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The governor of New York issued Executive Order 202.28, extending through June 6 the moratorium on evictions of residential or commercial tenants for nonpayment of rent or foreclosure of a residential or commercial mortgage for nonpayment for a period of sixty days beginning on June 20. The moratorium applies only to properties owned or rented by someone that is eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits or is otherwise facing hardship due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
On April 28, New York updated its guidance on Executive Order 202.6 relating to determining whether a business enterprise is subject to a workforce reduction under recent executive orders addressing Covid-19. The updated guidance provides that essential financial institutions include banks or lending institutions, insurance, payroll, accounting, and services related to financial markets, with the exception of debt collection services.
On April 21, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued guidance clarifying that New York law exempts emergency stimulus payments made under the CARES Act from garnishment. Additionally, although New York law may, in certain circumstances, permit a bank to seize funds in a consumer’s account to pay a debt owed to the bank, the Office of the Attorney General views such a setoff against a CARES Act payment as unfair and abusive. James warned that the Office of the Attorney General would aggressively pursue any creditor or debt collector that garnishes or exercises a right of setoff against a CARES Act payment in violation of New York law.
New York Department of Financial Services announces temporary guidelines on annual meeting requirements
On April 16, New York Department of Financial Services announced temporary regulatory relief for state-chartered financial services entities regarding annual meeting requirements. The announcement specifically allowed for annual meetings to be conducted virtually via teleconference, and extended the deadline to hold stockholder meetings, allowing affected entities to fulfill the requirement within the first seven months, as opposed to the first four months, of its fiscal year.
New York’s Department of Financial Services has published FAQs for the property/casualty emergency regulation adopted on March 30. The FAQs address which policyholders are eligible for the 60-day moratorium on policy cancellation or non-renewal and other concerns pertaining to implementation of the moratorium.
On April 13, the New York Department of Financial Services issued guidance on cybersecurity awareness during the Covid-19 pandemic. The guidance identifies three areas of heightened risk: (i) remote working, including the risks associated with less secure internet connections, expanded use of less secure personal devices, increased use of video and audio-conferencing applications, and use of unauthorized personal accounts and applications to transmit non-public information; (ii) increased online phishing and fraud attempts; and (iii) increased risk to third party vendors. In accordance with the DFS’s cybersecurity regulation, all regulated entities are instructed to assess these risks and address them appropriately.
Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court issues general order addressing certain filings, documentation requirements, and deadlines
On April 9, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York issued General Order M-545 regarding court operations under the exigent circumstances created by Covid-19. Effective immediately, with respect to cases filed by an individual under chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the general order:
- Suspends the requirement that a CM/ECF user secure the signer’s original signature prior to electronically filing a document bearing the signature, provided certain requirements are met.
- Provides guidance on documentation that creditors (mortgage holders or servicers) must file in connection with a temporary suspension of mortgage payments.
- Extends any deadline under the Loss Mitigation Program Procedures or Student Loan Mediation Program Procedures that has not expired as of March 16, 2020, to July 1, 2020.
- Provides an alternate standard for establishing a debtor’s identification for purposes of a meeting of creditors under section 341 of the bankruptcy code.
The order expires on July 1, 2020 unless modified by further order.
On April 7, the New York State Department of Financial Services issued guidance to state-regulated insurance companies and fraternal benefit societies, indicating that these insurers may comply with state law notice requirements by emailing notices to consumers for which the insurers have an email address. Insurers do not need to obtain prior consent of the consumers to receive such notices via email. The department also urged insurers to disseminate notices by supplemental means, such as social media, and maintain records of their communications with consumers.
On April 7, the New York State Department of Financial Services issued guidance to state-regulated student loan servicers urging them to “do their part” to alleviate hardships caused by Covid-19. The department stated that student loan servicers “should,” for a period of 90 days, waive late fees, provide forbearance, refrain from sending defaulted loans to debt collectors, and report any missed payments subject to forbearance as “current” to credit reporting agencies.
- Jeffrey P. Naimon to discuss "Post-pandemic CFPB exam preparation" at the Mortgage Bankers Association Spring Conference & Expo
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss "Making fair lending work for you" at the Mortgage Bankers Association Spring Conference & Expo
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss "Reading the tea leaves of President Biden’s initial financial appointees" at LendIt Fintech
- APPROVED Webcast: Staying in the know with Buckley regtech solutions
- Moorari K. Shah to discuss “CA, NY, federal licensing and disclosure” at the Equipment Leasing & Finance Association Legal Forum
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss "Compliance under Biden" at the WSJ Risk & Compliance Forum
- 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