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Agencies launch COVID-19 mortgage and housing assistance website

The CFPB has announced it has joined with the FHFA and HUD to launch a new website,, to provide assistance and information to homeowners and renters impacted by COVID-19. This joint website consolidates information on CARES Act mortgage relief, protections for renters, resources for additional help, and avoiding COVID-19 related scams. It also provides lookup tools for homeowners to determine if their mortgage is federally backed, and for renters to find out if their rental unit is financed by FHA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac.


Colorado mortgage-loan servicer to pay consumers $1.275M

The CFPB has announced a settlement with Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC (SLS), a mortgage-loan servicer in Colorado. As of February 29, 2020, SLS serviced a portfolio of mortgage loans worth about $112.69 billion. The consent order requires SLS to pay $1.275 million in monetary relief to consumers in the form of redress and waiver of borrower deficiencies, pay a $250,000 civil money penalty to be deposited into the Bureau’s Civil Penalty Fund, and implement procedures to ensure compliance with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and its implementing regulation, Regulation X. The Bureau’s investigation found that since January 2014, SLS violated RESPA and Regulation X by taking prohibited foreclosure actions against mortgage borrowers who were entitled to protection from foreclosure, and by failing to send or to timely send evaluation notices to mortgage borrowers who were entitled to them. SLS's actions were also found to have violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010.


Fed updates Muni Liquidity Facility term sheet

The Federal Reserve Board has published updates to the term sheet for the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) to provide pricing and other information. The MLF, which was established under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act with approval of the Treasury Secretary, will offer up to $500 billion in lending to states and municipalities to help manage cash flow stresses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. An FAQ and a pricing index were also posted.


CFPB HMDA revisions published today

The CFPB's final rule amending Regulation C (HMDA) was published at 85 FR 28364 in today's Federal Register. The rule increases the threshold for reporting data about closed-end mortgage loans, so that institutions originating fewer than 100 closed-end mortgage loans in either of the two preceding calendar years will not have to report such data effective July 1, 2020. The Bureau is also setting the threshold for reporting data about open-end lines of credit at 200 open-end lines of credit effective January 1, 2022, upon the expiration of the current temporary threshold of 500 open-end lines of credit.

Kathleen Blanchard will present a BOL Learning Connect webinar—New HMDA Changes— on May 28, 2020. Register NOW!


FinCEN renews GTOs

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the renewal of its Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) that require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used in all-cash purchases of residential real estate in twelve metro areas. The renewed GTOs are identical to the November 2019 GTOs, and will be effective from May 10 through November 5, 2020. The purchase amount threshold remains $300,000 for each covered metropolitan area. An FAQ regarding the GTOs was also issued.


Interagency issuances on credit losses and risk review

The Federal Reserve, FDIC, NCUA, and OCC have approved an Interagency Policy Statement on Allowances for Credit Losses. The statement will promote consistency in the interpretation and application of the Financial Accounting Standards Board's credit losses accounting standard, which introduces the current expected credit losses (CECL) methodology. The statement describes the measurement of expected credit losses using the CECL methodology and updates concepts and practices detailed in existing supervisory guidance that remain applicable.

The agencies also finalized Interagency Guidance on Credit Risk Review Systems. The guidance presents principles for establishing a system of independent, ongoing credit risk review in accordance with safety and soundness standards.

The policy statement and guidance documents will be effective upon publication, which is expected shortly.

Related documents:


NMLS extends fingerprint deadline

The NMLS Federal Registry Resources webpage indicates that the window for licensees to complete fingerprinting requirements has been temporarily extended by NMLS for 60 days. Licensees will now have 240 days to complete the requirement, instead of the standard 180 days. The additional 60 days will apply to any expiration window that is currently open or subsequently opened and will also apply to expiration windows that have expired since March 17, 2020.


FDIC urges banks to provide South Carolina weather relief

The FDIC has posted FIL-53-2020 to announce steps intended to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of South Carolina affected by severe storms, tornadoes and straight-line winds April 12–13, 2020. Banks are encouraged to work constructively with borrowers experiencing difficulties beyond their control because of storm damage.


Revolving credit plummeted in first quarter

The Federal Reserve has posted March 2020 data on consumer credit outstanding. Consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1-3/4 percent during the first quarter. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 10-1/4 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 6 percent. In March, revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 31 percent, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 6-1/4 percent.


Bureau Compliance Aid on ECOA and PPP applications

The CFPB has issued a Compliance Aid with three clarifying FAQs on the topic of "SBA Paycheck Protection Program and Notification of Action Taken."

The FAQs clarify that a PPP application is only a “completed application” once the creditor has received a loan number from the SBA or a response about the availability of funds. This ensures that the time awaiting this information from the SBA does not count towards the 30-day notice requirement, and that applications will therefore not “time out” during the process.

The FAQs also make clear that if the creditor denies an application without ever sending the application to the SBA, the creditor must give notice of this adverse action within 30 days. It further clarifies that a creditor cannot deny a loan application based on incompleteness where the creditor has enough information for a credit decision but has yet to receive a loan number or response about the availability of funds from the SBA.


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