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05/22/2020

Zimbabwe sanctions regs amended

OFAC has amended the Zimbabwe Sanctions Regulations at 31 CFR 541 to remove a general license that authorizes all transactions involving Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe and Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe as a result of these entities being removed from OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.

05/22/2020

SEC amends financial disclosure rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it has voted to adopt amendments to its rules and forms to improve for investors the financial information about acquired or disposed businesses, facilitate more timely access to capital, and reduce the complexity and costs to prepare the disclosure. The amendments will update Commission rules which have not been comprehensively addressed since their adoption, some of them over 30 years ago.

The final rules, which affect SEC rules at 17 CFR parts 210, 230, 239, 240, 249, 270, and 274, will be effective January 1, 2021. Compliance will be required beginning with each registrant's fiscal year beginning on or after that date.

05/22/2020

Labor Department approves electronic disclosures of pension plans

The Employment Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor has approved and submitted for Federal Register publication on May 27, a final rule adopting a new, additional safe harbor for employee benefit plan administrators to use electronic media, as a default, to furnish information to participants and beneficiaries of plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The rule allows plan administrators who satisfy specified conditions to provide participants and beneficiaries with a notice that certain disclosures will be made available on a website, or to furnish disclosures via email.

Individuals who prefer to receive disclosures on paper can request paper copies of disclosures and opt out of electronic delivery entirely. The rule will become effective July 27, 2020, 61 days after publication.

05/22/2020

NCUA Board approves two measures

The National Credit Union Administration Board met yesterday and announced its unanimous approval of two items:

  • An interim final rule that makes two temporary changes to the agency’s prompt corrective action regulations providing relief to credit unions that temporarily fall below well capitalized.
  • A proposed rule that would provide an alternative method to satisfy the membership card or account signature card requirement

05/22/2020

Comptroller Otting to step down

Comptroller Otting has announced that he will step down from office on May 29, 2020. First Deputy Comptroller and Chief Operating Officer Brian P. Brooks will become Acting Comptroller of the Currency.

05/22/2020

SBA issues guidance on filing Form 1502

The Small Business Administration has issued a Procedural Notice on "Paycheck Protection Program Lender Processing Fee Payment and 1502 Reporting Process." Lenders must submit a Form 1502 report by the later of May 29 or 10 calendar days after final loan disbursement or cancellation.

  • Lenders will not be paid if the PPP loan is canceled before disbursement or if the loan was canceled or voluntarily terminated after funds were disbursed and repaid by May 18
  • The SBA will not pay processing fees for PPP loans canceled, terminated or repaid due to an SBA loan review finding the borrower ineligible
  • Lender processing fees may be clawed back within a year after disbursement if SBA later determines the borrower to be ineligible
  • Such a clawback for ineligibility will not affect the SBA guaranty for the loan, if the lender has complied with its obligations under section III.3.b of the initial PPP Interim Final Rule (What Do Lenders Have to Do in Terms of Loan Underwriting?)

05/22/2020

CFPB Complaint Bulletin

The CFPB has issued a Complaint Bulletin analyzing the complaints it has received during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bulletin shows that mortgage and credit card complaints top the list of complaints the Bureau has received that mention coronavirus or related terms. In April and May, the Bureau received historically higher complaints; however, complaints mentioning COVID-related terms amounted to 4,541 of more than 143,600 total complaints this year through April 30.

05/21/2020

CFPB - how to use EIP debit card

The Bureau has posted an article answering common questions and providing tips on how to utilize an EIP prepaid debit card without paying extra fees.

05/21/2020

OFAC sanctions senior Iranian officials for human rights abuses

Treasury announced Wednesday that OFAC had taken action against Iran’s Interior Minister for his role in serious human rights abuses against Iranians, as well as seven senior officials of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) and a provincial commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Yesterday’s action also targets the Bonyad Taavon NAJA, which is translated as LEF Cooperative Foundation, along with its director and members of the board of trustees. The LEF Cooperative Foundation is an economic collaborative controlled by the LEF and is active in Iran’s energy, construction, services, technology, and banking industries.

All property and interests in property of these persons that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons. for identification information, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

05/21/2020

SBA extends deadline again

The Small Business Administration has updated its PPP FAQ yet again, adding question 48 to indicate it has extended the deadline for lenders to file the initial SBA Form 1502 to the later of May 29, 2020, or 10 calendar days after disbursement or cancellation of the PPP loan. The FAQ doesn't say so, but the reason for the extension (from the current deadline of May 22) is that the SBA hasn't yet finalized and published Form 1502.

