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On May 12, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance issued Bulletin No. 20-22 to certain insurance-related entities, including licensed, admitted, and surplus lines insurers transacting property and casualty insurance in New Jersey. In light of the reduced risk of loss for certain insurance as a result of Covid-19, the bulletin requires premium reductions for those lines of insurance. Where applicable, insurers are ordered to make an initial premium refund or other adjustment to adversely impacted New Jersey policy-holders, and for each month that the public health emergency is in effect. Instructions are provided for submitting the components of the refund program via the System for Electronic Rates and Forms Filing. Insurers that can demonstrate that their rates are not excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, or that otherwise contend they should not be subject to the terms of the bulletin, may submit the basis for this position and supporting documentation by June 1, 2020.
On May 12, the New Jersey Department of Banking Insurance issued a bulletin regarding the extension of deadlines for certain entities and individual regulated by the Division of Banking to file annual reports. Certain enumerated licensees, including check cashers, insurance premium finance companies, motor vehicle installment sellers, and money transmitters, are granted an extension until June 1 to file annual reports. However, licensees must file their subsequent annual report by April 1, 2021. Mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers who are required to file an annual report on or before May 1, are also granted an extension to June 1. The next annual report must be filed by May 1, 2021.
On April 24, the New Jersey governor issued an executive order allowing tenants to request that their landlords use their security deposits to offset or pay back rent. The order is effective immediately and will be in place until 60 days after the public health emergency has terminated.
On April 23, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance extended the deadline for license and registration applications under New Jersey’s Mortgage Servicers Licensing Act to June 12, 2020. Persons required to seek licensure under the act include entities that are in the business of servicing residential mortgage loans, and which are not already licensed as residential mortgage lenders and entities licensed as residential mortgage lenders or correspondent residential mortgage lenders conducting business in New Jersey.
On April 23 and 21, nine states announced a multi-state initiative to provide student loan relief options for borrowers with privately held student loans not covered by the CARES Act. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington outlined within their announcements specific measures for borrowers with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Loan Program loans and borrowers with private student loans who are struggling to make payments due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The announcements also noted that Virginia is participating in the initiative as well. These relief options, offered in conjunction with the listed private student loan servicers, include (i) a minimum 90-days of forbearance relief; (ii) a waiver of late fees; (iii) no negative credit reporting; (iv) a 90-day moratorium on collection lawsuits; and (v) enrollment in applicable borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment. The states cautioned that enrollment in these relief options is not automatic, and recommended borrowers contact their student loan servicer to see what options best suit their needs.
In addition, California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington recommended that regulated student loan servicers with limited ability to take these actions due to investor restrictions or contractual obligations “should instead proactively work with loan holders whenever possible to relax those restrictions or obligations.”
On April 14, New Jersey passed legislation permitting remote notarization using communication technology for the duration of the public health emergency and state of emergency, provided certain requirements stipulated in the legislation are met.
On April 10, the New Jersey Department of Business and Insurance issued Bulletin 20-17 directing insurance premium finance companies to provide a 90-day grace period to pay insurance premiums to any clients experiencing a financial hardship due to Covid-19. In addition, the bulletin directs companies to (i) waive late payment fees, finance charges, and delinquency charges and not report late payments to credit rating agencies; (ii) allow payments not paid during the 90-day period to be paid over 12 months or the remainder of the policy term, whichever is longer; and (iii) ensure that late payments are not considered in future premium calculations.
On March 30, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance issued a bulletin notifying individuals pursuing real estate licensure in New Jersey that it will suspend certain deadlines for applications. While licensure tests and applications ordinarily must be completed within one year of passing pre-licensing course work, the Department will consider candidates who do not meet the one year deadline due to Covid-19-related delays.
On March 28, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance announced that it is working with more than 40 banks, credit unions and servicers to provide relief to New Jersey homeowners. Under the new initiative, residents of New Jersey impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic may be eligible for a 90-day forbearance from mortgage payments and relief from fees and charges upon contacting their financial institutions. Cooperating institutions have also agreed not to start any foreclosure sales or evictions for 60 days.
New Jersey issues Bulletin No. 20-05 to encourage institutions to meet the financial needs of consumers affected by Covid-19
On March 19, the Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance (Department) signed Bulletin No. 20-05 to encourage institutions to meet the financial needs of consumers affected by Covid-19. The Department also reminded institutions to provide prompt notice to the Department regarding changes to operating hours of branch locations. The Department also requested all notices, inquiries, correspondence, and applications be submitted electronically by e-mail to the appropriate contacts.
- Brandy A. Hood to discuss "Ongoing challenges of TRID compliance" at the Mortgage Bankers Association Live: Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference
- Daniel R. Alonso to discuss "Resisting temptation in a crisis: How to make sure ethics and compliance don't get diluted under financial strain" at a New York City Bar Association webcast
- Daniel P. Stipano to discuss "BSA for BSA seasoned officers" at an NAFCU 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