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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations


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  • FDIC announces Vermont disaster relief

    On July 19, the FDIC issued FIL-36-2023 to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and help facilitate recovery in areas of Vermont affected by severe storms and flooding from July 7 through the present. The FDIC acknowledged the unusual circumstances faced by affected institutions and encouraged those institutions to work with impacted borrowers to, among other things: (i) extend repayment terms; (ii) restructure existing loans; or (iii) ease terms for new loans, provided the measures are done “in a manner consistent with sound banking practices.” Additionally, the FDIC noted that institutions “may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery.” The FDIC will also consider regulatory relief from certain filing and publishing requirements and instructed institutions to contact the New York Regional Office if they expect delays in making filings or are experiencing difficulties in complying with publishing or other requirements.

    Bank Regulatory Federal Issues FDIC Consumer Finance Disaster Relief Vermont

  • OCC allows institutions affected by Vermont flooding to temporarily close

    Federal Issues

    On July 11, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions to close offices, at their discretion, affected by severe flooding in Vermont “for as long as deemed necessary for bank operation or public safety.” In issuing the proclamation, the OCC noted that only bank offices directly affected by potentially unsafe conditions should close, and that institutions should make every effort to reopen as quickly as possible to address customers’ banking needs. The proclamation directs institutions to OCC Bulletin 2012-28 for further guidance on actions they should take in response to natural disasters and other emergency conditions.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues OCC Disaster Relief Vermont Consumer Finance

  • HUD announces Vermont and Montana disaster relief

    Federal Issues

    On September 30, HUD announced disaster assistance for certain areas in Vermont impacted by a severe storm and flooding from July 29 to July 30, providing foreclosure relief and other assistance to affected homeowners. This followed President Biden’s major disaster declaration for the counties of Bennington and Windham issued on September 29. The following day, HUD announced disaster assistance for certain areas in Montana affected by the Richard Spring Fire from August 8 to August 20, also providing foreclosure relief and other assistance to affected homeowners. This followed President Biden’s major disaster declaration for Rosebud County and the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation issued on September 30. According to the announcement, federal funding is additionally available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation in all areas of Montana.

    For both disaster relief measures, HUD is providing an automatic 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of FHA-insured home mortgages for covered properties and is making FHA insurance available to victims whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged, such that “reconstruction or replacement is necessary.” Additionally, HUD’s Section 203(k) loan program will allow individuals who have lost homes to finance the purchase of a house, or refinance an existing house and the costs of repair, through a single mortgage. The program will also allow homeowners with damaged property to finance the rehabilitation of existing single-family homes. Flexibility measures for state and local governments, public housing authorities, tribes, and tribally designated house entities are also addressed.

    Federal Issues HUD Disaster Relief Mortgages Consumer Finance Montana Vermont

  • Vermont rescinds combination license option

    On July 6, the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) published a notice announcing the rescission of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation’s “Combination of License Types” option. Between July 1 and September 30, companies that hold a combination license must transition back to the following appropriate licenses in order to conduct business in the state: lender license, mortgage broker license, loan solicitation license, and/or loan servicer license. Companies will need to file a company form application (MU1) and an individual form (MU2) for each of their control persons, and electronic surety bonds will need to be obtained for each new license to pass NMLS’s completeness check. However, companies will only need to update their MU1 and MU2s, and not need to re-enter information that has already been provided. Additionally, companies are required to complete the transition process for each branch that holds a combination license. NMLS reminds companies that this transition is not optional.

    Licensing NMLS State Issues Vermont

  • Vermont amends licensing provisions

    On May 12, the Vermont governor signed SB 88, which amends various provisions related to insurance, banking, and securities, including those related to licensing applications and the annual renewal process. Among other things, the act (i) repeals certain licensing fees related to mortgage broker applications and loan servicer license renewals; (ii) increases the fee that licensees who do not timely file annual reports will be charged from $100 to $1,000 for each month or part of a month that the report is past due; (iii) specifies that mortgage loan originators and a licensee’s employees may work remotely provided they are assigned to a licensed location, are “adequately supervised by the licensee,” and meet any addition required conditions; and (iv) repeals certain provisions related to the surrender of a license in the event it is suspended, revoked, or terminated. The licensing amendments take effect immediately.

    Licensing State Issues State Legislation Vermont

  • Vermont passes law allowing mortgage employees to work from home

    State Issues

    On May 4, the Vermont legislature passed SB 88 (now known as Act 25), which among other things, permits mortgage loan activity to be conducted outside of an entity’s main place of business or branches.  Act 25 allows a mortgage originator, broker, or servicer’s employees to work from their residence, assuming the individual is adequately supervised by the employer.

    State Issues Covid-19 Vermont Mortgages Mortgage Origination Mortgage Broker Mortgage Servicing

  • Vermont Department of Financial Regulation issues alert regarding mortgage assistance program

    State Issues

    On July 10, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation issued an industry alert highlighting the Vermont Covid Emergency Assistance Program, which makes available $5,000,000 to qualifying Vermont homeowners who have missed mortgage payments due to the Covid-19 emergency. Payments from the program will be made directly to mortgage servicers on behalf of qualifying consumer applicants. Upon payment, the mortgagor will no longer be considered to be liable with respect to those payments. Servicers are requested to provide a contact name for the company that the Vermont House Finance Agency may use in connection with the program.

    State Issues Covid-19 Vermont Mortgages Mortgage Servicing

  • Vermont governor signs act imposing moratorium on ejectment and foreclosure actions during Covid-19

    State Issues

    On May 14, the Vermont governor signed S.B. 333, which imposes a moratorium on ejectment and foreclosure actions until 30 days after the governor terminates the Covid-19 state of emergency. While a residential mortgage lender may commence a foreclosure action, the court must stay the action as of the date of filing until the end of the emergency period. The act also places limitations on writs of possession not yet issued as well as writs of possession already issued. The act took effect immediately upon passage.

    State Issues Covid-19 Vermont Foreclosure Mortgages

  • States offer relief to student loan borrowers not covered by CARES Act

    Federal Issues

    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.”

    Federal Issues Student Lending State Issues State Regulators Covid-19 CARES Act Colorado Connecticut Illinois Massachusetts New Jersey Vermont Washington California Virginia

  • Vermont attorney general declares CARES stimulus checks exempt from garnishment/collection

    State Issues

    On April 21, Vermont’s attorney general issued a directive to debt collectors, creditors, and financial institutions declaring that CARES Act stimulus payments are exempt from garnishment or collection under Vermont law. In addition, the directive asks banking institutions to voluntarily suspend any set-offs or other collection activity for overdrafts and fees that could impact the stimulus payments. 

    State Issues Covid-19 Vermont Debt Collection State Attorney General Bank Compliance


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