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On August 18, the Arkansas Securities Department further extended interim regulatory guidance previously issued to licensed mortgage companies, mortgage loan officers, and branch managers. The original interim regulatory guidance, previously covered here, and extended in May, permits mortgage loan officers to conduct activities requiring a license from home, provided certain data security provisions are met. This guidance is extended through the duration of the emergency declared by the governor of Arkansas.
On May 22, the Arkansas Securities Department extended interim regulatory guidance previously issued to licensed mortgage companies, mortgage loan officers, and branch managers. The original interim regulatory guidance, previously covered here, permits mortgage loan officers to conduct activities requiring a license from home, provided certain data security provisions are met. This guidance is extended through September 1, 2020.
On May 11, the Arkansas Insurance Department issued a bulletin regarding compliance and licensing for admitted and surplus lines insurance carriers doing business in Arkansas. Insurers and other regulated entities are advised that they must continue to expeditiously adjust claims during Covid-19. The bulletin also provides guidance on regulatory filing deadlines, the permissibility of electronic filings and signatures, the status of on-site examinations by the department, license renewals, and continuing education deadlines.
On May 11, the Arkansas Insurance Department issued a bulletin announcing the rescission of certain Covid-19 related bulletins issued under Executive Order 20-03. Among others, Bulletin 16-2020 regarding the suspension of title insurance audits and Bulletin 18-2020 regarding Covid-19 financial regulatory compliance, are suspended as of May 11, 2020.
On April 9, the Arkansas Insurance Department issued Bulletin 16-2020 suspending on-site audits by title insurers. All title insurers regulated by the department are directed to suspend onsite audits of agencies appointed with the insurer for 60 days from March 11, 2020.
On April 4, the governor of Arkansas issued an executive order directing certain businesses (which do not include financial services) to close, and offering guidance on how open businesses need to conduct themselves during the Covid-19 crisis.
Arkansas Securities Department provides relief from regulatory deadlines and guidance on notarization
On April 1, the Arkansas Securities Department issued guidance providing relief from certain regulatory deadlines to licensed money services businesses and mortgage companies. The department is providing a 60-day extension to file financial statements and a 30-day extension to submit Call Reports and the MCR Standard Financial Condition Reports. Further, the guidance provides that licensed entities are authorized to use real-time audio and visual means to witness the signing of a legal document so long as the identity and physical presence of any and all witnesses and signers in Arkansas are validated at the time of execution of the document by real-time audio or visual means.
On March 30, the Arkansas governor issued an executive order suspending certain provisions of the Arkansas Code regarding notaries public for the duration of the emergency. The executive order permits an official signature or seal of a notarial certificate or seal to be executed when the principal or signer is present remotely. It also suspends provisions requiring electronic notaries public when a notary public is an Arkansas-licensed attorney, Arkansas-licensed title agent, or is employed by a financial institution registered with the Arkansas State Bank Department and the document signer or witness is present via real-time audio and visual means.
The Arkansas State Bank Department issued a “Coronavirus Contingency Plan” on March 11, with updates on March 16, March 18, and March 23. The communications instruct banks to promptly notify the Deputy Commissioner by email if branch facilities or markets must be closed and encouraged them to work with affected customer and communities. These efforts should include, among other things, waiving fees, increasing ATM cash withdrawal limits, easing restrictions on cashing checks, increasing credit card limits, and offering payment accommodations to assist members having payment difficulty. The guidance also noted that “prudent efforts” to modify loan terms would not be subject to examiner criticism, and institutions can ease their terms for new loans consistent with prudential banking practices. The Department also committed to work with affected institutions to reduce burden when scheduling examinations and inspections, utilize off-site reviews, and work with institutions experiencing difficulties fulfilling reporting requirements.
On March 20, the Arkansas Securities Department issued guidance for corporate finance filings in light of Covid-19. The guidance provides specific directions on making electronic filings. This interim guidance is in effect from March 23, 2020 through April 16, 2020 but is subject to change or withdrawal.
- Jonice Gray Tucker to moderate “Pandemic relief response and lasting impacts on access, credit, banking, and equality” at the American Bar Association Business Law Section Spring Meeting
- 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
- 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
- Jonice Gray Tucker to discuss “The future of fair lending” at the Mortgage Bankers Association Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference