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FDIC final rule on deposit insurance fees and CECL

The FDIC has announced the adoption of a final rule addressing the temporary deposit insurance assessment effects resulting from certain optional regulatory capital transition provisions relating to the implementation of the current expected credit losses (CECL) methodology. The final rule removes the double counting of a specified portion of the CECL transitional amount or the modified CECL transitional amount, as applicable, in the calculation of certain financial measures that are used to determine assessment rates for large or highly complex insured depository institutions (IDIs). The rule becomes effective April 1, 2021, the beginning of the second quarterly assessment period for 2021.

The FDIC stated the rule does not affect institutions with less than $10 billion in assets, unless they are being treated as large institutions for deposit insurance assessment purposes.


Fannie and Freddie scorecards released

The FHFA yesterday released the 2021 Scorecard for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), and Common Securitization Solutions. The 2021 Scorecard aligns the 2019 Strategic Plan with the Enterprises’ tactical priorities and operations, serving as an essential tool to hold the Enterprises accountable. The three objectives of the 2021 Scorecard are to ensure that the Enterprises continue to:

  • Focus on their core mission responsibilities to foster competitive, liquid, efficient, and resilient (CLEAR) national housing finance markets that support sustainable homeownership and affordable rental housing;
  • Operate in a safe and sound manner appropriate for entities in conservatorship; and
  • Prepare for their eventual exits from the conservatorships.


HUD extends FHA COVID-19 moratoriums

HUD has announced extensions of the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) foreclosure and eviction moratoriums, as well as an extension of the initial start date of a COVID-19 Forbearance. Forbearance is an option mortgage servicers use to provide homeowners with a pause to their monthly payments for a limited period of time during a COVID-19 induced hardship. In addition, the Office of Public and Indian Housing is planning to announce similar relief for Native American and Native Hawaiian homeowners assisted under the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program and the Section 184A Native Hawaiian Housing Loan Guarantee Program.

To address the ongoing need to expand mortgage payment assistance solutions for homeowners, for all FHA-insured forward mortgages, HUD:

  • Extended the timeframe for homeowners to request the start of a COVID-19 Forbearance from their mortgage servicer through June 30, 2021. This extension provides homeowners with additional time to request a forbearance from their mortgage servicer.
  • Expanded the COVID-19 Forbearance to allow up to two forbearance extensions of up to three months each for homeowners who requested a COVID-19 Forbearance on or before June 30, 2020. These additional forbearance extensions will provide relief to homeowners in this situation who will be nearing the end of their maximum 12-month forbearance period and have not yet stabilized their financial situation.
  • Expanded the use of FHA’s streamlined COVID-19 loss mitigation home retention and home disposition options to all homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments by at least 90 days. This expansion will require mortgage servicers to assess more homeowners for a streamlined waterfall of loss mitigation home retention options, starting with FHA’s COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim.

To assist seniors with HECMs (home equity conversion mortgages, a/k/a "reverse mortgages"), FHA has extended the timeframe for the start of an initial COVID-19 HECM extension through June 30, 2021. For HECMs that entered an initial extension period on or before June 30, 2020, up to two additional three-month extension periods are available.


OCC, CFPB and NCUA publish supervisory guidance rule

The OCC, CFPB, and NCUA have published their previously announced final rules on the Role of Supervisory Guidance at 86 FR 9253, 86 FR 9261, and 86 FR 7949, respectively. The OCC and CFPB rules will be effective March 15, 2021. The NCUA rule becomes effective March 5, 2021.


SBA: COVID-19 EIDL funding exceeds $200B

The SBA has announced that its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program has provided U.S. small businesses, non-profits, and agricultural businesses a total of $200 billion in emergency funding for more than 3.7 million small businesses employing more than 20 million people.


Payday lender banned by FTC

The owners and operators of a vast payday lending scheme that overcharged consumers millions of dollars will be permanently banned from the lending industry under the terms of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The settlement also provides that nearly all outstanding debt—made up entirely of illegal finance charges—held by the company will be deemed paid in full.