Starting April 15, 2020, the SBA and Treasury have issued 12 interim final rules implementing the Paycheck Protection Program:

  • 4/15/20: 85 FR 20811 - Adding the PPP to SBA's 7(a) Loan Program (SBA)
  • 4/15/20: 85 FR 20817 - Additional guidance regarding the application of certain affiliate rules (SBA)
  • 4/20/20: 85 FR 21747 - Additional PPP eligibility criteria and requirements for certain pledges of PPP loans.(SBA)
  • 4/28/20: 85 FR 23450 - Information on requirement for promissory notes, authorizations, affiliation and eligibility (SBA)
  • 4/30/20: 85 FR 23917 - Authority for lenders to use alternative criterion for calculating maximum loan amount (seasonal workers) (Treasury)
  • 5/04/20: 85 FR 26324 - Limits on PPP loans to corporate groups and guidance on non-bank lender participation (SBA)
  • 5/04/20: 85 FR 26321 - Requirements on disbursements (SBA)
  • 5/08/20: 85 FR 27287 - Nondiscrimination obligations and additional eligibility criteria (SBA)
  • 5/19/20: 85 FR 29845 - Extending the safe-harbor date by which certain borrowers must repay loans to 5/14/20 (SBA)
  • 5/19/20: 85 FR 29842 - Guidance on the ability to increase certain PPP loans (SBA)
  • 5/19/20: 85 FR 29847 - Guidance on additional eligibility requirements for electric cooperatives (SBA)
  • 5/21/20: 85 FR 30835 - Treatment of entities with foreign affiliates (SBA)

05/21/2020

OCC finalizes CRA rule without FDIC and Fed

The OCC has announced its release of a final rule strengthening and modernizing the agency’s regulations under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

The OCC reported it made several changes to its December 2019 proposal that respond to stakeholders’ comments, including:

  • Clarifying the importance of the quantity and quality of activities as well as their value.
  • Increasing credit for mortgage origination to promote availability of affordable housing in low- and moderate-income areas.
  • Clarifying credit for athletic facilities to ensure they benefit and support low- and moderate-income communities.
  • Deferring establishment of thresholds for grading banks’ CRA performance and delineating banks’ deposit-based assessment areas until the OCC assesses improved data required by the final rule.

The final CRA rule applies to national banks and savings associations, which, according to the OCC, conduct the majority of all CRA activity. The rule will become effective October 1, 2020, with a compliance date of January 1, 2023. Small and intermediate banks have until January 1, 2024, to comply with requirements involving assessment area, data collection and recordkeeping.

The FDIC, which had issued a proposal for CRA modernization jointly with the OCC in December 2019, issued a statement by Chairman Jelena McWilliams that the FDIC "is not prepared to finalize the CRA proposal at this time." The Federal Reserve Board has not issued a proposal to amend its current CRA regulations.

05/21/2020

CFPB extends comment period on FDCPA proposal

The CFPB has published [85 FR 30890] a notice that it is extending the comment period on its proposal to amend Regulation F, which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), to require debt collectors to make certain disclosures when collecting time-barred debts. Comments will now be accepted through August 4, 2020.

05/21/2020

Fed CRA evaluation ratings

Our monthly check of the Federal Reserve Board's listing of CRA evaluation ratings reveals that 14 ratings were made public in April. All of those ratings were Satisfactory, except for the evaluation of Eagle Bank, Bethesda, Maryland, whom we congratulate for its Outstanding rating.

05/21/2020

Regulators release principles for small dollar lending

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, NCUA, and OCC jointly issued principles for offering small-dollar loans in a responsible manner to meet financial institutions customers' short-term credit needs. The agencies issued the "Interagency Lending Principles for Offering Responsible Small-Dollar Loans" to encourage supervised banks, savings associations, and credit unions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to customers for consumer and small business purposes.

05/21/2020

FOMC minutes

The minutes of the April 28-29, 2020 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) have been released.

05/21/2020

Re-proposed capital rule for Fannie and Freddie

The FHFA has announced that it is seeking comments on a notice of proposed rulemaking that establishes a new regulatory capital framework for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The proposed rule is an enhancement of the proposal published in July 2018. Comments will be due 60 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register.

