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Top Story Lending Related

11/02/2020

Bureau issues FDCPA rule

The CFPB has issued a final rule [653-page PDF] to restate and clarify prohibitions on harassment and abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair practices by debt collectors when collecting consumer debt. The rule focuses on debt collection communications and gives consumers more control over how often and through what means debt collectors can communicate with them regarding their debts. The rule also clarifies how the protections of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act apply to newer communication technologies, such as email and text messages.

The rule—

  • establishes a presumption on the number of calls debt collectors may place to reach consumers on a weekly basis. A debt collector is presumed to violate federal law if the debt collector places telephone calls to a particular person in connection with the collection of a particular debt more than seven times within seven consecutive days or within seven consecutive days of having had a telephone conversation about the debt.
  • clarifies how consumers may set limits on debt collection communications to reflect their preferences and the limits on communicating with third parties about a consumer’s debt
  • requires debt collectors who communicate electronically to offer the consumer a reasonable and simple method to opt out of such communications at a specific email address or telephone number
  • provides that consumers may, if the debt collector communicates through a medium of electronic communications, use that medium of electronic communications to place a cease communication request or notify the debt collector that they refuse to pay the debt
  • clarifies that the FDCPA’s general prohibition on harassing, oppressive, or abusive conduct applies to telephone calls as well as other communication media, such as email and text messages
  • provides examples demonstrating how the prohibition restricts emails and text messages
  • generally restates the FDCPA’s prohibitions regarding false, deceptive, or misleading representations or means and unfair or unconscionable means

The final rule does contain provisions on disputes, and record retention, among other topics. It does not include a proposed safe harbor for debt collectors against claims that an attorney falsely represented the attorney’s involvement in the preparation of a litigation submission. The Bureau intends to issue a second debt collection final rule focused on consumer disclosures and collection of time-barred debts in December 2020.

The rule, which is a complete revision and restatement of Bureau Regulation F (12 CFR Part 1006), will become effective one year after it is published in the Federal Register.

10/30/2020

FEMA to change notification method for community status

FEMA has published a final rule [85 FR 68782] in today's Federal Register modernizing regulations regarding publication requirements of community eligibility status information under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FEMA is replacing outdated regulations that require publication of community loss of eligibility notices in the Federal Register with a requirement that FEMA publish this information on the internet or by another comparable method. FEMA is also replacing its requirement that the agency maintain a list of communities eligible for flood insurance in the Code of Federal Regulations with a requirement that FEMA publish this list on the internet or by another comparable method.

FEMA will post community suspension notices in the Community Status Book (CSB) area of its website for a minimum of one year after they are issued, and update the CSB regularly to reflect current community status information. Affected communities will continue to receive the 90-day and 30-day letters they have always received during the suspension process.

The rule will be effective December 2, 2020.

10/29/2020

CFPB Ombudsman 2020 Annual Report

The 2020 Annual Report of the CFPB Private Education Loan Ombudsman has been issued. It shows that from September 1, 2019, through August 31, 2020, the Bureau handled approximately 7,000 complaints related to private or federal student loans. That is an overall decrease from last year and continues a trend from 2017. More specifically, for the 12 months ending August 31, 2020, the Bureau handled approximately 1,900 private student loan complaints, a decrease of approximately 33 percent compared to that of the previous year, and approximately 5,000 federal student loan complaints, a decrease of approximately 24 percent compared to that of the previous 12 months.

10/29/2020

SBA fiscal year loan summary data

The Small Business Administration has released its Fiscal Year 2020 summary loan data of the financial assistance provided through traditional loan program lending as well as aid provided via the CARES Act.

Loans guaranteed through traditional SBA lending programs exceeded $28 billion; however, enactment of the CARES Act dramatically increased loan volume guaranteed by the Agency. In FY20, the Paycheck Protection Program provided an additional 5.2 million loans worth more than $525 billion. The Agency’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program added another 3.6 million small business loans valued at $191 billion, as well as an additional 5.7 million EIDL Advances worth $20 billion.

