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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.
Montana issues a temporary emergency rule to waive June assessments or fees for banks and credit unions
On April 24, the Montana Department of Administration issued a temporary emergency rule waiving the first semiannual assessments for state-chartered banks and supervisory fees for credit unions. The rule will expire on August 22, 2020.
The Montana Department of Administration has posted information about technology-based notarizations available to Montana notaries. The guidance describes the mechanics of remote and remote online notarization, the registration requirements for performing technology-based notarization, and the methods of identification for remote and remote online notarizations. A list of Montana Secretary of State approved providers of remote and remote online notarization is included.
The Montana Banking and Financial Institutions announced that it is extending the deadline for non-depository licensees to file certain reports. The MCR Q1 2020 report due date has been extended from May 15, 2020, to June 14, 2020. The deadline to submit the MCR Standard Financial Condition Report and the Financial Statement has been extended from 90 days from the end of the company’s fiscal year to 120 days from the end of company’s fiscal year.
Montana Department of Administration provides relief to banks and credit unions regarding annual meetings
On April 2, the Montana Department of Administration adopted a temporary emergency rule regarding annual meetings held by banks and credit unions during the Covid-19 pandemic. The rule permits a bank or credit union to hold its annual meeting in the form of a virtual meeting during the Covid-19 pandemic. Such virtual meeting must be live, allow electronic or telephonic participation in the meeting in real-time, and provide simultaneous audio transmission of the meeting.
The Montana Secretary of State’s website enumerates four ways to perform notary services in the state. They include traditional notarization, In-Person Electronic Notarization (IPEN or eNotarization), Remote Online Notarization (RON), and remote notarization. The webpage also describes the conditions unique to each type of notary service. This guidance follows the enactment of full RON, remote notarization on tangible records, as well as IPEN last fall.
Montana governor issues executive order prohibiting evictions, foreclosures, and utility and internet cancellation
On March 30, Montana Governor Steve Bullock issued an executive order prohibiting residential foreclosures, evictions, and utility and internet service cancellations. In addition, no borrower may be reported to a credit bureau for failure to pay for the duration of the directive. Citing the requirement for residents to stay at home, Bullock provided that having habitable homes that possess the ability to communicate externally via phone and internet services are paramount to public health and human safety. The directive went into effect immediately and limits the foregoing actions through April 10.
The Montana Division of Banking and Financial Institutions announced that it is temporarily permitting non-depository licensees and their employees to work from home, whether the home is in Montana or another state. The permission also applies even if the home is not a licensed branch. Non-depository licensees include, among others, licensed mortgage loan originators, loan processors, and underwriters.
On March 26, Montana Governor Steve Bullock issued a directive ordering all non-essential businesses to cease operation, with the exception of business performed solely in a residence. The directive permits essential business to continue operations, but encourages these businesses to practice social distancing to the maximum extent possible. Essential businesses include, among others, financial and real estate institutions and services. Finally, the directive orders residents of Montana to remain at home to the greatest extent possible.
On March 20, the Montana Division of Banking and Financial Services issued guidance urging credit unions to work with members and communities affected by Covid-19. Efforts include, among other things, waiving fees, increasing ATM cash withdrawal limits, easing restrictions on cashing checks, easing credit terms for new loans, offering or expanding payday alternative loan programs, increasing credit card limits, and offering payment accommodations to assist members having payment difficulty. The guidance also noted: (i) that “prudent efforts” to modify loan terms would not be subject to examiner criticism, as long as the efforts are documented; (ii) that the Division would work with credit unions to reduce burden when scheduling examinations and inspections, and utilize off-site reviews; (iii) that credit unions should inform the Division of branch or office closures; and (iv) that attendance via electronic communications would constitute in-person attendance at board, committee, and annual meetings.
- Daniel R. Alonso to moderate an interactive roundtable at the Latin Lawyer and GIR Connect: Anti-Corruption & Investigations Conference
- APPROVED Checkpoint Webcast: You have license renewal questions, we have answers
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss “Fintech trends” at the BIHC Network Elevating Black Excellence Regional Summit
- Jeffrey P. Naimon to discuss "Truth in lending” at the American Bar Association National Institute on Consumer Financial Services Basics
- Daniel R. Alonso to discuss anti-money-laundering at FELABAN Spanish-language webinar “Perspective for banks: LAFT, FINCEN, OFAC, Cryptocurrency”
- Daniel R. Alonso to discuss "What’s new in BSA/AML compliance?" at the Institute of International Bankers Regulatory Compliance Seminar
- Jon David D. Langlois to discuss "Regulatory update: What you need to know under the new boss; It won’t be the same as the old boss" at the IMN Residential Mortgage Service Rights Forum (East)
- Benjamin B. Klubes to discuss “Creating a Fantastic Workplace Culture”
- John R. Coleman and Amanda R. Lawrence to discuss “Consumer financial services government enforcement actions – The CFPB and beyond” at the Government Investigations & Civil Litigation Institute Annual Meeting
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss "Consumer financial services" at the Practising Law Institute Banking Law Institute
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss “Regulators always ring twice: Responding to a government request” at ALM Legalweek