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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

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  • Oklahoma regulator amends working from home guidance

    State Issues

    On September 23, the Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit extended, for the third time, its interim guidance to regulated entities on working from home (see herehere, here and here for previous coverage). The guidance sets forth data security standards that regulated entities must meet in order to satisfy the department guidance. The guidance also provides that the department will expedite and waive fees for change of address applications in the event that a licensed location is compromised by Covid-19 or is undergoing decontamination. The guidance was extended through October 31, 2020.

    State Issues Covid-19 Oklahoma Consumer Credit Privacy/Cyber Risk & Data Security Licensing

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  • Colorado amends executive order regarding eviction protections

    State Issues

    On September 22, the Colorado governor issued Executive Order 2020 202, which amends Executive Order 2020 101, as amended and extended by earlier orders. The amendment provides that an individual is prohibited from filing or initiating actions for forcible entry and detainer (i.e. eviction), including any demand for rent, unless the individual has notified the tenant in writing of the federal protections against eviction provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions To Prevent the Further Spread of Covid-19. The individual must provide as notice a copy of the CDC’s order. Certain aspects of Executive Order 2020 101, including the amendments pursuant to Executive 2020 202, will expire 30 days from September 2020. Other aspects of Executive Order 2020 101 will remain in full force and effect as originally promulgated. Previous coverage relating to Colorado’s eviction orders can be found here, here, and here.

    State Issues Covid-19 Colorado Mortgages Evictions

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  • IRS: Lenders should not report PPP debt forgiveness

    Federal Issues

    On September 22, the IRS released Announcement 2020-12 notifying lenders that they should not report the amount of qualifying loan forgiveness for covered loans to qualifying small businesses made under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).The IRS code generally requires lenders to file a Form 1099-C for any discharge of indebtedness of at least $600. However, the IRS’ announcement specifies that when a portion or all of the principal is forgiven under the requirements of Section 1106 of the CARES Act, lenders, for federal income tax purposes only, should not “file a Form 1099-C information return with the IRS or provide a payee statement to the eligible recipient under section 6050P of the Code as a result of the qualifying forgiveness.”

    Federal Issues CARES Act SBA Covid-19 IRS

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  • Virginia governor announces expansion of grant program for small businesses, nonprofits

    State Issues

    On September 21, the Virginia governor announced the expansion of the Rebuild VA, the $70 million economic recovery fund for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by Covid-19. As a result of the expanded eligibility requirements, businesses that received funding from the federal CARES Act and supply chain partners of businesses whose normal operations were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic will be eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000. The Rebuild VA funding may be used for, among other things, payroll support, employee salaries, and mortgage payments, rent, and utilities. The announcement provides additional information regarding eligibility for the grants.

    State Issues Covid-19 Virginia Small Business CARES Act Mortgages

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  • New York governor extends moratorium on commercial evictions

    State Issues

    On September 21, the New York governor issued Executive Order 202.64, which extends the moratorium on Covid-19-related commercial evictions until October 20. The eviction moratorium, which was first issued on March 20, has been extended several times. For our previous coverage, see here.

    State Issues Covid-19 New York Mortgages

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  • California Department of Real Estate issues FAQs regarding licensing process

    State Issues

    On September 21, the California Department of Real Estate issued FAQs on licensing processes during Covid-19. The FAQs respond to questions regarding, among other things, how to determine whether an exam has been cancelled and how to reschedule the exam, the best way to complete a renewal of an expiring real estate license, completing continuing education requirements, and whether the DRE will accept electronic signatures on licensing documents.

    State Issues Covid-19 California Licensing Examination Real Estate Mortgage Licensing

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  • District court dismisses six PPP agent fee class actions

    Federal Issues

    On September 21, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed six class actions alleging that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and its implementing regulations entitle accountants who assist borrowers in securing PPP loans to a portion of the fees banks receive from the Small Business Administration (SBA).The six class actions were brought by a collection of accountants and accounting firms alleging that the banks did not pay agent fees reportedly due under the PPP, even though they had not entered into agreements with the banks to receive the fees. The district court, following a similar decision by a Florida federal district court (covered by InfoBytes here), dismissed the class actions, concluding that absent an agreement to do so, banks are not required to pay agent fees under the CARES Act—which created the PPP—and its implementing regulations. Specifically, the court noted that although the law and implementing regulations impose limits on agents fees, those limits “do not entitle agents to fees but simply regulate how such fees would be paid when they are to be paid.” The court also rejected a variety of state law and common law claims, which were “largely premised on the same theory,” and dismissed all six class actions in their entirety.

    Federal Issues Covid-19 CARES Act SBA Agent Lending Courts

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  • Fed: Lenders must consider pre-pandemic condition when underwriting Main Street Lending Program loans

    Federal Issues

    On September 18, the Federal Reserve Board, in conjunction with the FDIC and the OCC, revised the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) FAQs (for-profit here, nonprofit here) to clarify underwriting expectations, supervisory expectations, and details regarding co-borrower loans. Specifically, the FAQs note that a lender is expected to “conduct an assessment of each potential borrower’s pre-pandemic financial condition and post-pandemic prospects” when reviewing an application to determine approval. Additionally, the FAQs state that Fed supervisors will “not criticize” lenders for originating loans in accordance with MSLP requirements, even when “such loans are considered non-pass at the time of origination,” provided the weaknesses are due to the Covid-19 pandemic and expected to be temporary. Finally, the FAQs include new details covering co-borrower loans, as the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston anticipates the MSLP will accept loans made to multiple co-borrowers starting next week.

    Federal Issues Covid-19 Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program FDIC OCC Compliance

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  • Fannie Mae updates Covid-19 selling FAQs

    Federal Issues

    On September 17, Fannie Mae updated its Covid-19 FAQs for sellers to include a new question about whether federal student loan payments that are placed in a Covid-related forbearance should count towards a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio. Additionally, Fannie Mae updated previous questions covering the purchase of loans that are in forbearance, including whether a lender owes the loan level pricing adjustment (LLPA). Specifically, the FAQs state that if a forbearance begins any time on the sale date of the loan, lenders owe the LLPA to Fannie Mae.

    Federal Issues Fannie Mae Mortgages Covid-19

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  • Agencies adopt Covid-19 rules on regulatory capital and appraisals

    Federal Issues

    Recently, the OCC, Federal Reserve Board, and FDIC (collectively, “the agencies”) adopted four interim final rules issued as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic as two final rules. Highlights of the rules include:

    • Regulatory Capital. The agencies issued a final rule covering revisions to the regulatory capital rule and the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) rule made under three interim final rules. The final rule, which adopts three of the interim final rules as final with no changes, (i) allows financial institutions to participate in the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF) and Paycheck Protection Program Lending Facility (PPPLF) by neutralizing the regulatory capital effects of participating in each of the programs (covered by InfoBytes here and here); and (ii) modifies the agencies’ LCR rule to support participation in the MMLF and the PPPLF (covered by InfoBytes here).
    • Appraisals and Evaluations. The agencies adopted as final, with one revision, an interim final rule (covered by InfoBytes here) allowing regulated financial institutions to defer completion of appraisals and evaluations for certain residential and commercial real estate transactions, excluding those involving the acquisition, development, and construction of real estate. Financial institutions are allowed up to 120 days from the closing date to obtain the required appraisal or evaluation in order to expedite the liquidity needs of borrowers. The final rule is effective through December 31.

    Federal Issues Covid-19 MMLF Appraisal PPPLF LCR Capital Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

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