal approach you suggested?

September 10, 2012 11:30 am

Hi Transparency. The CFPB’s proposed rule contains requirements for the “Content and layout of the periodic statement,” and require the statement to provide several pieces of information including: the amount due, an explanation of the amount due, a breakdown of past payments, transaction activity since the last statement, and the bank’s contact information (the full list can be seen in the proposed rule.) It sounds like you are suggesting that the statement require billing and contact information for third party service providers, and that the layout should be similar to credit card statements. Do you believe that adding a “who” and “when” to the CFPB’s sample statement would address most of your concerns? What do other users think… more »

…about this proposal? Are there any concerns that this additional information would be confusing or burdensome? « less
August 10, 2012 4:32 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, vraphael, and thanks for your comment! It sounds like you have a lot of experience with borrowers experiencing difficulties with their servicers. You might also have valuable insight into the issues in the Options for Avoiding Foreclosure post

August 10, 2012 5:30 pm

What do you think of CFPB’s sample form? Will it be clear to most borrowers?

August 11, 2012 1:05 pm

versability, do you have a suggestion for how cfpb should respond to this problem. Should it explicitly set rules for these communications? If so what should they be?

September 11, 2012 9:09 pm

Hi zenguy1965. Thank you for sharing your experience. You may want to contact the Getting Errors Fixed posts.). Do you think these new requirements give borrowers in trouble the support they need?

September 13, 2012 11:34 am

Hi kaz2700, welcome to Regulation Room. We’re sorry to hear that you’re having a difficult time communicating with your bank. You may want to contact reliable contact with people who can help to see if CFPB’s recommendations would do enough to help in your situation.

August 11, 2012 1:15 pm

Thanks for sharing your insight on changing servicers! CFPB wants to prevent late fees for borrowers who pay their old servicer within 60 days after the transfer. Does that solve the problem, or are you proposing an additional layer of protection?

September 11, 2012 5:35 pm

Hi zenguy1965. Welcome to Regulation Room and thank you for your comment. Please see Section 2 below (Following up with a written notice). CFPB proposes that within 40 days of when the payment was due, the servicer must send a written notice containing a lot more information.

September 14, 2012 5:25 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, peekaboo.

One justification that the CFPB gives for the smaller servicer exemption is that smaller servicers are more likely to have regular interaction with customers, usually from providing other services such as debit cards and checking accounts. The CFPB believes that this gives smaller servicers a greater incentive to stay in touch with borrowers and provide greater service. What do you think about this point?

September 15, 2012 11:38 am

Hi hotblazer. Could you clarify which items on the list you are concerned about? Or are you saying that you feel the servicer should have to respond to every request, including requests for information that it doesn’t have? Do you think that requiring the servicer to tell the borrower within five days if it thinks it does not have to respond to a request and to explain why will help prevent a servicer from stalling?

September 16, 2012 1:44 pm

Hi transparency. Thank you for your comment!

The CFPB wants periodic reports provided by creditors, assignees, or servicers to balance the need to provide useful information against the risk of overloading consumers with too much information. If a consumer wants additional information about their mortgage loan, the CFPB would require servicers to respond to consumers’ written and oral requests within a specified amount of time. Because expanding the way consumers can ask for information encourages use of the new disclosure system by attorneys, rather than ordinary people, the CFPB would allow servicers not to respond to certain types of information requests. Do you think the CFPB has struck the appropriate balance? Do you have an example of the kind of indirect transaction activity that… more »

…you think should be included in the sample periodic statement?

You also mentioned that advanced software and technology is available to servicers that would simplify the disclosure process. What do you think of the proposed exception servicers would have that would allow them not to respond to “unduly burdensome” information requests? « less

August 10, 2012 8:48 pm

Kamymenapace, it sounds like you’ve had a terrible time. Regulation Room can’t file a complaint for you, but we suggest you contact either CFPB’s complaint center or a HUD approved housing counselor to see if they can help.

So that everyone has space to comment, we’ve removed all the other copies of your comment. And we’ve taken out your personal information from this copy.

August 11, 2012 11:38 am

Thank you for sharing your story, maggie.passaro, and welcome to Regulation Room. What you have described would be consider a “covered error” under the CFPB’s proposed error resolution rules. Do you think that these rules would have been helpful to you in your situation? Check out CFPB’s proposed error resolution procedures and tell us what you think.

August 11, 2012 11:55 am

Thank you for your input, britt. It sounds like you believe your servicer used “overly broad” as an excuse to avoid responding to information requests. CFPB proposes to define “overbroad” requests as requests where a servicer cant’ tell what specific information the borrower wants and where they believe they’d end up providing an “unreasonable” volume of information. You can see the entire definition in the proposal here: Response to Information Request Do you think this is a good definition?

August 11, 2012 12:04 pm

britt, CFPB is proposing to give borrowers the option of either oral or written communication. Do you think that the risk of not being able to take them to court (or being less prepared for court) outweighs the benefits to borrowers of getting a response over the phone?

August 11, 2012 12:30 pm

Versability, thank you for your comment. The transparency of escrow account related fees is not covered in this proposed rule. (CFPB is working on another proposed rule that covers escrow account disclosures). However, charging the borrower a fee that the servicer “lacks a reasonable basis to impose” is listed as one of the errors that CFPB is covering with its proposal. What do you think of the list of 9 covered errors that CFPB has put forth? Can you think of other items to be included?

August 11, 2012 12:34 pm

You raise an interesting point, versability. Under CFPB’s proposal servicers would have to transfer all information relating to the borrower’s mortgage. See the text here. CFPB specifically mentions information regarding loss mitigation options, should it also do so for information regarding force-placed insurance?

August 11, 2012 12:42 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, wburfeind, and thank you for sharing your experience. The disclosures required during a home mortgage refinancing are not at issue in this proposed rule. However, CFPB is proposing additional rules related to the disclosures required before closing. You can read more about them at CFPB’s website and comment on them here. As someone who has a mortgage, what do you think of CFPB’s proposed mortgage servicing rules and, in this case, the proposal on how to handle error claims?

August 11, 2012 3:31 pm

Hi sue, and thanks for your comment. It sounds like you’re discussing a loss mitigation option that lenders offer to some borrowers, but not to others. Under the proposed rule, servicers would be required to notify borrowers of all available LMO’s, and to tell them which LMO’s they qualify for after they’ve applied. Does this sound like it would address your concern?

August 12, 2012 11:37 am

Hi shannon, welcome to Regulation Room! CFPB is proposing an oral request system, do you think that will be useful for borrowers with questions about their mortgage? With respect to your website suggestion, are you suggesting that servicers use this online system instead of the oral request system CFPB has proposed or should this online option be available in addition to the phone system?

August 14, 2012 8:50 am

Welcome to Regulation Room, nancy sanders, and thank you for your comment. CFPB’s proposed rule would require that this notice be given 60 days before the new payment is due, not 60 days before the rate changes. CFPB recognizes that some servicers may have to change their practices to meet this new requirement. With all that in mind, do you think that this time frame could work?

August 14, 2012 11:04 am

Hi arron banner, and welcome to regulation room. Thank you for your comment reiterating the importance of consumer-servicer continuity of contact. What do you think about the time frames for servicers to establish continuity of contact? Is 5 business days for establishing contact enough time?

August 14, 2012 1:05 pm

Versability, how should consumers be notified about these consequences? Do you have specific suggestions for changes in the new Periodic Statement form, which deals with partial payments in several places? If, e.g., CFPB required something in the new Messages section, what should the message say?

August 14, 2012 1:13 pm

CFPB is particularly interested in discussion of a small-servicer exemption. If the new rules cost small servicers too much, CFPB is afraid they will get out of the market, leaving only large companies to service residential mortgages. Would this be a bad thing? What are the costs to small servicers?

August 14, 2012 2:01 pm

The proposed rules would allow servicers to respond to information requests orally. Should servicers have to provide written responses, so that there would be a record of their response?

Several commenters have also mentioned online chat support. Should this kind of support be required from servicers, or just allowed?

If chat support is allowed, would the information request rules apply as they stand, or would they need to be changed?

August 14, 2012 2:08 pm

Do others agree that adding escrow account details would be useful to most borrowers, rather than overwhelming them?

August 14, 2012 2:17 pm

Do others agree that phone calls should be required, even if a servicer decides to contact a consumer through email or text messages?

Regarding voicemails, 3 attempts to reach a consumer by phone, on 3 separate days, would count as “good faith effort” to make live contact, even if the calls went to voicemail. CFPB wants to encourage servicers to make contact, but in some cases servicers cannot make contact because of forces beyond their control.

Do others agree that a servicer should have to tell a borrower about all delinquent loans in the same contact?

August 14, 2012 2:38 pm

When a borrower calls a servicer requesting information about force-placed insurance, the servicer sometimes will transfer the call to a third-party vendor who acts on the servicer’s behalf. Should the rules make servicers notify the borrower that they will be speaking with another company before doing making the transfer?

August 14, 2012 2:52 pm

CFPB hasn’t addressed Real Estate Owned insurance in this proposal. Should it? If so, what should it be doing?

August 14, 2012 2:56 pm

Renoira, thank you for your comment. Stories like yours are a large reason why CFPB was created in the first place. Do you believe the proposed early intervention rules would help people avoid going through what you had to?

August 14, 2012 3:10 pm

Hi renoira, and thanks again for sharing your experience. section 2 sets new rules for servicers keeping borrowers information and transferring it accurately. Can you share with us in that section whether you think the new rules are enough?

August 14, 2012 3:26 pm

Thanks for your response, arron. You can read more about the triggering condition here. Basically, servicers are required to begin “early intervention” soon after a borrower misses a payment or makes only a partial payment. See more details in the section I linked to.

August 14, 2012 3:50 pm

Hi sue, sorry I misunderstood your suggestion at first. It sounds like you’re suggesting that CFPB should regulate how servicers are allowed to decide which borrowers qualify for LMO’s. How, specifically, do you think the current practice should be changed?

August 14, 2012 4:13 pm

CFPB is trying to limit costs to servicers because servicers might pass these costs on to consumers. They could do this either by raising their rates or by reducing the credit they offer to consumers.

CFPB replaced the qualified written request because it wanted to make getting information easier for consumers. Is there any way to keep this benefit while still keeping servicers accountable, as with information requests?

August 15, 2012 11:21 am

Thanks for your comment arron banner! It sounds like you think the sample form needs to include more information and group it differently. The Dodd-Frank Act requires specific information for the ARM disclosure forms, which is explained here: http://archive.regulationroom.org/mortgage-protection/agency-documents/tila-rule-text/#102620. How do those requirements match up with the information you think belongs on this form?

August 15, 2012 1:00 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience again, britt. CFPB is responsible for protecting consumers, but Congress directed CFPB to also consider the costs to the companies it’s regulating and whether new rules will cut back on new lending to consumers. You can read more about why the CFPB has to do that cost-benefit analysis. Do you think that CFPB has weighed the benefits to consumers against the costs correctly?

August 15, 2012 1:10 pm

Hi mpick76, and welcome to Regulation Room. Rules like this one are made by trying to minimize costs and maximize benefits. Could you provide more details about the costs of the new rules to your business, and how you might make them better?

August 16, 2012 2:04 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room losinghome2012, thank you for sharing your experiences. It sounds like you didn’t get the help or information you needed. CFPB is proposing to require servicers to evaluate borrowers for all loss mitigation options they might be eligible for and provide prompt, accurate information about those options. In addition, servicers could be found in violation of CFPB regulations if they fail to keep records properly. Would these rules have helped in your situation? CFPB needs detailed regulations to protect consumers in the future, so any specific recommendations you could share based on your personal experiences would be valuable to the agency.

August 16, 2012 3:30 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, reality. It sounds like you have a valuable perspective on this issue. How did your previous employer deal with partial payments? Did they include late fees in the total payment amount?

August 16, 2012 3:30 pm

Thanks for your insight, reality. Did you work for a small or large servicing company? CFPB is especially interested in the effects of these rules on small servicers. Do you think that shorter response time frames would be more or less difficult for servicers with fewer employees and resources?

August 16, 2012 6:01 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, andrea from md. Banks can transfer the servicing rights for your mortgage to other companies. Is that what happened to you? If so, what do you think of the proposed notice of the servicing transfer?

August 16, 2012 11:45 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, hotblazer. Under CFPB’s proposal, a servicer would have to provide changing information such as transaction activity and payment breakdowns (including fees) upon request. A servicer could provide that information orally, in writing, or electronically. Does this solve some of the problems inherent in using coupon books?

August 17, 2012 8:09 am

Thank you for sharing your experience, hotblazer. CFPB is particularly interested in the interaction between the proposed rules and other laws, like bankruptcy. Right now, the proposed rule applies to all outstanding consumer mortgages, and so the requirement to provide periodic statements should continue unless it’s blocked by some other law. Are you saying that the servicer stopped providing the information because of the automatic stay (or some other part of the bankruptcy code)? Or do you think there is some other reason the servicer stopped providing the information?

August 17, 2012 10:42 am

Thanks for your comment, exhaustedinfl, and welcome to Regulation Room. The problems you are having with customer relations managers are exactly what CFPB is trying to prevent. Do you think that the proposed regulations forcing servicers to have an accessible, knowledgeable team of customer service representatives would make the modification process easier for you?

August 17, 2012 1:32 pm

Thank you for your comment, justiceunited. CFPB discusses the relationship of its proposals to the National Mortgage Settlement at several places in the NPRM. early… more »

…intervention with troubled borrowers and assigning specific people to work with the borrower. Take a look at these proposals to see whether you think they ought to be strengthened in some way. In particular, you may want to comment on whether CFPB should add to the list of “covered errors.” « less
August 18, 2012 2:12 pm

Hi papertracker, and thanks for participating. It sounds like you’re suggesting that the new servicer should disclose to the borrower all the information it received from the old servicer. Do you think that the new rules on error resolution would protect borrowers from mishandled information? The costs of responding to error requests may be much lower than the disclosures you suggest.

August 18, 2012 2:28 pm

Hi djg, and welcome to Regulation Room. The rule as proposed would permit servicers to send only one periodic statement to joint obligors (See proposed comment 41(a)-1). It sounds like you’re saying that if joint borrowers are at separate addresses, each address should receive a periodic statement. Are there any other circumstances when separate statements should be sent?

