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Top Story Compliance Related

03/27/2020

CFPB offers flexibility to financial companies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced that it is providing needed flexibility to enable financial companies to work with customers in need as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau is postponing some data collections from industry on Bureau-related rules to allow companies to focus on responding to consumers in need and making changes to its supervisory activities to account for operational challenges at regulated entities. The Bureau will not expect quarterly information reporting by certain mortgage lenders as required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and Regulation C. The Bureau also will not expect the reporting of certain information related to credit card and prepaid accounts under the Truth in Lending Act, Regulation Z, and Regulation E.

The Bureau is also postponing data collections for:

  • a survey of financial institutions that seeks information on the cost of compliance in connection with pending rulemaking on Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act; and
  • a survey of firms providing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to consumers for the purposes of implementing Section 307 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

03/27/2020

FDIC issues COVID-19-related FILs

The FDIC issued four COVID-19-related Financial Institution Letters yesterday.

  • FIL-25-2020: Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response Efforts
  • FIL-26-2020: Statement encouraging responsible small dollar lending to consumers and small businesses in response to COVID-19
  • FIL-27-2020: Temporary alternative procedures for sending supervision-related mail and email to FDIC
  • FIL-28-2020: 30 day grace period for First Quarter Call Report

03/27/2020

Regulators encourage making small-dollar loans in response to COVID-19

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve, CFPB, FDIC, NCUA, and the OCC issued a joint statement encouraging banks, savings associations and credit unions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to consumers and small businesses in response to COVID-19. The statement of the agencies recognizes that responsible small-dollar loans can play an important role in meeting customers' credit needs because of temporary cash-flow imbalances, unexpected expenses, or income disruptions during periods of economic stress or disaster recoveries. Such loans can be offered through a variety of structures including open-end lines of credit, closed-end installment loans, or appropriately structured single payment loans.

In addition to yesterday's statement, the agencies are working on future guidance and lending principles for responsible small-dollar loans to facilitate the ability of banks, credit unions, and saving associations to more effectively meet the ongoing credit needs of their customers, members, and communities.

03/27/2020

OFAC designates networks of officials and companies in Iraq and Iran

The Treasury Department has announced that OFAC has designated 20 Iran- and Iraq-based front companies, senior officials, and business associates that provide support to or act for or on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) in addition to transferring lethal aid to Iranian-backed terrorist militias in Iraq such as Kata’ib Hizballah and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq. For identification information, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

03/27/2020

Bureau extends comment period on FDCPA proposal

On March 3, 2020, the CFPB published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requesting comment on a proposal to amend Regulation F, which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to require debt collector to make certain disclosures when collecting time-barred debts (see our earlier Top Story). The comment period was set to close on May 4, 2020. The Bureau has published a notice in the March 27, 2020, Federal Register extending the comment period through June 5, 2020.

03/26/2020

IRA and HSA/MSA deadlines extended to July 15

The IRS has posted an FAQ on Filing and Payment Deadlines that reflects revised deadlines in accordance with IRS Notice 2020-18. The answers to questions 17 and 21 indicate that the deadline for contributing money to an IRA, Health Savings Account (HSA) or Archer Medical Savings Account (MSA) for tax year 2019 follows the deadline for filing returns for 2019, which was postponed to July 15.

03/26/2020

SEC extends exemptions due to COVID-19

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced yesterday that it is extending the filing periods covered by its previously enacted conditional reporting relief for certain public company filing obligations under the federal securities laws, and that it is also extending regulatory relief previously provided to funds and investment advisers whose operations may be affected by COVID-19. In addition, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance issued its current views regarding disclosure considerations and other securities law matters related to COVID-19.

03/26/2020

New IRS People First Initiative and COVID-19 tax adjustments

The IRS has announced a new IRS People First Initiative to help people facing the challenges of COVID-19 issues a sweeping series of steps to assist taxpayers by providing relief on a variety of issues ranging from easing payment guidelines to postponing compliance actions. These new changes include issues ranging from postponing certain payments related to Installment Agreements and Offers in Compromise to collection and limiting certain enforcement actions. The IRS will be temporarily modifying the following activities as soon as possible; the projected start date will be April 1 and the effort will initially run through July 15. During this period, to the maximum extent possible, the IRS will avoid in-person contacts. However, the IRS will continue to take steps where necessary to protect all applicable statutes of limitations.

03/26/2020

Agencies to host webinar on working with COVID-19-affected customers

The FDIC has issued FIL-24-2020 announcing it will jointly host with the Federal Reserve, OCC, NCUA and CFPB a 45-minute webinar for bankers to raise awareness of the Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting for Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus. The webinar is scheduled for Friday, March 27, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

03/26/2020

$40M in HUD grants to fight housing discrimination

HUD has awarded $40 million to fair housing organizations working to confront violations of the Fair Housing Act and help end housing discrimination. The grants are being awarded through HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) and the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) to help people who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination and to educate the public and housing providers on fair housing laws.

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