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On January 19, HUD announced disaster assistance for certain areas in Alaska and Tennessee impacted by severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides, mudslides, and tornados. (See here and here.) The disaster assistance follows President Biden’s major disaster declarations on January 14 and 15. According to the announcements, 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.” HUD’s Section 203(k) loan program allows individuals who have lost homes to finance the purchase of a house or refinance an existing house along with the costs of repair, through a single mortgage. The program also allows homeowners with damaged property to finance the rehabilitation of existing single-family homes. Furthermore, HUD is allowing applications for administrative flexibilities and waivers for community planning and development grantees and public housing authorities. For Alaska specifically, flexibilities and waivers are extended to tribes and tribally designated housing entities.
On August 20, the Alaska governor announced that he proposed modifications to the AK CARES Grant Program to expand eligibility for applicants. The program provides funding for Alaska small businesses. Under the current program, applicants are restricted from applying if they received more than $5,000 in other federal assistance or if the business is a source of secondary income. The changes would lift the $5,000 restriction and restriction on secondary income businesses. Restrictions requiring that businesses be Alaska-based or have no more than 50 employees remain in place, but may be subject to review in the future. Absent earlier action, these changes will take effect in 45 days.
On April 30, the Alaska governor signed into law H.B. 124, which amends Alaska’s notarization law to permit remote notarization. The amendments set forth the requirements for conducting remote notarization, including the selection of technologies to perform the remote notarization and record keeping requirements.
The Alaska Department of Commerce, Division of Banking and Securities (Division), issued a special notice responding to inquiries about premium finance companies’ contracts with a power of attorney to cancel all policies upon default. The division notes that while it does not have the authority over the contract or legal agreement, it encourages premium finance companies to review applicable guidance and recent bills passed by federal and state governments related to the Covid-19 crisis pertaining to late payments.
Alaska governor announces temporary suspension of state regulations as part of Covid-19 emergency measures
On April 10, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy announced a temporary suspension of certain state fees, statutes, and regulations through May 11, including those imposed by the Department of Commerce. Governor Dunleavy cited his aim for the temporary suspension as exploring ways to “lessen the burden of state government on Alaska’s families and businesses…” during the Covid-19 crisis.
On April 10, Alaska enacted into law legislation that extended a moratorium on foreclosures, evictions, and repossessions, and also called for forbearance plans pertaining to specific state loans. The bill extended the governor’s March 11 executive order declaring a state of emergency and imposed temporary changes to state laws and regulations in response to the Covid-19 crisis. Legislative action was required to extend the governor’s executive order beyond 30 days.
On April 3, the Alaska commissioner of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development released a memorandum to community leaders and small business owners in the state promoting the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and encouraging interested borrowers to participate in the program.
On March 23, the Alaska Governor ordered all people arriving in Alaska, including residents, workers, and visitors, to self-quarantine for 14 days unless they support critical infrastructure. The “financial services sector” is identified as a critical industry not subject to the quarantine requirement. The order took effect on March 25.
The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development communicated to NMLS that an Alaska mortgage loan originators’ (MLO) license is issued for a calendar year (being quarantined for 14-30 days would not be considered the “majority” of their time over the course of a year) and that a branch registration for the MLO’s home would not be required for this short period of time.
- Jedd R. Bellman to discuss “The CFPB’s crackdown on collection junk fees and the growing anti-CFPB rhetoric” at an Accounts Recovery webinar
- Benjamin W. Hutten to discuss “Latest on AML regulations and impact of economic sanctions” at a Mortgage Bankers Association webinar
- Benjamin W. Hutten to discuss “Fundamentals of financial crime compliance” at the Practicing Law Institute
- Benjamin W. Hutten to discuss “Ongoing CDD: Operational considerations” at NAFCU’s Regulatory Compliance & BSA Seminar