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On April 21, the FDIC issued FIL-47-2020 to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and help facilitate recovery in areas of Mississippi affected by a recent series of severe weather. In the letter, the FDIC encourages institutions to consider, among other things, (i) extending repayment terms; (ii) restructuring existing loans; or (iii) easing terms for new loans to borrowers affected by the severe weather, provided the measures are “done in a manner consistent with sound banking practices, can contribute to the health of the local community and serve the long-term interests of the lending institution.” Additionally, the FDIC notes that institutions may receive Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery. The FDIC states it will also consider relief from certain filing and publishing requirements.
Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief guidance here.
On April 6, the governor of Mississippi issued an executive order permitting remote notarizations. To perform a remote notarization under the terms of the order, the notary and the principal must be using two-way audio and visual communication at the time of signing. Additionally, the notary public must reasonably identify the principal, create an audiovisual recording of the act, retain the recording, and ensure that the intended document relates to a matter in Mississippi, among other things. Notaries public intending to perform remote notarizations may use this form to notify the secretary of state.
On March 24, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves ordered certain restrictions on social gatherings and restrictions on certain non-essential businesses. Any “Essential Business or Operation” may perform services or functions without regard to the limitations. Financial services, including banks, insurance, payroll, accounting, and processing services related to financial markets, and real estate services, including appraisal and title services, are deemed Essential Business.
On March 14, the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance (DBCF) issued memoranda to Consumer Finance Licensees and Mortgage Licensees that includes general guidance to the industry and “outline[s] flexibility in DBCF processes in response to the COVID-19 event.” Among other things, the guidance advises licensees to periodically review related risk management plans (specifically continuity and pandemic plans) to ensure continuity of products and services with minimal disruption. It also advises that, if “necessary and appropriate,” licensees may relocate offices or have employees work from home. Additionally, effective March 13, the DBCF will discontinue onsite examinations. During this time, DBCF will be available to assist the industry and consumers via telephone and email communication.
On March 16, the DBCF issued interim guidance allowing mortgage loan originators to temporarily work from home, whether located in Mississippi or another state, even if the home is not a licensed branch provided certain requirements are met.
On March 16, the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance (DBCF) issued guidance granting authority for licensed mortgage origination companies to permit MLOs to work from home, even if the home is not a licensed branch. The DBCF stated that as long as applicable data security requirements are met, the DBCF will not take punitive action against a licensed MLO for conducting activities from home.
On March 14, the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance (DBCF) issued a memorandum to remind licensees to review risk management plans, including business continuity and pandemic plans, to ensure continuity of services. In addition, the guidance recommends licensees to: work with consumers impacted by Covid-19, be prepared for disruptions to availability of key personnel, and notify DBCF of any issues relating to events caused by Covid-19.
Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance encourages institutions to work with customers during pandemic
On March 13, Mississippi’s Department of Banking and Consumer Finance announced regulatory guidance encouraging financial institutions to work with customers and communities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Specifically, financial institutions are encouraged to engage in various efforts, including: (i) waiving fees such as ATM, overdraft, and late fees; (ii) increasing ATM daily cash withdrawal limits; (iii) easing restrictions on cashing checks; (iv) increasing credit card limits for creditworthy borrowers; and (v) offering payment accommodations including forbearance. The Department also addressed financial condition review, supervisory responses, and regulatory relief, as well as reporting requirements, and making alternative service options available to customers.
- 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