The scheme, which was operated online under the names Harvest Moon Financial, Gentle Breeze Online, and Green Stream Lending, used deceptive marketing to convince consumers that their loans would be repaid in a fixed number of payments. A complaint filed by the FTC alleged that the company instead continued to draw millions of dollars in payments from consumers’ bank accounts long after the loans’ original principal amount and stated repayment cost had been repaid, and would do so until consumers completely closed their bank accounts or found some other way to cut off payments.

Under the terms of the settlement, Takehisa Naito and Keishi Ikeda, along with their companies Lead Express, Inc.; Camel Coins, Inc.; Sea Mirror, Inc,; Naito Corp.; Kotobuki Marketing, Inc.; Ebisu Marketing, Inc.; Hotei Marketing, Inc.; and Daikoku Marketing, Inc. will be permanently prohibited from making loans or extending credit of any kind. The settlement also includes a monetary judgment of $114.3 million, which is partially suspended based on an inability to pay. The defendants will be required to turn over all corporate assets and almost all domestic personal assets along with a number of vehicles to a receiver. The receiver will wind down and liquidate the business and provide all proceeds to the FTC.


HUD to enforce discrimination ban

Yesterday HUD issued a memorandum announcing that it will administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. HUD's action follows an Executive Order issued by President Biden on January 20 addressing the Supreme Court's decision in Bostock v Clayton County, which held that the prohibitions against sex discrimination in the workplace contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extend to and include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. HUD's General Counsel has concluded that the Fair Housing Act’s sex discrimination provisions are comparable to those of Title VII and that they likewise prohibit discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity.


FEMA to suspend communities tomorrow from flood insurance program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has published a final rule at 86 FR 9023 in today's Federal Register that identifies communities in Minnesota and Texas that are scheduled for suspension on February 12, 2021, from the National Flood Insurance Program for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the program. The affected communities are:

  • Minnesota: Elko New Market, Jordan, Prior Lake, Savage, Scott County (unincorporated areas), and Shakopee
  • Texas: Archer City, Archer County (unincorporated areas), Holliday, Jack County (unincorporated areas), Jacksboro, Lakeside City, and Scotland

If FEMA receives documentation that a community has adopted the required floodplain management measures prior to the effective suspension date given in the rule, the suspension will not occur.


Victims of student loan relief scam to receive refunds

The Federal Trade Commission reports it is sending more than $1.7 million to individuals who lost money to a debt relief scheme that targeted individuals trying to pay down their student loan debt. The Commission's complaint alleged that the operators behind Student Debt Relief Group tricked people into thinking the company was affiliated with the Department of Education, charged consumers illegal upfront fees, and collected monthly fees they falsely claimed would be credited toward consumers’ student loans. In reality, the operators of the scheme pocketed people’s money and responded to consumer complaints by changing the name of their company rather than their business practices.

Under the final settlement, the defendants, individual Salar Tahour and his companies—Los Angeles-based M&T Financial Group and American Counseling Center Corp., doing business as Student Debt Relief Group, SDRG, Student Loan Relief Counselors, SLRC, StuDebt, and Capital Advocates Group—are banned from engaging in any future debt relief activities and from making misrepresentations or unsubstantiated claims related to financial or any other products or services.

The FTC is sending 867 checks and 18,559 PayPal refunds, averaging about $88 each.


SBA PPP progress report

The SBA yesterday reported it had reached a major milestone with its latest round of approval of $103B of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds to more than 1.4 million small businesses. In this round, the PPP:

  • Reached more of the smallest businesses; 82% of all loans going to businesses requesting less than $100K
  • Reached rural communities in a meaningful way; 28% of businesses that have received funding this round are in rural communities
  • Increased partnerships with Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions that are trusted agents in extending economic relief to minority communities and underserved populations


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