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Heather Wright helps financial institutions identify operational risks and determine business solutions to mitigate those risks. She provides regulatory and compliance advice and manages litigation for financial institutions regarding compliance with, and alleged violations of, security agreements and other contracts as well as lending and consumer finance statutes and regulations -- particularly in matters involving property insurance and flood insurance.

Flood Insurance: Busy Hurricane Season Ahead and COVID-19 ExtensionJune 1 marked the start of hurricane season, and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Atlantic hurricane season will be a busy one. NOAA predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season. Since June 1,

FHFA Announces COVID-19 Forbearance Relief for Mortgage ServicersIn a statement released on April 21, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that mortgage servicers would only be required to advance four months of missed payments for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owned loans on CARES Act forbearance plans. After that four-month period, FHFA explained the servicers would be under “no further

GSEs Prepare for Losing LIBORWith new guidance and model documents issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage industry is several steps closer to operating without LIBOR.

The industry has been grappling with the eventual demise of LIBOR since 2017. The key body developing a coordinated approach has been the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC). The GSEs have

Regulators Release Updated Examination Procedures for Acceptance of Private Flood InsuranceThe final rule promulgated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (Federal Reserve), the Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) went into effect on July 1, 2019, to implement the portion of the Biggert-Waters Flood

HUD Proposed Rule Demands More Disparate and More Impact to Establish Disparate Impact LiabilityThe United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a sweeping proposed rule on August 1 seeking to amend HUD’s interpretation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard. According to HUD, the proposed rule is designed to better reflect the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community

Private Flood Insurance Mandatory Acceptance Begins July 1, 2019In February 2019, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the interagency regulators) issued a final rule implementing the portion of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act mandating acceptance of

United States Senate to Consider Legislation Expanding Fair Housing Protection to LGBTQ CommunityA bipartisan measure was introduced in the United States Senate in late April to expand fair housing protections to LGBTQ persons. The Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019, introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Angus King (I-ME), and Tim Kaine (D-VA), would expressly include “sexual orientation and gender identity” as characteristics protected by

HUD Charges Facebook with Violating the Fair Housing Act over Targeted AdsThe United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced charges against social media company Facebook for violating the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601-3619 and 3631). The charges derive from Facebook enabling housing advertisers to target Facebook users based on protected class status: race, nationality, religion, color, familial status, sex, and disability.

Fifty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to Fair Housing, both through the support of private enforcement and through its own public enforcement. HUD recently announced that 80 non-profit organizations committed to fair housing will receive

FHA Expands Program to Accelerate Financing of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Multifamily Housing ProjectsThe mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is, in part, to bolster the economy by strengthening the housing market, protecting consumers, and working to meet the needs for quality affordable rental homes. To further this mission, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) launched a pilot program in 2012 to streamline mortgage