05/20/2020

Commercial Bank Exam Manual updated

The Federal Reserve Board has posted an update of its Commercial Bank Examination Manual, which presents examination objectives and procedures that Federal Reserve System examiners follow in evaluating the safety and soundness of state member banks. The Manual is intended as guidance for planning and conducting bank examinations.

05/20/2020

Winners of FinCEN's BSA Awards program

FinCEN has announced the award recipients of the 2020 FinCEN Director’s Law Enforcement Awards Program who will be publicly identified in an official ceremony on October 29, 2020 in Washington, DC.

The annual program recognizes law enforcement agencies that used Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reporting to successfully pursue and prosecute criminal investigation in seven categories:

  • SAR Review Task Force - Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Significant Fraud - Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations
  • Cyber Threat - Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations
  • State and Local Enforcement - New York State Police
  • Third Party Money Launderers - Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation
  • Transnational Organized Crime - Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Transnational Security Threat Category - Federal Bureau of Investigation

The description of each investigation illustrates the key role of financial industry BSA filings in law enforcement's pursuit of criminals.

05/20/2020

NCUA launches new Council

The NCUA has launched its new Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion Council, whose mission is to build an organizational culture where shared values, beliefs, and behavioral norms around the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, engagement, and leadership align with the NCUA’s strategic priorities to optimize the agency’s performance. The council is comprised of 18 employees across the agency’s business lines in both supervisory and non-supervisory roles. Its first activity is an agency-wide survey to examine the NCUA’s current organizational culture and to identify areas for improvement.

05/20/2020

OFAC designates China-based Mahan Air sales agent

Treasury has announced that OFAC has designated China-based Shanghai Saint Logistics Limited for acting as a general sales agent for or on behalf of Iranian airline Mahan Air. Mahan Air is designated under counterterrorism authorities for providing support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), as well as under a counter proliferation authority that targets weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters.

As a result of yesterday’s action, all property and interests in property of Shanghai Saint Logistics Limited that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. Identity information is available in BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

05/20/2020

Guidance issued on borrower eligibility for refi or purchase

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced yesterday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) have issued temporary guidance regarding the eligibility of borrowers who are in forbearance, or have recently ended their forbearance, who wish to refinance or buy a new home. Borrowers are eligible to refinance or buy a new home if they are current on their mortgage (i.e. in forbearance but continued to make their mortgage payments or reinstated their mortgage). Borrowers are eligible to refinance or buy a new home three months after their forbearance ends and they have made three consecutive payments under their repayment plan, or payment deferral option or loan modification.

FHFA is also extending the Enterprises' previously announced ability to purchase single-family mortgages in forbearance. The Enterprises are now able to buy forborne loans, with note dates on or before June 30, 2020, as long as they are delivered to the Enterprises by August 31, 2020, and where only one mortgage payment has been missed. The previous policy was set to expire on May 31, 2020.

05/20/2020

COVID-19 contact tracing text message scams

The Fderal Trade Commission has posted information regarding scams involving COVID-19 tracing, the process of identifying people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, instructing them to quarantine and monitoring their symptoms daily. Contact tracing plays a vital role in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19; however scammers pretending to be contact tracers are taking advantage of how the process works, and also are sending text messages. But theirs are spam text that ask the recipient to click a link which will download software onto the recipient's device, giving scammers access to personal and financial information.

05/20/2020

First Data settles with FTC for $40.2M

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that Atlanta-based First Data Merchant Services LLC — one of the biggest payment processing companies — and its former executive will pay more than $40.2 million to settle Commission charges that they knowingly processed payments and laundered, or assisted laundering of, credit card transactions for scams that targeted hundreds of thousands of consumers. A complaint filed by the FTC alleged First Data ignored repeated warnings from employees, banks, and others that Chi “Vincent” Ko, through his company that served as an independent sales agent (ISO) for First Data, was laundering, and First Data was assisting and facilitating laundering, payments for companies that were breaking the law over a number of years. Ko was later hired as an executive at First Data.

05/20/2020

Credit card debt and coronavirus relief

The CFPB has posted an article, "Credit card debt during coronavirus: Relief options and tips." The article is a guide to help consumers understand their options during the COVID-19 pandemic when they are unable to handle their credit card debt.

05/20/2020

Stimulus payments on prepaid debit cards

The Bureau has posted a link to a video informing consumers that they may receive their Economic Impact Payment (EIP) on a prepaid debit card starting this week. The payments, to provide relief from the economic results of the COVID-19 pandemic, are made possible by the CARES Act.

