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Top Story Lending Related

04/14/2021

FEMA to suspend 7 California communities next week

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has published a Federal Register notice [86 FR 19580, 4/14/2021] that the agency has scheduled seven California communities for suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program.

The affected communities are the cities of Carson, Culver City, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, and Santa Monica, all in Los Angeles County.

The suspensions are scheduled for April 21, 2021. However, if FEMA receives documentation that a listed community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to April 21, the community will not be suspended.

04/14/2021

CFPB and SettleIt propose settlement order

The CFPB has announced an action against SettleIt, Inc., a California-based online debt-settlement company, for taking advantage of consumers, failing to disclose its relationship to certain creditors, and steering consumers into high-cost loans offered by affiliated lenders. The Bureau has filed a federal court complaint alleging that SettleIt, Inc. engaged in abusive acts or practices under the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (CFPA) and violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).

According to the CFPB, SettleIt, Inc. presents itself as an independent debt-settlement company that helps consumers negotiate with creditors like CashCall and LoanMe. But SettleIt is affiliated with CashCall and LoanMe — the same individual owns SettleIt and CashCall, and LoanMe is tied to SettleIt through loans and agreements. The CFPB alleges that SettleIt abused consumers’ trust by charging fees to negotiate settlements that favor those companies. The CFPB also alleges that SettleIt steered distressed consumers into taking out expensive loans with CashCall and LoanMe, while hiding the fact that SettleIt took its debt-settlement fees from these loan proceeds. SettleIt kept consumers in the dark about its relationships with CashCall and LoanMe, and it even included language in call scripts saying “we are not owned or operated by any of your creditors.”

The Bureau and SettleIt filed a proposed order that, if entered by the court, would require SettleIt to return at least $646,000 in fees to consumers, pay a $750,000 civil penalty, and stop settling debts for creditors with which it shares an ownership interest.

04/13/2021

HUD awards $90M+ to tribes and TDHEs

HUD has announced over $90 million in grant awards to 24 tribes and tribally designated housing entities (TDHEs) across the country to support new housing construction, housing rehabilitation, and critical infrastructure projects. The funds were awarded through HUD’s Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) competitive program to help construct new housing units for low-income families living in tribal communities. It is projected that this funding will support the construction of approximately 350 new housing units, which will help spur economic opportunities in these communities.

04/13/2021

Freddie and Fannie to limit loan eligibility to new QM rule

Fannie Mae, in Lender Letter LL-2021-09, and Freddie Mac, in Guide Bulletin 2021-13, announced that any loans purchased by the GSEs after July 1, 2021, must conform to the requirements outlined in the CFPB’s recently finalized QM final rule. Both GSEs clarified that they will continue to buy loans that fall under the "GSE patch" that have application dates on or before June 30 and settlement dates before September 1, and are purchased as whole loans before September 1, or in mortgage-backed securities pools with an issue date on or before August 1.

04/12/2021

HUD awards $13.7M for emergency safety and security

HUD has announced it has awarded $13.7 million to public housing authorities throughout the country to make needed capital improvements in public housing developments that serve to enhance safety and security for residents.

The funds are awarded through HUD’s Capital Fund Emergency Safety and Security Program, which supports public housing authorities as they address the safety of public housing residents. These grants may be used to install, repair, or replace capital equipment or systems that contribute to a safer living environment for residents, including security systems/surveillance cameras, fencing, lighting systems, emergency alarm systems, window bars, deadbolt locks, doors, and carbon monoxide detectors.

04/09/2021

FDIC Minority Depository Institutions subcommittee meets Monday

An open meeting of the FDIC Minority Depository Institutions (MDI) Subcommittee to the Advisory Committee on Community Banking will be held Monday, April 12, at 1 p.m. EDT. During the public portion of the meeting, the MDI Subcommittee members will share insights into key challenges and opportunities facing their communities and financial institutions. During the MDI Spotlight feature, Robert James II, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Board Member of Carver State Bank in Savannah, Georgia, will discuss collaboration best practices by a group of Black MDIs that came together to syndicate a $35 million loan to refinance the Atlanta Hawks Emory Sports Medicine Complex. Following the public meeting, MDI Subcommittee members will provide feedback on the FDIC’s strategies to preserve and promote MDIs. Topics include the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s new Emergency Capital Investment Program.

The subcommittee meeting will be webcast live at http://fdic.windrosemedia.com/.

04/09/2021

Missouri bank assessed $11,000 flood penalty

The Federal Reserve Board has announced its assessment of an $11,000 civil money penalty on a Missouri bank for violations of the National Flood Insurance Act.

04/09/2021

HUD allocates $5B in American Rescue Plan funds

HUD has announced the allocation of nearly $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to help communities across the country create affordable housing and services for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. The supplemental funding is allocated through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to 651 grantees, including states, insular areas, and local governments.

04/08/2021

March FOMC minutes posted

The Federal Reserve Board has released the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting held March 16–17, 2021.

04/08/2021

Vets business outreach center application deadline extended

The SBA has announced that private organizations, colleges and universities, private sector firms, nonprofit organizations, and state, local or tribal governmental agencies in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Northern California, and Nevada have an extended deadline to apply for funding no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, April 25, 2021. This grant opportunity assists with training and counseling to aspiring and existing veteran small business owners as a Veterans Business Outreach Center.

The grant awardees will provide training to service members and military spouses through the Boots to Business entrepreneurship training program, which is part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program. Additionally, applicants will provide counseling, technical and financial skill development, comprehensive business assessments, and mentoring services to veterans, transitioning and active-duty service members, Reserve, National Guard, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business.

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