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The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions announced remote notarization as a result of Covid-19 emergency measures. DFI has currently approved five remote notarization providers: Notarize.com, NotaryCam, Pavaso, DocVerify, and Nexsys. Additional approvals will be forthcoming.
The State of Texas Joint Financial Regulatory Agencies issued guidance pertaining to HELOCs as part of the state’s broader Covid-19 emergency measures pursuant to the governor’s declaration of a state of disaster for Texas on March 13. The agencies’ statement anticipates that lenders may adjust or extend terms on HELOCs and offer new loans during the crisis period, but also clarified that all such modifications and newly-issued loans must comply with Article XVI, Section 50 of the Texas Constitution. The guidance confirmed that modifications that lower the interest rate or amount of installment payments, but that do not satisfy or replace the original note, advance new funds, or increase obligations created by the original note, would not be a new extension of credit under Section 50(a)(6) of the constitution. The State of Texas Joint Financial Regulatory Agencies is comprised of the Texas Department of Banking, Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending, Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner, and Texas Credit Union Department.
The Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions issued guidance indicating that it will temporarily permit licensees with locations in Hawaii to reduce hours or close offices during Hawaii’s Covid-19 Emergency Period. The guidance clarifies that financial institutions and escrow depositories are required to provide notice of closures or reductions in hours to the Division and to customers as soon as practicable. While mortgage loan originators, mortgage servicers, and money transmitters are not required to provide notice, the Division requests a courtesy notification of any closure or reduction in hours, and mortgage loan originator branch managers must post signage at the branch office.
The secretary of state issued FAQs summarizing the impact of Governor Newsome’s Shelter in Place order on notarizations and business filings. The FAQs clarify that the Secretary of State’s Office remains operational, although it is only accepting business entity filings and notary oath filings by mail or electronically. The FAQs also provide that while California law does not permit California notaries to perform remote online notarizations, California citizens may utilize remote online notarization services provided by an out-of-state notary, if those services are performed in accordance with local state law. California citizens may also utilize the services of a “mobile notary,” that will travel to a customer’s location and perform notarizations.
On March 23, the Virginia governor signed HB 743, which outlines disclosure requirements for private student loan providers to follow before issuance of a qualified education loan. The disclosure must contain contact information for the state’s Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman, as well as “a summary of the student loan information applicable to private education loans.” HB 743 further states that this disclosure may be “made in in conjunction with or incorporated into another disclosure” provided it is sent to a borrower prior to the issuance of a loan. The act takes effect July 1, 2021.
The Montana Secretary of State’s website enumerates four ways to perform notary services in the state. They include traditional notarization, In-Person Electronic Notarization (IPEN or eNotarization), Remote Online Notarization (RON), and remote notarization. The webpage also describes the conditions unique to each type of notary service. This guidance follows the enactment of full RON, remote notarization on tangible records, as well as IPEN last fall.
On April 1, West Virginia’s secretary of state released an emergency rule authorizing electronic notarization as a result of Covid-19. The switch enables the use of audio and visual technology to witness and record notarizations, but requires the notary to create a recording of the performance of the individual signing, and retain a copy of that recording. Warner’s announcement specified that the electronic notary authorization would only be valid during the state of emergency, and will expire when the emergency measures are lifted.
The Oklahoma Secretary of State published FAQs on online remote notarization, encouraging businesses to utilize remote notarization capacity in order to bypass in-person meetings and physical delivery of documents. The FAQs also discuss the authorization, bond, and recordkeeping requirements applicable to remote notarization.
On April 1, the governor of Florida issued an executive order requiring all senior citizens and individuals with a significant underlying medical condition to stay at home. The order also requires all persons in Florida to remain at home unless necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities. The order refers to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce for inclusion of “essential services.” This list includes financial services institutions and their workers.
In light of widespread interruptions created by the Covid-19 emergency, the Rhode Island Division of Banking extended the due date for debt collectors, small loan lenders, and debt management companies to submit 2020 Rhode Island Annual Reports to April 30, 2020. Extensions beyond that date will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Buckley Webcast: Where we are now: Exploring potential risks and rewards for lenders under CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program
- Benjamin W. Hutten to discuss "Understanding OFAC sanctions" at a NAFCU webinar
- Garylene D. Javier to discuss "Navigating workplace culture in 2020" at the DC Bar Conference