Approximately 4 million EIP debit cards are expected to be received in the mail this week. The cards can be used at Plus, Interlink and Star ATMs and anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

05/19/2020

FinCEN advisory on COVID-19 medical scams

Yesterday, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued Advisory FIN-2020-A002 on Medical Scams Related to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), to alert financial institutions to rising medical scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This advisory contains red flags, descriptions of COVID-19 related medical scams, and information on reporting suspicious activity [insert "COVID-19 FIN-2020-A002" in field 2 (Financial Institution Note to FinCEN)]. This is the first of several advisories FinCEN intends to issue concerning financial crimes related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FinCEN also issued a companion notice that provides detailed filing instructions for financial institutions, which will serve as a reference for future COVID-19 advisories.

05/19/2020

IRS adding phone assistance for EIP questions

Yesterday, the IRS announced it has started adding 3,500 telephone operators to answer some of the most common questions about Economic Impact Payments. IRS telephone assistance and other services will remain limited, and answers for most of the common questions related to Economic Impact Payments are available on IRS.gov. The IRS anticipates bringing back additional assisters as state and local advisories permit. Answers for most Economic Impact Payment questions are available on the automated message for people who call the phone number provided in the letter (Notice 1444) announcing that a stimulus payment has been sent. Those who need additional assistance at the conclusion of the message will have the option of talking to a telephone representative.

05/19/2020

Powell testimony on Fed response to COVID-19 challenges

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome H. Powell discussed the extraordinary steps the Federal Reserve has taken to address the challenges the nation is facing. He noted the Federal Reserve's response to the economic upheaval brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has been guided by the Fed's mandate to promote maximum employment and stable prices for the American people, along with its responsibilities to promote stability of the financial system.

05/19/2020

HUD announces 4th wave of CARES Act funding

HUD Secretary Carson announced yesterday nearly $77 million in a fourth wave of CARES Act funding, supporting up to 8,300 additional vouchers. Provided through HUD's Section 811 Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program, this wave of COVID-19 relief funds will provide affordable housing to non-elderly people living with disabilities.

05/19/2020

Labor may allow OT exemption for commissioned loan officers

The Department of Labor has published a final rule at 85 FR 29867 in the May 19, 2020, Federal Register withdrawing the "partial list of establishments" with "no retail concept" and the "partial list of establishments" that "may be recognized as retail" for the purposes of determining whether a business may qualify for an exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime compensation requirement for certain commissioned employees employed by a retail or service establishment.

The elimination of the lists from Labor's regulations at 29 CFR 779 will promote consistent treatment when evaluating exemption claims by treating all businesses equally under the same standards. Banking and mortgage lending trade representatives have claimed the two lists have prevented mortgage lenders from applying for exemptions from the overtime requirement for mortgage loan officers who may earn more than half their income from commissions.

05/19/2020

Free credit reports every week

The Federal Trade Commission has posted a blog article, "Credit Reports are now free, every week," reporting that the three national credit reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—will provide free weekly credit reports via the www.AnnualCreditReport.com portal through April 2021. The Commission said that the three reporting agencies are making the free reports available to allow Americans who may be anxious about their financial well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

05/19/2020

Victims of online scam to receive refunds

The Federal Trade Commission has announced it is sending full refunds totaling more than $12 million to individuals who lost money to a company called "I Works," which operated deceptive “trial” memberships and bogus government-grant and money-making schemes in 2010. Utah-based I Works ran numerous online marketing campaigns, which falsely advertised that federal grants for personal needs were generally available to consumers, and that people who used I Works’ money-making product were likely to earn substantial income. The company unlawfully enrolled consumers in membership programs without disclosing, or without disclosing clearly, that it would charge their accounts on a recurring basis until consumers canceled.

The FTC is sending 147,333 refunds averaging $86 to victims of the I Works scheme.

05/18/2020

Industrial production plummeted in April

The Federal Reserve has released G.17 Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization data for April 2020. Total industrial production fell 11.2 percent in April for its largest monthly drop in the 101-year history of the index, as the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic led many factories to slow or suspend operations throughout the month. Manufacturing output dropped 13.7 percent, its largest decline on record, as all major industries posted decreases. The output of motor vehicles and parts fell more than 70 percent; production elsewhere in manufacturing dropped 10.3 percent. The indexes for utilities and mining decreased 0.9 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively. At 92.6 percent of its 2012 average, the level of total industrial production was 15.0 percent lower in April than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 8.3 percentage points to 64.9 percent in April, a rate that is 14.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2019) average and 1.8 percentage points below its all-time (since 1967) low set in 2009.

