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03/09/2021

Fed extending PPP liquidity facility

The Federal Reserve Board on Monday announced it will extend its Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, or PPPLF, by three months to June 30, 2021, to provide continued support for the flow of credit to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, administered by the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department.

The PPPLF extends term credit to financial institutions making PPP loans, accepting the PPP loans as collateral. The liquidity provided by the PPPLF helps eligible financial institutions fund additional PPP loans. The extension from March 31 to June 30, 2021, was approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.

The other currently active Federal Reserve pandemic economic recovery activities —the Commercial Paper Funding Facility, the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, and the Primary Dealer Credit Facility—have not had significant usage since last summer and will expire as scheduled on March 31.

03/08/2021

FDIC releases three Outstanding CRA evaluations

The FDIC has released its March 2021 list of financial institutions whose Community Reinvestment Act evaluations had recently been made public. Of the 68 institutions listed, 62 received a Satisfactory rating, and three received a Needs to Improve rating. We congratulate three institutions that received ratings of Outstanding:

03/05/2021

FHFA extends forbearance for multifamily owners

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to offer COVID-19 forbearance to qualifying multifamily property owners through June 30, 2021, subject to the continued tenant protections FHFA has imposed during the pandemic. The programs were set to expire March 31, 2021.

Property owners with Enterprise-backed multifamily mortgages can enter a new or, if qualified, modified forbearance if they experience a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Property owners who enter into a new or modified forbearance agreement must:

  • Inform tenants in writing about tenant protections available during the property owner's forbearance and repayment periods; and
  • Agree not to evict tenants solely for the nonpayment of rent while the property is in forbearance.

Additional tenant protections apply during the repayment periods. These protections include:

  • Giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate;
  • Not charging tenants late fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent; and
  • Allowing tenant flexibility in the repayment of back-rent over time, and not necessarily in a lump sum.

In addition to requiring written tenant notification, the Enterprises have posted the tenant protections to their respective online multifamily property lookup tool websites. The property lookup tools make it easier for tenants to find out if the multifamily property in which they reside has an Enterprise-backed mortgage.

03/05/2021

Comptroller’s Handbook revised

The OCC has issued Bulletin 2012-11 announcing a revised “Servicemembers Civil Relief Act” booklet for the Comptroller’s Handbook. This booklet provides information and procedures for examiners in connection with the consumer protections that servicemembers are eligible for under the Act.

03/05/2021

Treasury offers $9B for ECIP

Treasury has announced that it has opened the application process for the Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP), a new initiative designed to support access to capital in communities traditionally excluded from the financial system and that have struggled the most during the COVID-19 crisis. The program will ultimately invest $9 billion in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs), supporting their efforts to provide financial products for small and minority-owned businesses and consumers in low-income and underserved communities. Treasury’s $9 billion investment under ECIP will complement the $3 billion in grants being provided by the CDFI Fund through the CDFI Rapid Response Program and the Emergency Support and Minority Lending Program.

03/04/2021

Winter storm relief for Oklahoma financial institutions

FDIC FIL-13-2021, issued yesterday, announced guidance on steps intended to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of Oklahoma affected by severe winter storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared a federal disaster for selected areas affected in Oklahoma on February 24, 2021. FEMA may make additional designations after damage assessments are completed in the affected areas. A current list of designated areas is available at www.fema.gov.

The FDIC is encouraging banks to work constructively with borrowers experiencing difficulties beyond their control because of damage caused by the severe winter storms. Banks that extend repayment terms, restructure existing loans, or ease terms for new loans in a manner consistent with sound banking practices, can contribute to the health of the local community and serve the long-term interests of the lending institution. Banks may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery. The FDIC also will consider regulatory relief from certain filing and publishing requirements.

03/04/2021

March issue of Beige Book

The March 3, 2021, issue of the Beige Book [HTML; PDF] has been posted by the Federal Reserve Board. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector.

Economic activity expanded modestly from January to mid-February for most Federal Reserve Districts. Most businesses remain optimistic regarding the next 6-12 months as COVID-19 vaccines become more widely distributed. Reports on consumer spending and auto sales were mixed. Although a few Districts reported slight improvements in travel and tourism activity, overall conditions in the leisure and hospitality sector continued to be restrained by ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Despite challenges from supply chain disruptions, overall manufacturing activity for most Districts increased moderately from the previous report. Among Districts reporting on nonfinancial services, activity was mixed, though most reported modest growth over the reporting period.

Some Districts noted that financial institutions experienced declines in loan volumes, but most cited lower delinquency rates and elevated deposit levels. Historically low mortgage interest rates continued to spur robust demand for both new and existing homes in most Districts, and home prices continued to rise in many areas of the U.S. On balance, commercial real estate conditions in the hotel, retail, and office sectors deteriorated somewhat, while activity in the multifamily sector remained steady and the industrial segment continued to strengthen.

Districts reporting on energy observed a slight uptick in activity related to oil and gas production and energy consumption. Overall, reports on agricultural conditions were somewhat improved since the previous report. Transportation activity grew modestly for many Districts.

03/04/2021

Bureau proposes delay of compliance date for General QM rule

The CFPB has released a notice of proposed rulemaking to delay the mandatory compliance date of the General Qualified Mortgage (QM) final rule from July 1, 2021, to October 1, 2022. The CFPB is proposing to extend the compliance date to ensure homeowners struggling with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have the options they need.

The Bureau's press release states that extending the mandatory compliance date of the General QM final rule would allow lenders more time to offer QM loans based on the homeowners’ debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, and not solely based on a pricing cut-off. Extending the compliance date of the General QM final rule would also give lenders more time to use the GSE Patch, which provides QM status to loans that are eligible for sale to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. If the NPRM is finalized as proposed, the old, DTI-based General QM definition; the new, price-based General QM definition; and the GSE Patch (unless the GSEs exit conservatorship prior to October 1, 2022) would all remain available as long as the lender received the consumer’s application prior to October 1, 2022.

The NPRM was published at 86 FR 12839 in the Federal Register on March 5, 2021. Comments must be received by April 5, 2021.

03/03/2021

OCC issues three Outstanding CRA ratings

The OCC has released a list of 13 Community Reinvestment Act performance evaluations that were made public in February. Nine of the evaluations listed were rated satisfactory and one was rated needs to improve. Our congratulations to these three banks whose evaluations received outstanding ratings:

03/02/2021

Over 11M families are behind on housing payments

The CFPB has issued a new report regarding its first analysis of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on housing. The good news is that actions taken by both the public and private sector have, so far, prevented many families from losing their homes during the height of the public health crisis. However, as legal protections expire in the months ahead, over 11 million families — nearly 10 percent of U.S. households — are at risk of eviction and foreclosure. Over two million families are behind at least three months on mortgage payments, while 8.8 million are behind on rent. Homeowners alone are estimated to owe almost $90 billion in missed payments. The last time this many families were behind on their mortgages was during the Great Recession.

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