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12/04/2019

Major disaster support continued by HUD

HUD has announced the allocation of over $2.3 billion to support the long-term disaster recovery process in hard-hit areas in fifteen states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands through its Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program.

12/04/2019

Statement on use of alternative data in credit underwriting

Five Federal financial regulatory agencies—the Fed, the CFPB, the FDIC, the OCC and the NCUA— have issued an "Interagency Statement on the Use of Alternative Data in Credit Underwriting" by banks, credit unions, and non-bank financial firms.

The statement notes the benefits that using alternative data may provide to consumers, such as expanding access to credit and enabling consumers to obtain additional products and more favorable pricing and terms. The statement explains that a well-designed compliance management program provides for a thorough analysis of relevant consumer protection laws and regulations to ensure firms understand the opportunities, risks, and compliance requirements before using alternative data.

Alternative data includes information not typically found in consumers’ credit reports or customarily provided by consumers when applying for credit. Alternative data include cash flow data derived from consumers’ bank account records.

12/04/2019

Agencies clarify guidance for banking hemp-related businesses

On Tuesday, December 3, the Board of Governors, FDIC, FinCEN, OCC, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors jointly released a statement, "Joint Guidance on Providing Financial Services to Customers Engaged in Hemp-Related Businesses," clarifying the legal status of hemp growth and production, and the relevant requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act for banks providing services to hemp-related businesses. The statement—

  • emphasizes that banks are no longer required to file SARs for customers solely because they are engaged in the growth or cultivation of hemp in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. For hemp-related customers, banks are expected to follow standard SAR procedures, and file a SAR if signs of suspicious activity warrant filing.
  • provides banks with background information on the legal status of hemp, the USDA's interim final rule on the production of hemp, and the BSA considerations when providing banking services to hemp-related businesses.
  • indicates that FinCEN will issue additional guidance after further reviewing and evaluating the USDA interim final rule.

12/03/2019

FHFA report on non-performing loan sales

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released its latest report on the sale of non-performing loans by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The report includes information about NPLs sold through June 30, 2019, and reflects borrower outcomes on NPLs sold through December 31, 2018, and reported through June 30, 2019. The report shows that, through June 30, 2019, the Enterprises sold 117,466 NPLs with a total unpaid principal balance of $22.2 billion. While the Enterprises conducted NPL sales in the first half of 2019, none of the sales settled by the end of the reporting period.

  • NPLs sold had an average delinquency of 3.0 years and an average loan-to-value ratio of 92 percent.
  • NPLs in New Jersey, New York and Florida represented nearly half (45 percent) of the NPLs sold. These three states accounted for 47 percent of the Enterprises' loans that were one year or more delinquent as of December 31, 2014, prior to the start of NPL program sales in 2015.
  • Fannie Mae sold 78,281 loans and Freddie Mac sold 39,185 loans.

12/02/2019

FEMA to suspend communities from flood program

FEMA has published a notice [84 FR 65924] in today's Federal Register identifying communities in North Carolina scheduled for suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program on December 6, 2019, for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. The communities listed include:

  • Atkinson
  • Northwest
  • Pembroke
  • Roxboro
  • Tabor City
  • unincorporated areas of Brunswick, Columbus, Durham, Pender, and Robeson Counties

If FEMA receives documentation that a community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to the effective suspension date, the suspension will not occur. Information identifying the current participation status of a community can be obtained from FEMA's Community Status Book.

12/02/2019

FDIC CRA exams for first half of 2020

The FDIC has announced it has posted the lists of institutions scheduled for a Community Reinvestment Act examination during the first and second quarters of 2020. The schedules of institutions to be examined are based on the best information now available and are subject to change.

12/02/2019

FDIC releases enforcement actions

The FDIC has released a list of recent enforcement actions taken in the month of October. Among those actions were:

  • A notice of charges and hearing and assessment of a $225,000 BSA/AML civil money penalty issued to a San Francisco bank.
  • A decision and order of prohibition issued to Donald V. Watkins, Sr., former chairman of the board of Alamerica Bank, Birmingham, Alabama, for violations of Regulation O involving his receipt of proceeds from four loans made by his bank to nominee borrowers in excess of amounts allowed under the regulation and without disclosing his personal interest in the loans to the bank.

11/27/2019

FHFA announces conforming loan limits for 2020

The FHFA has announced the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2020. In most of the U.S., the 2020 maximum conforming loan limit for one-unit properties will be $510,400, an increase from $484,350 in 2019. The FHFA also posted a list of the 2020 maximum loan limits for all counties and county-equivalent areas in the country.

11/27/2019

US house prices continue to rise

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released its Housing Price Index for the third quarter 2019, which reports U.S. house prices rose in the third quarter of 2019, up 1.1 percent. House prices rose 4.9 percent from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019. FHFA's seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was up 0.6 percent from August.

Other significant findings:

  • House prices have risen for 33 consecutive quarters across the United States.
  • House prices rose in all 50 states and the District of Columbia between the third quarters of 2018 and 2019. The top five states in annual appreciation were: 1) Idaho 11.6 percent; 2) Maine 7.9 percent; 3) Arizona 7.9 percent; 4) Utah 7.8 percent; and 5) Indiana 7.4 percent. The states showing the smallest annual appreciation were: 1) Illinois 1.9 percent; 2) Connecticut 2.2 percent; 3) Maryland 2.4 percent; 4) South Dakota 2.7 percent; and 5) Iowa 3.2 percent.
  • House prices rose in all 100 of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. over the last four quarters. Annual price increases were greatest in Boise City, ID, where prices increased by 11.1 percent. Prices were weakest in Camden, NJ (MSAD), where they increased 0.7 percent.
  • ​Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division experienced the strongest four-quarter appreciation, posting a 6.9 percent gain between the third quarters of 2018 and 2019 and a 1.8 percent increase in the third quarter of 2019. Annual house price appreciation was weakest in the Middle Atlantic division, where prices rose by 4.0 percent between the third quarters of 2018 and 2019.

FHFA provided Fact Sheets that include graphics on the Top 20 and Bottom 20 and Bottom 20 ranked Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the U.S.

11/27/2019

HUD affordable housing request for info

HUD has announced it has published a Request for Information seeking public comment on federal, state, local, and tribal laws, regulations, land use requirements, and administrative practices that artificially raise the costs of affordable housing development and contribute to shortages in America’s housing supply. This RFI is a request for members of the public to share their knowledge and provide recommendations to HUD regarding regulations and practices that unnecessarily impede housing supply and information on innovative practices that promote increased housing supply. Comments are due by January 21, 2020.

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