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  • NYDFS encourages financial institutions to assist Puerto Rico

    State Issues

    On February 5, the New York governor announced measures to assist with disaster relief for hurricane and earthquake-ravaged Puerto Rico. In an Industry Letter, NYDFS informed state-regulated financial institutions that they may receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credit for “community development activities that revitalize or stabilize designated disaster areas” in Puerto Rico. The letter included the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Investment Connection program as one way for New York financial institutions to earn CRA credit. The announcement also mentioned the Guidance to New York State Regulated Banks and Credit Unions Regarding the Earthquakes in Puerto Rico issued on the same day by NYDFS. The guidance urged financial institutions with customers based in Puerto Rico to “consider all reasonable and prudent steps to assist such customers affected by the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico.” Some of the specific suggestions included (i) waiving ATM fees, overdraft fees, and late payment fees; (ii) increasing ATM daily withdrawal limits and credit card limits; and (iii) working with customers to defer payments or extend payment due dates on loans. The NYDFS guidance also encouraged state-regulated financial institutions to assist in collecting charitable donations and in notifying their customers how they can donate to help Puerto Rico to recover.

    State Issues NYDFS State Regulators Disaster Relief CRA Consumer Finance

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  • FDIC encourages relief for Puerto Rico borrowers

    Federal Issues

    On January 24, the FDIC issued Financial Institution Letter FIL-4-2020 to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and help facilitate recovery in areas of Puerto Rico affected by a recent series of earthquakes. In the letter, the FDIC encourages institutions to consider, among other things, (i) extending repayment terms; (ii) restructuring existing loans; or (iii) easing terms for new loans to borrowers affected by the earthquakes. Additionally, the FDIC notes that institutions may receive Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery. The FDIC states it will also consider regulatory relief from certain filing and publishing requirements.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief guidance here.

    Federal Issues Disaster Relief FDIC Consumer Finance

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  • VA encourages relief for Tropical Storm Imelda-affected borrowers

    Federal Issues

    On November 8, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued Circular 26-19-29, encouraging mortgagees to provide relief for VA borrowers affected by Tropical Storm Imelda. Among other forms of assistance, the Circular encourages loan holders and servicers to (i) extend forbearances to borrowers in distress because of the disaster; (ii) establish a 90-day moratorium from the disaster declaration date on initiating new foreclosures on affected loans; (iii) waive late charges on affected loans; and (iv) suspend credit reporting related to affected loans. The Circular is effective until January 1, 2021. Mortgage servicers and veteran borrowers are also encouraged to review the VA’s Guidance on Natural Disasters.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief guidance here.

    Federal Issues Disaster Relief Department of Veterans Affairs Consumer Finance Mortgages

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  • OCC says banks near California wildfires can close

    Federal Issues

    On October 30, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions, at their discretion, to close offices affected by the California wildfires “for as long as deemed necessary for bank operation or public safety.” The proclamation directs institutions to OCC Bulletin 2012-28 for further guidance on actions they should take in response to natural disasters and other emergency conditions. According to the 2012 Bulletin, only bank offices directly affected by potentially unsafe conditions should close and institutions should make every effort to reopen as quickly as possible to address customers’ banking needs.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.
     

    Federal Issues OCC Disaster Relief

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  • FDIC, VA issue disaster relief guidance

    Federal Issues

    On October 10, the FDIC issued Financial Institution Letter FIL-56-2019 to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and help facilitate recovery in areas of Texas affected by Tropical Storm Imelda. In the letter, the FDIC encourages institutions to consider, among other things, (i) extending repayment terms; (ii) restructuring existing loans; or (iii) easing terms for new loans to borrowers affected by the severe weather. Additionally, the FDIC notes that institutions may receive Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery.

    Separately on October 8, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued Circular 26-19-27 to encourage mortgagees to provide relief for VA borrowers affected by Hurricane Dorian. Among other forms of assistance, the Circular encourages loan holders and servicers to (i) extend forbearances to borrowers in distress as a result of the disaster; (ii) establish a 90-day moratorium from the disaster date on initiating new foreclosures on affected loans; (iii) waive late charges on affected loans; and (iv) suspend credit reporting. The Circular will be rescinded October 1, 2020. Mortgage servicers and veteran borrowers are also encouraged to review the VA’s Guidance on Natural Disasters.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief guidance here.

    Federal Issues FDIC Disaster Relief Mortgages

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  • Agencies issue Hurricane Dorian guidance

    Federal Issues

    On August 29, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD issued disaster relief guidance related to Hurricane Dorian. Fannie Mae reminded servicers of available mortgage assistance options for homeowners impacted by the hurricane: (i) qualifying homeowners are eligible to stop making mortgage payments for up to 12 months without incurring late fees and without having delinquencies reported to the credit bureaus; (ii) servicers may immediately suspend or reduce mortgage payments for up to 90 days without any contact with homeowners believed to have been affected by a disaster; and (iii) foreclosures and other legal proceedings for homeowners believed to be impacted by a disaster are temporarily suspended. Freddie Mac similarly reminded servicers of these mortgage relief options.

