It’s critical to let lawyers review proposed industry rules when comments are sought, but don’t rely on them to handle it alone because they don’t know the business.

That was the advice from the “How to Win Friends and (Legally) Influence Government” panel at Source Media’s Mortgage Servicing conference in Dallas on Thursday.

As an example, Katherine Porter, professor of law at the University of California Irvine and a former regulation advisor for consumer protection, cited the five-day response rule that requires servicers to respond to customers within five days on certain interactions.

She explained the idea for the five-day requirement came from legal advisors and regulators. However, the rule is arbitrary.

“Consumers don’t care if you get back to them in five days or seven days, but as the servicer, making that deadline can be almost impossible,” Porter said.

The next thing that happens, though, is when only counsel reviews the proposed rule, they don’t necessarily know the burden it places.

“And then it’s in the rules, and adopted by the National Mortgage Settlement, and then it goes into (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) rules,” she said, and it’s set in stone.

“Bottom line: pair your lawyers and create teams to review proposed regulations, don’t just let your legal team do that work,” she said.