05/18/2020

SBA releases PPP loan forgiveness application

The Small Business Administration has released the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application that borrowers must complete in order to have their Paycheck Protection Program loans forgiven. The form includes detailed information about the costs that are eligible for forgiveness and instructions for calculating those costs. The SBA said regulations and additional guidance for borrowers on completing the forgiveness form, as well as guidance for lenders detailing their responsibilities will be issued soon.

05/18/2020

Supplementary leverage ratio temporarily changed

On Friday, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and OCC issued a joint press release announcing temporary changes to their supplementary leverage ratio rule. The temporary modifications will provide flexibility to certain depository institutions to expand their balance sheets in order to provide credit to households and businesses in light of the challenges arising from the coronavirus response. The interim final rule permits depository institutions to choose to exclude U.S. Treasury securities and deposits at Federal Reserve Banks from the calculation of the supplementary leverage ratio. If a depository institution does change its supplementary leverage ratio calculation, it will be required to request approval from its primary federal banking regulator before making capital distributions, such as paying dividends to its parent company, as long as the exclusion is in effect.

Comments on the interim final rule will be accepted for 45 days following publication of the rule in the Federal Register. The Federal Reserve Board also asked for comment on additional questions on the interim final rule.

05/18/2020

FRB Services lists updates on initiatives

05/18/2020

Consumer Guide on Mortgage Relief Options available

The Bureau and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) have released a Consumer Relief Guide with borrowers' rights to mortgage payment forbearance and foreclosure protection under the federal CARES Act.

05/15/2020

Fannie and Freddie extend foreclosure and eviction moratorium

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Thursday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are extending their moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least June 30, 2020. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. The current moratorium was set to expire on May 17.

05/15/2020

Fed updates Savings Deposits FAQ

The Federal Reserve Board's Regulation D Savings Deposits Frequently Asked Questions webpage has been updated. Important changes have been made to state that the Board does not have plans to re-impose transfer limits, but may adjust the definition of savings deposits in response to comments on the interim final rule. The changes also clarify that the changes don't make savings accounts subject to Regulation CC.

BankersOnline's John Burnett will present a ONE-HOUR webinar—Limits on Savings Account Transfers: An Update—on Monday, May 18, 2020. Register Now!

05/15/2020

Dramatic changes in financial condition of U.S. households

The Federal Reserve Board has issued its Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, featuring supplemental data from April 2020 and data from the Board's seventh annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED). To obtain updated information in the midst of closures and stay-at-home orders, a smaller supplemental survey of just over 1,000 adults was conducted from April 3 to April 6 of this year, focusing on labor market effects and households' overall financial circumstances at that time. Fewer adults reported that they were at least doing okay financially than had been the case 6 months earlier. The April supplemental survey showed that 72 percent of adults were either "doing okay" financially (43 percent) or "living comfortably" (29 percent). This is down from the 75 percent of adults who were at least doing okay financially and the 36 percent who were living comfortably in the fall of 2019.

The Fed has posted the report, downloadable data, and a video summarizing the survey's findings on its Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking webpage.

05/15/2020

CFPB settles with Monster Loans

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced the filing of a proposed stipulated final judgment to resolve allegations in its lawsuit against California mortgage lender Chou Team Realty, LLC, which does business as Monster Loans, and several individuals and related companies, including Thomas Chou and Sean Cowell.

The Bureau's complaint alleged that Chou and Cowell were among the leaders of a scheme to use Monster Loans’ account with a major credit bureau to unlawfully obtain consumer reports for their associated student loan debt-relief companies, which in turn used the consumer reports to deceptively market their services nationwide and then charged consumers illegal fees. The proposed settlement, if entered by the court, would impose an $18 million redress judgment against Monster Loans, ban Monster Loans, Chou, and Cowell from the debt-relief industry, and impose a total $450,001 civil money penalty against them.

If approved by the court, the redress and civil penalty amounts would be partially suspended based on the defendants' alleged limited ability to pay.

05/14/2020

OFAC updates 490 North Korea-related SDN listings

OFAC has posted a notice that it has added descriptive text to 490 SDN listings to reflect a prohibition on foreign subsidiaries of U.S. financial institutions from knowingly engaging in transactions with SDNs designated under North Korea-related authorities.

