209 CMR 54.61 - Ratings

(1) Ratings in General.
(a) In assigning a rating, the Commissioner evaluates a mortgage lender's performance under the applicable performance criteria in 209 CMR 54.00, in accordance with 209 CMR 54.21, and 54.25, which provides for adjustments on the basis of evidence of discriminatory or other illegal credit practices.
(b) A mortgage lender's performance need not fit each aspect of a particular rating profile in order to receive that rating, and exceptionally strong performance with respect to some aspects may compensate for weak performance in others. The mortgage lender's overall performance, however, must be consistent with safe and sound lending practices and generally with the appropriate rating profile as follows.
(2) Mortgage Lenders Evaluated under the Lending and Service Tests.
(a) Lending Performance Rating. The Commissioner assigns each mortgage lender's lending performance one of the five following ratings.
1. Outstanding. The Commissioner rates a mortgage lender's performance "outstanding" if, in general, it demonstrates:
a. An excellent geographic distribution of loans in the Commonwealth;
b. An excellent distribution of loans among individuals of different income levels, given the product lines offered by the mortgage lender;
c. An excellent record of serving the mortgage credit needs of highly economically disadvantaged areas in the Commonwealth and low-income individuals, including loans to assist existing low- and moderate-income residents to be able to acquire or remain in affordable housing in their neighborhoods at rates and terms that are reasonable considering the mortgage lender's history with similarly situated borrowers, consistent with safe and sound operations;
d. Extensive use of innovative or flexible lending practices in a safe and sound manner to address the mortgage credit needs of low- and moderate-income individuals or geographies, including loans and other products to assist delinquent home mortgage borrowers to be able to remain in their homes;
e. Mortgage products demonstrate an excellent suitability for low- and moderate-income individuals;
f. It plays a leadership role in working with delinquent mortgage loan borrowers to facilitate a successful resolution of the delinquency, including a substantial number of loan modifications in a timely manner and which are effective in preventing subsequent defaults or foreclosures;
g. There is no evidence of loans that show an undue concentration and a systematic pattern of lending, including early payment defaults, resulting in the loss of affordable housing units; and
h. An excellent record relative to fair lending policies and practices.
2. High Satisfactory. The Commissioner rates a mortgage lender's performance "high satisfactory" if, in general, it demonstrates:
a. A good geographic distribution of loans in the Commonwealth;
b. A good distribution of loans among individuals of different income levels given the product lines offered by the mortgage lender;
c. A good record of serving the mortgage credit needs of highly economically disadvantaged areas in the Commonwealth and low-income individuals, including loans to assist existing low- and moderate-income residents to be able to acquire or remain in affordable housing in their neighborhoods at rates and terms that are reasonable considering the mortgage lender's history with similarly situated borrowers consistent with safe and sound operations;
d. Use of innovative or flexible lending practices in a safe and sound manner to address the mortgage credit needs of low- and moderate-income individuals or geographies, including loans and other products to assist delinquent home mortgage borrowers to be able to remain in their homes;
e. Mortgage products demonstrate a good suitability for low- and moderate-income individuals;
f. Its efforts are substantial in working with delinquent mortgage loan borrowers to facilitate a successful resolution of the delinquency, including frequent and swift loan modifications which are effective in preventing subsequent defaults or foreclosures;
g. There is no evidence of loans that show an undue concentration and a systematic pattern of lending, including early payment defaults, resulting in the loss of affordable housing units; and
h. A good record relative to fair lending policies and practices.
3. Satisfactory. The Commissioner rates a mortgage lender's performance "satisfactory" if, in general, it demonstrates:
a. An adequate geographic distribution of loans in the Commonwealth;
b. An adequate distribution of loans among individuals of different income levels, given the product lines offered by the mortgage lender;
c. An adequate record of serving the mortgage credit needs of highly economically disadvantaged areas in the Commonwealth and low-income individuals, including loans to assist existing low- and moderate-income residents to be able to acquire or remain in affordable housing in their neighborhoods at rates and terms that are reasonable considering the mortgage lender's history with similarly situated borrowers consistent with safe and sound operations;
d. Limited use of innovative or flexible lending practices in a safe and sound manner to address the mortgage credit needs of low- and moderate-income individuals or geographies, including loans and other products to assist delinquent home mortgage borrowers to be able to remain in their homes;
e. Mortgage products demonstrate an adequate suitability for low- and moderate-income individuals;
f. Its efforts are adequate in working with delinquent mortgage loan borrowers to facilitate a successful resolution of the delinquency, including an adequate number of loan modifications completed in a prompt manner and which are effective in preventing subsequent defaults or foreclosures;
g. There is no evidence of loans that show an undue concentration and a systematic pattern of lending, including early payment defaults, resulting in the loss of affordable housing units; and
h. An adequate record relative to fair lending policies and practices.
4. Needs to Improve. The Commissioner rates a mortgage lender's performance "needs to improve" if, in general, it demonstrates:
a. A poor geographic distribution of loans, particularly to low- and moderate-income geographies, in the Commonwealth;
b. A poor distribution of loans among individuals of different income levels, given the product lines offered by the mortgage lender;
c. A poor record of serving the mortgage credit needs of highly economically disadvantaged areas in the Commonwealth and low-income individuals, including loans to assist existing low- and moderate-income residents to be able to acquire or remain in affordable housing in their neighborhoods at rates and terms that are reasonable considering the mortgage lender's history with similarly situated borrowers consistent with safe and sound operations;
d. Little use of innovative or flexible lending practices in a safe and sound manner to address the mortgage credit needs of low- and moderate-income individuals or geographies, including loans and other products to assist delinquent home mortgage borrowers to be able to remain in their homes;
e. Mortgage products demonstrate a poor suitability for low- and moderate-income individuals;
