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Top Story Lending Related

04/22/2021

Stark Law phantom debt victims getting refunds

The Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the Illinois Attorney General are sending payments totaling more than $4 million to more than 10,000 consumers who lost money to the Stark Law phantom debt collection scheme.

According a suit filed by the FTC and the Illinois Attorney General, Stark Law used multiple business names to target consumers who obtained or applied for payday or other short-term loans, pressuring them into paying debts they either did not owe or that the defendants had no authority to collect. Stark Law allegedly called consumers and demanded immediate payment for supposedly delinquent loans, at times threatening consumers with lawsuits or arrest, falsely claiming they would be charged with “defrauding a financial institution” or “passing a bad check.”

Affected consumers are receiving full refunds, averaging $375 each.

04/22/2021

GSEs extend some loan origination flexibilities

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Wednesday announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend some temporary loan origination flexibilities until May 31, 2021. All temporary flexibilities were originally set to expire on April 30.

Alternative appraisals on purchase and rate-term refinance loans are among the flexibilities that will now be extended through May 31, 2021.

Those temporary flexibilities related to employment verification, condominium project reviews, and expanded power of attorney are being allowed to expire as scheduled on April 30, 2021.

Due to low usage of the temporary flexibilities, FHFA expects to retire all temporary selling flexibilities on May 31, 2021.

04/21/2021

OCC rates six CRA evals Outstanding

The OCC has released a list of 15 OCC-supervised institutions evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act whose evaluations became public in March. Of those evaluations, eight are rated satisfactory, six are rated outstanding, and one is rated needs to improve.

We congratulate these banks for having earned "outstanding" ratings:

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.

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