August 20, 2012 12:50 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, rustysdad, and thank you for sharing your story. Was there problems with the customer service not receiving your paperwork that led to the decision to not lower your payment? Would CFPB’s proposed regulation for providing reliable contact have helped?

August 20, 2012 1:17 pm

mjhaha, The purpose of Regulation Room is to provide an environment in which people can learn about important proposed government regulations and discuss them in ways that help the agency make a better final decisions. Everyone who comments on the site is expected to remain civil and respectful. Please see the Terms & Conditions you agreed to when you registered. Comments should address the regulation CFPB is proposing. As a small community bank, you could provide important information on the actual costs the proposals will create for small servicers.

August 20, 2012 1:53 pm

hotblazer, you seem to have some experience that might be valuable for CFPB to know about. If you want, you can share more details about what you have gone through with your servicer. You might also want to check out the post on Asking For, and Getting, Information.

August 20, 2012 2:16 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, dennis frailey, and thanks for your suggestions. What do you think of the proposed proposed periodic statements .

August 20, 2012 2:27 pm

co80231, The purpose of Regulation Room is to provide an environment in
which people can learn about important proposed government regulations and and discuss them in ways that help the agency make a better final decisions. Everyone who comments on the site is expected to remain civil and respectful of each other. Please see the Terms & Conditions you agreed to when you registered. Comments should also address the regulation CFPB is proposing. Changes to the tax code or other forms of mortgage subsidies aren’t part of the proposal.

August 21, 2012 1:33 am

Welcome to Regulation Room, eisrael11, and thanks for your comment. CFPB’s rules for refunding improper force-placed insurance are here. Would standards like these have made your flood insurance situation easier to resolve?

August 21, 2012 11:35 am

Welcome to Regulation Room, emmel65, and thanks for your comment. Have you had experience with requesting information in writing from your lender? In this rule, CFPB is proposing that lenders have customer service available by telephone. Would extended hours or a voicemail system help accomodate your schedule?

August 21, 2012 4:22 pm

Thanks for your comment, hotblazer. CFPB explains its statement about lawyers submitting QWRs more often than consumers above would make it easier for consumers like you to get the information they need from servicers?

August 21, 2012 5:21 pm

Hi Pamela, welcome to Regulation Room! Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Do you have any feedback on the proposed periodic statements you could share as well?

August 21, 2012 5:26 pm

Hi prestonsherwood, and welcome to Regulation Room! This rule only deals with what happens when people already have a mortgage. CFPB is proposing a separate regulation about pre-disclosure, which you can find here. For people who already have an ARM, do you think the information in CFPB’s proposal makes sure homeowners get the information they need?

August 22, 2012 10:39 am

Welcome to Regulation Room, reneydubose, and thanks for your comment. CFPB wants to make it easier for borrowers to get information from their servicers while also making sure that servicers won’t be overwhelmed with information requests. You can learn more about CFPB’s definitions of the terms you are concerned about here. What would you like to see added to these definitions to make it harder for servicers to avoid information requests?

August 22, 2012 11:23 am

Thanks for your comment, reneydubose. To ensure that lenders make a good faith effort to determine whether an error exists and fix the error, CFPB is proposing that lenders turn over all documentation used to make their determination to the borrower. Do you think this is sufficient to safeguard against your concerns about ambiguity? What would you like to see required for a reasonable investigation?

August 23, 2012 12:02 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, onehome, and thanks for your comment. The first part of your comment discusses how lenders credit partial payments that don’t cover the full outstanding balance. CFPB hopes to minimize delinquent fees for borrowers making partial payments. If a borrower who owes $1000 in January and $1000 in February makes a partial payment of $500 in January, the $500 is held in a suspense account. If the borrower pays $500 again in February, the two payments are combined and applied to January. When the borrower makes partial payments totaling one full installment, the delinquency on the oldest overdue installment is satisfied first and the borrower no longer incurs late fees on that amount. In the example, at the end of February, the borrower will have paid the January… more »

…debt in full and only be delinquent on his/her February payment. CFPB explains this process in more detail here (http://archive.regulationroom.org/mortgage-protection/agency-documents/tila-preamble/#36c1ii).

You suggest that, when a borrower makes a partial payment that is less than one full installment, CFPB should still require lenders to credit the payment to the amount the borrower owes or hold the partial payment in a suspense account that earns interest. So, using the prior example, the $500 paid in January would be used to reduce the amount the borrower owes by $500, even if it’s less than a full installment or the borrower would receive interest on the $500 until a full installment was paid to the lender. The interest on the suspense account would be used to offset any penalties tied to the $500 partial payment that was made. It’s not clear how easy it is for servicers to keep track of and make these kinds of calculations on payment amounts that are less than a full installment. If CFPB does not adopt your proposal and borrowers continue to get no credit for partial payments, do you think borrowers would still make partial payments? Would it be helpful if CFPB instead requires servicers to return partial payments or be clearer that money in a suspense account earns no interest and does not reduce penalties or fees? « less

August 24, 2012 3:29 pm

Thank you for your comment, catfish, and welcome to Regulation Room. It sounds as though you have a good understanding of the reasons behind force-placed insurance. Do you think that CFPB has struck a good balance between providing protection to consumers against unnecessary force-placed insurance and limiting the costs to servicers?

August 25, 2012 3:22 pm

Hi steve smith. Thank you for sharing your experience with Regulation Room. It sounds like you are concerned that requiring servicers to respond to oral requests could lead to miscommunication or encourage deceptive practices. Does anyone else share CFPB’s concern that requiring borrowers to submit formal written requests ignores the fact that most borrowers attempt to get information over the phone?

August 25, 2012 5:05 pm

You raise a number of points relating to disclosure rights. It would be helpful to get some more detail. What sorts of disclosures do you think would be the most helpful in the checklist? And what do you think about CFPB’s proposed list of items that servicers should not have to respond to? Would you also include this list in information provided at every closing?

August 25, 2012 5:07 pm

Hi transparency. CFPB is proposing a standard Periodic Statement to be given to borrowers. Are you suggesting a standard monthly statement or software that bank regulators could use when investigating banks?

August 25, 2012 7:15 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, steve smith. As you recognize, the Consumer Handbook on Adjustable Rate Mortgages is not at issue in this proposed rule. However, disclosures that consumers receive before getting a mortgage are at issue in another one of CFPB’s proposals. You can read more about that rule and find a link to comment on it here. Also, if you would like to file a complaint with CFPB regarding how you didn’t receive the handbook, you can do that on CFPB’s website.

August 26, 2012 2:42 pm

If a nationwide database, like what you propose, can’t be put into place, what kind of information or access do you think will be missing from the CFPB proposals? CFPB’s proposals include requiring that borrowers receive report an error, and requiring servicers to provide borrowers in trouble… more »

reliable contact with someone who knows what’s going on and can help. Please click on the links. It would be helpful, transparency, if you could comment on those posts if you think there is information or access that CFPB should include. « less
August 26, 2012 4:20 pm

Steve smith, here is a brochure containing more information on how the CFPB handles complaints. What also might be helpful is the information under “How Do You Handle Complaints” on CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database.

August 26, 2012 11:05 pm

transparency, we hope you will continue to comment and give feedback on CFPB’s proposals. It sounds like you’re concerned that CFPB’s proposal doesn’t do enough to ensure continuity of record keeping among the various banks and servicers a borrower might have to deal with over the life of their loan. While a national database is not proposed in this rule, CFPB envisions that standard periodic statements will keep information consistent across banks and give borrowers the information they need.

If you go to the issue posts about requesting… more »

…information, reliable contact with people who can help, it would be helpful to the agency if you could critique CFPB’s proposals in light of your personal experiences. The more information you can give about how things operate on the ground and the more you can flesh out your argument, the better CFPB’s final rule will be.

Because we are neutral, we can’t take a stance on the rule or other banking issues. The way we hope to make change is by providing a space for commenters like you to participate effectively in the rulemaking process and have your voice heard. For more about how Regulation Room works, please visit this page. « less

August 27, 2012 8:10 pm

steve smith, you raise an important question – the extent to which the new rules relate to or conflict with other, existing laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. CFPB is seeking comment on just that question – in particular, on whether servicers will have difficulty meeting the requirements of this rule as well as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Do you anticipate any conflict? Or do you think the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act can provide added protection for borrowers?

August 28, 2012 9:46 am

Hi transparency. If I understand you correctly, you are making two proposals. First, on insurance, you think an insurance company should be selected at closing to provide hazard insurance. The insurer cannot adjust the rate it charges more than once every 12 months, and must provide 60 days’ notice before changing its rate, giving the borrower time to find a lower-cost insurer. If the homeowner fails to make the required insurance payments, the bank should become responsible for them and simply foreclose on the homeowner without charging the borrower for insurance. Second, servicing cannot be transferred once foreclosure proceedings begin. Is that a correct summary?

August 28, 2012 11:46 am

It sounds like you’ve had a tough time, fisch2821. Regulation Room can’t tell you how to proceed, but we suggest you contact a HUD approved housing counselor to see if they can help.

August 28, 2012 12:15 pm

hotblazer, perhaps if you could share with us exactly what phrasing your servicer is using, it would shed some light on the issue. Does your servicer say they would be violating the bankruptcy code by sending you periodic statements? That sending statements to borrowers violates their bank’s internal policies? Some mix of the two, or something a bit different?

August 28, 2012 2:50 pm

Regulation Room will be sending you an email regarding changing your screen name.

August 28, 2012 6:27 pm

Seanerwin, welcome to Regulation Room and thank you for sharing your experience. Do you think CFPB should add another error to the covered error list to better address interest rate disputes? You might also want to read what CFPB says about adjustable rate mortgages

August 28, 2012 7:00 pm

Hi cu man, and welcome to Regulation Room! CFPB is interested in what sort of burdens the new rules will impose on servicers. It sounds like your credit union’s warning practices are similar to what CFPB is proposing. You might also like to check out the information request requirements to see how they compare with your credit union’s current practices.

August 29, 2012 2:40 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, frustratedwithbanks, and thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you and your spouse are going through a difficult time. We suggest you contact a HUD approved housing counselor to see if they can help.

The CFPB is proposing in this rule that servicers take “early intervention” steps with borrowers in trouble to provide them with important information about foreclosure and how to get help from the servicer or from outside organizations. Could you read the CFPB’s suggested “early intervention” steps and comment if you think alternative approaches would be more helpful to borrowers?… more »

…The CFPB has also proposed loss mitigation options to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. If your lender followed these steps, do you think it would improve your situation? « less
August 29, 2012 3:21 pm

cu man, do you think CFPB’s standardized requirements for periodic statements could lower costs over time since the third parties who handle statements would use essentially the same form for all lenders? Or are there other costs that you see?

CFPB has published a sample format for statements that you can see here. Would that form include all relevant information your credit union wants to send borrowers? Would using that form solve the safe harbor problem you identified?

August 29, 2012 3:55 pm

cu man, thanks for sharing your experiences with how lenders’ computing systems work. This kind of on the ground perspective is helpful. Do you think that even if the borrower can’t access information in real time online, the information is accessible enough for servicers to answer the borrower’s question in the timeframe CFPB proposes?

Several other commenters have raised your concern about the possible lack of a paper trail. Does the 5 day deadline for the servicer to confirm they received the borrower’s request help solve the problem? Do you have other suggestions on how to make it easier for borrowers to request the information they need?

August 29, 2012 4:00 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, tasheh and thanks for your comment. It sounds like many of the problems you have faced are being addressed in CFPB’s proposal concerning error claims. You can read about those proposed rules and tell us what you think of them here. As to the issue of coupon books, it sounds like you would favor a ban on the use of coupon books. What do you think about marcy’s comment that some borrowers like having a coupon book?

August 29, 2012 4:01 pm

Hi youandme. The main goal of the Regulation Room is to provide useful and effective comments to the agency about the proposed rule. Have you still
been experiencing continuity of contact issues in the past two weeks? You may want to contact a HUD approved housing counselor to see if they can help. Do you think the new continuity of contact requirements will give borrowers in trouble the support they need?

August 29, 2012 6:51 pm

Hi mpick76. The CFPB is trying to ensure that borrowers whose loans are sold get the information they need when their loan is transferred. You mentioned in an earlier post that rules like this one could make it more expensive for small banks to make mortgage loans. The CFPB is interested in hearing from people with expertise like yourself about the costs of the new rules to small banks, so that it can adopt a rule that minimizes those costs. Any insights you can share would be helpful.

August 30, 2012 8:37 am

Hi steve, and thanks for another thoughtful post. I’m pretty sure you’re suggesting that servicers should not be allowed to also be debt collectors. Unfortunately, making that change is beyond the scope of these rules (unless you think the requirements of the FDCPA conflict with the requirements of the new rules). Could your concern be addressed within these rules? For example, by requiring servicers to disclose on the periodic statement that they are also debt collectors?

August 30, 2012 9:09 am

Hi transparency, and thanks for your participation. If I understand you correctly, servicers and banks would need to provide information to the website you’re describing, so that consumers could access it. Who would bear the cost of maintaining the website?

August 30, 2012 11:51 am

Thanks, hotblazer, for the additional detail. It sounds like the servicer has a policy against sending billing statements to borrowers who have gone through bankruptcy since, strictly speaking, they’re no longer “borrowers” on the loans that have been discharged. In fact, some people may not want to get statements after their mortgage is discharged. But others, like in your case, may want to continue receiving statements in order to continue making payments. So perhaps it makes sense to require servicers to provide statements to discharged borrowers who continue to make payments, but only upon the borrower’s specific request. What do you think? And what do others think about the issue hotblazer has raised?

August 30, 2012 3:35 pm

Hi transparency. We are sorry if you feel you are not being heard or that our questions are too narrow. We should explain that the Regulation Room moderators are neutral; we don’t take a position on the proposed rules. Our job is to help every person contribute their viewpoints in a way that will be useful to the agency when they finalize the proposed rules. During the discussion, we may point users to additional information about the rules, pose questions designed to prompt fuller or more detailed discussion, and facilitate discussion between users with different views. Our questions may appear narrow, because we only focus on issues the agency is addressing in these rulemakings. You
can learn more at the following links about effective… more »

…commenting in the rulemaking process and our project. « less
August 31, 2012 9:39 am

It sounds like our commenters have had different experiences with coupon books.
Marcy has pointed out that some borrowers like having the physical book, while Tasheh’s coupon put kept him from keeping track of his payment allocation.

