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The New Hampshire Banking Department has issued guidance on the reopening of branches and other financial institution offices that were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Banks or credit unions planning to reopen branch offices or other offices are requested to provide notice to the in the manner specified in the guidance and must also ensure that customers and members are aware of any planned reopening. Banks and credit institutions are urged to consult Emergency Order 40 for guidance on precautions to protect the safety of the institutions’ staff and customers.
HUD issues mortgagee letter extending interim procedures relating to FHA Section 232 approved mortgages
On May 28, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued Mortgagee Letter 2020-15 to all FHA Section 232 Approved Mortgagees regarding the extension of interim procedures issued in Mortgagee Letter 20-10 to address site access issues during the Covid-19 pandemic. The guidance provides temporary modifications pertaining to third-party site inspections for Section 232 FHA-insured healthcare facilities with effective dates within 60 days of the issuance of the mortgagee letter. The letter also provides guidance on other aspects relating to Section 232 properties, including regarding Property Capital Needs Assessments, appraisals, Section 232 Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments, asbestos surveys, and radon testing, among other things.
On May 28, FINRA updated frequently asked questions guidance regarding relief from certain fingerprinting requirements. The guidance notes that, on May 27, the SEC extended its order providing a temporary relief from fingerprinting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act Rule 17f-2 for FINRA members until June 20, 2020. Because FINRA already provided notification to the SEC in March on behalf of its members, their employees, and associated persons, such individuals may continue to rely on the commissioner’s order and FINRA’s notification. However, for an individual seeking registration pursuant to the submission of a Form U4, a FINRA member firm seeking to rely on temporary exemptive relief for registered persons must comply with FINRA’s guidance with respect to FINRA Rule 1010.
New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance extends no-action position regarding temporary work from home
On May 28, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance issued Bulletin No. 20-26 to certain licensees regarding temporarily working from home due to Covid-19. The bulletin extends the department’s no-action position regarding licensure for certain branch office locations due to individuals temporarily working from home first announced in Bulletin No 20-06 (covered here). The no-action position is only effective with a submission that includes specified materials and may be subject to pre-conditions and operating, reporting, and other requirements. Licensees who have already submitted materials to the department in response to Bulletin No. 20-06 are not required to resubmit those materials.
Recently, the Small Business Administration released two interim final rules (IFR) to provide guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness process, as well as directions on lender and borrower responsibilities. Both IFRs are effective immediately, and comments will be received for 30 days following publication in the Federal Register.
The loan forgiveness IFR outlines PPP loan forgiveness requirements for borrowers and lenders. Among other things, lenders must confirm that they received the borrower certifications in the loan forgiveness application form (covered by InfoBytes here) and verify the borrower’s calculations. The IFR also clarifies several questions, including those related to employee status, payroll calculations, and nonpayroll expenses eligible for forgiveness.
The lender and borrower responsibilities IFR provides additional guidance on the SBA PPP loan review, the loan forgiveness process for lenders, and lender eligibility for processing fees. While the IFR recommends that lenders work with borrowers to correct identified “errors in the borrower’s calculation or material lack of substantiation in the borrower’s supporting documents,” it does not require lenders to “independently verify the borrower’s reported information if the borrower submits documentation supporting its request for loan forgiveness and attests that it accurately verified the payments for eligible costs.” Lenders must report their decisions on forgiveness applications to the SBA and request payment from the SBA for borrowers that are eligible for forgiveness no later than 60 days after receiving a complete application. The SBA also has the authority to review any PPP loan, although it will evaluate a loan based on the “rules and guidance available at the time of the borrower’s PPP loan application.” In addition, the IFR notes that lenders may lose fees for any loans deemed to be ineligible, and that the SBA may claw back already issued-fees if it determines the lender has failed to fulfill its obligations under the PPP. According to the IFR, lenders will receive payment from the SBA on eligible loans, plus any accrued interest through the date of payment, no later than 90 days after a lender reports its decision to SBA.
