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OFAC targets sanctions evasion network

Yesterday, OFAC designated three individuals and eight foreign entities, and identified two vessels as blocked property for their activities in or associated with a network attempting to evade United States sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector.

For identification of those targeted by OFAC, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update.


FEMA suspending communities from flood program today

In what appears to be another "catch-up" on required publication of community suspensions from the National Flood Insurance Program, FEMA has published at 85 FR 37019 in today's Federal Register a notice it has scheduled suspensions of communities in Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington today, June 19, 2020, for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program:

  • Idaho: Garden City, Meridian, and unincorporated areas of Ada County
  • Iowa: Charles City, Floyd, Leland, Nora Springs, Rockford, Russ, Scarville, Thompson, and unincorporated areas of Floyd and Winnebago Counties
  • Michigan: Bedford, Berlin, Erie, Estral Beach, Frenchtown, LaSalle, Luna Pier, and Monroe
  • North Carolina: Alliance, Bath, Bayboro, Bridgeton, Chocowinity, Emerald Isle, Greenville, Grimesland, Havelock, Kill Devil Hills, Mesic, Minnesott Beach, Nags Head, New Bern, North Topsail Beach, Oriental, River Bend, Southern Shores, Stonewall, Swansboro, Washington, and unincorporated areas of Carteret, Craven, Currituck, Hyde, Pamlico, and Washington Counties
  • Texas: Unincorporated areas of Denton County
  • Utah: Alpine, American Fork, Bluffdale, Genola, Lehi, Orem, Payson, Salem, Saratoga Springs, Spanish Fork, Springville, and unincorporated areas of Utah County
  • Washington: Bothell, Brier, Bucoda, Darrington, Edmonds, Everett, Gold Bar, Index, Lake Stevens, Lynwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Stanwood, Sultan, Tenino, and unincorporated areas of Snohomish and Thurston Counties

If a designated community completed the steps to return to compliance with the floodplain requirements before today, it will not be suspended. Lenders should verify the status of any of the listed communities in which they may be taking real estate as security for a loan before proceeding with the transaction.


OCC: Banks' response to COVID-19 governed by federal standards

OCC Bulletin 2020-62 reminds national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks that, even though federal, state, and local governments have taken many actions to respond to the economic disruption caused by the spread of COVID-19, OCC-supervised institutions are governed primarily by uniform federal standards that preempt state law. The Bulletin lists types of state laws and regulations that do not apply to OCC-supervised institutions:

  • State law limitations on terms of credit, disbursements and repayments; and processing, origination, and servicing mortgages
  • State law and regulations on interest and non-interest fees
  • State actions limiting banks' ability to foreclose on defaulted loans and take possession of collateral beyond what is provided for in the CARES Act
  • Attempts to require banks to report to state and local officials

The OCC recommends that banks it supervises should consult with legal counsel to determine the applicability of any particular state or local law. Banks and their counsel may also contact the OCC with questions.


OCC explains how to use LTD ratios

The OCC has issued Bulletin 2020-61 to inform national banks about how the host loan-to-deposit (LTD) ratios issued by the OCC, Fed, and the FDIC on June 2, 2020, are used to determine compliance with section 109 of the Riegle–Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994 (IBBEA).


PPP forgiveness application updates

The Small Business Administration has posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application to implement the PPP Flexibility Act. The SBA also released a new EZ version of the application for borrowers who:

  • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period.


Enterprises extend foreclosure/eviction moratorium

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend their single-family moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least August 31, 2020, according to an announcement from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The moratorium, which was set to expire at the end of June, applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only.


$40M in housing counseling grants awarded

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced the award of nearly $40 million in housing counseling grants to help over one million individuals and families access HUD-approved housing counseling to help them avoid foreclosure and make more informed homebuying and rental choices. The grants will directly support the housing counseling services provided by 204 HUD-approved local housing counseling agencies, national and regional organizations, and state housing finance agencies (SHFAs). Recipients of these grants competed through the Department's two-year (FY 2019 and 2020) Comprehensive Housing Counseling Grant Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) published May 24, 2019.


CFPB issues FAQs on credit reporting and CARES Act

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released a Compliance Aid in the form of ten Consumer Reporting FAQs Related to the CARES Act and COVID-19 Pandemic.

In addition to summarizing the Bureau's April 1, 2020, statement on supervisory and enforcement practices regarding the FCRA and Regulation V in light of the CARES Act, the FAQs address the credit reporting requirements of the CARES Act, including considerations for furnishers when reporting consumers as current as required by the CARES Act.

The FAQs also clarify that reporting that a consumer is affected by a natural or declared disaster is not a substitute for complying with the CARES Act credit reporting requirements. In addition, the FAQs address the Bureau’s guidance that provides temporary and targeted flexibility in the event CRAs or the furnisher experiences challenges as a result of the pandemic in investigating consumer disputes.


FEMA has suspended communities from NFIP

FEMA has published at 85 FR 36507 in today's Federal Register a notice that it scheduled communities in Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oregon for suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program on June 5, 2020, for non-compliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. The identified communities include:

  • Alabama: Bayou La Batre, Chickasaw, Citronelle, Creola, Dauphin Island, Mobile, Mount Vernon, Prichard, Saraland, Satsuma, and unincorporated areas of Mobile County
  • Arkansas: Alexander, Bauxite, and Benton
  • Iowa: Clear Lake, Mason City, McIntire, Mitchell, Osage, Plymouth, Rock Falls, Rockwell, Stacyville, Swaledale, Thornton, Ventura, and unincorporated areas of Cerro Gordo and Mitchell Counties
  • Missouri: Unincorporated areas of Franklin County
  • Nebraska: Decatur, Herman, Lyons, Oakland, and Tekamah
  • Oregon: Florence and unincorporated areas of Lane County

It appears that FEMA is catching up on its publication requirements for suspensions. If any of the listed communities completed steps to return to compliance before the June 5 suspension date, it will not have been suspended. Lenders should verify the status of a community in this list before completing their responsibilities concerning flood insurance coverage on real estate in the community that is to secure a loan.


FHFA releases 2019 Report to Congress

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released its annual Report to Congress, covering calendar year 2019.


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