View all text of Part C [§ 5531 - § 5538]

§ 5538. Mortgage loans; rulemaking procedures; enforcement
(a)
(1) The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection shall have authority to prescribe rules with respect to mortgage loans in accordance with section 553 of title 5. Such rulemaking shall relate to unfair or deceptive acts or practices regarding mortgage loans, which may include unfair or deceptive acts or practices involving loan modification and foreclosure rescue services. Any violation of a rule prescribed under this paragraph shall be treated as a violation of a rule prohibiting unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices under the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 and a violation of a rule under section 18 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a) regarding unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
(2) The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection shall enforce the rules issued under paragraph (1) in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction, powers, and duties, as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 were incorporated into and made part of this subsection.
(3) Subject to subtitle B of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 [12 U.S.C. 5511 et seq.], the Federal Trade Commission shall enforce the rules issued under paragraph (1), in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction, as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act [15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.] were incorporated into and made part of this section.
(b)
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (6), in any case in which the attorney general of a State has reason to believe that an interest of the residents of the State has been or is threatened or adversely affected by the engagement of any person subject to a rule prescribed under subsection (a) in practices that violate such rule, the State, as parens patriae, may bring a civil action on behalf of its residents in an appropriate district court of the United States or other court of competent jurisdiction—
(A) to enjoin that practice;
(B) to enforce compliance with the rule;
(C) to obtain damages, restitution, or other compensation on behalf of the residents of the State; or
(D) to obtain penalties and relief provided under the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, the Federal Trade Commission Act [15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.], and such other relief as the court deems appropriate.
(2) The State shall serve written notice to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection or the Commission, as appropriate 1
1 So in original. Probably should be followed by a comma.
of any civil action under paragraph (1) at least 60 days prior to initiating such civil action. The notice shall include a copy of the complaint to be filed to initiate such civil action, except that if it is not feasible for the State to provide such prior notice, the State shall provide notice immediately upon instituting such civil action.
(3) Upon receiving the notice required by paragraph (2), and subject to subtitle B of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 [12 U.S.C. 5511 et seq.], the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection or the Commission, as appropriate 1 may intervene in such civil action and upon intervening—
(A) be heard on all matters arising in such civil action;
(B) remove the action to the appropriate United States district court; and
(C) file petitions for appeal of a decision in such civil action.
(4) Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the attorney general of a State from exercising the powers conferred on the attorney general by the laws of such State to conduct investigations or to administer oaths or affirmations or to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of documentary and other evidence. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the attorney general of a State, or other authorized State officer, from proceeding in State or Federal court on the basis of an alleged violation of any civil or criminal statute of that State.
(5) In a civil action brought under paragraph (1)—
(A) the venue shall be a judicial district in which the defendant is found, is an inhabitant, or transacts business or wherever venue is proper under section 1391 of title 28; and
(B) process may be served without regard to the territorial limits of the district or of the State in which the civil action is instituted.
(6)
(7) If the attorney general of a State prevails in any civil action under paragraph (1), the State can recover reasonable costs and attorney fees from the lender or related party.
(Pub. L. 111–8, div. D, title VI, § 626(a), (b), Mar. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 678; Pub. L. 111–24, title V, § 511(a), May 22, 2009, 123 Stat. 1763; Pub. L. 111–203, title X, § 1097, July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 2102.)