Minnesota Department of Commerce extends certain licensing application deadlines for insurance producers and real estate brokers
On May 27, the Minnesota Department of Commerce issued an order modifying certain regulatory deadlines as set forth in Regulatory Guidance 20-29, 20-30, 20-31, 20-32, and 20-33. Guidance 20-29 through 20-32 extends the deadlines for insurance producer and adjuster renewal applications, and Guidance 20-33 extends the deadline for certain real estate broker license applicants to complete their applications.
On May 27, the Federal Reserve Board, the OCC, and the FDIC posted Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) FAQs related to Covid-19. The FAQs acknowledge that while Covid-19 affected states are categorized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as Category B, which would normally not be considered designated disasters under the CRA, the agencies will grant consideration for activities that revitalize or stabilize affected areas by protecting public health and safety. The FAQs frequently cite to the joint statement on CRA consideration for activities in response to Covid-19, issued by the agencies in March (covered by InfoBytes here). Among other things, the FAQs discuss how Paycheck Protection Program and Main Street Lending Program loans may be eligible for CRA consideration and how bank examiners will consider affordable housing measures under the CRA.
On May 27, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston posted the necessary legal forms and agreements for eligible borrowers and eligible lenders to participate in the Main Street Lending Program on their website. The documents include, among other things, lender registration certifications and covenants, lender wire instructions, loan participation agreements, and servicing agreements. The Boston Fed has also updated the Main Street Lending Program’s FAQs.
On May 27, Fannie Mae issued technical updates to Lender Letter LL-2020-07 and LL-2020-05 to include operational requirements related to reporting and completing a Covid-19 payment deferral, as well as the process for obtaining reimbursement for expenses related to the Covid-19 payment deferral. Among other things, servicers are required to pay any expenses associated with the execution of a Covid-19 payment deferral, such as required notary fees, recording costs, and title costs, but Fannie Mae will reimburse allowable expenses in accordance with F-1-05: Expense Reimbursement, in the Fannie Mae Servicing Guide.
As previously covered by InfoBytes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced the new Covid-19 payment deferral option to “help borrowers impacted by a hardship related to Covid-19 return their mortgage to a current status after up to 12 months of missed payments.” The new option is for borrowers who (i) are on a Covid-19 related forbearance plan, or (ii) have a resolved financial hardship due to Covid-19. If a borrower is eligible for the Covid-19 payment deferral, the servicer must allow the borrower to resume their contractual monthly payments; however, the delinquency amount must be deferred as a non-interest bearing balance, due and payable at liquidation, refinance, or maturity.
Servicers must begin evaluating borrowers for the Covid-19 payment deferral beginning July 1.
On May 27, the Small Business Administration (SBA) in consultation with the Treasury Department issued an update to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Frequently Asked Questions to reflect the extension of the safe harbor deadline from May 14 to May 18. The SBA recently issued an interim final rule (IFR) to supplement the CARES Act and extend, for the second time, the PPP safe harbor for repayment from May 14 to May 18, to allow borrowers to avail themselves of a safe harbor with respect to the certification required by the CARES Act. The IFR also codifies the timeframe extension for submission of the initial SBA Form 1502 report for PPP loans. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the new timeframe for submission of Form 1502 is the later of (i) May 29, or (ii) 10 calendar days after disbursement or cancellation of the PPP loan.
- Melissa Klimkiewicz to discuss "Lender town hall" at the National Flood Conference webinar
- Daniel P. Stipano to discuss "BSA for BSA seasoned officers" at an NAFCU webinar
- Sherry-Maria Safchuk to discuss "The CCPA: Successes, failures, and practical considerations for compliance" at a American Bar Association webinar
- Jon David D. Langlois to discuss "LIBOR transition: Preparations for legal professionals" at a Mortgage Bankers Association webinar
- Garylene D. Javier to discuss "Navigating workplace culture in 2020" at the DC Bar Conference