CFPB’s proposal would allow servicers to use coupon books, but give consumers the right to request info that isn’t on the coupon books. Hotblazer suggests the opposite: require all servicers to send period statements, but give consumers the right to request a coupon book.

Both suggestions give borrowers the choice to recieve a coupon book, and receive more comprehensive payment info (like payment allocation). The right policy may come down to this: how many borrowers share Tasheh’s experience, and how many share Marcy’s?

September 2, 2012 8:46 am

Thank you for sharing your story, mark.homer.50, and welcome to Regulation Room. CFPB is certainly interested in giving ARM borrowers opportunities to refinance and more information about refinancing. Do you think that having earlier notice of the first rate change and more information regarding prepayment penalties would have helped people in the situation you described?

September 6, 2012 4:43 pm

Versability1, We ask that you refrain from calling other commenters names, even if you believe they are not being honest. Please remember that the purpose of Regulation Room is to provide CFPB with information about the proposed rule. The kind of participation that really matters is when people explain not only what they think the agency should (or shouldn’t do), but why. Please focus on the proposal and avoid personal attacks.

September 7, 2012 11:38 am

Thank you, mpick76, for sharing these suggestions about how to minimize costs to small banks. Do other commenters have anything to add?

September 7, 2012 11:56 am

Hi transparency, We are sorry if you feel you are not being heard or that our questions are too narrow. We should explain that the Regulation Room moderators are neutral, we don’t take a position on the proposed rules. Our job is to help every person contribute their viewpoints in way that will be useful to the agency when they finalize the proposed rules. During the discussion, we may point users to additional information about the rules, pose questions designed to prompt fuller or more detailed discussion, and facilitate discussion between users with different views. Our questions may appear narrow, because we only focus on issues the agency is addressing in these rulemakings. You can learn more about project.

September 7, 2012 12:58 pm

Hi tcregulation, welcome to Regulation Room. It sounds like you’ve had some terrible experiences with your mortgage. If would be helpful if you could talk about specific examples of problems you had. You can share whether CFPB’s proposals would have helped in your situation – you might be interested in the posts on reliable contact with people who can help.

September 7, 2012 3:32 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, mark warshal, and thank you for sharing your experience. Your point seems to be that force-placed insurance can be cheaper for the servicer than homeowner’s insurance.

Is this usually the case, or does it come up when a substantial part of the mortgage has been paid down? If it comes up when the mortgage has been paid down, in your experience, roughly how much of the mortgage needs to be paid for the force-placed insurance to be cheaper than the homeowner’s policy? Also, do you think there would be a difference if the lender and servicer were two separate businesses (rather than, like in your case, having the owner and servicer be the same)?

CFPB’s alternative proposal would allow a servicer to use force-placed insurance, but only if it… more »

…would cost the servicer less than continuing the homeowner’s policy. Would this address your concerns, and do you see any drawbacks to this approach?
« less
September 7, 2012 5:35 pm

Hi, rharris3011. Welcome to Regulation Room. CFPB is concerned with how the proposed rules will affect small servicers. Are there specific aspects of the proposed rule that concern you more than others?

September 8, 2012 3:21 pm

Hi wpacello and welcome to Regulation Room. Under the proposed regulations, servers wouldn’t need to make borrowers aware of loss mitigation options via email. Do you think servicers should be required to send an email notice in lieu of, or in addition to an written notice? Can any commenters provide insight into what email notifications would cost servicers?

September 8, 2012 3:41 pm

Hi co80231, and thanks for commenting. It sounds like what you’re suggesting would require servicers to have insurance payment information for borrowers without escrow accounts. Other commenters (such as cu man, below) have discussed the costs this would impose on servicers. What are your thoughts on that discussion?

September 9, 2012 11:50 am

Hi hotblazer, thanks for your comments. CFPB has focused on how difficult it can be for borrowers to get information from some servicers. It wants to help simplify the information request process so that borrowers can get the information they need. They have done this by proposing rules that define the types of information servicers must provide (as well as the types that servicers don’t need to respond to) and placing time limits on when servicers must respond. Should the list of required information be expanded or the list of exceptions narrowed? (CFPB is trying to balance the requirements and the exceptions so that borrowers get the information they need, but servicers are not overwhelmed with information requests.) Are there other things CFPB should consider in order to make the information that borrowers need more easily available?

September 17, 2012 12:18 pm

Hi Transparency. CFPB has not proposed a “new disclosure system” for attorneys that would give attorneys privileged access to mortgage information. Instead, it wants to make information more accessible to borrowers and feels that servicers will be able to devote more resources to providing borrowers with specific information about their mortgage accounts if servicers are not overwhelmed by the types of burdensome information requests that are more likely to come from attorneys and are better suited for the discovery phase of litigation.

Please also remember that the purpose of Regulation Room is to provide an environment in which people can learn about important proposed government regulations and discuss them in ways that help the agency make better final decisions. Moderators are here to facilitate discussion on CFPB’s proposed rules and do not take sides on the issues.

September 18, 2012 11:34 am

Hi amyrozycki. Welcome to Regulation Room, and thank you for your comment! It sounds like you have first-hand experience working with borrowers, which is helpful. CFPB’s proposal would require servicers to designate a customer service representative, or team of representatives, who troubled borrowers can contact for assistance. Are you suggesting that CFPB should require servicers to channel all communications to distressed borrowers through the designated contact? Do you think that it would be feasible to expect servicers to make such an accommodation? If the designated contact has access to all communications made to troubled borrowers, would that address your concern about borrowers receiving conflicting or confusing information from multiple departments?

Could you read CFPB’s… more »

…proposed information management requirements and comment on whether the proposal adequately addresses your concern about conflicting communications? CFPB is also proposing to require that servicers respond to requests for information “within a reasonable time,” which it is proposing to define as 3 business days. Do you think that this is enough time to allow servicers to respond? You can comment on CFPB’s proposed information management requirements here. « less
September 18, 2012 11:48 am

Welcome to Regulation Room, we3reeds, and thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you and your spouse are going through a difficult time. We suggest you contact a HUD approved housing counselor to see if they can help. The main goal of the Regulation Room is to provide useful and effective comments to the agency about the proposed rule. Do you think the new continuity of contact requirements will give borrowers in trouble the support they need?

September 18, 2012 3:25 pm

we3reeds, it sounds like you’ve had a terrible time. Regulation Room can’t help negotiate with your servicer, but we suggest you contact either CFPB’s complaint center or a HUD approved housing counselor to see if they can help.

September 21, 2012 11:13 am

Peekaboo, thank you for sharing your perspective as someone who works for a mortgage servicing company. It sounds like you are saying that size is not the best criteria for deciding who receives an exemption, rather they should be judged on whether they own the mortgage or not. In fact, CFPB only grants the small servicer exception when the servicer “services only mortgages that it (or an affiliate) currently owns or was the original lender for AND services no more than 1,000 closed-end mortgages.” Do you think that the test should only be whether the servicer services only mortgages that it currently owns or originated? What do others think of this proposal?

September 21, 2012 12:53 pm

Hi amyrozycki. Thank you for your reply. Are you concerned that providing direct access to underwriters might overwhelm servicers and therefore further delays in resolving mortgage modification requests? Do you have any suggestions for how servicers might accommodate the borrower’s interest in both receiving information directly from departments within a lender and having all communications channeled through a single point of contact?

September 21, 2012 4:11 pm

Hi anne.hart.5070. Welcome to Regulation Room and thank you for your comment.

The CFPB with these new rules is looking to expand requirements for servicers to provide information. Today servicers are only required to respond to “qualified written requests” related specifically to “servicing” as defined in legislation. The new rules would obligate servicers to reply to both oral and written requests. The new rules would also obligate servicers to disclose information that is generally found in a borrowers mortgage loan file and not just information related to servicing.

However, the CFPB does not want want to place unmanageable burdens on servicers. One… more »

…example the agency gives is a request that a diligent servicer would need more than 45 days to answer.

Is there a specific type of information you are worried might be excluded by these rules and that you think is important for consumers to have? How would you modify these rules to achieve the results you might seek? « less

September 21, 2012 10:09 pm

Hi peekaboo, thank you for your comment. Are you saying that you support CFPB’s proposal in the section on getting info to the new servicer, which would require old servicers to forward payments received up to 60 days after the transfer to new servicers? It sounds like you’re concerned that borrowers could have both the old and new servicers demanding payment for the same month. Do CFPB’s other proposals on transferring information to new servicers solve that concern, or do you propose an additional layer of protection?

September 25, 2012 12:28 am

Welcome to Regulation Room, nadondavis, and thank you for your comment. The transparency of fees related to escrow accounts is not covered in this proposed rule, but you can use CFPB’s complaint form to tell them more about the problems you faced.

However, failing to pay insurance premiums on time through an escrow account would be covered under CFPB’s proposed list of errors. Do you think CFPB’s proposal does enough to address errors like this?

September 26, 2012 10:02 am

Thanks for your response, amyrozycki. Would lenders be concerned that, by flagging open items, an underwriter might compromise the independence of the review process, even if inadvertently? How would the underwriter be comfortable, for example, that a borrower isn’t checking a box to get approval when, in fact, the original application was more accurate? As an alternative, would it make sense for housing counselors to review materials for accuracy and completeness (i.e., check the box, if appropriate) before submission?

September 26, 2012 2:29 pm

Thank you for your comment, amyrozycki. It sounds like you think that consumers generally should be entitled to periodic statements, but that small servicers should be able to solicit their clients for waivers. What do others think of this proposal?

September 26, 2012 2:30 pm

Welcome to Regulation Room, loanswithjorge, and thank you for your thoughtful comments. Having servicers call borrowers who make payments to an old servicer is an interesting idea. Can anyone in the industry tell us whether this is a common practice currently? Are there any costs associated with this that might be passed on to consumers? What do other users think?

September 26, 2012 2:49 pm

loanswithjorge, The purpose of Regulation Room is to provide an environment in which people can learn about important proposed government regulations and discuss them in ways that help the agency make a better final decisions. Everyone who comments on the site is expected to remain civil and respectful. Please see the Terms & Conditions you agreed to when you registered.

October 4, 2012 12:43 pm

Hi Sue806 – We tried to include your comments on the issue post in sections 2 & 5 (Need for Enforcement). Do you think the summary is missing anything or is unclear?

October 4, 2012 3:17 pm

Thanks, versability1. The current draft makes this point about insurance trackers, but we will add lenders to the final version.

October 4, 2012 4:00 pm

Hi Versability1 – We think this is pretty clear in the summary, see the last sentence in section 6 – “S/he argued that the law should categorically prohibit charging REO insurance against the borrower’s escrow.”

June 2, 2010 8:36 pm

This is an interesting question. Should airlines have to deal with minors or maybe even senior citizens differently? What does the community have to say?

June 4, 2010 1:51 pm

Moderator, why are you not asking those in support of this where their responsibility comes into play . . .?

June 5, 2010 3:04 am

it’s a question of degree to which the allergic traveler (or parent) can reasonably manage the risks. When in the terminal (or any other public space on the ground), exposure can be managed/avoided and if anything happnes, emergency services are a 911 call away and the ambulance can get you to a hospital before the epipen(s) wear off. When in an aircraft, the traveler is confined and if anything happens, the epipens still buy you 20 minutes but you’re no closer to a hospital.

June 8, 2010 5:45 am

I really like keiserrgk’s idea that airlines should give a notice like ““Due to heavy snow, all flights this morning have been departing 1-2 hours behind schedule. Please prepare for delays/possibility of cancellation. We will provide another status update in one hour.”

In response to your question about an airline’s right to take off should the problem become fixed more quickly than expected, I’m not sure how I feel about that, considering that an airline probably wouldn’t allow a passenger in that situation to rebook for free.

June 15, 2010 9:46 am

Sorry, most “studies” don’t draw any distinction between reported allergies and actual, clinically diagnosed allergies, with the possible exception of the language they use. Every one that I’ve read glosses over such distinctions, so you have to read them carefully to see how the “study” data was obtained.

June 16, 2010 3:51 pm

Thanks for your input, FoodAllergyMom.

You raise an interesting point about the costs of peanut allergies. If otherwise productive members of society cannot work due to allergies, there might be more general effects on economic efficiency.

Do you, or do any of our commenters on either side of the issue have any economic data relating to lost productivity due to peanut allergies? It would be useful to the discussion and to DOT to know what the full current costs of peanuts on planes, and the benefits that may be realized by banning them.

June 17, 2010 4:33 am

Nobody has studied this subject, so there’s no hard data. But we do know that the air onboard an airliner is much cleaner than people think. Only one confirmed death onboard an airliner has been reported, but it may have been as far back as 1998, and it was an Eastern European airline.

June 17, 2010 9:51 pm

Prevalence information as reported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases –
http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/foodallergy/understanding/pages/quickfacts.aspx:
•Food allergy occurs in 6 to 8 percent of children 4 years of age or under, and in 3.7 percent of adults.
•Allergy to peanuts and tree nuts in the general population is, respectively, 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, with the rate in children under age 18 (0.8 percent and 0.2 percent) slightly different from adults (0.6 percent and 0.5 percent respectively). These two foods are the leading causes of fatal and near fatal food-allergic reactions.
•In spite of attempts to avoid allergenic foods, accidental exposures… more »

…are the major causes of allergic reactions to foods. Over a period of two years, approximately 50 percent of subjects in the United States with food allergy have an allergic reaction to accidental exposure.
•In the United States, there are approximately 30,000 episodes of food-induced anaphylaxis, associated with 100 to 200 deaths; most deaths occur in adolescents and young adults.
•Food allergy is the most frequent single cause of emergency room visits for anaphylaxis and accounts for 34 to 52 percent of these visits.
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June 18, 2010 12:59 am

I would like to add on to Javier’s comment. It is true that the quality of delay information is not always within the airline’s control. Often, when the FAA institutes the practice of “metering” due to weather or high volume, the airline really can’t advise the customers of the reason for a delay. In fact, in order to retain the right to take off, the airlines are required to load the plane and sit on the tarmac while the FAA figures out how to route traffic.

