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05/10/2021

FEMA schedules community suspensions from flood program

FEMA will publish in the May 10, 2021, Federal Register a notice identifying communities in Colorado, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania, that are scheduled for suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program on May 18, because of noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program, unless the community meets the required floodplain management measures prior to that date.

  • Colorado: Fort Morgan, Morgan County (unincorporated areas), and Otis
  • Iowa: Clermont, Elgin, Fayette, Fayette County (unincorporated areas), Maynard, Oelwein, Waucoma, and West Union
  • Oklahoma: Hammon (town) and Roger Mills County (unincorporated areas)
  • Pennsylvania: Barry, Eldred, Foster, Frackville, Grandville, Mahanoy, Middleport, Minersville, New Castle, North Union, Norwegian, Pottsville, Reilly, Schuykill, Shenandoah, Tower City, Tremont (Borough), Tremont (Township), Union, and Wayne

05/07/2021

FHFA RFI on short-term rental units

A Request for Input (RFI) has been issued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's eligibility requirements for mortgages in condo, co-op, and planned unit development projects where a large portion of units are offered for short-term rental (30 days or less) or are used primarily for the purpose of vacation or recreational lodging. These projects are often informally referred to as "condotels" or resort condominiums. The information that FHFA is requesting through the RFI will help the agency determine whether changes or clarifications to Enterprise policies are necessary to ensure more accurate and consistent project eligibility assessments.

Comments should be submitted within 60 days of Federal Register publication, but no later than July 5, 2021.

05/06/2021

Victims of student loan debt relief scheme to receive refunds

The FTC is sending more than $273,500 in refunds to people who lost money to a student loan debt relief scheme that charged them illegal upfront fees and tricked them into believing their student loan payments would be permanently lowered or eliminated. A complaint filed by the Commission in September 2019 indicated Manhattan Beach Venture deceptively marketed payment relief and loan forgiveness programs to people looking for help with their student loans. Consumers were charged up to $1,400 in upfront fees and led to believe it went toward their student loans. MBV then funneled consumers into financing this fee through a high-interest loan with third-party lender Equitable Acceptance Corporation, another defendant in the scheme. The FTC is sending checks to 2,889 people, averaging about $95 each.

05/06/2021

Federal Reserve CRA ratings

The Federal Reserve Banks publicly released the Community Reinvestment Act evaluations of 21 state-chartered member banks in March and April. Eighteen of those banks received "Satisfactory" ratings. We congratulate the three banks that earned "Outstanding" ratings:

05/06/2021

COVID-19 challenges for mortgage borrowers

The CFPB has released two reports showing that more work needs to be done to help mortgage borrowers coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. "Characteristics of Mortgage Borrowers During the COVID-19 Pandemic" documents that Black and Hispanic mortgage borrowers are much more likely to be delinquent or in a forbearance program than white borrowers. In its May 2021 "Complaint Bulletin," the CFPB reports that overall mortgage complaints to the CFPB have risen to their highest level in three years and complaints mentioning forbearance or related terms have reached their highest average since March and April of 2020.

05/05/2021

PPP funds nearly depleted

The ABA Banking Journal has reported that the Paycheck Protection Program ran out of funding on Tuesday afternoon and has stopped accepting most new applications. About $8 billion is still available through a set-aside in the law for community financial institutions, and those institutions will be permitted to process applications until that money has been exhausted. Other lenders should be receiving a message through the SBA origination portal that loans are no longer available. Sources have also reported that funds remain for lenders to finish pending applications that are "on hold."

05/05/2021

FDIC and OCC release CRA evaluation ratings

The FDIC has released its May 2021 list of banks recently examined for CRA compliance. Of the 56 banks listed, one was rated "Needs to Improve," 52 were rated "Satisfactory," and three earned "Outstanding" ratings. Here are the banks that garnered the "Outstanding" ratings, with links to their evaluation reports:

The OCC also released CRA evaluations that became public in April for 15 national banks and federal savings associations. Twelve of these evaluations were rated "Satisfactory." The three banks listed below (with links to their evaluation reports) received "Outstanding" ratings:

05/04/2021

FHFA final rule on GSE resolution planning

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has issued a final rule, published at 86 FR 23577 in the May 4 Federal Register, that requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to develop credible resolution plans, also known as “living wills." These resolution plans would facilitate a rapid and orderly resolution of the Enterprises should FHFA in the future be appointed their receiver per the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).

Under the final rule, the Enterprises must demonstrate how core or important business lines would be maintained to ensure continued support for mortgage finance and stabilize the housing finance system, without extraordinary government support, to prevent an Enterprise from being placed in receivership, indemnify investors against losses, or fund the resolution of an Enterprise.

The FHFA also released a Fact Sheet on the rule. The rule will be effective July 6, 2021.

05/03/2021

FDIC March enforcement actions released

The FDIC has released a list of enforcement actions taken against banks and individuals in the month of March. Among the 12 administrative actions listed were five prohibition orders and three civil money penalty orders.

  • A civil money penalty of $40,500 was assessed on Oriental Bank, San Juan, Puerto Rico, for 27 violations of flood insurance requirements
  • FirstBank, Nashville, Tennessee, was assessed a $172,500 civil money penalty for 196 violations of flood insurance requirements
  • William Derek Martin, formerly a vice president and loan officer of Anderson Brothers Bank, Mullins, South Carolina, was ordered to pay a civil money penalty of $15,000 and issued an order of prohibition
  • Orders of prohibition were issued to:
    • William Weisbrod, a former of Lincoln 1st Bank, Lincoln Park, New Jersey
    • Erica E. Franklin, former treasury services supervisor of Bank of Labor, Kansas City, Kansas
    • Mark Wong, formerly employed by Bank of the West, San Francisco, California
    • Gina Champion-Cain, formerly a director of Endeavor Bank, San Diego, California

05/03/2021

Alabama and Kentucky severe storms relief

The FDIC has issued two financial institution letters announcing steps to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery.

  • FIL-31-2021 concerning areas of Kentucky affected by severe storms, slooding, landslides, and mudslides
  • FIL-32-2021 with regard to areas of Alabama affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes

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