A defensive strategy.

Author:Hewitt, Janet Reilley

IMAGINE BATTLING POWERFUL OPPONENTS IN ALL 50 STATES AND HUNDREDS OF CITY governments. Throw in powerful forces in Washington who are forging new laws and regulations that impose serious added liabilities on the mortgage industry. On top of that, picture trying to protect against new liabilities being fashioned in the courts, including the court of public opinion.

Now, imagine the only protection you have is your compliance department.

With the rash of new state predatory lending laws ranging all over the board--with contradictory and creative new legal definitions and prohibitions--today's compliance challenge is scary. There is no iron-clad protection for lenders, even those with a deep commitment to comply with the full letter and spirit of the law.

We explore this challenging environment in this month's cover article: "The Compliance Battle," by Neil Morse. Emma Richmond, senior vice president, Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, is quoted in the article saying, "The regulatory waters are overflowing." And that's putting it mildly.

If the stakes weren't so high even for those making honest mistakes, this would be more of an academic argument. But given the risks of litigation, instead it potentially is a...

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