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Flood insurance program suspensions in 10 states today

FEMA has published a notice in today's Federal Register listing communities in ten states that have been scheduled for suspension from participation in the National Flood Insurance Program for noncompliance with the floodplain management requirements of the Program. The suspensions are effective today, January 29, 2021, unless FEMA has received documentation that a listed community has adopted the required management measures prior to the effective date.

The identified communities are:

  • CA: Ojai, Port Hueneme, San Buenaventura
  • IN: Evansville
  • IA: Bremer County (unincorporated areas), Chillicothe, Denver, Dunlap, Eddyville. Eldon, Frederika, Harrison County (unincorporated areas), Janesville, Little Sioux, Missouri Valley, Modale, Mondamin, Plainfield, Sumner, Trioli, Wapello County (unincorporated areas), Waverly
  • KS: Hutchinson, Nickerson, South Hutchinson, Willowbrook
  • KY: Bell County (unincorporated areas), Boyd County (unincorporated areas), Pineville
  • MO: Wayland
  • NH: Exeter, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, North Hampton, Portsmouth, Rye, Seabrook, Seabrook Beach Village District, Stratham, Village District of Little Boar's Head
  • SC: Awendaw, Charleston, Folly Beach, Hollywood, Isle of Palms, James Island, Kiawah Island, McClellanville, Rockville, Sullivan's Island
  • TX: Fort Bend County, Fulshear, Roseberg, Simonton
  • VA: Frederick County (unincorporated areas), Middletown, Stephens City, Winchester


OCC 'pauses' Fair Access rule

The OCC has announced it has paused publication of its Fair Access Rule, which would have required that large banks provide all customers fair access to their services. The final rule had been announced earlier this month.

The OCC said, "Pausing publication of the rule in the Federal Register will allow the next confirmed Comptroller of the Currency to review the final rule and the public comments the OCC received, as part of an orderly transition." The agency's supervisory guidance stating that banks should avoid termination of broad categories of customers without assessing individual customer risk remains in effect.


SBA updates Second Draw PPP guidance

The SBA has issued a Procedural Notice on "SBA Paycheck Protection Platform Procedures for Addressing Unresolved Issues on Borrower First Draw PPP Loans." Lenders will receive notification from the SBA when they submit an application for guarantee of a Second Draw PPP loan when unresolved issues relating to the borrower's First Draw loan exist.

Beginning yesterday, the platform moves Second Draw guarantee applications under such circumstances to a research status, and allows the lender a chance to submit documentation via the platform to support the resolution of the outstanding First Draw issues.


FOMC statement issued

The Federal Reserve Board has issued the Federal Open Market Committee Statement following the committee's February 27, 2021, meeting. In part, the FOMC stated—

"The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus, including progress on vaccinations. The ongoing public health crisis continues to weigh on economic activity, employment, and inflation, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook.

"The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. With inflation running persistently below this longer-run goal, the Committee will aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2 percent for some time so that inflation averages 2 percent over time and longer‑term inflation expectations remain well anchored at 2 percent. The Committee expects to maintain an accommodative stance of monetary policy until these outcomes are achieved. The Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the Committee's assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time."

The committee also reaffirmed its "Statement on Longer-Run Goals and Monetary Policy Strategy" at its annual organizational meeting this week. The statement was adopted in August 2020.


SBA 8(a) program participation extended one year

The U.S. Small Business Administration published an interim final rule effective January 13, 2021, allowing 8(a) Program participants to elect a one-year program extension in the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program due to the challenges of COVID-19.

Comments on the interim final rule will be accepted through March 15, 2021.


FHFA House Price Index up

House prices rose nationwide in November, up 1.0 percent from the previous month, according to the latest Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index report. House prices rose 11.0 percent from November 2019 to November 2020. The previously reported 1.5 percent price change for October 2020 remained unchanged. For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes from October 2020 to November 2020 ranged from +0.3 percent in the West South Central division to +1.6 percent in the Pacific division. The 12-month changes ranged from +8.7 percent in the West South Central division to +14.0 percent in the Mountain division.


Extension of COVID-19 relief on FHA mortgages

The Federal Housing Administration has announced that it will execute the Biden Administration’s request to extend the deadline for borrowers with FHA-insured mortgages who are struggling financially due to COVID-19 to request and receive mortgage payment forbearance from their mortgage servicer. The new deadline is March 31, 2021, allowing borrowers additional time to request and obtain up to six months of an initial pause in their mortgage payments. Borrowers with FHA-insured mortgages seeking additional information on available options should visit the FHA’s COVID-19 Resources for Homeowners webpage.


Extension of FHA foreclosure and eviction moratorium

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has extended its foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or guaranteed by the Office of Native American Programs’ Section 184 and 184A loan guarantee programs through March 31, 2021.


OCC enforcement actions

The OCC has issued a list of enforcement actions taken in November and December 2020 and January 2021 against OCC-supervised institutions and individuals now or formerly affiliated with such institutions. In addition to the previously announced civil money penalty and cease and desist order against the former General Counsel for Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., the list includes:

  • a civil money penalty of $382,500 against USAA FSB, San Antonio, Texas, for Flood Act violations
  • a civil money penalty of $10,000 against a former CFO of Golden Pacific Bank, N.A., Sacramento, California, for deliberately filing false Call Report data
  • a prohibition order against a former mortgage specialist at First National Bank of Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, for initiating unauthorized internal fund transfers totaling $10,233 from bank general ledger accounts to a personal mortgage account, and making false entries to conceal the transfers
  • a Notice of Charges for a cease and desist order and a $30,000 civil money penalty against a former president, CEO and board chairman of cfsbank, Charleroi, Pennsylvania, involving significant overdraft activity of a bank customer, bank loans to that customer, and failure to supervise bank employees to whom he had delegated supervision of account overdrafts.


LendUp Loans to pay $950,000 under settlement

The CFPB has announced a proposed settlement to resolve its December 4, 2020, lawsuit against LendUp Loans, LLC (LendUp) alleging violations of the Military Lending Act (MLA). This is the first resolution in the Bureau’s broader sweep of investigations of multiple lenders that may be violating the MLA.

LendUp, which has its principal place of business in Oakland, California, is an online lender that offers single-payment and installment loans to consumers. If entered by the court, the proposed settlement would require LendUp to provide $300,000 in redress to consumers and to pay a $950,000 civil money penalty. The settlement would also enjoin LendUp from committing future violations of the MLA and from collecting on, selling, or assigning any debts arising from loans that failed to comply with the MLA. It would also require LendUp to correct or update the information it provided to consumer reporting agencies about affected consumers.


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