Highlights from the Paycheck Protection Program:

  • 27% of the PPP loan dollars were made in low-and moderate-income communities which is in proportion to the percentage of population in these areas
  • More than $133 billion, or 25%, of PPP loans were approved for small businesses in historically underutilized business zones (HUBZones)
  • Over $80 billion, or 15%, of total PPP dollars were approved to small businesses in rural communities

10/28/2020

Washington Federal Bank hit with HMDA penalty

The CFPB has announced it has settled with Washington Federal Bank, N.A., a federally insured national bank, and issued a consent order to address the Bureau’s finding that the bank reported inaccurate Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data about its mortgage transactions for 2016 and 2017. The settlement requires Washington Federal to pay a $200,000 civil money penalty and develop and implement an effective compliance-management system to prevent future violations.

The bank was previously issued a consent order in 2013 for HMDA filing violations. For additional information and a link to the consent order, see "Washington Federal Bank, NA pays HMDA penalty" in BankersOnline's penalty pages.

10/28/2020

Interest Rate Risk Statistics report

The OCC has issued Bulletin 2020-91 to announce the publication of the first semiannual "Interest Rate Risk Statistics Report." The report presents interest rate risk data gathered during examinations of OCC-supervised midsize and community financial institutions. The statistics are for informational purposes only and do not represent OCC-suggested limits or exposures. The report provides statistics on interest rate risk exposures and risk limits for different midsize and community bank populations, including:

  • all OCC-supervised midsize and community banks with reported data
  • banks by asset size
  • banks by charter type
  • minority depository institutions

10/28/2020

OCC finalizes True Lender Rule

The OCC has issued a final rule that determines when a bank (national bank or federal savings association) makes a loan and is the “true lender,” including in the context of a partnership between a bank and a third party. The rule specifies that a bank makes a loan and is the true lender if, as of the date of origination, it (1) is named as the lender in the loan agreement or (2) funds the loan. The rule also specifies that if, as of the date of origination, one bank is named as the lender in the loan agreement for a loan and another bank funds that loan, the bank that is named as the lender in the loan agreement makes the loan. The rule also clarifies that as the true lender of a loan, the bank retains the compliance obligations associated with the origination of that loan, thus negating concern regarding harmful rent-a-charter arrangements.

The OCC specifies in the prefatory text to the final rule in the Federal Register filing that the bank would not be considered the true lender in certain traditional lending or finance arrangements such as mortgage warehouse lending, indirect automobile finance, loan syndication and other structured finance. The OCC also clarified that the rule “does not affect the applicability” of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act or their implementing regulations. The final rule will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

PUBLICATION AND EFFECTIVE DATE INFO: Published at 85 FR 68742 on October 30, 2020, with an effective date of December 29, 2020.

10/28/2020

FHFA House Price Index up

The FHFA has released its latest FHFA House Price Index. House prices rose nationwide in August, up 1.5 percent from the previous month. Prices rose 8.0 percent from August 2019 to August 2020. FHFA also revised its previously reported 1.0 percent price change for July 2020 to 1.1 percent. For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes from July 2020 to August 2020 ranged from +0.9 percent in the East South Central division to +1.9 percent in the West South Central division. The 12-month changes ranged from +7.2 percent in the West North Central division to +9.7 percent in the Mountain division.

10/28/2020

FHFA finalizes strategic plan for FY 2021-2024

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced its adoption of the FHFA Strategic Plan: Fiscal Years 2021-2024. The Strategic Plan establishes new goals needed for FHFA to fulfill its statutory duties, which include responsibly ending the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises). The FHFA said it carefully reviewed all comments submitted on the Plan. The agency fulfilled one of the most common comment requests on October 19, when it released a proposed rule on new Enterprise products and activities.

The Strategic Plan formalizes the new direction of the agency and its regulated entities by updating the agency’s mission, vision, and values, and by establishing three new strategic goals:

  1. Ensuring safe and sound regulated entities through world-class supervision;
  2. Fostering competitive, liquid, efficient, and resilient (CLEAR) national housing finance markets; and
  3. Positioning the agency as a model of operational excellence by strengthening its workforce and infrastructure.

10/28/2020

NMLS Policy Guidebook updated

An updated version of the NMLS Policy Guidebook has been posted on the NMLS Resource Center and the Regulator Resource Center.

The updates include a provision that individuals (including mortgage loan originators) working under executive order, state guidance, laws, regulations or any other pronouncement with the effect of law, need not change their work location in their Registry record.

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