The added text reads: "Transactions Prohibited For Persons Owned or Controlled by U.S. Financial Institutions: North Korea Sanctions Regulations section 510.214.” The prohibition was added by the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act (NKSPEA) as modified by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.

For the list of affected SDNs, see OFAC's May 13, 2020, notice.

05/14/2020

New payment deferral option from Fannie and Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are making available a new payment deferral option. The payment deferral option allows borrowers, who are able to return to making their normal monthly mortgage payment, the ability to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at maturity.

Servicers will begin offering the payment deferral repayment option starting July 1, 2020.

In addition to the new payment deferral option, borrowers with COVID-19 related hardships can still utilize other options that include reinstatement, repayment plan, or loan modifications based on their individual situations.

05/14/2020

CFPB statement on responsibility during pandemic

The CFPB has released a statement and FAQs outlining the responsibility of certain financial firms during the pandemic. In the statement, the Bureau outlines the billing error responsibilities of credit card issuers and other open-end non-home secured creditors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the Bureau encourages financial firms to continue to provide the kind of assistance to their communities that many have been providing, such as waiving fees, lowering minimum-balance requirements, and implementing changes in account terms that benefit consumers.

It should be noted that these are Bureau statements, which may not reflect the positions of other federal financial regulators.

05/14/2020

FDIC updates exam manual

The FDIC has released its April 2020 updates to its Consumer Compliance Examination Manual. The following sections were updated:

  • Pre-Examination Planning (II-4.1): Updated to incorporate changes to the process.
  • Pre-Examination Information Packet Template (III-1.1): Changes to the Pre-Examination Planning process have been reflected in the Template.
  • Truth in Lending Act (V-1.1): Updated to reflect annual threshold changes. The escrow exemption and the appraisal exemption thresholds for higher priced mortgages and the credit card penalty fee safe harbor amount were increased.
  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (V-9.1): Updated to reflect updated loan volume thresholds. The asset size exemption thresholds were also updated.
  • Consumer Leasing Act (V-10.1): The exemption threshold for consumer credit and lease transactions were increased.
  • Community Reinvestment Act (XI-1.1): Asset-based definitions for Small Banks and Intermediate Small Banks were updated.

05/13/2020

McWilliams Senate testimony on COVID-19 response

FDIC Chairman McWilliams testified yesterday before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs regarding the impact of COVID-19 and the actions taken by the FDIC to maintain stability and public confidence in the nation's financial system, which have focused on providing necessary flexibility to both banks and their customers – particularly the most heavily affected individuals and businesses – while maintaining the overall safety and soundness of the banking system.

05/13/2020

TALF term sheet updates

The Federal Reserve Board has announced additional information regarding borrower and collateral eligibility criteria for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF). The facility was announced on March 23 as part of an initiative to support the flow of credit to U.S. consumers and businesses. To help ensure that U.S. consumers and businesses remain able to access credit at affordable terms, TALF will initially make up to $100 billion of loans available.

The Board also outlined the information it will publicly disclose for the TALF and the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF) on a monthly basis. The Board will disclose the name of each participant in both facilities; the amounts borrowed, interest rate charged, and value of pledged collateral; and the overall costs, revenues, and fees for each facility. The disclosures are similar to those announced in April for the Board facilities that utilize CARES Act funds. A TALF Term Sheet and FAQs were also posted.

05/13/2020

Payroll Support Program - Aviation Industry participant list

Treasury has posted a list of its Payroll Support Program participants with amounts of assistance provided and, where applicable, financial instruments provided to the federal government as appropriate compensation for the provision of financial assistance. Approved applicants include all of the major passenger air carriers, more than 260 smaller passenger air carriers, and a significant number of cargo air carriers and contractors.

05/13/2020

FEMA to suspend Tennessee communities from NFIP

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has published a notice at 85 FR 28499 in today's Federal Register that it intends to suspend on May 15, 2020, the City of Manchester and unincorporated areas of Coffee County, Tennessee, from the National Flood Insurance Program for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

05/13/2020

OCC Bulletin on changes to annual meeting dates

The OCC has issued Bulletin 2020-51 in response to inquiries from banks that are considering changes to the date, time, or location of their annual meetings as a result of stay-at-home and similar orders and potential health concerns. The bulletin also addresses the specific regulatory requirements applicable to federal savings associations (FSA) that may seek to delay their annual meetings.

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