Furthermore, having listened to ground control/tower communications on United flights, it’s clear that the controllers can give an estimated delay, but that delay is subject to change. Again, the airline’s information is only as good as the FAA’s information – and, well, the situation… more »

…is fluid.

To that end, DOT’s rule must consider that FAA’s traffic management practices and procedures might necessarily inhibit airlines’ ability to comply with such regulations. « less

June 18, 2010 5:02 pm

How about ZERO. This is a non-issue. Peanuts are harmless.

June 18, 2010 9:18 pm

The airline industry can not be left to self-monitor this. Studies have shown that the quality of information from airline customer service department is highly variable and, in some cases,
incomplete or inaccurate. The psychological effects of this, combined with the risk of death, are significant. Stories told by families of vacations never taken, of mid-air retraction of the promise by the airline that peanuts would not be served, of public humiliation of peanut-allergic individuals and their family by airline staff, and of serious reactions in flight, abound.

June 19, 2010 12:56 am

The airlines will overbook so as to optimize their financial results under any given set of caps, so some passengers will still be involuntarily denied boarding on overbooked flights.

An auction will more accurately price the delay and the sellers (the delayed passenger(s)) will be left with no complaint that it was involuntary. An auction would also force the carriers to face the cost of overbooking in customer dissatisfaction and better inform their flight scheduling decisions.

I recall hearing seats being auctioned by progressive increases in the promised compensation by gate agents, but that was long, long ago and under far greater seat availability and lower probabilities of cascading delays and subsequent denials of boarding for those who took the compensation. Those procedures were… more »

…surely regulated by DOT, (perhaps when the industry was more heavily regulated,) so perhaps those earlier rules should be revisited. « less
June 21, 2010 7:06 pm

Food allergy is generally considered a disability under 504, ADA, and the ACAA (Air Carrier Access Act). There have been a number of settlements by which the Attorney General has authorized civil action to enforce title III of the ADA against businesses which have discriminated against food-allergic children. In the matter at hand, the ACAA pertains: Title 14, Chapter II, Part 382, which provides for “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel.” An important point is that discontinuation of serving peanuts on airplanes does not cause a fundamental alteration in the nature of airplane transport, does not undermine safe operation of the business, and does not cause any direct threat to the health or safety of others. (The reverse is true: peanuts post a direct threat… more »

…to the health and safety of a growing number of travelers with life-threatening peanut allergies.) Just like it is easy for a restaurant to omit an ingredient from a menu item, it is easy for an airline to omit peanuts from its snack offering. Making it possible for customers with disabilities – among them, peanut allergies – to purchase airline travel is an important part of complying with Title 14, Chapter II, Part 382. « less
June 22, 2010 7:41 pm

The incidence of PKU is low – about 1 in 30,000. But when you combine all the inborn metabolic conditions that require special diets (including PKU, CF, aminoacidemias, etc.) the incidence is much higher. Consider also diabetes. Consider other conditions, such as hypertension (knocks out pretzels as potential snacks). The point is, there are a lot of people that have special dietary restrictions. Not being able to eat a specific food shouldn’t preclude that food from being served – it just means that those folks need to bring their own. The real issue is, how real is the threat of inhaled peanut dust. Again, I have seen no study that has shown it to be a real threat (but that doesn’t mean such a study doesn’t exist). That should be the main criteria for the DOT… more »

…decision. As a side note – would such a decision mean I could not bring my own trail mix or PBJ sandwich on board? Could a passenger be prevented from bringing any food that potentially contains nuts? What the airlines do is meaningless if passengers start bringing their own on. « less
June 23, 2010 9:13 am

There in lies the problem. Minors and elderly that can not take care of themselves should not fly alone. Airlines are not babysitters. I have always considered that to be negligence on the parents. Sending your minor child on a plane (or bus) across the country, or across the world alone, who knows what could happen. These are the same “parents” that drive up and drop their child off at a mall for the day, then wonder why they get a call from the police that their child was found dead in a ditch. they always say “How did this happen?” You left your minor child unattended. take responsibility for yourself and your children. be a REAL parent.

June 23, 2010 9:16 am

Could never find the “start a new comment” button so I post this and hope it is in the correct location.

“DOT Department of Transportation believes that a severe peanut allergy counts as a disability.” So does that mean I can claim disability for my allergy to onions? How about people that are allergic to strawberries, pollen, dairy, ect. We have GOT to put a stop to this. The government is taking TOO MUCH CONTROL. These whiny people that can’t take care of themselves, expecting the government to pass laws so that they don’t have to do anything. Why should I have to do without something just becasue you can’t have it? GROW UP, be an adult. No one is FORCING you to eat, breath or even be around peanuts. Want a peanut free zone? get a plastic bubble.… more »

…Banning peanuts from planes would be as dumb as making separate flights for people that are allergic. I am so tired of hearing people complain becasue the world does not rotate the way they want it to. GET OVER IT. You are not the only person in this planet. We do not all bow down to your every command. YOU are the MINORITY. You adapt to our world or you stay home. « less
June 23, 2010 3:57 pm

I don’t believe that is feasible or necessary, for 4 reasons. First, studies have shown that the majority of self-reported allergies are in fact not allergies. Thus there would be unnecessary bans on many flights. Second, this would place a burden on airlines – someone would essentially need to keep track for every flight whether peanuts can be served or not. This would effectively remove peanuts from all flights. Third, this does not answer questions about passengers being able to bring peanut products on flights. As long as passengers can, airline regulations are meaningless. And in my opinion, it is not reasonable or legal to ban passengers from bringing on board any peanut containing product. Lastly, does either the ADA or the medical literature warrant such a ban? No –… more »

…neither does. Until it can be shown that there is either a medically or legally warranted reason for a peanut ban, this issue should come to an end. « less
June 23, 2010 9:19 pm

Hello Moderator. I don’t believe that a peanut free zone would suffice, but it is better than nothing. However, I prefer having those with allergies disclose them prior to flight and then ban them on that flight. Southwest Airlines has done this for us in the past and it worked out quite well. Of course, as I said before, I think banning them outright makes more sense.

June 24, 2010 2:42 pm

I think the DOT should prove that peanuts on planes will cause the problems that other commenters are concerned about. Controlled studies demonstrating that peanuts eaten in one portion of an airplane will be sent through the air into other portions. Studies that can show that there is enough residue left from others eating peanuts to trigger reactions. Although anecdotal evidence is helpful (and I do not doubt the veracity of the claims made by others) I think facts and statistics need to be considered. perhaps some concerns such as air circulation can be alleviated. then creating a buffer zone would make more sense. The problem is that when such a subject comes up everyone uses emotion to make a decision and decisions of this nature should also be made with considering scientific facts.

July 4, 2010 9:46 pm

I am a university student, and I’m not doing anything this summer, but I have done free market research for different papers and what not for school, and helped a professor with work on F.A. Hayek and Ayn Rand. So, nothing specifically about airlines, but markets and regulations in general, and most of what I have read (admittedly skewed toward laissez-faire policy) points to all evidence showing regulations being counter-productive.

July 5, 2010 6:00 pm

As an outsider to the airline industry, it is hard for me to say what level of cleaning currently occurs on an aircraft. Obviously, on quick turnaround layovers, flight crews only have time for a cursory cleaning. Does a more thorough or a standard cleaning take place in the evenings after the last flight of the day? I don’t know. If so, perhaps repeated standard cleanings without further peanut exposure would be sufficient?

The rule probably has the best chance of being enacted if it minimizes overall cost to the airline industry while meeting the desired safety requirements. Personally, I would be satisfied if the rule simply called for removal of peanuts from aircraft and allowed the airlines to put forth a good faith effort at cleaning their fleets.

July 5, 2010 6:10 pm

It is my understanding that non-peanut related items made in a facility that produces peanut snacks are more likely to be a problem for peanut allergy sufferers if the product ingested as opposed to simply coming in contact with. The basis for my understanding comes from visits to allergy-specializing doctors concerning my 4-year old daughter’s food allergies. I have also attended lectures from immunologists in an effort to determine precisely what is a threat to my daughter and how large of a threat a particular item may be.

The ban should include peanuts, products containing peanuts (e.g., snack/trail mix), and products derived from peanuts (e.g., peanut butter).

July 5, 2010 9:21 pm

I run a retail business. If I changed my prices every few minutes or hours like the airline does or charge my customers different prices on the same day. They would probably never come back and call the better business bureau. How is it that airlines can stick it to us passengers any way they please? And they wonder why so much distrust and angry customers.
Recently I wrote to one airline that had a ticket price of around $198. but then listed the taxes at something like $400.00 extra. I told them it was Bait and Add on. Similar to some retail stores that Bait customers with low price and then Switch to higher priced goods. It is illegal and called Bait and Switch. The airlines or some ticket sellers are guilty of lies. Taxes are never higher than the price of the ticket. How dumb do airlines… more »

…think we are?
I spend hours trying to buy a ticket without getting ripped off. It should not be this difficult. And one way fare should be half of a RT not higher than RT. They force us to buy RT and then use only the one way portion. « less
July 6, 2010 9:09 am

So, PracticalJo is saying that no matter what she does, her daughter always gets hives, itches, and sneezes while flying, supposedly from peanut allergens. That is pure nonsense. If her daughter had taken Benadryl before boarding the plane, it prevents those very things from happening. Even so, there’s no reason to remove peanuts from planes for the very minute chance that someone will suffer anaphalactic shock due to peanut allergies.

You can’t make all risks go away, so there’s no point in trying. And you cannot remove peanut allergens from an airliner unless you take out all the seats and the subfloor, which the airlines aren’t going to do. That would also drive up the cost for a flight dramatically, to the point that the average person cannot afford to fly anymore.

Instead… more »

…of living your life in a state of fear over something that is so unlikely to happen, get professional help for yourself. You’re not doing your child any favors by creating needless anxiety for them everywhere they go. « less
July 7, 2010 12:28 am

There are several institutions researching peanut allergies. Duke University Medical Center, National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and The Johns Hopkins University Medical Center all have prominent, reputable, knowledgeable experts in this field studying this problem. I doubt any immunologist or allergy specialist will provide a universal radius for the DOT to establish a peanut-free zone on an aircraft. A single person can have varied reactions from being exposed to the same amount of the same allergen on different days. Now factor in every other peanut allergy sufferer in the country and you have yourself a multivariate problem of the grandest magnitude. With this many variables to solve for, the simplest and most effective solution is a buffer… more »

…radius of infinity (i.e., no peanuts or peanut products in the cabin).

I realize this scientific data is the key to removing the Congressionally-imposed funding restrictions, but it seems like common sense should prevail on issues of passenger safety and the study should simply be a formality.

Removing peanuts and peanut products from aircraft will significantly reduce the probability of an anaphylactic reaction in-flight the same way routine aircraft maintenance significantly reduces the probability of aircraft failures. The airline industry does not wait for parts to fail, planes to crash, and people to die before trying to maintain an aircraft does it?

Regarding peanut free flights, Southwest Airlines has been the most accommodating in our experience. With enough advance notification, they will withhold serving peanuts on our flight(s) and provide an alternative snack for the passengers. We try to take the first flight of the day to minimize peanut residue and crumbs that are found with greater frequency as the day wears on. We also wipe our entire row of seats, tray tables, seat belts and the seat back in front of us with baby wipes when we board. With this self-imposed protocol in place, my 4-year old daughter has avoided severe reactions from exposure to a peanut allergen on an aircraft, although she does spend most of the flight sneezing, scratching, and rubbing her eyes while we’re on the edge of our seat looking for signs of a stronger reaction.

There is not a person on this planet that will die because they did not receive a peanut snack on their flight. There are millions of people (most of them children) who could die due to some form of exposure to a peanut allergen on their flight. This is a no-brainer…take the darn peanuts off of the planse.

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July 11, 2010 9:33 am

.. not all airlines allow the entire canceled value of the ticket to apply to a new ticket.. UNited allows you to “bank” the value of the ticket..there is a time limit of one year.. also, United charges a “change of ticket fee” of at least $150.

July 15, 2010 2:11 pm

Here is an incentive: if a customer is dissatisfied with flight notifications, they ought to take their business elsewhere. Wouldn’t that be an appropriate message to airlines that don’t notify their passengers?

July 16, 2010 5:26 pm

No matter our age, when we’re stuck on the tarmac for more than an hour, we’re being treated like preschoolers, with no control over what’s happening to us. Some of us older folk need to use bathrooms, too. They must be kept clean and in working order.

July 18, 2010 1:30 pm

Let’s keep in mind that a bumped passenger may miss a cruise ship departure, miss a connecting flight, lose a day (or sometimes more) of a prepaid vacation, or miss a wedding or funeral because the airline was greedy and didn’t want even one empty seat on their flight. If being bumped from a flight caused additional problems for the bumped passenger(s) then the passenger(s) should be able to submit proof of loss and the airline should have to compensate WITHOUT LIMIT in addition to the proposed penalties.

I also like the idea of pre notification of bumping. It can cost well over $100 to get to an airport (for example, central NJ to JFK is about $150 and for a long vacation this is cheaper than airport parking). When a passenger is bumped and the next available flight is the next day this can mean an additional $300+ in travel costs.

July 18, 2010 4:00 pm

I do not know of any other food allergies that can be lethal without consuming the food. Peanut allergy can be deadly even if a person just breathes the vapor/dust. On the other hand, I doubt there is anyone who will die if peanuts are not allowed on a flight. There are many other foods that can be consumed as a snack without endangering anyone’s life. I know I risk upsetting pet owners, but why can’t pets be carried in pressurized heated/air-conditioned cargo holds as before? I believe that larger pets are still accommodated this way on most airlines.

July 19, 2010 10:16 am

Moderator, I’d just like to clarify that the short Gwamma answer to your question for Mithrandir was actually an answer by Mithrandir. My computer is in the shop, I’m using Mithrandir’s computer, and I forgot to logout. Mithrandir answered your question, but it showed up as Gwamma. The long Gwamma post was from me.

July 19, 2010 9:07 pm

No! Retroactive pricing is essentially fraud and violates the contract made when money changes hands.

I would favor a rule that disallowed even having a round trip requirement for prices. If an airline wants to give a credit for roundtrip like stores give case discounts on groceries or such, and listed it as a separate credit in their advertising and on their ticket that might work.

