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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

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  • Connecticut governor signs amendments to state banking statutes

    State Issues

    On June 14, the governor of Connecticut signed HB 5490, which makes various amendments to the state’s banking statutes, including standardizing various requirements across several mortgage and nonmortgage licensing types. Among other things, the law (i) extends the commissioner’s authority over certain mortgage-related licensees (mortgage lenders, brokers, and originators; correspondent lenders, and processors or underwriters) to include small loan lenders, sales finance companies, sales finance companies, mortgage servicers, money transmitters, check cashers, debt adjustors, debt negotiators, consumer collection agencies, student loan servicers, and lead generators; (ii) outlines provisions concerning the commissioner’s authority to conduct investigations and examinations; (iii) establishes that for loans under $5,000, the maximum annual percentage rate (APR) shall not exceed the lesser of 36 percent or the maximum APR for interest “permitted with respect to the consumer credit extended under the Military Lending Act”; and (iv) requires sales finance companies to acquire, maintain, and report to the commissioner certain demographic information on ethnicity, race, and sex for any retail installment contract or application for such contract covering the sale of a motor vehicle. The law is effective October 1, with the exception of specified provisions.

    State Issues State Legislation Mortgages Licensing NMLS

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  • New Hampshire enacts amendments to banking and consumer credit laws

    State Issues

    On June 8, the governor of New Hampshire signed HB 1687, to clarify the applicability of various state banking and consumer credit laws. Among other changes, the law (i) clarifies information required to be provided in a note, agreement, or promise to pay that is entered into by a small, title, or payday lender; (ii) prohibits small, title, or payday lenders from taking “any note, agreement, or promise to pay in which blanks are left to be filled in after the loan is made”; and (iii) makes certain other clarifying technical updates. The law is effective August 7.

    State Issues State Legislation Licensing Payday Lending Mortgages

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  • District Court rules South Dakota banking regulator exceeded authority in revoking payday lender’s license

    Courts

    On May 29, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota denied a motion to dismiss filed by the director of the South Dakota Division of Banking (defendant), ruling that the defendant exceeded his authority when he revoked a payday lender’s (plaintiff) operating license instead of initiating a cease and desist order, and that he failed to provide sufficient opportunities for the plaintiff to respond. According to the court, the defendant “had good cause to revoke [the plaintiff’s] money lending licenses,” having determined that late fees on the plaintiff’s loan product violated the 36 percent finance charge cap in the state’s 2017 payday lending law. But the court also held that the defendant committed a “procedural error” when he chose to “revoke the licenses rather than afford[] a hearing or [give the plaintiff] an opportunity to bring its practices into compliance. . . .”

    The court further granted the plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment “on the violation of procedural due process” for a period from September 13 through September 28, 2017—the date that the defendant issued a limited stay on the license revocation allowing the company to collect on loans issued before the South Dakota payday lending law went into effect. “In short, [the defendant’s] Order did not meaningfully advance the interests of the state (and indeed contravened state law), and the ‘substitute procedures’ sought by [the plaintiff] (and required under state law) would have accommodated the competing interests, provided due process, and not needlessly compromised the private interests of [the plaintiff],” the court wrote.

    Courts State Issues Payday Lending Licensing Bank Regulatory

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  • Louisiana governor signs amendments relating to consumer loan licensing

    State Issues

    On May 15, the Louisiana governor signed SB171, which amends a state statute that prescribes when a person acquiring or controlling ownership interest in a consumer loan licensee must obtain approval from the state’s commissioner. Under SB171, written approval by the commissioner must now be received for any person acquiring or controlling “[25] percent or more of the ownership interest in a licensee”—an amount previously set at 50 percent or more. The amendments also strike the requirement that “[a]ny person who acquires or anticipates acquiring a [75] percent interest in a licensee shall file for a new license prior to acquiring ownership of said interest either incrementally over a period of time or as one transaction.” The amendments became effective upon signature by the governor.

    State Issues State Legislation Licensing Consumer Lending

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  • Maryland governor signs provisions amending Maryland Consumer Loan Law’s small lending requirements

    State Issues

    On May 15, the Maryland governor signed legislation to establish requirements for lenders making covered loans in the state. Among other things, HB1297 increases the threshold for which a loan is subject to small lending requirements within the Maryland Consumer Loan Law (MCLL) from $6,000 to $25,000. The law also prohibits (i) lenders who are not licensed in the state from making loans of $25,000 or less, unless the person is exempt from requirements under MCLL; (ii) a person contracting “for a covered loan that has a rate of interest, charge, discount, or other consideration greater than the amount authorized under state law”; and (iii) covered loans that would be a violation of the Military Lending Act. Loans that violate these provisions are deemed void and unenforceable except in limited circumstances. The law takes effect January 1, 2019.

