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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

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  • LIBOR-based loans will not be eligible for Ginnie Mae pooling

    Federal Issues

    On September 21, Ginnie Mae issued All Participant Memorandum 20-12, which states that Ginnie Mae will stop accepting the delivery of single-family forward adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) loans, dated on or after January 1, 2021, with any interest term based on LIBOR, for securitization in any pool. Additionally, any adjustable rate reverse mortgages (HECMs) will be ineligible for securitization into any HMBS pool that relies on LIBOR if not securitized as of January 1, 2021, “without regard to their date of origination or the date in which the corresponding FHA case number was assigned.” Participations associated with HECM loans backing HMBS will continue to be eligible without restriction, so long as the issuance date is on or before December 1.

    Federal Issues Ginnie Mae Mortgages Securities LIBOR

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  • FDIC, HUD announce regulatory and disaster relief in connection with Oregon wildfires

    Federal Issues

    On September 18, the FDIC issued FIL-91-2020 to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and help facilitate recovery in areas of Oregon affected by wildfires that began on September 7. In the guidance, the FDIC writes that, in supervising institutions affected by the wildfires, it will consider the unusual circumstances those institutions face. The guidance suggests that institutions work with impacted borrowers to, among other things, (i) extend repayment terms; (ii) restructure existing loans; or (iii) ease terms for new loans to those affected by the severe weather, provided the measures are “done in a manner consistent with sound banking practices.” Additionally, the FDIC notes 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 relief from certain reporting and publishing requirements.

    Separately, on September 17, HUD announced disaster assistance available to certain counties impacted by the Oregon wildfires, providing foreclosure relief and other assistance to affected homeowners. Specifically, 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 those victims whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged. 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.

    Federal Issues HUD Mortgages Disaster Relief FHA FDIC

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  • Virginia governor announces expansion of grant program for small businesses, nonprofits

    State Issues

    On September 21, the Virginia governor announced the expansion of the Rebuild VA, the $70 million economic recovery fund for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by Covid-19. As a result of the expanded eligibility requirements, businesses that received funding from the federal CARES Act and supply chain partners of businesses whose normal operations were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic will be eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000. The Rebuild VA funding may be used for, among other things, payroll support, employee salaries, and mortgage payments, rent, and utilities. The announcement provides additional information regarding eligibility for the grants.

    State Issues Covid-19 Virginia Small Business CARES Act Mortgages

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  • New York governor extends moratorium on commercial evictions

    State Issues

    On September 21, the New York governor issued Executive Order 202.64, which extends the moratorium on Covid-19-related commercial evictions until October 20. The eviction moratorium, which was first issued on March 20, has been extended several times. For our previous coverage, see here.

    State Issues Covid-19 New York Mortgages

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  • Fannie Mae updates Covid-19 Selling FAQs

    Federal Issues

    On September 17, Fannie Mae updated its Covid-19 FAQs for sellers to include a new question about whether federal student loan payments that are placed in a Covid-related forbearance should count towards a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio. Additionally, Fannie Mae updated previous questions covering the purchase of loans that are in forbearance, including whether a lender owes the loan level pricing adjustment (LLPA). Specifically, the FAQs state that if a forbearance begins any time on the sale date of the loan, lenders owe the LLPA to Fannie Mae.

    Federal Issues Fannie Mae Mortgages Covid-19

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  • CFPB settles with eighth lender on misleading VA advertising

    Federal Issues

    On September 14, the CFPB announced a settlement with an eighth mortgage lender for mailing consumers advertisements for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgages that allegedly contained misleading statements or lacked required disclosures. According to the Bureau, the lender offers and provides VA guaranteed mortgage loans, and allegedly sent false, misleading, and inaccurate direct-mail advertisements to servicemembers and veterans in violation of the CFPA, the Mortgage Acts and Practices – Advertising Rule (MAP Rule), and Regulation Z. Among other things, the Bureau alleged the advertisements (i) failed to include required disclosures; (ii) stated credit terms that the lenders were not actually prepared to offer; (iii) made “misrepresentations about the existence, nature, or amount of cash available to the consumer in connection with the mortgage credit product”; (iv) gave the false impression the lenders were affiliated with the government; and (v) used the name of the consumer’s current lender in a misleading way.

