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On March 30, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (Department) issued a notice to credit unions providing that credit unions may submit a request to postpone the credit union’s 2020 annual meeting to the Department’s Credit Union Section. In addition, the guidance requires credit unions to submit a waiver request to hold annual membership meetings in a month other than January, February, and March.
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issues guidance to student loan servicers
On March 30, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Banking (Division), issued guidance encouraging Illinois-licensed student loan servicers to make prudent efforts to meet the financial needs of all student loan borrowers affected directly or indirectly by the Covid-19 pandemic. The guidance reiterates the importance of provisions in the Illinois Student Loan Servicing Rights Act that prohibit servicers from engaging in any unfair or deceptive practices and misapplying payments made by borrowers. Servicers are reminded that they are obligated to lay out all available options to borrowers, including income-based repayment, deferment, forbearance, and relieving borrowers of interest. In addition to adhering to the credit reporting provisions set forth under the CARES Act, the Division also encourages student loan servicers to use the disaster status code in conjunction with a deferment when reporting to the consumer credit reporting agencies to minimize any negative credit reporting impact to consumers due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issues questions and answers to credit unions regarding Covid-19
On March 30, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (Department) issued questions and answers to credit unions related to Covid-19 safety concerns. The guidance provides responses to questions regarding, among other things, receiving extensions for annual meetings, holding annual meetings by teleconference or other communications equipment, whether prior approval from the Department is required to close branches or lobbies, and whether the Department needs to approve any concessions, such as payroll interruption loans, extension, or deferments.
On March 30, the Illinois Department of Financial Regulation, Division of Banking and Division of Financial Institutions (Department), issued guidance to Illinois-licensed mortgage servicers and exempt mortgage servicers urging support for borrowers impacted by Covid-19. The Department urges all servicers of nonconforming and private mortgages to implement policies at least as helpful to borrowers as those offered for conforming loans, including, among others: (i) forbearing mortgage payments for at least 90 days without incurring additional interest or fees; (ii) refraining from reporting late payments to credit rating agencies and, when payments are deferred or modified, coding those payments as deferred with the applicable disaster order; (iii) offering loss mitigation options to borrowers; and (iv) waiving late payment fees and online payments fees; and (v) postponing foreclosures and evictions for at least 90 days. Prudent actions taken during this period will be considered to be consistent with safe and sound banking practices and will not be subject to examiner criticism.
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issues notice to currency exchange and money transmitter licensees
On March 30, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (Department) issued a notice encouraging currency exchange and money transmitter licensees to provide the Department with advance notice of any changes to their usual business practices. The Department expects all licensees to act responsibly and proactively to address any consumer harm that may arise.
On March 30, the Texas Department of Banking, in conjunction with the Independent Bankers Association of Texas and the Texas Bankers Association, issued a set of recommendations for banks to consider as they develop business continuity plans during the Covid-19 crisis. The guidance specifically notes that the recommendations do not constitute required action.
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issues notice to title insurance licensees and registered agents
On March 30, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (Department) issued a notice encouraging title insurance licensees and registered agents to provide the Department with advance notice of any changes to their usual business practices. If a registered agent application has been submitted, it will be processed as quickly as possible.
On March 30, the Illinois Department of Financial Regulation, Division of Banking and Division of Financial Institutions, issued guidance to Illinois banks and credit unions regarding support for consumers and businesses impacted by Covid-19. Illinois banks and credit unions are encouraged to use their capital and liquidity buffers as they respond to financial challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, such as to lend and undertake other supportive actions in a safe and sound manner. Illinois banks and credit unions also are encouraged to: (i) provide affected borrowers with payment accommodations to work through short-term setbacks; (ii) respond to borrowers from industry sectors particularly vulnerable to the volatility of the current economic environment; and (iii) work with small businesses, hourly workers, and independent contractors that have less financial flexibility to weather the economic decline.
The guidance further encourages Illinois banks and credit unions to assist affected borrowers by, among other things, waiving certain fees (e.g., ATM fees, overdraft fees, late fees), increasing ATM daily cash withdrawal limits, increasing credit card limits for creditworthy borrowers, and providing new loans on favorable terms. Prudent efforts to help consumers and businesses will not be subject to examiner criticism.
The Minnesota Commerce Department released a statement encouraging financial institutions to work with customers affected by Covid-19. In particular, the Department encourages institutions to take various actions, including: waiving fees such as ATM, overdraft, and late fees; increasing ATM daily cash withdrawal limits; easing restrictions on cashing checks; increasing credit card limits for creditworthy borrowers; offering payment accommodations like forbearances; and easing terms for new loans to affected borrowers. Separately, the Department affirmed that it will consider these circumstances when reviewing an institution’s financial condition, and in working with institutions that encounter difficulty meeting regulatory reporting requirements or filing requirements for financial statements.
On its website, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (Department) published a Request for Proclamation to Authorize Office Closure form. If a financial institution decides to close any or all of its offices for an emergency, it must notify the Department. If the closure will last longer than 48 hours, the financial institution must receive Department approval. Financial institutions are instructed to submit the form to the Department via e-mail to the institution’s review examiner, and the Department will respond as soon as possible.
- Benjamin W. Hutten to discuss "Understanding OFAC sanctions" at a NAFCU webinar
- Warren W. Traiger to discuss "Key takeaways from proposed CRA modernization" at the New York Bankers Association Technology, Compliance & Risk Management Forum
- Garylene D. Javier to discuss "Navigating workplace culture in 2020" at the DC Bar Conference