Category Archives: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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What Does CA AB 3088 Mean for Mortgage Servicers? PART II

Last year, our blog, What Does CA AB 3088 Mean for Mortgage Servicers?, examined some new and notable obligations California imposes on mortgage servicers, including requirements to provide forbearance denial notices. In that blog, we promised the publication of a Part II that further expanded upon CA AB 3088. In this Part II, we discuss … Continue Reading

Four Significant Changes to Consumer Bankruptcy Included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA 2021). Similar to the March 2020 CARES Act, several temporary changes to the Bankruptcy Code are included in Title X of the CAA 2021. Below, we examine four of the CAA 2021’s most significant changes to consumer bankruptcy laws. These changes are temporary … Continue Reading

New York Enacts a Moratorium on COVID-19-Related Residential Evictions and Foreclosures

On December 28, 2020, New York passed a new law entitled the “COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020.” The act places a moratorium on COVID-19-related residential real property mortgage foreclosure actions and residential eviction proceedings until May 1, 2021, where a tenant or homeowner has submitted a “hardship declaration” to the foreclosing … Continue Reading

When Do CARES Act Forbearance Rights and Foreclosure Moratoriums End?

The March 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) contains a number of provisions that help borrowers with federally backed mortgage loans. Among these are forbearance protections for borrowers with single-family loans and multifamily loans. However, only one of the forbearance provisions has a clearly defined period when the rights are available. As … Continue Reading

COVID Relief Bill Includes $82 Billion for Education: Significant Financial Aid Policy Alterations Included in Bill

Whether it was in a third grade classroom, on a community college campus, or in the most advanced university research lab, it is fair to say the 2020 fall semester looked different than any we have seen before. As the country rushed to adapt to the pandemic in mid-March, the nation’s education enterprise scrambled to … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Mortgage Servicing Trends Report: 2020 Year-End Review

Oh what a year it has been in the mortgage servicing world! In 2020, our COVID-19 Compliance Roundtable met weekly to discuss emerging compliance issues under the CARES Act, federal agency guidance, state laws and orders, and the many operational hurdles regarding residential mortgage loans that servicers are facing. We’ve summarized the key trends and … Continue Reading

GSE Deferral Programs Continue to Pose Risk for Mortgage Servicers

In mid May 2020, we highlighted that the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSEs) COVID-19 payment deferral programs put mortgage servicers at risk of violating some of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Mortgage Servicing Rules in Regulation X. When originally introduced, the GSEs’ COVID-19 payment deferral programs seemed to require servicers to offer a loss … Continue Reading

In the Strangest Year Ever, We’re Very Thankful and Wish You a Happy Thanksgiving

As everyone steps away from their (home) office to celebrate Thanksgiving, we wanted to count our blessings as we review this truly remarkable and unusual year. In addition to frontline healthcare workers, good WI-FI, food delivery services, and finally finding a mask that is comfortable, we are also thankful for the following: 1. The CARES … Continue Reading

Pre-Pandemic Chapter 13 Defaults Received CARES Act Modification Protection in the Middle District of Alabama

In a notable decision interpreting the March 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama held that Chapter 13 debtors behind on their payments before March 2020 may seek modification of their plan if they suffered from COVID-19 related financial distress. In In re Fowler, … Continue Reading

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
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