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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

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  • New York State Unified Court System will open remote access to pending non-essential cases

    State Issues

    On April 7, the chief administrative judge of the New York State Unified Court System issued a memorandum to trial court justices and judges advising that the current prohibition on the filing of new non-essential matters will continue. However, the court system plans to take preliminary steps to open remote access for non-essential pending cases beginning on April 13, 2020. This will include holding court conferences if helpful for the advancement of a case and making decisions on fully submitted motions.

    State Issues Covid-19 New York

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  • New York governor provides regulatory relief

    State Issues

    On April 7, the governor of New York issued an executive order authorizing the superintendent of Financial Services to issue emergency regulations waiving late fees and prohibiting the reporting of negative data to credit bureaus. The order also authorized remote notarial acts.

    State Issues Covid-19 New York

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  • New York Department of Financial Services shares guidance on insurance notice obligations

    State Issues

    The New York Department of Financial Services published guidelines for insurance producers, such as agents and brokers, on providing electronic notices during the Covid-19 emergency. The guidance reduced the burden of standard notice obligations for producers that must comply with new 11 NYCRR § 229.5(b) and 3 NYCRR § 405.6(b)(4) requirements. Specifically, the issuance enabled notices to be communicated by email, regardless of consumer consent, and encouraged producers to share information regarding notice obligations on their websites and via social media.

    State Issues Covid-19 New York NYDFS Broker-Dealer

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  • New York Department of Financial Services calls on regulated entities to fund or partner Community Development Financial Institutions

    State Issues

    On April 5, the New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Linda Lacewell published a letter to state-regulated entities encouraging them to fund or partner with Community Development Financial Institutions. Lacewell stated that CDFIs play a major role in enabling the Paycheck Protection Loan Program established by the CARES Act for low and medium income communities, and without CDFI funding and grants, many New York small businesses will not be able to survive the economic fallout caused by Covid-19. 

    State Issues Covid-19 New York

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  • New York Department of Financial Services encourages participation in Small Business Administration’s paycheck protection loan program

    State Issues

    On April 3, the New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent published a letter to state-regulated entities informing them about the Paycheck Protection Loan Program established by the CARES Act. The letter encouraged eligible institutions to participate in the program and urged those not currently eligible to obtain eligibility.

    State Issues Covid-19 New York

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  • New York adopts emergency regulations for insurance customers

    State Issues

    On March 30, the New York Department of Financial Services announced emergency regulations requiring New York State regulated issuers of life insurance and annuity contracts, property and casualty insurers and premium finance agencies to provide relief to consumers and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to the Covid-19 outbreak.  Among other things, the emergency regulations: (i) extend grace periods for making life insurance payments for 90 days, and for making property and casualty insurance payments for 60 days;  (ii) establishing a special enrollment period from April 1 to April 15 to obtain health insurance under the New York State’s Health Plan Marketplace; (iii) prohibit life insurers and property and casualty insurers from imposing late fees, reporting the policyholder to a credit bureau, or referring the policyholder to a debt collection agency with respect to such delayed payments; (iv) permit premiums due but not paid during the grace period to be repaid over 12 equal monthly installments; and (v) require premium finance companies to grant the same relief to consumers and businesses that have financed the payments of their premiums, subject to safety and soundness considerations.

    State Issues Covid-19 New York NYDFS

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  • New York issues executive order addressing certain Banking Law requirements

    State Issues

    On March 29, New York Governor Cuomo issued an executive order granting the superintendent of Financial Services (superintendent) the authority to promulgate emergency regulations to apply the provisions of the executive order relevant to policy cancellations to premium finance agencies, subject to safety and soundness considerations. The executive order also provides that all instruments that are signed and delivered to the superintendent under the New York Banking Law, and that are required to be verified or acknowledged thereunder, may be verified or acknowledged by including standard verification or acknowledgment language in the instrument and transmitting a legible copy of the signed instrument by fax or electronic means.

    State Issues Covid-19 New York Banking

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  • New York governor issues executive order to continue temporary suspension and modification of laws relating to Covid-19

    State Issues

    On March 27, the New York governor issued Executive Order 202.11 continuing the temporary suspension and modification of certain laws, including the expiration date of certain licensing laws, through April 26. 

    State Issues Licensing New York Covid-19

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  • NYDFS encourages insurance licensees to use E-Signatures

    State Issues

    The NYDFS issued guidance encouraging regulated insurance persons to use and accept electronic signatures and records to facilitate insurance transactions in instances that cause no consumer harm. The NYDFS reminded licensees that both New York’s Electronic Signatures and Records Act and the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act permit the use of electronic signatures and records if the consumer consents. The NYDFS also stated it does not require consumer consent be obtained in any particular way.

    State Issues Covid-19 New York NYDFS Licensing Insurance Licensing E-Signature

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  • NYDFS provides emergency relief to consumers

    State Issues

    On March 24, NYDFS issued an emergency regulation providing financial relief to New Yorkers affected by Covid-19. Among other things, New York regulated institutions must (i) make applications for forbearance of any payment due on a residential mortgage of a property located in New York, widely available to any individual who resides in New York and who demonstrates financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic; and (ii) subject to the safety and soundness requirements of the regulated institution, grant such forbearance for a period of 90 days to any such individual. New York regulated banking organizations must also provide certain financial relief to individuals who can demonstrate financial hardship, including eliminating fees charged for use of certain ATMs, overdraft fees, and credit card late payment fees. The regulations also establish requirements for institutions regarding the criteria for individuals to qualify for relief, application processing, and record retention, including expedited timelines to process applications for relief.

    State Issues Covid-19 New York NYDFS Consumer Finance

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