Fares from Boston to New York might vary by time of day and by day of the week but they should never be based on Round Trip Required.

July 19, 2010 9:20 pm

This is the same as bumping and should be compensated (punishment to the airlines) as such. See my comments under that category. It is not just the five hours, though that is bad enough; it is all the other inconveniences, arriving late at night, having to cancel engagements, having to call a cab for a long ride vs bus transportation, and a myriad other inconveniences for which the airlines in their hubris currently accepts no responsibility.

July 19, 2010 9:28 pm

The price of fuel doesn’t change while I am trying to book a flight. Maybe airlines should only be allowed to change prices once a week, or once a day, always at midnight, or something like that. It is extremely frustrating to try to buy a ticket and have availability and/or price change while you are pushing the “Buy” button.

July 20, 2010 12:34 am

Southwest has a pretty good business model; they are cheerful and friendly and accommodating. And their fares are still mostly bundled. When the airlines changed their business model they reduced service AND increased fares, they just claimed they were trying to be fairer to the customers. And they definitely don’t have a cheerful, friendly, accommodating business atmosphere. I predict that airlines are hastening their own demise when they engage in their anti customer and certainly unethical behavior.

July 20, 2010 12:54 am

Transferability and any other “change” type fees are for revenue production only and not for services rendered. They already are using our money for free sometimes for months in advance. Most of us make changes online at negligible or no cost to the airline. For those who call a real person there is already (usually) a service fee for that as well so they are really double dipping.

July 28, 2010 2:23 am

A clause in the Contract of Carriage could require that the airline establish a Tarmac Delay Contingency Plan with each airport the airline uses. Furthermore, the airline must keep relevant ststistics about delays and their handling, conduct periodic reviews and revise the plan with the goal of improving customer satisfaction and reducing the causes for the delays (a Six-Sigma approach). I think anything more specific would be unworkable.

August 1, 2010 2:26 pm

Six Sigma is a process that improves quality by
1. Assigning an executive for improving quality (eliminating or reducing the problem).
2. Identifying problems and ranking them according to accepted criteria.
3. Developing and implementing a process for correcting the highest priority problem.
4 Collecting data to measure changes to the problem (getting better or worse).
4. Reporting results of the data collection and modifying the problem correction process whenever the data indicate the problem is not improving.
6. Return to step 2 until the problem is reduced to acceptable levels.
7. Go to the the next problem.

August 5, 2010 10:09 am

A telephone survey? How many of these children were actually tested to discover if they really did have an allergy vice how many are “assumed” to be allergic from parental observation?

August 7, 2010 5:56 am

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Eurocontrol perform similar functions as the FAA (but Europe is complicated with overlapping ATC responsibilities). What should be done is a review of how slots are determined and how they are allocated. Additionally clear and transparent rules need to be in effect and applied when ‘stuff’ happens. For example we often know 24-48 hours before a major snow events happens. A committee made of the incumbent airlines, the airport and the FAA should be empowered (and immunised) to discuss the situation and to make decisions. For example if it is determined that the airport can only handle 75% of the schedule then the airlines can get on with it, rebooking / rerouting their customers long before they get the airport. The way it works today the each… more »

…airline does their own thing, waiving rebooking fees etc. But this is done with a shotgun approach. Passengers booked on flights that will operate will change, when they don’t have to – and others will ‘hope-for-the-best’ and show up anyway.

Let’s be honest here. Free market principles don’t work when two of three industry components are monopolies and really have little incentive to fix the problem. « less

August 17, 2010 10:07 pm

http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/3801089/airline-baggage-fees-chart-updated/ lists fees for major airlines. They all seem to settle into the $15-$35 each way.

The airlines aren’t competing on price for checked baggage. I think the best solution is $0.

August 30, 2010 2:20 pm

Moderator – The quote illustrates the idea that the DOT should NOT ban peanuts because you are doing exactly the same kind of things the quote covers in an attempt to achieve something for those not willing to take the responsibility themselves.
Do NOT ban peanut products unless you are willing to go the VERY many roads of banning other substances as well.

August 30, 2010 2:25 pm

Moderator – The problem is if you ban any food product you’ve just opened the door to ban every food product, perfumes, and an uncountable number of other things. Regulated bans always result in follow-on bans which steadily increase restrictions for problems that are better solved by individual responsibility vice government rules.

August 30, 2010 2:27 pm

Moderator – a classic example above. Don’t just ban peanuts, ban everything that might contain something which may have encountered a peanut or peanut product in it’s life. Once you start a ban on one product, you better be prepared for more and more demands to ban a lot of other items.

September 4, 2010 5:43 pm

We are talking about departing flights so, in theory, the people on the plane have not yet passed through Customs & Immigration since they are not in the new country yet. Except for some places where Customs is done at the departing airport (Canada, for example).

So, yes, if it’s that big a deal I would support some kind of holding area.

April 3, 2011 1:50 pm

Moderator, the keyword I am focused on is “believes” I can do the same thing. I “believe” that the number is lower than 10-15% – so who is right?

At any cost to the driver – without any “real hard evidence – is uncalled for. This is the whole entire problem with the FMCSA, DOT, NTSB, etc. they all believe that by adding another regulation on top of regulations – and making drivers buy these “magical EOBRs” that all will be safer on the already safe interstates and highways.

Adding EOBRs will do nothing but add expenses to under paid truck drivers and companies.

Drivers are not robots that you can program to sleep or get up when FMCSA says so. Here in the US we have advanced a little in technology but “Technology… more »

…Can’t Detect a Tired Trucker” « less
February 27, 2011 10:49 pm

There are multi reasons these cant be put in trucks. 1 Expense 2 loss of state money 3 conusmer cost would rise. These alone with the way our ecomony is now would cause huge problems. This would add more trucks to our highway which puts our roads less safe and a bigger driver shortage. FMCSA need to give us a break in the last 7 years there has been so many changes and regs that our cost have increased and you are running small companies out of business. Need to focus on the drivers that are getting a license illegally and how to help us. We cant keep up with emmisson and the cost now and you guys want to add more cost now at this time???? you shouldn’t open the door the first time by changing the rule which you thought would help and we are back at square 1.. Stop adding cost and quit changing regs!!!

March 1, 2011 5:00 am

I use the JJ Keller system for my EOBR rules. It meets FMCSA rules for EOBR use. it costs $199.00 for the GPS tracker and $6.00 a month to use. the system uses a smart phone to logand compute your hours. whats nice is that you can use the phone as your cell phone. the system will not let you text while truck is moving over 8mph.

March 1, 2011 1:30 pm

Shawn, you bring up a few things that others haven’t mentioned here yet, and it would be great if you could explain them more. Why do you think requiring EOBRs would cause a loss in state money, rising consumer costs, and more trucks on the highway?

March 7, 2011 7:02 pm

EOBR are costly in the sense that they offer no ROI for the operator. While they may reduce some of the administrative cost(s) for a large operation, they will only create an unnecessary layer of responsibility for the small operator; one that is already being adequately filled via log books and proper enforcement procedures. Tech providers and support personnel will be the true beneficiaries of an EOBR mandate, just like the input producers and retailers have been the true beneficiaries of the restrictions placed on the word ORGANIC by the USDA and Big Agri-Business – NOT THE FARMER. Reading your replies makes me wish that I could give you an in-depth, guided tour of this business that brings you your life each day. You would be surprised at how honest and efficient most people are in… more »

…the face of nearly overwhelming odds, and how completely unnecessary the deployment of EOBR technology is for all but the most habitual offenders of the HOS rules. I refer you to my initial comment. « less
April 9, 2011 9:21 pm

Over the Road Trucker are payed by the mile not hr and O/O pill have to pay for this out of pocket it just a lost to us and no i have seen ppl playing with these things when driving have talked to ppl that showed me that you can lie to them and they can show you moveing when you are not these things are a way for the OTR Trucker to go under

April 18, 2011 11:43 am

I agree; the entire staff of a trucking company should have at least some training in the industry. Not only the HOS, but also things like how long it takes a truck (not a car) to drive from Point A to Point B, how many hours drivers spend waiting to be loaded or unloaded, and some idea of the stress the drivers are always under living away from their families.

April 19, 2011 9:08 pm

Thetruckingva, do you think that the training programs you discuss could work better than EOBRs to increase safety? What do others think about thetruckingva’s suggestion?

April 25, 2011 12:29 pm

I think cell phones could handle most of what the FMCSA requires. I think the current specifications need to be more open. I propose that we use cell phones with apps that can report the requirements that the FMCSA requires. Applications have really come along way so I feel that they would be able to record what the FMCSA really needs.

May 3, 2011 11:54 am

Ok Mr moderator lets go to the world of if. In 2009 there were approximately 3300 lives lost related to CMV. Now lets assume that a lot of what I have read is right that 80% of all cmv accidents are caused by the passenger vehicle., so that makes at fault deaths at approximately 264 deaths tied to at fault with trucks. So now The FMCSA says the fatigue rate is 15% in which I do feel is BS however lets go with it that makes somewhere in the area of 40 deaths because of fatigue driving. Now I do under stand that 1 life is to many. But the FMCSA is more about ending a truckers freedoms then they are about safety.

November 29, 2011 10:35 am

For outside sources to ensure compliance, I would do a few things; Provide a customer survey either prominently on the website or via pop-up to ask users their opinion, I would ask their permission to send them a survey (dependent on disability), I would randomly check the site myself to ensure compliance. I think that there are plenty of people willing to voice their opinion. I might also work with colleges/universities to ask students with and without disabilities to report on the site (when worked out with professors they might get some sort of school credit)

December 2, 2011 9:18 pm

Yes, I will.

December 1, 2011 2:35 pm

I agree that regulations should be established before biometrics are in common use. Designing a feature to be accessible from the ground up is cheaper and takes less work than retrofitting. If regulations don’t appear until biometrics are already required to fly or in wide use, there will be a delay and some kind of burdensome process for people who cannot use the technology. If equipment manufacturers know the rules before they design technologies, they can incorporate it. People with disabilities are often left behind with technology upgrades and putting regulations into effect now would prevent that.

December 1, 2011 2:38 pm

Yes, a keypad with distinct keys as described on this page for ATMs or mass transit ticket machines is much more readily accessible.

September 16, 2012 8:15 pm

Moderator, why is the CFPB concerned about giving the public too much information when almost all of the complaints are about not enough or wrong information? Not one person is complaining because they have “too much information”. The public is pulling their hair out because of lack of information, run around and lies. If all activity in a borrowers loan account is disclosed to the homeowner monthly, their would be no “unduly burdensome” phone calls to the servicer. Why is the CFPB complicating things further by separating what information only an attorney can get as opposed to what a borrower can get. A lot of borrowers represent themselves, then what? Why should only an irrelevant third party at a price have transparent information on your loan? What information… more »

…are they only allowing an attorney to get? Splitting the disclosure up between different companies without a simple monthly transparent statement is ignoring the real problem. Where is your question about what rights you are in the process of taking away from the public? I am the poster child for mortgage abuse, having found crime in almost every category, in reference to my home loan. I can tell you, the only thing that would have prevented this from happening, to me, would be if the “Transaction Activity” category, in your new sample Periodic Statement (or monthly loan statement) include all activity related to my loan. Keep in mind this is not a regular bank statement with lots of entries. This a 1 simple loan statement and there should only be a few entries under “Transaction Activity” each month with transparency. For example, if JP Morgan gives Assurant money for a force placed insurance policy and Assurant cuts a check back to JP Morgan or a subsidiary of JP Morgan for 75% of the policy and both activities are related to my loan then the servicer needs to record both under “Transaction Activity”. I can see why the banks would say this is being “unduly burdensome” when they have to document what they are really doing to people. What did you think they would say, we want to put all our crimes on paper and be held accountable, let’s do it? If the servicer charges for a drive by inspections after your house sold then the company name and phone number need to be in Transaction Activity showing the payout. If your servicer and the closing agent both collect your current years property taxes at closing, the day it was paid out should show up in your “Transaction Activity” so you can find it. If the bank is going to keep your account open for 6 months, after your closing, charging you additional interest, to use up some of the over stated closing money, then the bank should send you monthly statements, for 6 months, showing what they are doing behind your back. Limited disclosure like you are proposing is bad but you should see what happens, after the closing, when no disclosure statement is mailed out and your account is left open. You don’t know the half of it. Do you really think it’s better to have a 4 year investigation, into force placed insurance, with lots of hearings, to finally get a company, to admit they are cutting back, up to 75% for force placed insurance policies, back to JP Morgan Chase, when they initiate a policy? Because this entry was not required, on the monthly statement, is the reason so many people, have been so badly abused and why this went unnoticed for so long. You say the banks claim it is “unduly burdensome” to tell me what they are doing to me. Let’s dissect the banks objections and make some real progress. “Transaction Activity” transparency is the category where the problems and solutions rest and it is being swept under the rug, with your plan, with very little disclosure and you are not hearing the “ORDINARY” people. Moderator, please get a list from the CFPB of all the “unduly burdensome” issues the bank claims is beyond the roll of “servicing” a loan, that they are afraid to disclose. Unless someone is being over paid or generating some third party fraud that requires information to be hid, the banks should be happy to put everything on the monthly statement, to relieve the servicer, of the burden of all the phone calls. The truth is the Banksters know, that they have to put up with, unduly burdensome phone calls because the only other alternative is to expose their crimes, under “Transaction Activity” and people will no longer need to call. With full disclosure, the banks and the CFPB’s phone should hardly ring, in reference to mortgage loans. How many entries could there possible be in one loan in 30 days? If you leave this category, the way it is now, you have just enabled the circus to continue. Bottom line, it is not up to the banks and servicers to determine how responsible they are going to be, it is up to the government to set the standards high not low, with transparency. Why will Obama not tell Richard Cordray to demand full disclosure, from the banks, for the “ORDINARY” people, if a bank wants to be able to continue to lend money, end of story! If I understand you correctly, you are going to limit even further the information available to the public, making some of it only available to attorney’s, “which would allow servicers not to respond to certain types of information requests” according to you. I get real nervous, when you talk about a “new disclosure system by attorneys, rather than ORDINARY people”. What is even more scary is your solution for the question that we are currently discussing that addresses not being able to get information from your lender. Your solution talks about the CFPB’s worry about “the risk of overloading consumers with too much information”. I have been alive for 50 years and nobody in any conversation has ever complained that their lender has given them too much information. I realize that Adam Levitin, that just joined the CFPB, as an advisor, is an attorney and could benefit from this rule but after reading some of his amazing papers I would love to know what he has to say about this. Would he leave a comment? My opinion is, you don’t limit borrowers information further to reduce crime and increase transparency. The ordinary people should not have to pay out any money to get information on your loan it should be provided monthly. Look at the earnings of the largest servicers even with all the lawsuits and you should agree they need to start offering service for their earnings. A couple of entries a month is hardly a burden for this amount of wealth the banks are generating from the ordinary and the banks probably cannot even believe they are getting away with providing such little detail.
(Borrower Problem: borrowers not given information Solution: borrowers get all relevant information monthly, timely).
(Servicer Problem: unduly burdensome phone calls where answers are few Solution: Borrower gets all relevant information monthly eliminating unduly burdensome phone calls) « less
August 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Moderator…I can still see all of Kamy’s other copies…I can also still see her personal information on this copy…

August 11, 2012 12:44 pm

Yes, all loan origination documentation, loan servicing history, customer contact history, etc should be transferred. If I were to transfer from 1 school to another or 1 primary care provider to another, all of my records are transferred along with me. With servicing transfers, this is often not done.