    State Issues State Legislation Licensing Lending Military Lending Act Usury Consumer Finance

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  • NYDFS enters next phase in use of nationwide licensing system

    State Issues

    On April 25, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced the next phase in its initiative to manage the licensing and regulation of all nondepository financial institutions operating in the state. Beginning May 1, budget planners and premium finance companies will be able to transition their licenses to the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry (NMLS). Companies applying for new licenses will be also able to submit applications through the NMLS. As previously covered in InfoBytes, licensed lenders, sales finance companies, and money transmitters made the transition to NMLS last year. “The Department is proud to continue our work with [the Conference of State Bank Supervisors] and our fellow state regulators in the ongoing modernization of financial services regulation, enhancing the strong regulatory framework created by states, and supporting industry innovation,” stated NYDFS Superintendent Maria T. Vullo.

    State Issues NYDFS NMLS Non-Depository Institution Licensing

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  • West Virginia passes bill amending licensing requirements for mortgage loan originators

    Lending

    On March 22, the West Virginia governor signed HB 4285, which amends provisions under the West Virginia Safe Mortgage Licensing Act (Act) related to licensing requirements for mortgage loan originators, including those related to continuing education. HB 4285, among other things, (i) updates requirements for applicants registering for mortgage loan originator licenses; (ii) requires nonresident mortgage loan originators licensed under the Act to “acknowledge that they are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of West Virginia”; (iii) outlines provisional license exceptions for loan originators; and (iv) specifies prelicensing and relicensing education requirements. The amendments take effect May 31.

    Lending State Issues State Legislation Mortgage Origination Mortgages Licensing

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  • Nebraska enacts legislation amending certain provisions related to the recording of real property interests

    State Issues

    On March 21, the Nebraska governor signed Legislative Bill 750 (LB 750), which amends and clarifies provisions related to the rights and responsibilities of secured creditors and the recording of real property interests. Among other things, LB 750 addresses (i) recording requirements for licensed mortgage bankers and (ii) the liability of a secured creditor that fails to timely record a deed of reconveyance or a release of mortgage when the obligation has been satisfied and a written request to record it has been received from the trustor, mortgagor or grantor. It also provides that “the transfer of any debt secured by a mortgage shall also operate as a transfer of a security of such debt.” The bill takes effect July 18.

    State Issues State Legislation Mortgages Licensing

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  • Washington state enacts student education loan bill of rights, outlines servicer requirements

    Lending

    On March 15, the Washington governor signed Senate Bill 6029, which establishes the “Washington student education loan bill of rights” and outlines licensing requirements and responsibilities for student loan servicers. The act, among other things, requires that the council designate a “student loan advocate” whose responsibilities include providing timely assistance to borrowers, reviewing borrower complaints, referring servicing-related complaints to the state’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) or the Attorney General’s office, compiling and disseminating data regarding borrower complaints, and establishing a student education loan borrower education course by October 1, 2020. The act also requires that student loan servicers be licensed through the state (certain entities that are exempt from the licensing requirement must still comply with the act’s other requirements). Under the act, student loan servicers—in addition to complying with applicable federal program requirements—must also (i) provide information to borrowers concerning repayment options, account history, and assessed fees; (ii) notify borrowers when acquiring or transferring servicing rights; and (iii) provide disclosures concerning the possible effects of refinancing student loans. The act further provides that third-parties offering student education loan modification services may not charge or receive money “prior to full and complete performance of the [agreed upon] services,” may not charge fees that are in excess of what is customary or reasonable, and must immediately inform a borrower in writing if the owner or servicer of a loan requires additional documentation or if “modification, refinancing, consolidation, or change in repayment plans . . . is not possible.”

    Furthermore, the act exempts from the outlined requirements “any person doing business under, and as permitted by, any law of this state or of the United States relating to banks, savings banks, trust companies, savings and loan or building and loan associations, or credit unions.” 

    Lending Student Lending Licensing State Issues Servicer State Attorney General

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  • Wyoming allows state board to use NMLS to assist in regulation of debt collection industry

    State Issues

    On March 12, the Wyoming governor signed SF 26, which amends the preexisting licensing law to authorize the state’s collection agency board to use information from, and furnish information to, the nationwide multistate licensing system (NMLS) to assist in the regulation of the debt collection industry. In addition, among other things, SF 26 allows the board to establish application requirements; require background investigations of licensees and applicants; and receive criminal history record information. The law also amends provisions relating to the disposition of fees and expiration and renewal of licenses. The law is effective immediately. 

    State Issues NMLS Licensing Debt Collection

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