Category Archives: Banking

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Joint Statement Issued by Federal Banking Regulators to Encourage (Yes, Encourage) Responsible Small-Dollar Lending in Response to COVID-19

Following previous guidance issued by (and in some cases withdrawn by) the OCC, CFPB, Federal Reserve, FDIC, and NCUA, the federal financial institution regulatory agencies published a joint statement on March 26, 2020, in response to COVID-19 “to specifically encourage financial institutions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to both consumers and small businesses.” The statement … Continue Reading

Invested in a Foreign Enterprise? Don’t Miss the May 29 Mandatory Filing Deadline for the BEA Benchmark Survey

As financial services companies struggle to adapt to meet the unprecedented challenges imposed upon them by the COVID-19 outbreak, they also must not lose sight of other pre-existing federal mandates, such as the upcoming benchmark survey requirement imposed upon all businesses with ownership interests in foreign enterprises. The consequences of a financial service company failing … Continue Reading

FHFA Announces COVID-19 Forbearance Relief for Mortgage Servicers

In 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 … Continue Reading

Ginnie Mae Announces PTAP Assistance for Issuers

In an All Participants Memo dated April 10, 2020 (APM 20-03), Ginnie Mae announced that it revised and expanded its issuer assistance programs in Chapter 34 of the Mortgage Backed Securities Guide (MBS Guide) to include a Pass-Through Assistance Program (PTAP) in response to the COVID-19 national emergency declaration. The program announced in APM 20-03 … Continue Reading

Credit Reporting Requirements and COVID-19 – CFPB and FHA Weigh In

We’ve been tracking regulatory developments related to credit reporting for loans where borrowers have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. On April 1, the CFPB issued a statement about credit reporting for loans affected by COVID-19. The statement announces the CFPB’s “flexible supervisory and enforcement approach during this pandemic” and seeks to reassure credit reporting … Continue Reading

Mortgage Servicers: Keep an Eye on the CFPB’s Advice to Borrowers Impacted by COVID-19

On March 31, 2020, the CFPB posted a “Guide to coronavirus mortgage relief options,” which provides instruction to mortgage loan borrowers who may be impacted by COVID-19 on when and how to go about obtaining assistance. While we have previously discussed compliance challenges that are likely to arise related to verbal loss mitigation applications and … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Implements Aggressive Liquidity Campaign as Growing Corporate Debt Threatens to Exacerbate COVID-19 Economic Toll

In response to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Congress recently approved a $2 trillion stimulus package in an attempt to offset the potentially disastrous economic effects of COVID-19. Meanwhile, central banks are implementing increasingly drastic measures aimed at preserving the availability of capital during the looming recession, which appears increasingly imminent as the global economy remains … Continue Reading

CFPB Eases Reporting Requirements

On March 26, the CFPB announced an easing of certain reporting requirements in order to allow financial services companies to focus on responding to consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFPB postponed several different reporting requirements relating to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), credit cards, and prepaid accounts. In an unusual step for the … Continue Reading

Federal Regulatory Agencies Offer Interagency Statement Regarding COVID-19-Related Loan Modifications and Status Reporting

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors issued an Interagency Statement on March 22 urging regulated financial institutions to work with borrowers affected … Continue Reading

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Announce Relief Plan for Multifamily Borrowers

On Tuesday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in coordination with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, announced relief plans to discourage multifamily landlords from evicting renters from properties as a result of non-payment. In exchange, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are allowing multifamily landlords (whose loans are financed by Freddie or Fannie) to defer loan payments … Continue Reading

What Will COVID-19 Relief Look Like and How Will It Affect Financial Services Companies?

