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02/22/2021

FEMA to suspend communities from flood program on Friday

FEMA will publish in the Federal Register for February 23, 2021, a notice listing communities in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia that it has scheduled for suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program on February 26, 2021, for noncompliance with the program's floodplain management requirements.

  • Pennsylvania: East Buffalo and Susquehanna
  • Tennessee: Brentwood, Cheatham County (unincorporated areas), Hendersonville, Pegram, Pleasant View, Ridgetop, and Robertson County (unincorporated areas)
  • Virginia: Culpeper, Culpeper County (unincorporated areas), and Rappahannock County (unincorporated areas)

If FEMA receives documentation that a listed community has adopted the required management measures before February 26, the community will not be suspended.

UPDATE: Published at 86 FR 10837 on 2/23/2021.

02/19/2021

OCC announces enforcement actions

The OCC has announced enforcement actions it took in the month of January.

  • A federal savings and loan association in Sidney, Nebraska, was issued a consent order to cease and desist related to management issues
  • A federal savings bank in Chicago, Illinois, was ordered to pay a $193,000 civil money penalty for violations of the OCC's regulation on Loans in Areas Having Special Flood Hazards
  • A bank in Vinita, Oklahoma, received a Prompt Corrective Action Directive
  • A former banking center manager for Webster Bank, N.A. (Waterbury, CT) was issued a consent order of prohibition, after a finding that she withdrew more than $70,000 from a bank customer's account for her personal benefit without authorization.
  • A former store manager for Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Sioux Falls, SD) received a consent order of prohibition following a finding that she misappropriated bank customers' confidential information and sold it to a third party for at least $8,000, resulting in a loss to the bank of over $300,000.

02/17/2021

Bureau publishes HPML escrow rule

The CFPB has published at 86 FR 9840 its final rule exempting certain insured depository institutions and insured credit unions from the requirement to establish escrow accounts for certain higher-priced mortgage loans for publication in today's Federal Register. The rule becomes effective on publication.

See our January 20, 2021, story for details.

02/17/2021

FDIC final rule on deposit insurance fees and CECL

The FDIC has announced the adoption of a final rule addressing the temporary deposit insurance assessment effects resulting from certain optional regulatory capital transition provisions relating to the implementation of the current expected credit losses (CECL) methodology. The final rule removes the double counting of a specified portion of the CECL transitional amount or the modified CECL transitional amount, as applicable, in the calculation of certain financial measures that are used to determine assessment rates for large or highly complex insured depository institutions (IDIs). The rule becomes effective April 1, 2021, the beginning of the second quarterly assessment period for 2021.

The FDIC stated the rule does not affect institutions with less than $10 billion in assets, unless they are being treated as large institutions for deposit insurance assessment purposes.

02/17/2021

Fannie and Freddie scorecards released

The FHFA yesterday released the 2021 Scorecard for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), and Common Securitization Solutions. The 2021 Scorecard aligns the 2019 Strategic Plan with the Enterprises’ tactical priorities and operations, serving as an essential tool to hold the Enterprises accountable. The three objectives of the 2021 Scorecard are to ensure that the Enterprises continue to:

  • Focus on their core mission responsibilities to foster competitive, liquid, efficient, and resilient (CLEAR) national housing finance markets that support sustainable homeownership and affordable rental housing;
  • Operate in a safe and sound manner appropriate for entities in conservatorship; and
  • Prepare for their eventual exits from the conservatorships.

02/17/2021

HUD extends FHA COVID-19 moratoriums

HUD has announced extensions of the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) foreclosure and eviction moratoriums, as well as an extension of the initial start date of a COVID-19 Forbearance. Forbearance is an option mortgage servicers use to provide homeowners with a pause to their monthly payments for a limited period of time during a COVID-19 induced hardship. In addition, the Office of Public and Indian Housing is planning to announce similar relief for Native American and Native Hawaiian homeowners assisted under the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program and the Section 184A Native Hawaiian Housing Loan Guarantee Program.

To address the ongoing need to expand mortgage payment assistance solutions for homeowners, for all FHA-insured forward mortgages, HUD:

  • Extended the timeframe for homeowners to request the start of a COVID-19 Forbearance from their mortgage servicer through June 30, 2021. This extension provides homeowners with additional time to request a forbearance from their mortgage servicer.
  • Expanded the COVID-19 Forbearance to allow up to two forbearance extensions of up to three months each for homeowners who requested a COVID-19 Forbearance on or before June 30, 2020. These additional forbearance extensions will provide relief to homeowners in this situation who will be nearing the end of their maximum 12-month forbearance period and have not yet stabilized their financial situation.
  • Expanded the use of FHA’s streamlined COVID-19 loss mitigation home retention and home disposition options to all homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments by at least 90 days. This expansion will require mortgage servicers to assess more homeowners for a streamlined waterfall of loss mitigation home retention options, starting with FHA’s COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim.

To assist seniors with HECMs (home equity conversion mortgages, a/k/a "reverse mortgages"), FHA has extended the timeframe for the start of an initial COVID-19 HECM extension through June 30, 2021. For HECMs that entered an initial extension period on or before June 30, 2020, up to two additional three-month extension periods are available.

02/17/2021

OCC, CFPB and NCUA publish supervisory guidance rule

The OCC, CFPB, and NCUA have published their previously announced final rules on the Role of Supervisory Guidance at 86 FR 9253, 86 FR 9261, and 86 FR 7949, respectively. The OCC and CFPB rules will be effective March 15, 2021. The NCUA rule becomes effective March 5, 2021.

02/16/2021

SBA: COVID-19 EIDL funding exceeds $200B

The SBA has announced that its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program has provided U.S. small businesses, non-profits, and agricultural businesses a total of $200 billion in emergency funding for more than 3.7 million small businesses employing more than 20 million people.

02/12/2021

Payday lender banned by FTC

The owners and operators of a vast payday lending scheme that overcharged consumers millions of dollars will be permanently banned from the lending industry under the terms of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The settlement also provides that nearly all outstanding debt—made up entirely of illegal finance charges—held by the company will be deemed paid in full.

The scheme, which was operated online under the names Harvest Moon Financial, Gentle Breeze Online, and Green Stream Lending, used deceptive marketing to convince consumers that their loans would be repaid in a fixed number of payments. A complaint filed by the FTC alleged that the company instead continued to draw millions of dollars in payments from consumers’ bank accounts long after the loans’ original principal amount and stated repayment cost had been repaid, and would do so until consumers completely closed their bank accounts or found some other way to cut off payments.

Under the terms of the settlement, Takehisa Naito and Keishi Ikeda, along with their companies Lead Express, Inc.; Camel Coins, Inc.; Sea Mirror, Inc,; Naito Corp.; Kotobuki Marketing, Inc.; Ebisu Marketing, Inc.; Hotei Marketing, Inc.; and Daikoku Marketing, Inc. will be permanently prohibited from making loans or extending credit of any kind. The settlement also includes a monetary judgment of $114.3 million, which is partially suspended based on an inability to pay. The defendants will be required to turn over all corporate assets and almost all domestic personal assets along with a number of vehicles to a receiver. The receiver will wind down and liquidate the business and provide all proceeds to the FTC.

02/12/2021

HUD to enforce discrimination ban

Yesterday HUD issued a memorandum announcing that it will administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. HUD's action follows an Executive Order issued by President Biden on January 20 addressing the Supreme Court's decision in Bostock v Clayton County, which held that the prohibitions against sex discrimination in the workplace contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extend to and include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. HUD's General Counsel has concluded that the Fair Housing Act’s sex discrimination provisions are comparable to those of Title VII and that they likewise prohibit discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity.

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