Category Archives: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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What Does CA AB 3088 Mean for Mortgage Servicers?

On September 1, 2020, California passed a new law titled the “COVID-19 Small Landlord and Homeowner Relief Act of 2020.” Although the majority of the new law addresses eviction issues between landlords and tenants, it imposes notable new obligations on mortgage loan servicers as well. This two-part blog series will address those changes. Part I … Continue Reading

CDC Issues Eviction Moratorium, but Will It Survive Legal Challenge?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued a sweeping moratorium on most evictions through the end of 2020 as a means to stop the spread of COVID-19, which will go into effect on September 4, 2020. According to government estimates, the order will cover up to 40 million renters nationwide. This unprecedented exercise of … Continue Reading

No Foreclosures or Evictions on Federally Backed Mortgage Loans until 2021

Borrowers with federally backed mortgage loans facing financial difficulty can breathe a little easier today. All of the federal agencies regulating such loans have announced that they will extend the moratoriums on foreclosure and evictions for single-family properties until December 31, 2020. Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a press release on August 27, 2020 … Continue Reading

New Mortgage Licensing Requirements Come to the West

During this pandemic, both Idaho and South Dakota have been busy adding new mortgage licensing requirements. As discussed below, these new licensing requirements will materially impact mortgage lenders and servicers doing business in these states. Idaho Earlier in 2020, Idaho passed H0401, which amended the definition of “mortgage lender” to include mortgage companies that engage … Continue Reading

Update on Texas Foreclosures Given Statewide Rise in COVID-19 Cases

As we previously reported in April, Texas’s initial approach to foreclosures in light of the coronavirus was “ad hoc” and the decision whether to halt foreclosures was left to the various counties in which the sales were conducted. Since that time, the state has begun reopening but has seen a rise in the number of … Continue Reading

Oregon Passes Mandatory Forbearance Law

On June 30, 2020, Oregon joined D.C., Massachusetts, and New York in passing state-specific COVID-19 mortgage assistance programs into law. This new law further confuses the patchwork quilt of compliance issues for mortgage lenders and servicers. Oregon also became the first state to create an express cause of action allowing borrowers to enforce the state … Continue Reading

Credit Reporting During the COVID-19 Outbreak: CFPB Issues FAQs for CARES Act Requirements

The CFPB recently issued its “Consumer Reporting FAQs Related to the CARES Act and COVID-19 Pandemic,” addressing 10 credit reporting issues. While the FAQs provide some much-needed clarity for furnishers of information and credit reporting agencies, the CFPB left some significant questions unanswered. Below we breakdown highlights of the FAQs: Several of the FAQs — … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues Interim Final Rule to Enable COVID-19 Payment Deferral Options

On May 14, 2020, shortly after the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac COVID-19 payment deferral options were announced, we warned mortgage servicers about the legal risks associated with offering payment deferral programs to borrowers impacted by COVID-19. A little over a month later, on June 23, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released an … Continue Reading

New York Passes Mandatory Forbearance Law, Inviting Potential Constitutional Challenge

On June 17, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed one of the most far-reaching COVID-19 mortgage assistance state programs yet into law. Affected servicers and lenders will soon need to decide whether they should find a way to comply, or bring a constitutional challenge. The new law mandates that New York-regulated banking organizations and mortgage … Continue Reading

Flood Insurance: Busy Hurricane Season Ahead and COVID-19 Extension

June 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, … Continue Reading

Lender Liability and False Claims Act Issues Under the Paycheck Protection Program

Among the most significant aspects of the CARES Act is the $660 billion small business forgivable loan program known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and it was perhaps inevitable that the administration of the program would be followed by a wave of related litigation. Already, the PPP application process has generated lawsuits over the … Continue Reading

CFPB Issues No-Action Letter Template for an Online Loss Mitigation Platform

On May 22, 2020, the CFPB issued a No-Action Letter (NAL) Template to a software company utilizing an internet-based platform for submission and processing of loss mitigation applications. Mortgage servicers may use the NAL Template to apply for NALs if they wish to implement the web-based loss mitigation platform. The CFPB also issued a statement … Continue Reading

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

Can Mortgage Servicers Legally Offer the GSEs’ COVID-19 Payment Deferral Options?

On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled new retention workout options that were jointly developed and “specifically designed to help borrowers impacted by a hardship related to COVID-19 return their mortgage to a current status.” The government-sponsored enterprises’ (GSEs) highly anticipated new COVID-19 payment deferral will allow servicers to defer up … Continue Reading

Southern District of Texas Enters Temporary Restraining Order Extending PPP Loan Benefits to Debtor in Bankruptcy

In a potentially ground-breaking decision, Judge David R. Jones of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas temporarily enjoined the Small Business Administration (SBA) from denying a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to Hidalgo County Emergency Service Foundation due solely to its status as a Chapter 11 debtor in bankruptcy. While … 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

Having Trouble with CARES Act Forbearances in Ch. 13 Bankruptcy? You’re Not Alone!

Guest Author: Karlene A. Archer of Karlene A. Archer Law P.L.L.C. Consumers that have pending Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases undoubtedly suffered from financial hardship prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of those consumers, the pandemic may have exacerbated that hardship. The CARES Act’s mortgage forbearance provisions allow some breathing room for consumers that anticipate … 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

Federal Financial Agencies Announce Flexibility in Enforcing Certain Mortgage Servicing Rules in Response to COVID-19

On Friday, April 3, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the State Banking Regulators released a joint statement announcing increased flexibility in the agencies’ regulation … Continue Reading

Foreclosure in the Times of COVID-19: Some Texas Counties Halt Foreclosures for April Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Many of Texas’ largest counties have suspended foreclosures for the month of April amid coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, including the state’s two largest counties, Harris and Dallas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, however, has yet to issue an executive order or make a general proclamation cancelling all foreclosures statewide. Likewise, the Texas Supreme Court has also declined … Continue Reading

CFPB Offers Flexibility for Responding to Credit Reporting Disputes During COVID-19 Pandemic — But Private Litigants May Not

The CFPB’s April 1, 2020, statement regarding credit reporting for loans affected by COVID-19 announced a “flexible supervisory and enforcement approach during this pandemic.” In addition to guidance regarding furnishing obligations while consumers are impacted by COVID-19, the bureau specifically announced relaxed enforcement standards for companies struggling to respond to consumer credit disputes within the … 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
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