Both parties have recognized the need for significant and immediate relief to assist consumers and small businesses affected by COVID-19. On March 18, 2020, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, released plans for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this point, the plans are merely a high-level list of … Continue Reading

Four Additional States Issue New Guidance Relating to Working from Home; Massachusetts and New York Supplement Previous Guidance

As we continue to follow the trend of regulatory agencies providing guidance allow working from home for financial services professionals while the COVID-19 outbreak progresses, we summarized the additional guidance issued in the recent past and current as of March 19, 2020. Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Real Estate Issued an Advisory on … Continue Reading

Credit Reporting During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Fannie Mae and the VA Offer New Guidance

We previously blogged about the push among lawmakers and regulators to encourage or force financial institutions to cease providing adverse credit reporting on consumer loans where the delinquency or default may be related to the outbreak of COVID-19. Given the rapidly changing environment, it is not surprising that there have been some material changes in … Continue Reading

HUD, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac Suspend Foreclosures and Evictions for 60 Days

During a COVID-19 press briefing at the White House on March 18, 2020, President Donald Trump announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will temporarily suspend “all foreclosures and evictions.” The president made this announcement to provide “immediate relief” to homeowners and renters struggling to make rent and mortgage payments. The president’s … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Ripple Effects Are Coming – Lenders Must Get Ready

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting businesses large and small. Now is the time for lenders to prepare for its effect on business borrowers. Industries Already in Distress In February, a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report identified five industry sectors likely to see the greatest restructuring activity in 2020: Energy Retail Dining and food service Auto suppliers Specialty … Continue Reading

CFPB’s New Policy on Abusive Practices Promises a “Common Sense” Approach to Enforcement

Last week, the CFPB released a long-anticipated policy statement clarifying the agency’s enforcement standard for “abusive acts or practices.” According to an agency press release, the CFPB’s new standard offers a “common-sense” approach that director Kathleen Kraninger says will “provide[] a solid framework to prevent consumer harm while promoting the clarity needed to foster consumer … Continue Reading

Is the Bank Open? Federal Agencies Clarify Regulatory Requirements for Banking Hemp

On December 3, several federal agencies issued guidance (Guidance) that, by its terms, “provide[s] clarity” regarding “the regulatory requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) for banks providing services to hemp-related businesses.” Hemp proponents hope this additional clarity will encourage hesitant financial institutions to begin serving the hemp industry. The key takeaway from the Guidance … Continue Reading

HUD and DOJ Release Memorandum on the Application and Enforcement of FHA Violations Involving the False Claims Act

In an effort to provide clarity and certainty to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) approved lenders, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) jointly issued a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on October 28, 2019, describing broad guidelines about how HUD and DOJ will coordinate using the False … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Final HMDA Rule Offering Relief to Smaller Institutions and Credit Unions

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its long-awaited final rule amending the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) on Thursday, October 10. These changes promise to bring some measure of relief to smaller financial institutions and credit unions. Prior to this new rule, the CFPB did not require the collection and reporting of HMDA data … Continue Reading

Regulators Release Updated Examination Procedures for Acceptance of Private Flood Insurance

The 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 … Continue Reading

National Credit Union Administration Encourages Banking Hemp Businesses — With Some Caveats

In December 2018, Congress gave the hemp industry a significant boost by passing the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the cultivation and sale of hemp (i.e., cannabis with a THC content of less than .3%).  The 2018 Farm Bill tasked the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with formulating the regulations to govern this burgeoning … Continue Reading

HUD Proposed Rule Demands More Disparate and More Impact to Establish Disparate Impact Liability

The 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 … Continue Reading

Big Picture Loans Lands Big Win for Tribal Lenders in Sovereign Immunity Case

In a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit, Big Picture Loans, LLC, an online lender owned and operated by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe (“Tribe”), and Ascension Technologies, LLC, the Tribe’s management and consultant company successfully established that they are each arms of the Tribe … Continue Reading

Gambling on a DOJ Enforcement Action: State of the Wire Act

Banks and payment processors involved with acceptance or processing of funds relating to gambling or state lottery systems can breathe a sigh of relief—at least for now—based upon a New Hampshire district court judge’s recent interpretation of the Wire Act, which rejected a much broader Department of Justice (DOJ) position that initially sent shockwaves throughout … Continue Reading
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