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08/24/2020

Communities suspended from NFIP

FEMA has published [85 FR 52052, August 24, 2020] a rule identifying communities in Louisiana and Washington that were scheduled for suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program on August 19, 2020, for failure to comply with the floodplain management requirements of the program. If any of the listed communities was able to document that it had adopted the required floodplain management measures by the August 19 date, it was not suspended.

  • Louisiana: Calvin, Jonesboro, and Winnfield
  • Washington: Bellevue, Black Diamond, Burien, Carnation, Covington, Duvall, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Normandy Park, North Bend, Pacific, Redmond, Renton, Seatac, Seattle, Shoreline. Sykomish, Snoqualmie, Tukwila, and unincorporated areas of King County.

08/21/2020

Agencies to hold PPP webinar

The FDIC, FRB, OCC, NCUA and Conference of State Bank Supervisors have announced they will host a webinar for bankers on Thursday, August 27, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT, to discuss the loan forgiveness process and recent changes in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

08/20/2020

CFPB extends comment period

The CFPB has announced that it will extend the comment period on its Request for Information on how best to create a regulatory environment that expands access to credit and ensures that all consumers and communities are protected from discrimination in all aspects of a credit transaction. Comments will be accepted for an additional 60 days, through December 1, 2020.

08/19/2020

FHA releasing new tool for lenders

The Federal Housing Administration has announced the upcoming release of its FHA Catalyst: Electronic Appraisal Delivery module on the FHA Catalyst Platform. The new module will allow lenders to electronically submit, track, and manage single family property appraisals. FHA-approved lenders may begin using the FHA Catalyst: Electronic Appraisal Delivery module beginning September 4, 2020. FHA encourages lenders to request access to the module for their users as soon as possible by contacting the FHA Resource Center by emailing answers[at]hud.gov or by calling 1-800-Call FHA (1-800-225-5342).

08/19/2020

Residential construction increases reported

HUD and the Census Bureau have announced that July building permits, housing starts, and housing completions all increased.

Building Permits: Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,495,000. This is 18.8 percent above the revised June rate of 1,258,000 and is 9.4 percent above the July 2019 rate of 1,366,000. Single‐family authorizations in July were at a rate of 983,000, 17.0 percent above the revised June figure of 840,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 467,000 in July.

Housing Starts: Privately owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,496,000. This is 22.6 percent above the revised June estimate of 1,220,000 and is 23.4 percent above the July 2019 rate of 1,212,000. Single‐family housing starts in July were at a rate of 940,000, which is 8.2 percent above the revised June figure of 869,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 547,000.

Housing Completions: Privately‐owned housing completions in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,280,000,. 3.6 percent above the revised June estimate of 1,236,000 and 1.7 percent above the July 2019 rate of 1,258,000. Single‐family housing completions in July were at a rate of 909,000, which is 1.8 percent below the revised June rate of 926,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 364,000.

08/19/2020

CFPB proposes 'Seasoned QM' category

The CFPB on Tuesday proposed to create a new category of seasoned qualified mortgages (Seasoned QMs) in order to encourage innovation and help ensure access to responsible, affordable financing in the mortgage credit market.

Under the Bureau's proposed rule, Seasoned QMs would have to be first-lien, fixed-rate covered transactions that have met certain performance requirements over a 36-month seasoning period. Covered transactions would also have to be held in the creditor’s portfolio during the seasoning period, comply with general restrictions on product features (a fixed rate and full amortization in 30 years or less) and points and fees and meet certain underwriting requirements. For a loan to be eligible to become a Seasoned QM, the proposal would also require that the creditor consider and verify the consumer’s debt-to-income ratio (DTI) or residual income at origination.

Seasoned QM status would only be available for covered transactions that have no more than two 30-day delinquencies and no delinquencies of 60 or more days at the end of the seasoning period. However, should there be a disaster or pandemic-related national emergency and as long as certain conditions are met, the proposal would not disqualify a loan from becoming a Seasoned QM for the failure to make full contractual payments if the consumer receives a temporary payment accommodation.

This is the third CFPB-proposed rulemaking regarding qualified mortgages since June. The first proposal would amend the general QM definition in Regulation Z to replace the DTI limit with a price-based approach. CFPB Director Kraninger has emphasized the importance of receiving public comment from stakeholders in response to that proposal, especially on possible standards to help the Bureau identify verification safe harbors for inclusion in final rules. The second proposal would amend Regulation Z to extend a temporary QM definition known as the GSE Patch to expire upon the effective date of the final rule proposed in the first NPRM.

Comments on the proposal announced Tuesday will be accepted for 30 days following Federal Register publication.

PUBLICATION UPDATE: Scheduled for publication in the on 8/28/2020, with comments due by 9/28/2020.

08/17/2020

Industrial production recovery continues

The Federal Reserve Board's G.17 Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization data for July 2020 have been released. Total industrial production rose 3.0 percent in July after increasing 5.7 percent in June; however, the index in July was 8.4 percent below its pre-pandemic February level. Manufacturing output continued to improve in July, rising 3.4 percent.

Most major industries posted increases, though they were much smaller than the advances recorded in June. The largest gain in July—28.3 percent—was registered by motor vehicles and parts; factory production elsewhere advanced 1.6 percent. Mining production rose 0.8 percent after decreasing for five consecutive months. The output of utilities increased 3.3 percent, as unusually warm temperatures increased the demand for air conditioning. At 100.2 percent of its 2012 average, the level of total industrial production was 8.2 percent lower in July than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 2.1 percentage points in July to 70.6 percent, a rate that is 9.2 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2019) average but 6.4 percentage points above its low in April.

08/14/2020

504 Loan debenture rates reduced

The Small Business Administration has announced updated interest rates for the SBA 504 Loan Program offered by Certified Development Companies (CDCs). Small businesses can now apply for the lowest interest rates since July 2018; the program is now allowing 20 and 25-year interest rates of 2.214% and 2.269%, respectively.

The SBA 504 Loan Program is authorized under Title V of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958. The core mission of the program is to provide long-term financing to small businesses for the purchase or improvement of land, buildings, and major equipment, to facilitate the creation or retention of jobs and to support local economic development. Under the program, loans are made in conjunction with private sector lenders to small businesses by CDCs, which are certified and regulated by the SBA to promote economic development within their community. Typical project financing requires a minimum 10% investment by the borrower, a 50% conventional first mortgage from a third-party lender (usually a bank or credit union), and a second mortgage financing up to 40% of eligible project costs.

08/13/2020

SBA adds PPP FAQs

The SBA continues to fine-tune its rules under the Paycheck Protection Program, adding three new questions to its FAQs on PPP Loan Forgiveness. The new FAQs address forgiveness applications for PPP borrowers who also received Economic Injury Disaster Loan advances.

The SBA also added questions 50 and 51 to its General FAQs on Paycheck Protection Loans. Question 50 clarifies that payment or nonpayment of fees of an agent or other third party don't affect SBA's guarantee of a PPP loan or its payment of fees to lenders. Question 51 states that payments for group health care benefits include premiums for vision and dental benefits.

08/13/2020

Fed issues Outstanding CRA rating

Our review of the Federal Reserve Board's Community Reinvestment Act Evaluations and Ratings Search page has revealed that the Federal Reserve Banks made public their ratings of five CRA evaluations in July. Four of the evaluations were rated "Satisfactory." Congratulations to Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, San Juan, on its "Outstanding" rating!

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