Also the new servicer should be given a specific deadline to have all of the missing customer information boarded into their systems. As this is often done en masse and electronically, it should take no more than 5 days, but let’s say 15 days just to be nice.

Also, the burden of filling in this missing information should be on the loan servicer, NOT the borrower. I don’t see any reason why if my bank decides to sell my portfolio, it’s suddenly my problem to resubmit information… more »

…before being hit with fees. I didn’t ask to be part of a portfolio they sold. That’s all banking issues that I, as a consumer, should have no responsibility in. « less
August 11, 2012 12:53 pm

The list looks fine on the surface, but I’m not fully versed on all possible loan servicing abuses. I only know what I’ve seen. I don’t like the idea of a set “covered error” list, but right now I can’t think of a better solution. I’ll spend some time pondering and let you know if I come up with any suggestions on this front.

September 10, 2012 7:32 pm

My comment about email is a more a general one, that it should be a required form of communication due to the prolific use of email at this time. Not sure of the cost but I imagine that most correspondence is boiler plate. Sending an email is less expensive than postal mail. I think our laws lag in this area due to the alleged strain it would put on customer service departments. In my opinion most organizations have divested in this area and consumers experience huge gaps in this area. One of the pitfalls for us with “too big to fail” organizations.

August 11, 2012 1:58 pm

It’s as easy as 1-2-3:

1) The Loan Servicer should be required to disclose that you are being transferred to a 3rd party vendor. This includes updating their IVR to let you know when a selection is taking you to a 3rd party & requiring that a customer service rep to notify you when they transfer you to a 3rd party. When you click a link for turbotax on irs.gov, for example. It will tell you that you are about to leave the site. Why is that warning given for every website in the world, but not over the phone by your loan servicer? It’s a deceitful practice that is abused.

2) Representatives from the Insurance Tracker should have to introduce themselves as the insurance tracker (again, both via the IVR and customer service reps). When you have insurance on your cell phone,… more »

…for example, the representative (whether in person or over the phone) ALWAYS informs you that you will be speaking to a 3rd party insurance service to file a claim. Why do mortgage servicers not do this? What are they attempting to hide?

3) The Insurance Tracker should NEVER be allowed to also act as the Force-Placed Insurer. The mortgage company and insurance company should always be separate entities in order to protect the borrower. Allowing an Insurance Tracker to act as both creates a situation where they will act in their own interests first, then they will act in the loan servicer’s interests, as they are a large portfolio client. In this scenario the borrower always loses.

Allowing Force-Placed Insurers to act as Insurance Trackers led to a situation where many Hurricane Katrina claims are STILL unresolved TO THIS DAY! That is completely unacceptable and should in fact be considered illegal.

This set up also negates the servicing industry’s claims that LPI premiums are so high because they are blindly insuring. The reality is that the representatives from the Force-Placed Insurer have usernames that allow them to log into the mortgage servicing system. They also have all prior insurance information, claim information, etc. Many representatives have even deeper access to your account. This means they actually have MORE access to property information than a voluntary insurance company such as Farmers, Allstate, etc. In many cases they even have more access than the Loan Servicer. This is all highly suspect and needs to be stopped immediately. « less

August 11, 2012 6:26 pm

The borrower already can ask their banks questions over the phone. I have tried “over the phone” a lot. I have heard they have the original note at a time when they were not supposed to have it. I have heard “we don’t have the note” when they were supposed to have it. Very simple questions such as the amount of reinstatement fees have gone unanswered over the phone. In hindsight I wish I would have recorded some of the phone conversations. I costs the consumer more time and money to request information in writing – not the servicer. I can only advise homeowners to have it all in written form and send it by certified mail. I don’t think homeowners have any benefit by asking questions over the phone (not like they can’t do that now).

August 12, 2012 8:27 am

The answers to my QWR were quite surprising. The servicer might argue they have too high of costs and burden to reply and that some are “overly broad”. However, the servicer had no problem providing me pages and pages of payoff statement and payment history – they actually send these information several times for some strange reason. However, even after they wrote me that they checked the reinstatement fees and confirmed those as “correct” they cannot itemize even half of them. That would take one or two pages to print out and mail – much easier than the information they were willing to provide. That request was “too broad”. So yes, the servicer can call too broad what ever they want to. I will now write a new QWR asking again for itemization… more »

…of the fees. As a bank they should be able to find out how they themselves came up with that number – especially as they have checked them and confirmed in writing that they were correct. By the way – the confirmation about the fees being correct came in writing and a copy went to the CFPB. I don’t believe I would have gotten an answer at all if I had not complained with the CFPB. And here is a suggestion for the servicer to cut cost: in pre-foreclosure we received a “Home Transition Guide” – magazine style and no doubt expensive to print and send that we really didn’t care for. During the Hamp modification trial we received the same request for our tax returns via Fed Ex over and over again (about 7 or 8 times because they kept loosing our documents). Also, ten days after we reinstated, they send Fed Ex AGAIN with a note that we needed to short sale or give them the deed in lieu of foreclosure. One would think they own Fed Ex as much as they use it. Some servicers are either completely ineffective with internal communication or they really enjoy throwing money at Fed Ex.
Also: the proposed clause “for information it can’t get from its records in the “ordinary course of business” with “reasonable efforts” is downright inviting fraud. They need the original promissory note with endorsements or allonge to assign it when the loan is transferred. When they obtain it, it should not be very hard to make a copy, right? Since the ordinary course of their business has become robo-signing, it makes it even easier to deny the request of a copy of the endorsed note.
As for information “not directly related to the account”: this exclusion would give them right to hide fees from their affiliates. That could make the game of inflated maintenance fees in foreclosure, force placed insurance, unearned kickback fees, attorney fees a whole new chance. If a servicer charges these fees, they should know what they are for and have no problem of disclosing. Last but not least: the servicer already successfully denies to answer QWR that can be interpreted as nothing but harassment. Do I think we need to make it any easier on them? No I don’t.
My conclusion is that the servicers just don’t want to inform the consumers. In the year 2012 they can get all the information tied to a borrowers loan with a few strokes on the keyboard. Nothing too difficult. It is just that some information they DO NOT WANT TO GIVE.

The CFPB’s only role is to protect the consumer. They should not even have to worry about making it easier for or less costly for the servicer or the bank. My servicer chose to spend money on hiring a high profile law firm only to (not) answer my QWR entirely. Well – that is their choice.
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August 12, 2012 11:23 pm

This addresses nothing in my example. They notified me of LMO’s but then hid the fact they applied extra risk percentage of 2.5%, meaning the NPV caluculated by my using the HAMP site did not match the NPV value they came up with, since Wells Fargo was adding unbeknown to consumers 2.5% risk to the prime.Telling them all the LMO’s means nothing if they do not have full disclosures on the numbers used in the NPV model their calculations, and their deteminations. They should not be able to disqualify anyone from a LMO unless they fully disclose all the calculations used to determine that disqualification.

August 13, 2012 1:06 pm

No, It doesn’t. The new industry practice is that loss Mitigation or modifications are to be offered IF it is financially better for the INVESTOR to modify the homeowner instead of foreclosing, a positive net present value.

But the proposed rules are just a delay for Wall Street to continue business as usual with no regard for fairness or equality, when there were over 5 million modifications issued to avoid the investors fiancial loss when negative equity was involved, setting the new industry practice or legal precedent what is offered in the normal course of business for negative equity homeowners.

The home was bought and the mortage was invested in under the principles of capitalism, we need our governmental agencies to not only recongnize this but to act on it.
There is… more »

…no capitalistic financial difference to the homeowner or investor in a foreclosure situation when the property has a loan to value of 135%, 100%, 115% etc..Why would there be a difference in the modification offerred to two homeowners with the same ltv? The modification being offered is a financial incentive to remain a negative equity homeowner avoiding the investor from taking a financial loss from a foreclosure situation.

My argument is unless we treated housing as the capitalistic product it is, there will be no recovery.

What is being proposed is that we continue to allow the “fox in the hen House” making their own decisions on who gets a modification or gets foreclosed on based on totally unrevelant factors, this is what must be changed. All homeowners have a built in reliance because of existing laws that Wall Street would have to act with good faith and fair dealings with them. « less

August 13, 2012 1:07 pm

This duplicate comment was removed by the moderator.

August 14, 2012 11:39 am

@Moderator.
I must answer your Q with a Q. First, statement of fact: Establishing continuity is a front-end task which I believe is already recognized. If you are going to attempt to put a hard number to the window of time (X number of days) it takes to establish the contact, then I must ask:

Q1: what action/event do you expect should trigger the start of this window? (It seemed like a very messy process in my experience at the front end and there was no clear beginning to the conversation with the lein holder).

Q2: Context? What is the speed at which the owner must take action to save the home? Is it 30 business days? Then 5 business days to establish continuity of contact is a minimum. It is 60-90 days? In that case you might allow for up to 10-13business days.

Overall, without… more »

…having the benefit of knowing the burden a 5-days window might place on a lender, and, considering that in a healthy market only 2-5% of their loans should be in default at any given time, I do support the 5-day target; but please, be clear about a trigger event referred to in Q1.

Thanks « less

August 14, 2012 1:12 pm

The way the statement is broken down is fine (with the exception of the Escrow & Insurance transparencies I recommended in the Periodic Statements section). What I mean is that even though it’s provided on the statement, customer service reps (whether online, over the phone, or in person) need to be required to disclose the same information to borrowers. In today’s day and age of automatic payments and electronic transfers, it’s important that ALL lines of communication are treated the same. Few people use snail mail, and in another 20 years, it’ll likely be a thing of the past. Many of these regulation seem geared toward the past rather than the technological present and future.

Also, why is there an app for everything except filing a consumer complaint with the appropriate government agency? Transparency is ALWAYS the answer.

August 14, 2012 2:19 pm

The cost to enter the market or remain in the market shouldn’t be a consideration. That’s all between the investor and the servicers. If the investor (largely FNMA & FMAC) want to provide options for smaller servicers, that is up to their discretion.

If you leave a small servicer exception, it will be used as a loophole for the larger banks to create subsidiaries and exploit these, much like they do with taxes.

If a company in any industry can’t handle the costs of that industry, then they have no business being in that industry. If there ends up not being enough servicers to service the loans, then that’s something the investors need to look at. From my perspective, you’re trying to fix the effects rather than the cause.

August 14, 2012 3:29 pm

Every single rule is catering to the servicer, not the consumer. If these rules are implemented you don’t even need to worry about writing a QWR. Might as well reverse Respa law. If they can give answers orally they can lie. And they do lie, believe me. I have these lies in writing and it is the only way I can hold them accountable.

August 14, 2012 3:42 pm

There definitely needs to be rules stating that a borrower is NEVER saddled with REO fees. This is one of many reasons escrow accounts need to be transparent on a bill. People need to be able to see what they’re being charged, or fees like REO will continue to be illegally added to their accounts.

August 15, 2012 1:00 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience again, britt. CFPB is responsible for protecting consumers, but Congress directed CFPB to also consider the costs to the companies it’s regulating and whether new rules will cut back on new lending to consumers. You can read more about why the CFPB has to do that cost-benefit analysis. Do you think that CFPB has weighed the benefits to consumers against the costs correctly?

August 15, 2012 3:39 pm

A college professor of mine many, many years ago always said think of the word “KISS” – Keep It Simple Stupid”. In my 30 years of banking and the last 16 as CEO of this small bank, I have never seen a simple regulation. Even the ones that solve a simple problem have complex rules. The more complex, the more expensive and the more non-compliance. I like the suggestions mentioned because we do these things anyway. It is in our best interest. I am not sure of the answer, but I know I will have to comply with all the rules, I just should not have to pay someone to explain the rules to me.

August 16, 2012 11:45 am

Most information can be provided electronically. If servicers are interested in cutting costs, they already have many electronic systems in place to provide this information. I’ve worked in the back end with these servicers. I know how their systems and SQL databases are connected. I know what reports are available. It is absolutely unacceptable for them to claim any information is “unreasonable” to retrieve. It is nothing more than an excuse they are using to keep anything from changing.

For the record, there are VERY FEW “rules” that the CFPB are proposing that are any different than what the servicers already have in place. How does the CFPB plan to catch anyone violating these rules anyway? The fines are minimal, and the audits are a joke. In the 7 years… more »

…I worked in the back end, there was only ever 2 audits, and in both cases, we were given a week’s notice of the information what would be reviewed during the “surprise” audit. During this time, reports were adjusted, numbers were faked, and mistakes were hidden. I’ve seen nothing in these proposed “rules” that will have any affect whatsoever on any of the corrupt happenings I’ve witnessed during my career with the banks. « less
August 16, 2012 3:25 pm

Thanks for the reply. I do think that it would have helped if these rules had been in place. Rules are great if they are regulated and followed. We can create rules all we want along with fines, but in the end if they are not followed and consequences are not served, they will just continue to take advantage of distressed homeowners.