    The settlement imposes a civil money penalty of $625,000 and bans the lender from future advertising misrepresentations similar to those identified by the Bureau. Additionally, the settlement requires the lender to use a compliance official to review mortgage advertisements for compliance with consumer protection laws.

    The latest enforcement action is part of the Bureau’s “sweep of investigations” related to deceptive VA-mortgage advertisements. Previously, the Bureau issued consent orders against seven other mortgage lenders for similar violations, covered by InfoBytes herehere and here.

    Federal Issues CFPB Mortgages Department of Veterans Affairs Mortgage Lenders CFPA UDAAP MAP Rule Regulation Z

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  • Nevada Dept. of Business and Industry extends work from home guidance

    State Issues

    On August 21, the Nevada  Department of Business of Industry, Division of Mortgage Lending extended its provisional guidance allowing licensed mortgage loan originators to work from home (previously covered here and here) until December 31, 2020.

    State Issues Covid-19 Nevada Licensing Mortgage Origination Mortgages

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  • Judicial Council of California votes to end temporary eviction and judicial foreclosure rules

    State Issues

    On August 13, the Judicial Council of California voted to end two temporary emergency rules governing evictions and judicial foreclosures. The first rule prohibited the issuance of summons or entering of defaults in eviction actions unless the case involved public health and safety issues, and required that trials be set at least 60 days after a request for a trial. The second emergency rule stayed all pending judicial foreclosure actions other than those involving issues of public health and safety, tolled the statute of limitations on filing such actions, and extended the deadlines for election or exercise of rights relating to such actions. Pursuant to the vote, the rules end on September 1, 2020. The Judicial Council previously approved the temporary emergency rules staying eviction and foreclosure proceedings on April 6, 2020.

    State Issues Covid-19 California Evictions Foreclosure Mortgages

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  • VA encourages mortgage relief after Hurricane Laura

    Federal Issues

    On September 4, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued Circular 26-20-34 to encourage mortgagees to provide relief for VA borrowers affected by Hurricane Laura. The Circular encourages loan holders and servicers to (i) extend forbearance to distressed borrowers and to members of the National Guard assisting in the recovery efforts; (ii) establish a 90-day moratorium on initiating new foreclosures; (iii) waive late charges; and (iv) suspend credit reporting on affected loans. The Circular will be rescinded October 1, 2021. Mortgage servicers and veteran borrowers are also encouraged to review the VA’s Guidance on Natural Disasters.

    Federal Issues Disaster Relief Department of Veterans Affairs Mortgages

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  • NYDFS issues guidance on mortgage registration fees

    State Issues

    On September 1, NYDFS issued guidance to regulated mortgage lenders and servicers clarifying that mortgagees cannot charge registration fees imposed by municipalities when a mortgage defaults to mortgagors’ accounts. The guidance reminds mortgagees that the state’s mortgage servicing regulation, 3 NYCRR Part 419, allows mortgagees to collect only certain types of fees from a mortgagor, consisting of “attorney’s fees, late and delinquency fees, property valuation fees, and fees for services actually rendered to a mortgagor when such fees are reasonably related to the cost of rendering the service to the borrower.” NYDFS asserts that municipality-required default registration fees do not fall under the specified list and therefore cannot be charged to a mortgagor. The guidance instructs mortgagees to refund any such fees that have been collected, or to reverse any such fees that have been charged to accounts. Moreover, the guidance directs mortgagees to create a log of any registration fee charges and their subsequent corrections for inspection during their next NYDFS examination.

    State Issues NYDFS State Regulator Mortgages Default

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