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On May 27, the New Hampshire governor signed HB 312, which clarifies certain deadlines and provisions in consumer credit applications and licensing requirements for mortgage loan originators. Among other things, HB 312 states that company licensees or persons must “deliver to the commissioner a list of all New Hampshire consumers who have contracted with the licensee or with whom the licensee is otherwise engaged in business regulated under this chapter, and other requested lists summarizing the business of the licensee, within 7 days of receipt of the request” or be subject to a $50 fine per day for each day. The bill further stipulates that a “license shall not be issued and effective unless the applicant or licensee is licensed or registered in the state where its principal office is located.” This provision modifies the previous requirements, in that it is now only applicable to nondepository mortgage bankers, brokers, and servicers, but no longer applies to mortgage loan originators. Additional provisions address, among other things, “examinations of family trust companies, delegation by credit union boards to committees, qualifications of the banking commissioner, and authorizing depository banks to elect benefit corporation status.” The act takes effect 60 days after its passage.
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.
On April 3, the New Hampshire Banking Department issued guidance to state-chartered banks indicating that loans made under the Small Business Administration’s Payment Protection Program are exempt from applicable legal lending limits because the loans are guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.
On March 31, the New Hampshire Banking Department issued FAQs for consumers addressing foreclosures during the Covid-19 pandemic. The FAQs reiterate that New Hampshire Emergency Order #4 establishes a temporary prohibition on all foreclosures while New Hampshire’s Covid-19 state of emergency is in effect, and that the CARES Act gives borrowers with federally-backed mortgage loans the right to request a forbearance based on Covid-19 related financial hardship.
On March 23, the New Hampshire governor issued an emergency order temporarily authorizing secure remote online notarization, with certain specified conditions. If state law requires an individual to appear personally before or be in the physical presence of a notarial officer at the time of a notarization, this requirement is satisfied if the individual and the notarial officer can communicate simultaneously by sight and sound through an electronic device or process at the time of the notarization. The order provides additional guidance on the signature, mailing, official date and time, and validity and recognition of the notarization.
On March 17, the New Hampshire governor issued an emergency order temporarily prohibiting evictions and foreclosures. All judicial and non-judicial foreclosure actions are prohibited during the declared State of Emergency, and all applicable provisions of any law, rule, or other regulation which would allow for the initiation of foreclosure proceedings are suspended for the same duration. However, the order does not relieve an individual of their obligations to pay rent, make mortgage payments, or any other obligation which an individual may have under a tenancy or mortgage.
On March 20, the New Hampshire Banking Department issued FAQs discussing mortgage foreclosures during the Covid-19 pandemic. Among other things, the FAQs clarified that New Hampshire Emergency Order #4 temporarily prohibits any judicial or non-judicial foreclosure action in New Hampshire during New Hampshire’s Covid-19 State of Emergency, regardless of where the lender is located.
On March 17, New Hampshire Governor Christopher Sununu issued Emergency Order #4, which temporarily prohibits judicial and non-judicial foreclosures while the state of emergency related to the Covid-19 outbreak is active.
On March 13, the New Hampshire Banking Department (NHBD) issued a memorandum to licensed financial services institutions: (i) encouraging such institutions to work constructively with New Hampshire consumers who may experience difficulties in light of the economic disruptions caused by Covid-19; and (ii) providing guidance relating to mortgage loan originators working from home or other locations so long as certain conditions are met. On March 16, the NHBD issued further clarification of the March 13 guidance concerning branch closings as well as an FAQ.
On March 13, the New Hampshire Banking Department (NHBD) issued a memorandum to state-chartered banks, credit unions, and trust companies encouraging them to work constructively with customers experiencing difficulty due to Covid-19 and offering guidance on branch closures, annual meetings, examinations, and liquidity. Banks and credit unions do not need prior authorization to use only the drive-through portion of a branch or adjust normal business hours but must submit applications to the NHBD for branch closures in excess of 48 hours. If necessary, credit unions may conduct annual meetings via video or teleconference and both banks and credit unions may request adjustments to examination schedules or additional time to respond to consumer complaints. Finally, institutions are asked to closely monitor liquidity levels in the event of higher than normal consumer cash withdrawals and ensure sources of liquidity are readily available.