The lenders are still filing inaccurate paperwork and by falsifying and forging paperwork. Money fines are not going to do it. They are wealthy individuals and corporations and I don’t see that money fines are going to make a difference to them. They will just pay the fine and move on. They need to serve jail time. They may be very wealthy individuals, but in the end, they are no different then you or I. They eat the same kinds of foods,… more »

…put their clothes on the same way. Yet, if I did something like this, they would not hesitate to prosecute me and I have no doubt that I would be in Jail for a very long time. Without some type of jail time, they will not correct their behavior.

I have been a negotiator that assists homeowners with their homes for the last 2.5 years and was working with homeowners and the banks before the settlement as well as after the settlement, and I can tell you that NOTHING has changed. The lenders do not call back, they are always loosing documents. And you cannot get a response in 30 days even if your life depended upon it, but again, NOTHING is being done. I am sure he mortgage settlement has done some good for many homeowners, but for many it has not. But yet, you don’t hear about the lenders/servicers receiving any fines or even jail time.

They need to be prosecuted in court just like everyone else or else they will continue the same behavior. Make some rules that make sense and hold them accountable.

You are on the right track with what has been done, but we are far from there. We will never get there if the servicers and lenders are not prosecuted for violating the laws.

Again, thank you for taking the time to listen and trying to make it better for many homeowners who desperately need assistance. « less

August 17, 2012 5:19 am

There were late fees, they fee was $25 once the payment researched 10 days past due. The late fee was the last thing they collected and depending on the circumstances and the plan with the client to go foward many times the late fee was waived, their goal was to get the loan current and avoid foreclosure. A payment reminder and a call were made to the client after the account became past due 10 days, the servicer’s goal was to discuss the situation with the client and propose options to get the account back on track. A majority of people want to work this out, they need help. The plan this agreement was followed up in a letter to the client and/or depending on the changes made may require the client to sign documents, these items were all taken care of prior to the loan being 30… more »

…days past due if the client was willing to work with the servicer. They encouraged people to be proactive.

I can appreciate the comments I have read I had an instance where we had some medical things happen and I knew I was going to be late on a payment and called the servicer prior to the payment being due and was told there was nothing they could talk to me about and recommended I let the loan go past due! I had the funds to make 2/3′s of the payment but unless it was a full payment they wouldn’t accept it. I was horrified by this and the service I received. I know better because of my job but your everyday client doesn’t and they trust what they are being told. These large servicers have a racket going. They need to get back to the mentally they are their to help the customer not go past due and find ways restructure. I can’t believe there is a lender that would not wanted to receive additional dollars on an account and not go through the foreclosure process if possible. The cost of foreclosure for the lender is expensive, most times if you can work it would it is cheaper to work with the client. If the mentally was to correct and help clients work through their situation servicers would need people with more experience than they have which currently is a phone bank of people with canned answers. Off my soap box now, sorry « less

August 17, 2012 11:26 am

Not unless you have an efficient process to enforce those regulations. What would make it easier would be a requirement that the servicers have a system by which files could be uploaded electronically by the consumer through a secure, log-in to use type site. A site where consumers could see a document check-list and view which documents had been received as well as outstanding documents, due dates, messages, etc. Right now I am at the mercy of the customer relations manager. It’s a “he said-she said” battle because I have sent documents, but they say they didn’t get them. Even though I have fax confirmations and fed-ex tracking numbers that show delivery, I can’t prove what documents were delivered.

August 17, 2012 9:23 pm

Thank you for giving me a voice and sharing. Let me first give you some background so you can fully understand what has happened. My partner developed cancer without medical insurance. This catastrophic event eventually led me into bankruptcy. My partner died 3 weeks before I recieved the Chapter 7 discharge. Three weeks AFTER the discharge, I signed permanent HAMP modification documents that lowered the payment on my house. Even though it is well over $100,000 underwater, it is still my home and I want to keep it. My servicer honored the permanent agreement and I paid my mortgage every month for over a year with no issues. My servicer provided online access as well as monthly statements. the monthly statements have a disclaimer at the bottom that read: “Aurora Bank is a debt collector.… more »

…Aurora Bank is attampting to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose. However, if you are in bankruptcy or received a bankruptcy dischagre of the debt, this communication is not an attempt to collect the debt agaiinst you personall, but is notice of a possible enforcement of the lien against the collateral property.” This statement protects the servicer against any automatic stay violations, it’s standard throughout the industry. I was lucky to recieve a HAMP mod and was one of the success stories about HAMP. But suddenly Aurora closed, and the servicing rights went to a non-bank company. This is after over a year of success. The new servicer is the one not providing statements. Why? They quote “It is our policy to deny online access to accounts and will not provide mortgage statements to anyone who has had a bankruptcy and did not reaffirm the loan”. So this is not about violating any bankruptcy law, they simply choose to not cooperate, or worse are trying to leverage the statement information to get people to reaffirm! Why did I not reaffirm? No bankruptcy judge would reaffirm a mortgage that was $100,000 underwater at the time. The judges go out of their way to not approve reaffirmation agreements because it is not in the best interest of the debtor. Simple as that. So the new servicer could easily just pick up where the old servicer left off, but they refuse based on their own unfair policy. Why would they pull such a dirty trick? Perhaps because they make more money on defaulting loans, they keep the fees and the investor gets what’s leftover after a foreclosure sale. So if they make it difficult for the homeowner, many will just give up and walk away. The servicer then gets the “fees” after the sale. How nefarious is that? Also the non-bank servicer does not have to answer to most Government Financial regulations, the FDIC, Treasury, Office of Currency Comptroller do not oversee non-banks, so there is no way to file a complaint with them. I was lucky to find CFPB, I just pray you can intervene not only for me, but the many thousands more out there suffering though this latest nightmare. So in summary, a simple disclaimer is all the servicer needs for bankruptcy cases, and if the homeowner is asking how could it possible be a violation? The rules you propose still do not protect bankruptcy cases because the servicer is not required to include a disclaimer so the bankrupt homeowner can keep getting statements. Same with online accounts. This MAJOR servicer has found a loophole and is exploiting it. Here’s a suggestion, maybe you could propose a rule that the servicer shall make a good faith effort to help homeowners with bankruptcies stay in their homes by offering statements with the standard disclosure phrase. By accepting the terms of the online agreement and the monthly statement, the homeowner would agree that it is not a viloation of the automatic stay. It’s sad that I find myself battling a servicer a year after everything was stabilized. I am tired of fighting. « less
August 17, 2012 9:32 pm

I don’t know, maybe. I just think a coupon book is not realistic in the year 2012. My opinion. But if you give servicers the option to issue coupon books, how many borrowers would suddenly get this once a year book they didn’t want nor were expecting? I guess you just need to think about whether a servicer would abuse the rule. What I can tell you is, not all servicers are bad, my last once was very nice to me. But some are up to no good, and are unapologetic about it. So think about the worst case scenario and word your rules carefully.

August 18, 2012 5:06 pm

Dear Moderator,

As you may know, it has been the common public practice of bank regulators to listen to complaints from foreclosure fraud victims and respond by attempts at misdirection. Like children’s birthday party magicians regulators halfheartedly attempt to distract their audience with a shiny object in one hand, such as information management proposals, while looking away from the truth of Wall Street prosecution failure in the other. This has become so common place in local hearings and legislative testimony it has spawned new phrases into the English language such as “Regulatory Theater” and “Enforcement Fraud”. I support error correction. But error correction only corrects errors, not deceptive practices. A substantive response from the CFPB would… more »

…have addressed Page 27 of the mutli-state lawsuit and advised when homeowners will be able to call their state attorney general or the CFPB to stop a deceptive foreclosure in progress.
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August 20, 2012 2:06 am

That’s easy, existing laws. The financial industry already decided on which borrowers should receive a LMO for their own financial protection, the homeowners who if foreclosed on would cost the investor to lose a guaranteed portion of their initial investment proven by a +NPV. (ANY HOMEOWNER WITH A LOAN TO VALUE ABOVE 80% WOULD COST THE INVESTOR TO LOSE A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THE CAPITAL INVESTMENT, A POSTIVE NET PRESENT VALUE REGARDLESS OF THE HOMEOWNERS PERSONAL FINANCIAL STATUS)

Since no other branch of the govermnent has enforced existing laws, it is up to the CFPB, which was in my proposal to the government in the fall of 2008, to get the “fox out of the henhosue”.

It is in direct violation of the law when two homeowners with the same negative equity (similiarly… more »

…situated parties) DO NOT RECEIVE the same consistent similar financial incentive to remain a negative equity homeowner following is a partial list of the violations occurring : unfair, deceptive and abusive business practices,misrepresentation that modifications are about affordability when a +NPV is required, the reasonable reliance that Main Street has that the government and Wall Street would act in good faith and fair dealings or the fact that every time a homeowner is denied a negative equity modification for his/hers social economic status being put at a financial disadvantage discrimation occurs.(a partial list of business, tort and civil violations occurring on a daily basis)

Wall Street will not change their ways as long as there are NO PENALTIES THAT ARE ENFORCED since most homeowners do not have the financial whereitall to sue and the banks have the governments blessing and taxpayers money to do whatever they want, there are no penalities to them. AND MOST IMPORTANT UNTIL THE TAXPAYER PAID ENTITIES OF THE GSE’S AND THE FHA ARE INCLUDED INTO STANDARD CAPITALISTIC LMO’S, OF A MODIFICATION FOR EVERY NEGATIVE EQUITY HOMEOWNER, How do you really expect Wall Street to follow the law if the government is violating it along with them?

The solution has been given to all seven governmental agencies back in the fall of 2008. The proof is in the pudding so to speak, the OCC, and the AG’s have included PARTIAL numerous guidelines from my proposal, UNITEDINPROSPERITY.ORG to stop the Foreclosure Crisis from continuing, such as single point of contact, dual tracking, staffing, time limits, communications, standards etcc.. BUT all without including the underlying principle that housing is a capitalist product not a socialistic one. The mortgage clause of “dont pay be foreclosed on” was changed to “let me modify you if you have negative equity, not if you can’t afford it”

Because of the governments actions and inactions and the lenght of time past, it is crucial that the solution be enforced NOW not in another 6-9-12-15-18-21 months.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with any member of government at their convenience. « less

August 20, 2012 7:05 pm

Thank you for giving me a voice during this difficult time. I realize the “effective comments” should be structured in a clinical fashion, but I am not cut from that kind of cloth so please bear with me. Much of my story can be found in the Periodic Statements comments, it’s quite lengthy but a true story none the less. After reading those comments you will see that forcing borrowers to immediately pay the new servicer can have unexpected consequences if the new servicer is not cooperating with the borrower. My old servicer did an excellent job of providing monthly statements as well as online access. The new servicer refuses to provide any loan information at all to me, not even what the payment is suppossed to be. During this 60 day window I have paid the old servicer twice,… more »

…once for July and once for August. As long as I pay before the first of September, I am still o.k. under the current RESPA rules. I will pay my old servicer one last time since the new servicer will not let me use my online bank bill pay. After that I will have to send checks via certified mail to a company that will not give me anything for information in return. The value in my story is that despite all the rules and regulations, you can not force a company to act in good faith, unless there is a law requiring them to. So to mitigate any harm to the borrower, who is at the mercy of the servicer, CFPB should err on the side of the consumer. Think of it a a 60 window of opportunity, one where the borrower has the ability to pay the old servicer until any issues with the new servicer can be worked out. My issue is not solved. Restricting the consumers ability to pay the old servicer has absolutely no benefit to the consumer, it only benefits the new servicer. « less
August 20, 2012 7:22 pm

I wrote a QWR to my new servicer. It took three weekes for them to send an aknowledgement letter back. I’m not a trial lawyer, just a consumer with very limited resources. The QWR was perhaps the only tool available to consumers to get information, eliminating it seems counterintuitive of what consumer protection is all about. Where did CFPB get the data that “it is often trial lawyers, rather than ordinary consumers” who submit QWR’s? I would be skeptical if that claim comes from the servicers. My QWR asked for a lot of information because the new servicer won’t give me anything. CFPB needs to understand that some servicers will take advantage of whatever rules you impose, and if you want to protect the consumer you need to strengthen their rights, not weaken them.

August 22, 2012 10:25 pm

The problem with paperwork was that they never told us what we were supposed to sign and they made us send everything in at least 4 times. Then when we got it all sent in they informed us that they did not hold the mortgage but it was held by another holding company. Then they said that they were allowed to have the mortgage set at approximately 31% of our income and they are supposedly lower then that
so there was nothing they could or would do. They kept giving us a run around and playing telephone tag. But they would not call back when you called them. It just seems that since we make about $90,000 a year we are just stuck with the payments since we want to keep the house we have to go without so we can make the payments.

August 25, 2012 6:58 pm

Moderator, the answer is both and they should be one in the same.:-) It is easier to trace a relative that dies a 100 years ago on ancestry.com then it is to trace a $500,00 current note and mortgage. (lack of linked cutting edge computer software is the difference). It is even easie to trace a $1.00 used item sold on Ebay after the sale then a current note and mortgage. I felt like pulling my hair out trying to put together a chain of title with my note and mortgage. If an investigator went into US customs they could pull up, on the computer, any container arriving in the USA, where it came from, where it went and what was in it. Because US customes has current standard technology and an amazing detailed code system that could be adapted for banking. If you want to see the extent of their… more »

…success go to panjiva.com and you will be blown away. Pay the$100.00 and join for one month. You will then be in search of US Customs program writers to solve most of your problems. The banks could use this same system to print a standard monthly report for an individual or company account and maximize transparency for investigators. The same system should accomplish both problems just like US Customs has been doing for a long time . Example, JP Morgan was charging my loan for drive by inspections after my house sold in a short sale. So, I know they were not doing the drive by inspections. The inspector should be able to go into the bank, punch in the drive by inspection code and compare paid out code to billed to customers for drive by inspections with out asking a question and walk out with a report and know to the dollar how bad the problem is in 2 minutes. And ask for proof of payment. It is important to put all the bank problems on a flow chart first and list all problems and possible solutions . Include all the questions that customers and investigators
can’t get an answer for and then meet with the best program writer. To pick one issue, without a comprehensive plan, that solves all computer problems, that need a solution, is a recipe for disaster. The CFPB should have a report on how many times they have been asked the same question. How many of those questions can be addressed in a comprehensive computer program?
Love your web site! You give me hope. :-) « less
August 25, 2012 9:15 pm

“What sorts of disclosures do you think would be the most helpful in the checklist?”
Financial disclosures! Loan applications must be present an accounted for. Dates and time of process with signature. Borrowers should not go home with copies having no signatures or dates. Large bold type high risk warnings to certain types of loans.
Any and all federal and state required forms or brochures from pre-approvals to the closing of the loan. Contact resources to any and every department that has oversight or jurisdiction over lending.

