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On May 13, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the state’s stay at home order was invalid and unenforceable. In a 4-3 decision, the court held that the state’s health services secretary exceeded her authority when issuing the order because she did not follow guidelines in place for emergency rule procedures when issuing the rule. The court further concluded that, even if emergency rulemaking were not required, the order’s requirements for all people to stay in their homes and the closure of businesses exceeded the secretary’s statutory authority. The ruling took immediate effect, lifting the state’s stay-at-home order.
On April 29, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection adopted an emergency rule that prohibits landlords from assessing late fees or other penalties for missed or late rent payments during Covid-19 public health emergency. The rule is in effect until 90 days after the public health emergency ends.
On April 29, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions issued guidance on adjustment service companies and encouraged Wisconsin residents exercise caution before hiring companies to assist them with debt management. In particular the guidance discourages doing business with unlicensed companies and links to a list of licensed adjustment service companies.
On April 16, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services extended its order closing all non-essential businesses and ordering residents to stay at home until May 26, 2020. Banks, credit unions, and other depository or lending institutions; licensed financial service providers; insurance services; broker dealers; and investment advisors are not required are considered essential and not required to close.
On April 13, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions issued guidance on debt collection practices that are prohibited during the Covid-19 crisis. Among them are repeated telephone calls and unsolicited threats to sue. The guidance warns that debt collectors that fail to respect hardships arising from the Covid-19 pandemic “should expect to be judged harshly.”
On April 9, the Wisconsin DFI’s Office of Credit Unions issued a resource guide to answer questions and enable credit unions to continue to conduct business during the Covid-19 pandemic. Topics addressed include the holding of annual meetings, Bank Secrecy Act compliance, board meetings, call report deadlines, and examination protocols, among others.
On April 3, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions issued emergency guidance for annual meetings of members and shareholders as a result of Covid-19 emergency measures. The guidance provides that all annual meetings may be conducted virtually, provided the meeting adheres to standard record-keeping obligations.
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.
On March 27, Wisconsin issued a temporary ban on foreclosures on real estate, on mortgagees requesting or scheduling a foreclosure sale, and on evictions for failure to pay rent. The order will remain in effect for 60 days.
On March 18, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) issued emergency guidance authorizing remote online notarization in response to the Covid-19 crisis. Remote online notarizations must be performed using technology providers that are regulated under standards that meet or exceed the state safeguards. The DFI has approved four remote online notarization providers thus far, two each for remote notary services to the general public, and for title companies and other real-estate transactions.
- Sherry-Maria Safchuk to discuss UDAAP at an American Bar Association webinar
- Jeffrey P. Naimon to discuss "What to expect: The new administration and regulatory changes" at the Mortgage Bankers Association Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss “The future of fair lending” at the Mortgage Bankers Association Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference
- Steven R. vonBerg to discuss "LO comp challenges" at the Mortgage Bankers Association Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference
- Michelle L. Rogers to discuss "Major litigation" at the Mortgage Bankers Association Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference
- Michelle L. Rogers to discuss “The False Claims Act today” at the Federal Bar Association Qui Tam Section Roundtable