Category Archives: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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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Following previous guidance issued by (and in some cases withdrawn by) the OCC, CFPB, Federal Reserve, FDIC, and NCUA, the federal financial institution regulatory agencies published a joint statement on March 26, 2020, in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

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

Federal Reserve Acts to Bolster Auto Finance, Credit Card, Student Lending Industries

In an action somewhat lost amidst the unprecedented $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors announced a series of five “extensive new measures” to provide liquidity for certain sectors of the nation’s economy. One of those liquidity facilities, the reintroduced Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020: Implications for Consumer Financial Services

On Friday, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020 (CARES Act). The significant legislation directs more than $2 trillion into fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and stimulating America’s economy for the duration of the pandemic. This blog summarizes some of the provisions that are most relevant to financial institutions that make or service … Continue Reading

Congress’ Third Major Coronavirus Legislation Makes Bankruptcy Relief for Potential and Current Individual Debtors Easier

On Friday March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the third major piece of coronavirus-related legislation in the last several weeks – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). The new law contains several amendments to the Bankruptcy Code. One of these amendments increases the maximum indebtedness for a “small business debtor” … 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

Updates from 12 State Regulatory Agencies Regarding Coronavirus and Related Work from Home Issues

As regulatory agencies provide guidance regarding 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 24, 2020. California Department of Real Estate Released Frequently Asked Questions Relating to COVID-19 The California Department of Real Estate’s Frequently Asked … Continue Reading

Bankruptcy, Coronavirus (COVID-19), and How Retailers Can Brace for the Impact

The brick-and-mortar retail industry has been in a state of flux since online retailers such as Amazon started business in the mid-‘90s. Recent years have been particularly difficult for retailers: in 2018, retailers represented 5 of the 10 largest Chapter 11 bankruptcies. The pace of retail bankruptcies showed no signs of slowing in 2019, with … 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
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