53-244.111. Prohibited acts.

In addition to the activities prohibited under other provisions of this Article, it shall be unlawful for any person in the course of any residential mortgage loan transaction:

(1) To misrepresent or conceal the material facts or make false promises likely to influence, persuade, or induce an applicant for a mortgage loan or a mortgagor to take a mortgage loan, or to pursue a course of misrepresentation through agents or otherwise.

(2) To improperly refuse to issue a satisfaction of a mortgage.

(3) To fail to account for or to deliver to any person any funds, documents, or other thing of value obtained in connection with a mortgage loan, including money provided by a borrower for a real estate appraisal or a credit report, which the mortgage lender, mortgage broker, mortgage servicer, mortgage loan originator, or transitional mortgage loan originator is not entitled to retain under the circumstances.

(4) To pay, receive, or collect in whole or in part any commission, fee, or other compensation for brokering or servicing a mortgage loan in violation of this Article, including a mortgage loan brokered or serviced by any unlicensed person other than an exempt person.

(5) To charge or collect any fee or rate of interest or to make or broker or service any mortgage loan with terms or conditions or in a manner contrary to the provisions of Chapter 24, 45, or 54 of the General Statutes.

(6) To advertise mortgage loans, including rates, margins, discounts, points, fees, commissions, or other material information, including material limitations on the loans, unless the person is able to make the mortgage loans available to a reasonable number of qualified applicants.

(7) To fail to disburse funds in accordance with a written commitment or agreement to make a mortgage loan.

(8) To engage in any transaction, practice, or course of business that is not in good faith or fair dealing or that constitutes a fraud upon any person in connection with the brokering or making or servicing of, or purchase or sale of, any mortgage loan.

(9) To fail to pay promptly when due reasonable fees to a licensed appraiser for appraisal services that are:

a. Requested from the appraiser in writing by the mortgage broker or mortgage lender or an employee of the mortgage broker or mortgage lender; and

b. Performed by the appraiser in connection with the origination or closing of a mortgage loan for a customer or the mortgage broker or mortgage lender.

(10) To broker a mortgage loan that contains a prepayment penalty if the principal amount of the loan is one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) or less or if the loan is a rate spread home loan as defined in G.S. 24-1.1F.

(11) To improperly influence or attempt to improperly influence the development, reporting, result, or review of a real estate appraisal sought in connection with a mortgage loan. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit a mortgage lender, mortgage broker, or mortgage servicer from asking the appraiser to do one or more of the following:

a. Consider additional appropriate property information.

b. Provide further detail, substantiation, or explanation for the appraiser's value conclusion.

c. Correct errors in the appraisal report.

(12) To fail to comply with the mortgage loan servicing transfer, escrow account administration, or borrower inquiry response requirements imposed by sections 6 and 10 of RESPA and regulations adopted thereunder.

(13) To broker a rate spread adjustable rate mortgage loan without disclosing to the borrower the terms and costs associated with a fixed rate loan from the same lender at the lowest annual percentage rate for which the borrower qualifies.

(14) To fail to comply with applicable State and federal laws and regulations related to mortgage lending or mortgage servicing.

(15) To engage in unfair, misleading, or deceptive advertising related to a solicitation for a mortgage loan.

(16) In connection with the brokering or making of a rate spread home loan as defined under G.S. 24-1.1F, no lender shall provide nor shall any broker receive any compensation that changes based on the terms of the loan. This subdivision shall not prohibit compensation based on the principal balance of the loan.

(17) For a mortgage servicer to fail to comply with the mortgage servicer's obligations under Article 10 of Chapter 45 of the General Statutes.

(18) For a mortgage servicer to fail to provide written notice to a borrower upon taking action to place hazard, homeowner's, or flood insurance on the mortgaged property or to place such insurance when the mortgage servicer knows or has reason to know that the insurance is in effect.

(19) For a mortgage servicer to place hazard, homeowner's, or flood insurance on a mortgaged property for an amount that exceeds either the value of the insurable improvements or the last known coverage amount of insurance.

(20) For a mortgage servicer to fail to provide to the borrower a refund of unearned premiums paid by a borrower or charged to the borrower for hazard, homeowner's, or flood insurance placed by a mortgage lender or mortgage servicer if the borrower provides reasonable proof that the borrower has obtained coverage such that the forced placement is no longer necessary and the property is insured. If the borrower provides reasonable proof within 12 months of the placement that no lapse in coverage occurred such that the forced placement was not necessary, the mortgage servicer shall refund the entire premium.

(21) For a mortgage servicer to refuse to reinstate a delinquent loan upon a tender of payment made timely under the contract which is sufficient in amount, based upon the last written statement received by the borrower, to pay all past due amounts, outstanding or overdue charges, and restore the loan to a nondelinquent status, but this reinstatement shall be available to a borrower no more than twice in any 24-month period.

(22) For a person acting as a mortgage servicer to fail to mail, at least 45 days before foreclosure is initiated, a notice addressed to the borrower at the borrower's last known address with the following information:

a. An itemization of all past due amounts causing the loan to be in default.

b. An itemization of any other charges that must be paid in order to bring the loan current.

c. A statement that the borrower may have options available other than foreclosure and that the borrower may discuss the options with the mortgage lender, the mortgage servicer, or a counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

d. The address, telephone number, and other contact information for the mortgage lender, the mortgage servicer, or the agent for either of them who is authorized to attempt to work with the borrower to avoid foreclosure.

e. The name, address, telephone number, and other contact information for one or more HUD-approved counseling agencies operating to assist borrowers in North Carolina to avoid foreclosure.

f. The address, telephone number, and other contact information for the consumer complaint section of the Office of the Commissioner of Banks.

(23) To fail to make all payments from any escrow account held for the borrower for insurance, taxes, and other charges with respect to the property in a timely manner so as to ensure that no late penalties are assessed or other negative consequences result regardless of whether the loan is delinquent, unless there are not sufficient funds in the account to cover the payments and the mortgage servicer has a reasonable basis to believe that recovery of the funds will not be possible. (2009-374, s. 2; 2013-327, s. 11.)