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04/20/2021

FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook updated

The Federal Housing Administration yesterday announced the publication of an update to the Servicing and Loss Mitigation section [1127 page PDF] of the FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook4000.1.

The update streamlines many standard operational requirements for mortgage servicers, including revising FHA’s loss mitigation home retention “waterfall” so that servicers can more quickly offer effective loss mitigation home retention options to borrowers in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. Additional changes streamline and enhance many servicing requirements to provide more consistency with industry practices and reduce barriers to servicing FHA-insured single family mortgages.

04/20/2021

SBA releases Restaurant Revitalization Fund information

The SBA has announced key details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). The restaurant industry has been among the hardest-hit sectors during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help bring jobs back and revive the industry, the American Rescue Plan established the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA will administer the funds to the hardest-hit small restaurants.

Details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide are now available in English and Spanish.

04/20/2021

OCC terminates portfolio stress test tool

The OCC, in Bulletin 2021-21, has announced it has terminated its Portfolio Stress Test Tool for Income-Producing Commercial Real Estate on BankNet. The Bulletin indicates the OCC has removed the tool and associated documents from BankNet, and deactivated the email address that had been associated with the tool.

The OCC has provided the tool since 2012 to demonstrate basic portfolio stress testing concepts and to help banks conduct portfolio stress testing on income-producing commercial real estate portfolios. The use of the tool was optional. Today, according to the OCC, several methods and tools are available for performing loan portfolio stress testing, and banks generally have satisfactory policies, processes, systems, and, in some cases, advanced approaches for conducting ongoing portfolio stress testing. In addition, the OCC has observed decreased use of the tool. For those reasons, the tool has been terminated.

04/19/2021

$1.5M in Main Street grants awarded

On Friday, HUD announced the award of $1.5 million through its HOPE VI Main Street Program to help build affordable housing in Colorado, California, and Oregon. Kit Carson, Colorado, will receive a $500,000 grant to redevelop two sites, the City of El Cerrito, California, will receive a $500,000 grant to build affordable, residential units in the city's commercial district, and the City of Stayton, Oregon, will receive a $500,000 grant to rehabilitate two buildings.

04/19/2021

CFPB updates Debt Collection small entity guide

The CFPB has updated its Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Debt Collection Rule (Regulation F, 12 CFR Part 1006) to add discussion of the December 2020 Rule's requirements.

The CFPB's proposed rule and request for public comment that would postpone the effective date of the December 2020 Rule from November 30, 2021, to January 29, 2022, has been published, with a comment period ending May 19, 2021.

04/16/2021

CDRLF Grant Round to open

The NCUA has announced that low-income-designated credit unions seeking Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF) grants in 2021 will be able to apply between May 3 and June 26. The agency will administer approximately $1.5 million in CDRLF grants to the most-qualified applicants, subject to the availability of funds. Grants will be awarded in three categories:

  • Underserved Outreach (maximum award of $50,000);
  • Minority Depository Institution Mentoring (maximum award of $25,000); and
  • Digital Services and Cybersecurity (maximum award of $7,000).

04/16/2021

OCC publishes Allowance for Credit Losses booklet

The OCC has issued the new “Allowances for Credit Losses” booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook, which is prepared for use by OCC examiners in connection with the examination and supervision of national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banking organizations. The booklet provides examiners with information and examination procedures regarding allowances for credit losses (ACL). This booklet applies to the OCC’s supervision of banks that have adopted the current expected credit losses (CECL) methodology under Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 326. The “Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses” booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook continues to apply to the OCC’s supervision of banks that have not adopted CECL.

04/16/2021

OCC enforcement actions announced

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has announced new enforcement actions taken in February and March. Among those actions were:

04/16/2021

$41M for HOPWA housing

HUD is making $41 million in Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) competitive funding available to states, local governments, and non-profits through the HOPWA: Housing as an Intervention to Fight AIDS funding opportunity. Housing instability has been a major issue facing many persons living with HIV since the beginning of the epidemic. Achieving and maintaining stable housing can be a powerful structural intervention in ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. HUD will publish a pre-application webcast by April 30, 2021 for anyone interested in submitting an application for the HOPWA: Housing as an Intervention to Fight AIDS funding opportunity.

04/16/2021

Treasury escalates Russia-related sanctions

The U. S. Department of the Treasury issued three press releases on Thursday announcing escalated sanctions against the Russian government's attempts to influence U.S. elections, the sanctioning of Russian persons in the Crimea region of Ukraine, and actions taken against Russia under a sweeping new sanctions authority.

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against 16 entities and 16 individuals who attempted to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election at the direction of the leadership of the Russian Government, following the Intelligence Community’s “Assessment of Foreign Threats to the 2020 U.S. Federal Elections.” The assessment addresses the intentions and efforts of key foreign actors, including Russia, to influence or interfere with the U.S. elections and undermine public confidence in the election process.

OFAC also designated five individuals and three entities related to Russia’s occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and its severe human rights abuses against the local population.

Under the authority of a new Executive Order targeting aggressive and harmful activities by the Government of the Russian Federation, OFAC issued a directive that generally prohibits U.S. financial institutions from participating in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, and further prohibits U.S. financial institutions from lending ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to these three entities. This directive expands upon existing prohibitions on certain dealings in Russian sovereign debt that have been in place since August 2019.

OFAC also designated ERA Technopolis; Pasit, AO (Pasit); Federal State Autonomous Scientific Establishment Scientific Research Institute Specialized Security Computing Devices and Automation (SVA); Neobit, OOO (Neobit); Advanced System Technology, AO (AST); and Pozitiv Teknolodzhiz, AO (Positive Technologies), all of which are companies operating in the technology sector of the Russian Federation economy that support Russian Intelligence Services.

Additional information and identification of the persons designated under OFAC's actions can be found in BankersOnline's OFAC Update.

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