Federal and state governments responded immediately to the Covid‑19 pandemic, transforming virtually overnight the regulatory framework governing lending and servicing.
Congress enacted the CARES Act, which created protections for borrowers and appropriated $670 billion for small business lending through the Paycheck Protection Program, and has since passed additional legislation allowing for pandemic-related stimulus payments. As those changes created new laws and regulations, states implemented their own restrictions around collections and foreclosures. The tightened regulatory scrutiny companies now face emphasizes rigorous compliance management systems and the ability to quickly adjust existing processes to accommodate these many new requirements.
Buckley’s financial services regulatory team is well positioned to advise companies on all types of consumer and small business loan origination and servicing practices, including credit reporting and debt collection. We advise banks on the regulatory complexities of pandemic stimulus payments and on related obligations concerning deposits. Our attorneys work with clients to implement and execute the eligibility, loan amount, and forgiveness aspects of the PPP, bolstered by our experience with fair lending laws and laws governing unfair or deceptive acts or practices. We rely upon our experience and agility to help financial institutions of all types and sizes navigate the legal and operational complexities of implementing federal and state emergency laws, regulations, and orders, and harmonize compliance with fast-changing investor requirements.
In addition to traditional legal advisory services, our regulatory team built the Covid‑19 Regulatory Tracker, an interactive, web-based repository designed to help clients keep up with state laws, regulations, and executive orders issued in response to the pandemic that now govern the delivery of financial products and services.
Our regulatory team continues to work closely throughout the pandemic with our enforcement, white collar, congressional investigations, and litigation teams so that our regulatory advice anticipates, and mitigates the risk of, governmental inquiries and private and class action litigation.
"Resisting temptation in a crisis: Making sure ethics and compliance don’t get diluted under financial strain" co-authored by Daniel R. Alonso (Compliance & Enforcement)
As the pandemic crisis begins its long process of receding, near the top of mind in companies of all sizes is how to thrive, or even survive, with the economy in turmoil. With such pressures, it would be easy for business executives to let compliance issues drop down on their list of priorities...Articles
"Accurate FCRA reporting during Covid-19" by Marshall T. Bell, Jonathan D. Jerison, and Jessica L. Pollet (Bloomberg Law)
As financial institutions respond to a flurry of regulatory recommendations and mandates in response to the Covid-19 crisis, those relating to consumer reporting may be among the most difficult to decipher and operationalize. Federal and state authorities have made it clear that they expect...Articles
"TCPA relief for Covid-19 communications could extend to financial institutions" by Ali M. Abugheida and Geoffrey L. Warner (Bloomberg Law)
Financial institutions face unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenges in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the need to communicate quickly and efficiently with customers in the face of government-issued stay-at-home orders. But the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, with its steep...Articles
"SEC flexes regulatory and enforcement muscles in pandemic markets" by Thomas A. Sporkin and Timothy J. Coley
The Securities and Exchange Commission is sticking to its three-fold mission of protecting investors, maintaining fair and orderly markets, and encouraging capital formation as it responds to the Covid-19 pandemic by issuing regulatory guidance on crisis-relevant market and capital issues,...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
Bank regulators were in the process of reshaping a 43-year-old community lending law when the coronavirus pandemic hit, prompting calls from bankers and community advocates alike to suspend rulemaking and revealing how inflexible the proposal could be amid a crisis. Even absent current economic...Articles
"Navigating digitized mortgage processes during Covid-19" by Valerie L. Hletko and Edward W. Somers (Law360)
The risks presented by the coronavirus pandemic have forced innovation in executing consumer contracts — and fast. Not least affected is the mortgage industry, which typically relies on in-person interactions for document execution to satisfy legal requirements and investor guidelines. Office...Articles
President Trump on April 24 signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, adding $310 billion in funding to the $350 billion initially appropriated to the program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The Federal Reserve Board, Treasury Department,...Special Alerts
Special Alert: OFAC encourages humanitarian aid, promises consideration for Covid-19 compliance challenges
The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control recently took two actions to address the impact of Covid-19. First, OFAC issued a fact sheet that consolidates existing authorizations and guidance permitting humanitarian, agricultural, and medical aid to six jurisdictions subject...Special Alerts
"Paycheck Protection Program poses AML compliance challenges" by Daniel P. Stipano and Benjamin W. Hutten (Bloomberg Law)
Promised relief started flowing to small businesses recently under the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, but many lenders releasing funds now face a substantial compliance burden: establishing an anti-money-laundering...Articles
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, signed in March 2020, enacted an unprecedented level of emergency government spending to provide public health relief and stabilize an economy damaged by the pandemic, and included oversight provisions to monitor how the $2 trillion is spent...Articles
The CARES Act will infuse more than $2 trillion into the U.S. economy — the largest such action in history. But if history is any guide, wherever there is a big pot of money, some people will look to steal it. Some desperate individuals might misrepresent their eligibility for unemployment benefits...Articles
On March 31, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued bulletins updating and clarifying their respective requirements for remote online notarizations as they seek to reduce in-person notarizations during the Covid-19 pandemic. Remote online notarization allows a notary to use electronic tools — typically...Special Alerts
On Tuesday, March 31, the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration released initial details regarding the nearly $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Under the program, private lenders will offer SBA-...Special Alerts
Special Alert: CARES Act places significant burdens on servicers of consumer debt but provides some relief to depositories
President Trump late last week signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that attempts to soften the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on consumers, including by suspending payments for certain student loan borrowers and enabling mortgage loan borrowers to...Special Alerts
On March 25, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a financial relief package (Proposal) and related guidance to assist borrowers in California experiencing financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. According to the news release, the relief efforts are being supported by several...Special Alerts
This podcast from the California Mortgage Bankers Association features an interview with Clinton R. Rockwell on a variety of topics surrounding the mortgage industry, including how Covid-19 is impacting the mortgage industry. Rockwell noted, “A lot of the guidance is solving a specific problem, or...In The News
Jeffrey P. Naimon quoted in American Banker article, “CFPB rulemaking engine churns on through coronavirus”
Jeffrey P. Naimon was quoted on April 15, 2020 in an American Banker article, “CFPB rulemaking engine churns on through coronavirus,” which discussed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s plan to move forward with rulemaking despite the industry’s shifted focus on the economy during the...In The News
Warren W. Traiger quoted in American Banker article, “Regulators 'full steam ahead' on CRA reform despite coronavirus pandemic”
Warren W. Traiger was quoted on April 8, 2020 in an American Banker article, “Regulators 'full steam ahead' on CRA reform despite coronavirus pandemic,” which discussed the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s decision to continue with Community Reinvestment Act reform — and in particular,...In The News
Daniel P. Stipano quoted in Law360 article, “Libor transition plans could take hit from Covid-19 turmoil”
Daniel P. Stipano was quoted on March 16, 2020 in a Law360 article, “Libor transition plans could take hit from Covid-19 turmoil,” which discussed Covid-19’s impact on the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) deadline as well as the need for banks to create pandemic preparedness plans to keep...In The News