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Top Story Lending Related

03/27/2020

Student Loans and the coronavirus pandemic

The CFPB has posted an article reporting that the U.S. Department of Education announced that all borrowers with federally-held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for at least 60 days. All borrowers with federally-held loans may also request to suspend their payments for at least two months, and delinquent borrowers will have their payments automatically suspended. The Department of Education also announced that they have stopped the collection of defaulted federal student loans for at least 60 days. A list of other things of interest to borrowers regarding a federal-held loans was also provided.

03/27/2020

Victims of student loan debt scheme to receive $3.1M

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing checks totaling more than $3.1 million to consumers who were victims of a student loan debt relief and credit repair scheme. Strategic Student Solutions (also doing business under other names) and its owner, Dave Green, settled FTC allegations that they charged consumers illegal upfront fees and falsely promised to reduce their student loan debt or monthly payments by enrolling them in student loan forgiveness or other programs. The FTC also alleged that the defendants falsely promised to apply monthly payments to consumers’ student loans and to improve their credit scores and histories. The FTC is mailing 20,988 checks—averaging $148 each—to victims of the scheme.

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

First quarter SCOOS posted

The March 2020 Senior Credit Officer Opinion Survey (SCOOS) on Dealer Financing Terms has been posted by the Federal Reserve Board. It collected qualitative information on changes over the previous three months in credit terms and conditions in securities financing and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets. In addition to the core questions, the survey included a set of special questions related to bifurcation of spreads in corporate bond and collateralized loan obligations markets during the second half of 2019. The 22 institutions participating in the survey account for almost all dealer financing of dollar-denominated securities to nondealers and are the most active intermediaries in OTC derivatives markets. The survey was conducted during the period between February 11, 2020, and February 25, 2020, and closed before the recent period of high market volatility related to COVID-19. The core questions asked about changes between December 2019 and February 2020.

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

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

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

House prices increase

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has reported that U.S. house prices rose in January, up 0.3 percent from the previous month, according to the FHFA House Price Index. House prices rose 5.2 percent from January 2019 to January 2020. The previously reported 0.6 percent increase for December 2019 was revised upward to 0.7 percent. For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes from December 2019 to January 2020 ranged from -0.2 percent in the Mountain division to +0.7 percent in the South Atlantic divisions. The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from +4.1 percent in the Middle Atlantic division to +6.4 percent in the South Atlantic division.

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.

03/25/2020

CFPB lists COVID-19 protection resources for consumers

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