“And what do you think about CFPB’s proposed list of items that servicers should not have to respond to?”

Any other disputed rights. Should forever be monitored, addressed, and updated by the CFPB for the borrowers to access and… more »

…review. That question becomes complicated as it falls under Real-Estate, business, Corporate laws. But I also don’t believe borrowers are making unreasonable requests.

“Would you also include this list in information provided at every closing?”
Oh, yes!

I haven’t found any describe disclosure list under current lending laws that borrowers can cross check with their own loan pages. But there many examples of lending forms shown over the internet. For example, I’m looking for a form called the 1008 Transmittal Summary. The vice president of title said they don’t know what that form is but will call when they find it. That was over a year ago.

Example 2.
My last letter from the servicer wrote back. “Pursuant to 12 USC 2605 sec(e), the information that may be obtained on a loan under a QWR is specifically limited to information relating to the servicing of such loan… includes a statement of the reasons for the belief of the borrower, to the extent applicable, that the account is in error or provides sufficient detail to the servicer regarding other information sought by the borrower.”

I challenged the “other information sought by the borrower” trying to gain access to original documents in relation to my loan. My servicer says they do not intend to waive their rights to other various documents sought by the borrower. So, access to original loan approval documents are impossible to access since the loan originator is no longer in business.

Consumers finding themselves financially strapped in these predatory or deceptive practices can not become overnight legal experts on law and they can not afford lawsuits or subpoenas when trying to simply request disclosures related to their loans.
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August 26, 2012 3:29 pm

Thank you Moderator. Honestly, is there any value to filing a complaint at the CFPB’s website from a foreclosure that took place in 2009? I’ve contacted and filed a complaint with every office in this country and wound up with a response stating, ” Thank you for informing us but there’s nothing we can do. Go find a lawyer.”

August 26, 2012 4:20 pm

Steve smith, here is a brochure containing more information on how the CFPB handles complaints. What also might be helpful is the information under “How Do You Handle Complaints” on CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database.

August 26, 2012 5:35 pm

Eureka! I have found the smoking gun! The servicer cites bankruptcy as a reason to cut off contact and not provide online access or statements. However, the bankruptcy code, specifically 11 USC § 524 – EFFECT OF DISCHARGE, in fact does allow periodic payments when “the creditor retains a security interest in the real property that is the principal residence of the debtor”. So allowing periodic payments means allowing periodic statements to the debtor.

11 USC § 524 – EFFECT OF DISCHARGE

(a)A discharge in a case under this title—
(1)voids any judgment at any time obtained, to the extent that such judgment is a determination of the personal liability of the debtor with respect to any debt discharged under section 727, 944, 1141, 1228, or 1328 of this title,… more »

…whether or not discharge of such debt is waived;
(2)operates as an injunction against the commencement or continuation of an action, the employment of process, or an act, to collect, recover or offset any such debt as a personal liability of the debtor, whether or not discharge of such debt is waived; and
(3)operates as an injunction against the commencement or continuation of an action, the employment of process, or an act, to collect or recover from, or offset against, property of the debtor of the kind specified in section 541(a)(2) of this title that is acquired after the commencement of the case, on account of any allowable community claim, except a community claim that is excepted from discharge under section 523, 1228(a)(1), or 1328(a)(1), or that would be so excepted, determined in accordance with the provisions of sections 523(c) and 523(d) of this title, in a case concerning the debtor’s spouse commenced on the date of the filing of the petition in the case concerning the debtor, whether or not discharge of the debt based on such community claim is waived.

(j)Subsection (a)(2) does not operate as an injunction against an act by a creditor that is the holder of a secured claim, if—
(1)such creditor retains a security interest in real property that is the principal residence of the debtor;
(2)such act is in the ordinary course of business between the creditor and the debtor; and
(3)such act is limited to seeking or obtaining periodic payments associated with a valid security interest in lieu of pursuit of in rem relief to enforce the lien.

(j) Subsections (1)(2) and (3) make it clear that the creditor can provide periodic statements as a normal course of business when they hold a security interest in the real property. With this in mind, CFPB should cite in the rules that ALL borrowers with discharged bankruptcies are entitled to periodic statements persuant of this section of the bankruptcy code. Presently my servicer is refusing statements based on my past bankruptcy, but the policy is unfouded as the law does not bar them from providing the statements. This explains why my previous servicer had no problem providing statements and online access after the discharge. I’m sure Nationstar already knows this, but the claim that they are following bankruptcy law is apparently false! « less

August 26, 2012 10:49 pm

Moderator I can show you documents where the account number has been changed on things like over lapping force placed insurance policies for example. When loans change hands to generate expenses you see this. I am saying your “periodic statement” should have the same originating lender code followed by the account number that was assigned at closing on every statement. The lender code is important, in case the loan transfers to a bank that already has the same number. There should be a government place to “report an error” if your account number has been altered or changed. As you seem genuinely interested in this project I would like to send you my case and you will see that there are so many issues that need fixing relating to the big picture. Why fix a few things… more »

…when you can fix them all. It’s time for national standards as there is not enough staff to investigate individual banks on every corner with a different system in each one. Without a system like this investigating the banks will remain impossible and the problems will change instead of improve as new rules are implemented. I know this has nothing to do with the subject at hand. But, I wish that the Cornell University Law School would get involved and figure out why the Supreme Court won’t shut down MERS as it is a national problem and the courts are ruling differently in each state, making solving the banking problems worse. Maybe Cornell can change banking like the students changed Egypt! :-) « less
August 28, 2012 9:55 pm

Moderator. The servicer stated over the phone that it was their policy to deny online access and not provide statements to anyone with a bankruptcy discharge unless the loan is reaffirmed. I just recieved a response to my direct complaint to the servicer. They state in writing “Please be advised that our records indicate that your account has gone through a bankruptcy that has been discharged. Please know that because of the discharge bankrptcy we will no longer send billing statements unless we receive an affirmation agreement. If you have any questions please contact our bankruptcy department” As you can see they are trying to use the statements as leverage to obtain a reaffirmation. I’d go so far as to call it blackmail. They IMPLY that it is because of bankruptcy laws,… more »

…and that is what they have TOLD others on the complaint blogs. But because I have proven it is not a violation against the bankruptcy code, then this is simply a mean-spirited internal policy the servicer uses to abuse those who have gone through bankruptcy. Here is your opportunity to stand up for the borrower and make the servicer rescind it’s abusive policy. Require Servicers to provide periodic statements to ALL borrowers including loans discharged in bankruptcy. It is not a violation of the Bankruptcy Code, in fact this is clearly addressed as it pertains to creditors and principal residences of the debtors. « less
August 28, 2012 11:21 pm

We also cannot get the mortgage co. to assist us in any way. We were late in the past due to a significant medical event. The bank nearly foreclosed, then modified, raising our payment. We are now underwater. And the payment is so large, we can barely pay our other creditors. We can’t move, because we can’t pay the deficiency balance on the house in our state of MD. All we are told by the bank is there is nothing available to help us. My spouse, who had the medical issue, is working himself to death to meet the obligation. Its a horrible situation, at 6.25% interest! The bank knows they have us over a barrel, and the government has done nothing (including MD State Govt) to assist. The bank has the control-the government is so weak on this, there is no help for underwater mortgages or excessively high payment mods.

August 28, 2012 11:24 pm

We have been contacted over and over by the customer service person to find out if we plan to “default”. They call so often. We learned from one that we spoke to that they track their “attempts to assist” and report it. Meanwhile, they call and call and just reaffirm that they cann’t assist. Hard to believe they pay someone to be that way with their customers.

August 29, 2012 3:29 pm

I did look at the from and it does include the information we send. As for safe harbor some other regs specifically state if a FI uses that format they are protected from liability. The CFPB should do the same.

Having spent so long dealing with vendors I do not anticipate a cost savings. If anything, I can see a “compliance surcharge” being added.

August 29, 2012 6:45 pm

I am not tech savvy, but coupon books have static information and too little information. I would wish that all lenders were trustworthy; but they all are not. Prior to my requesting a payment history, I made payments religiously, in good faith, believing that the lender was so. Now I think differently because almost $4000 of the payments I made is unaccounted for and I do not know how to hold the institution accountable. They have been giving me the runaround for six months. Would anyone want to risk being in these shoes? Yet, with a coupon book and a trusting consumer, this is possible and probable. And, as I’ve said, being able to call and write to the lender/servicer requesting information is guarantee of nothing. I’ve been doing that since February – have even had intervention… more »

…from a local senator – have filed a complaint and dispute with CFPB , and I am still waiting. At this point, I expect nothing. I just wanted to alert other coupon book users not to be entirely trusting of their servicers. « less
August 29, 2012 10:23 pm

Moderator, Steve Smith made a great point that is related to insurance and is another example of the narrow scope of the questions, that you have to work with. Your success level with this program will be based on embracing the issues that are relevant and important that are being ignored, like the point Steve made. Ultimately, the consumer pays for PMI. If PMI is required, then the home owner should be able to shop for the best rate. If PMI is mandatory then it should be listed and broken down on the statement that we are discussing. Banks need to be removed from insurance where it appears they commit massive fraud so banks will return to focusing on loaning money. The home owner should shop for the PMI best rate to protect their loan because ultimately they are paying for it. The homeowner… more »

…should shop for the best price they can find on structure insurance based on replacement value of the structure including wind/hurricane/flood/fire/water damage, on a need basis and subtract the value of the land for replacement insurance. Structure and PMI insurance is considered part of the monthly house payment just like interest & principle. This keeps what is mandatory to secure a loan to a minimum so homes will not be lost due to over priced insurance any longer. Nobody should loose their home because they are paying for optional items either. There is an easy solution for this. If the homeowner wants insurance for theft, personal injury or house content then this is handled directly between the homeowner and the insurance company if they can afford it and it is a separate policy. Basically moderator, separating minimum priced mandatory bank insurance from optional insurance is crucial and could make the difference from making a house payment or not. Mandatory insurance should be in the name of the bank and homeowner. Optional insurance should be in the home owners name and paid directly from the home owner to the insurance company if they can afford optional insurance. The bank gets a 6 month reserve for structure insurance at closing. The bank sends in the payment every month for PMI and Structure insurance. There is never a default on the banks side where it is placed on auto pay monthly. No more prepaid annual policies to generate prorated refunds by switching servicers. Even though the banks have this expensive force placed insurance on properties they are not keeping up the properties and selling them as is. It is important to stop this game, and only allowed structure insurance for the bank. The most important thing in this paragraph is the importance of separating mandatory insurance, from optional insurance. It is crucial to get the price of insurance as low as possible to prevent a lot of unnecessary foreclosures. It’s time to remove bank greed and fraud from property insurance. It’s time to return banks to loaning money. It was time 4 years ago. « less
August 29, 2012 10:29 pm

Thank you Moderator. I am but one consumer, one data point, and hesitant to extrapolate my experience into public policy proposals. But ARMs are indeed confusing, and there is a great variety of types of ARMs. My experience is that a mortgage servicer will seek to interpret an ARM’s language to its greatest benefit. One way this is done, in my experience, is to incorrectly calculate an interest rate at a change date. I would be happy to see another error added to better address interest rate disputes, as this may well be one type of deceptive practice the industry employs.

August 30, 2012 11:46 am

Moderator, maybe the government could buy one less military plane and fund this program. The American people are not afraid that Iran or Russia are going to bomb their homes. The American people are afraid of the banks that are already here, that collapsed the economy and are taking advantage of them now, by inflating the fees and then stealing their homes with fake document by hiring a slimy attorney. They are living with fear and anxiety because their chain of title has been destroyed with MERS and the banks are killing their homes values and stable neighborhoods are turning into rental neighborhoods with run down homes deserted with expensive insurance on them to fix them up but it is not being used, just billed. This system would be a lot cheaper than a plane and would save a lot more… more »

…families from destruction. It is sad, that something as complex as this situation is being handled in such a fragmented way with little progress in 4 years. The most important advise I can ever give you for all your questions is the need to start with a flow chart of all the problems and possible solutions. The fact that this has never been done is appalling! Please have a department at your school take this project on even if nobody asks except for me. I can fill up your chart. You have to really know what the problems are in there entirety before the correct solution can even be found. Any thing else is just putting the cart before the horse. Process of elimination after viewing the entire problem will always lead to the best solution. There needs to be a second chart from the flow chart that shows which government agency is responsible for implementing the solutions. Next, these government agencies need to meet monthly by video conference and present their progress and their goals for the following month. (You know the accountability thing.) We don’t have a good system for investigating the banks is the main problem. This is what lead to your limited questions in the first place and the reason we are emailing each other. An employee insider that has experienced one of these bank investigations left an interesting blog on your site that explains their process first hand. Why is it too much to ask for the leading Democrat and the leading Republican Congressman, Cornell rep., OCC rep., CFPB rep. Fareed Zakaria (for his analytical skills) and about 10 others to meet with this flow chart monthly and solve all the problems by video conference and hold our problem solvers feet to the fire by assigning expected results? I have not even begun to tell you everything that happened to me. Your questions are too narrow to address most of the issues my case exposes that need addressing. « less
August 30, 2012 9:29 pm

Thank you! It does make sense to provide statements (and online access!) to discharged borrowers who continue to pay the mortgage. I agree that some may no longer want statements, perhaps because they are walking away. But those who filed bankruptcy in order to save thier homes should be allowed to request and receive statements and online access to properly manage the accout.

September 7, 2012 9:10 pm

UPDATE: After submitting a formal complaint through CFPB, the servicer has partially relented. The “apology” was veiled and sarcastic, I’m not surprised. They agreed to allow online access, but still refuse to provide periodic statements “to preserve certain debt collection rights”. The case