f. Its efforts are poor in working with delinquent mortgage loan borrowers to facilitate a successful resolution of the delinquency, including slow responses to requests for modification with few loan modifications completed or for which modifications are not effective in preventing subsequent defaults or foreclosures;
g. There is possible evidence of loans that show an undue concentration and a systematic pattern of lending, including early payment defaults, resulting in the loss of affordable housing units; and
h. A poor record relative to fair lending policies and practices.
5. Substantial Noncompliance. The Commissioner rates a mortgage lender's performance as being in "substantial noncompliance" if, in general, it demonstrates:
a. A very poor geographic distribution of loans, particularly to low- and moderate-income geographies, in the Commonwealth;
b. A very poor distribution of loans among individuals of different income levels given the product lines offered by the mortgage lender;
c. A very poor record of serving the mortgage credit needs of highly economically disadvantaged areas in the Commonwealth and low-income individuals, including loans to assist existing low- and moderate-income residents to be able to acquire or remain in affordable housing in their neighborhoods, at rates and terms that are reasonable considering the mortgage lender's history with similarly situated borrowers consistent with safe and sound operations;
d. No use of innovative or flexible lending practices in a safe and sound manner to address the mortgage credit needs of low- and moderate-income individuals or geographies, including loans and other products to assist delinquent home mortgage borrowers to be able to remain in their homes;
e. Mortgage products are unsuitable for low- and moderate-income individuals;
f. It fails to work with delinquent mortgage loan borrowers to facilitate a successful resolution of the delinquency, including no response to requests for loan modifications or modifications which are ineffective in preventing subsequent defaults or foreclosures;
g. Origination of loans that show an undue concentration and a systematic pattern of lending, including early payment defaults, resulting in the loss of affordable housing units; and
h. A very poor record relative to fair lending policies and practices.
(b) Service Performance Rating. The Commissioner assigns each mortgage lender's service performance one of the five following ratings.
1. Outstanding. The Commissioner rates a mortgage lender's service performance "outstanding" if, in general, the mortgage lender demonstrates:
a. It is a leader in providing community development services;
b. Its service delivery systems are readily accessible to geographies and individuals of different income levels in the Commonwealth;
c. To the extent changes have been made, its record of opening and closing branches has improved the accessibility of its delivery systems, particularly in low- and moderate-income geographies or to low- and moderate-income individuals; and
d. Its services (including, where appropriate, business hours) are tailored to the convenience and needs of the Commonwealth, particularly low- and moderate-income geographies or low- and moderate-income individuals.
2. High Satisfactory. The Commissioner rates a mortgage lender's service performance "high satisfactory" if, in general, the mortgage lender demonstrates:
a. It provides a relatively high level of community development services;
b. Its service delivery systems are accessible to geographies and individuals of different income levels in the Commonwealth;
c. To the extent changes have been made, its record of opening and closing branches has not adversely affected the accessibility of its delivery systems, particularly in low- and moderate-income geographies and to low- and moderate-income individuals; and
d. Its services (including, where appropriate, business hours) do not vary in a way that inconveniences geographies or individuals, particularly low- and moderate-income geographies and low- and moderate-income individuals.
3. Satisfactory. The Commissioner rates a mortgage lender's service performance "satisfactory" if, in general, the mortgage lender demonstrates:
a. It provides an adequate level of community development services;
b. Its service delivery systems are reasonably accessible to geographies and individuals of different income levels in the Commonwealth;
c. To the extent changes have been made, its record of opening and closing branches has generally not adversely affected the accessibility of its delivery systems, particularly in low- and moderate-income geographies and to low- and moderate-income individuals; and
d. Its services (including, where appropriate, business hours) do not vary in a way that inconveniences geographies or individuals, particularly low- and moderate-income geographies and low- and moderate-income individuals.
4. Needs to Improve. The Commissioner rates a mortgage lender's service performance "needs to improve" if, in general, the mortgage lender demonstrates:
a. It provides a limited level of community development services;
b. Its service delivery systems are unreasonably inaccessible to portions of the Commonwealth, particularly to low- and moderate-income geographies or to low-and moderate-income individuals;
c. To the extent changes have been made, its record of opening and closing branches has adversely affected the accessibility of its delivery systems, particularly in low-and moderate-income geographies or to low- and moderate- income individuals; and
d. Its services (including, where appropriate, business hours) vary in a way that inconveniences geographies or individuals, particularly low- and moderate-income geographies or low- and moderate-income individuals.
5. Substantial Noncompliance. The Commissioner rates a mortgage lender's service performance as being in "substantial noncompliance" if, in general, the mortgage lender demonstrates:
a. It provides few, if any, community development services;
b. Its service delivery systems are unreasonably inaccessible to significant portions of the Commonwealth, particularly to low- and moderate-income geographies or to low- and moderate-income individuals;
c. To the extent changes have been made, its record of opening and closing branches has significantly adversely affected the accessibility of its delivery systems, particularly in low- and moderate-income geographies or to low- and moderate-income individuals; and
d. Its services (including, where appropriate, business hours) vary in a way that significantly inconveniences geographies or individuals, particularly low- and moderate-income geographies or low- and moderate-income individuals.
(c) Other Eligible Criteria for a High Satisfactory or an Outstanding Rating. A mortgage lender that achieves at least a "satisfactory" rating under both the lending and service tests may warrant consideration for an overall rating of "high satisfactory" or "outstanding". In assessing whether a mortgage lender's performance is "high satisfactory" or "outstanding", the Commissioner will also consider the mortgage lender's performance in making qualified investments and community development loans to the extent authorized under law.

Notes

209 CMR 54.61
Amended by Mass Register Issue 1318, eff. 7/29/2016.

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