    The same day, HUD released Mortgagee Letter ML 2019-14 (ML 2019-14), which updates Handbook 4000.1 and expands its “Disaster Standalone Partial Claim” loss mitigation option which “allow[s] borrowers in Presidentially Declared Major Disaster Areas (PDMDAs) with delinquent FHA-insured mortgages to bring their mortgages current without increasing their interest rates or principal and interest payments.” The mitigation option, introduced last year, “covers missed mortgage payments up to 30 percent of Unpaid Principal Balance” through an interest-free second loan on the mortgage without a required trial payment plan. The second loan will become payable only when the borrower sells the home or refinances. Additionally, the loss mitigation option will streamline income documentation and other requirements to expedite relief to eligible borrowers struggling to pay their mortgages while recovering from disasters.

    Separately on August 30, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions, to close offices affected by Hurricane Dorian’s severe weather conditions at their discretion “for as long as deemed necessary for bank operation or public safety.” In issuing the proclamation, the OCC noted that it expects that only those bank offices directly affected by potentially unsafe conditions will close and that they should make every effort to reopen as quickly as possible to address the banking needs of their customers. The proclamation directs institutions to OCC Bulletin 2012-28 for further guidance on natural disasters and other emergency conditions.

    Federal Issues Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Disaster Relief Mortgages Consumer Finance OCC HUD FHA

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  • VA encourages relief for Hurricane Barry-affected borrowers

    Federal Issues

    On July 30, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued Circular 26-19-21, encouraging mortgagees to provide relief for VA borrowers affected by Hurricane Barry on the Gulf Coast. Among other forms of assistance, the Circular encourages loan holders and servicers to (i) extend forbearances to borrowers in distress because of the severe storms and flooding; (ii) establish a 90-day moratorium from the disaster date on initiating new foreclosures on affected loans; (iii) waive late charges on affected loans; and (iv) suspend credit reporting. The Circular is effective until July 1, 2020. Mortgage servicers and veteran borrowers are also encouraged to review the VA’s Guidance on Natural Disasters.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief guidance here.

    Federal Issues Disaster Relief Department of Veterans Affairs Consumer Finance Mortgages

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  • FDIC encourages relief for Missouri and Texas borrowers

    Federal Issues

    On July 26, the FDIC issued Financial Institution Letters FIL-44-2019 and FIL-45-2019 to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and help facilitate recovery in areas of Missouri and Texas affected by severe weather. FIL-44-2019 covers severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding causing significant property damage in areas of Missouri from April 29 through the present. FIL-45-2019 covers severe storms and flooding causing significant property damage in areas of Texas from June 24 to June 25. The regulatory guidance notes that certain areas in Texas and Missouri were designated federal disaster areas.

    The FDIC is encouraging institutions to consider, among other things, extending repayment terms, restructuring existing loans, or easing terms for new loans to borrowers affected by the severe weather. Additionally, the FDIC notes that institutions may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief guidance here.

    Federal Issues Disaster Relief CRA Mortgages

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  • OCC allows institutions affected by severe flooding in Gulf Coast to temporarily close

    Federal Issues

    On July 12, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions, at their discretion, to close offices affected by severe weather along the Gulf Coast “for as long as deemed necessary for bank operation or public safety.” In issuing the proclamation, the OCC noted that only bank offices directly affected by potentially unsafe conditions should close and that institutions should make every effort to reopen as quickly as possible to address customers’ banking needs. The proclamation directs institutions to OCC Bulletin 2012-28 for further guidance on actions they should take in response to natural disasters and other emergency conditions.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues OCC Disaster Relief

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  • VA encourages relief for Arkansas borrowers

    Federal Issues

    On June 20, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued Circular 26-19-16, encouraging mortgagees to provide relief for VA borrowers impacted by severe storms and flooding in Arkansas. Among other forms of assistance, the Circular encourages loan holders and servicers to (i) extend forbearance to borrowers in distress because of the severe storms and flooding; (ii) establishes a 90-day moratorium from the disaster date on initiating new foreclosures on affected loans; (iii) waives late charges on affected loans; and (iv) suspends credit reporting. The Circular is effective until July 1, 2020. Mortgage servicers and veteran borrowers are also encouraged to review the VA’s Guidance on Natural Disasters.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief guidance here.

    Federal Issues Department of Veterans Affairs Disaster Relief

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