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  • Federal, state financial regulatory agencies issue guidance for institutions affected by Hurricane Michael

    Federal Issues

    On October 10, the OCC, Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, NCUA, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (collectively, the “agencies”) issued a joint statement providing guidance to financial institutions impacted by Hurricane Michael. The agencies encouraged lenders to work with borrowers in impacted communities to modify loans as appropriate based on the facts and circumstances of each borrower and loan. In addition, the agencies assured lenders that they would (i) expedite any request to operate temporary facilities to provide more convenient services to those affected by Hurricane Michael; (ii) not generally assess penalties for institutions who take prudent steps to satisfy any publishing or reporting requirements, including by contacting their state or federal regulator to discuss satisfaction of such requirements; and (iii) consider granting institutions favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery.

    On the same day the joint statement was issued, the FDIC issued a statement encouraging depository institutions to assist affected customers (see FIL-59-2018), which may include “waiving fees, increasing ATM cash limits, easing credit card limits, allowing loan customers to defer or skip payments, and delaying the submission of delinquency notices to credit bureaus.” The FDIC also encouraged depository institutions to use Bank Secrecy Act-permitted “non-documentary verification methods” for customers unable to provide standard identification documents and stated that prudent efforts taken to meet customers’ cash and financial needs “generally will not be subject to examiner criticism.”

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues FDIC OCC Federal Reserve Disaster Relief CRA Bank Secrecy Act Consumer Finance

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  • OCC provides guidance to institutions affected by Hurricane Michael

    Federal Issues

    On October 9, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions to close their offices affected by Hurricane Michael in the Gulf Coast region. The OCC noted that only institutions directly impacted by the potentially unsafe conditions should close, and that those offices should attempt to reopen as soon as possible to serve their customers’ banking needs. OCC Bulletin 2012-28 provides further guidance on natural disasters and other emergency conditions.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues OCC Disaster Relief

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  • Freddie Mac announces temporary selling requirements related to Hurricane Florence

    Federal Issues

    On October 3, Freddie Mac issued Bulletin 2018-17 (Bulletin) to announce temporary revisions to its selling requirements for certain mortgages and borrowers impacted by Hurricane Florence. The Bulletin also reminds servicers that the previously announced temporary reimbursement process for property inspections conducted on or after August 29, 2017, of mortgaged premises located in “Eligible Disaster Areas,” remains in effect. Among other things, the temporary selling requirements: (i) provide that sellers who meet certain requirements will be reimbursed for property inspections completed on and before March 14, 2019; (ii) specify age of documentation requirements that will remain in effect for six months for certain mortgages and borrowers; (iii) provide specific collateral requirements and guidance, including sellers’ responsibilities with respect to property damage, appraisal waivers, and collateral representation and warranty relief—along with notice of updates to Loan Selling Advisor, Loan Quality Advisor, and Loan Product Advisor. The Bulletin notes that the Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide will not be updated to include the temporary requirements and advises sellers and servicers that they must retain a copy of the Bulletin to ensure compliance with these requirements.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues Freddie Mac Selling Guide Disaster Relief Mortgages

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  • FinCEN encourages financial institutions affected by Hurricane Florence to communicate Bank Secrecy Act filing delays; extends FBAR filing deadline

    Financial Crimes

    On September 26, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a notice to financial institutions that file Bank Secrecy Act reports to encourage communication with FinCEN and their functional regulator regarding any expected filing delays caused by Hurricane Florence. FinCEN also reminded financial institutions to review advisory FIN-2017-A007, previously covered by InfoBytes, which discusses potential fraudulent activity related to recent disaster relief efforts.

    The same day, FinCEN issued a second notice for certain filers affected by Hurricane Florence to extend the deadline for submitting their 2017 calendar year Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). FBAR reports for affected filers are now due January 31, 2019.

    Find more InfoBytes disaster relief coverage here.

    Financial Crimes FinCEN Disaster Relief Bank Secrecy Act

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  • Agencies offer relief following Hurricane Florence

    Federal Issues

    On September 19, the SEC announced regulatory relief to publicly traded companies, investment companies, accountants, transfer agents, municipal advisors, and others impacted by Hurricane Florence. The SEC order conditionally exempts affected persons not able to meet a filing deadline due to the weather event and its aftermath from certain reporting and filing requirements of the federal securities laws, for the period from and including September 14 to October 26, with all reports, schedules or forms to be filed on or before October 29. Additionally, the SEC adopted interim final temporary rules that extend the filing deadlines for certain reports and forms that companies must file under Regulation Crowdfunding and Regulation A. 

    On September 18, the Department of Veterans Affairs issued Circular 26-18-18, requesting relief for homeowners impacted by Hurricane Florence. Among other things, the Circular encourages loan holders to (i) extend forbearance to borrowers in distress because of the storms; (ii) establish a 90-day moratorium from the date of the disaster on initiating new foreclosures on affected loans; and (iii) waive late charges on affected loans. The Circular is effective until October 1, 2019.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues SEC Department of Veterans Affairs Disaster Relief Mortgages Securities

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  • Federal and state financial regulatory agencies issue interagency disaster relief guidance for institutions affected by Hurricane Florence

    Federal Issues

    On September 14, the OCC, Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, NCUA, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (collectively, the “agencies”) issued a joint statement providing guidance to financial institutions impacted by Hurricane Florence. The agencies encouraged lenders to work with borrowers in impacted communities and to consider, among other things, (i) whether to modify loans based on the facts and circumstances, and (ii) requesting to operate temporary bank facilities if faced with operational difficulties. On the same day, the FDIC also provided guidance for depository institutions assisting affected customers (see FIL-48-2018), which may include “waiving fees, increasing ATM cash limits, easing credit card limits, allowing loan customers to defer or skip payments, and delaying the submission of delinquency notices to credit bureaus.” Furthermore, the FDIC encouraged depository institutions to use Bank Secrecy Act-permitted “non-documentary verification methods” for customers unable to provide standard identification documents.

    The agencies also reminded institutions to contact their appropriate federal and/or state regulator should they experience disaster-related difficulties when complying with publishing and regulatory reporting requirements, and further noted that institutions may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery. The statement also provides links to previously issued examiner guidance for institutions affected by major disasters.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues OCC Federal Reserve FDIC NCUA CSBS Consumer Finance Mortgages Bank Secrecy Act Disaster Relief

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  • OCC provides guidance to institutions affected by Hurricane Florence

    Federal Issues

    On September 11, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions to close their offices affected by Hurricane Florence in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. The OCC noted that only institutions directly impacted by potentially unsafe conditions should close, and that those offices should attempt to reopen as soon as possible to serve their customers’ banking needs. OCC Bulletin 2012-28 provides further guidance on natural disasters and other emergency conditions.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues OCC Disaster Relief

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  • Agencies issue guidance to institutions affected by storms in Gulf Coast and Hurricane Lane in Hawaii

    Federal Issues

    On September 5, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions to close their offices affected by Tropical Storm Gordon in the Gulf Coast Region. OCC Bulletin 2012-28 provides further guidance on natural disasters and other emergency conditions.

    On August 30, the Department of Veterans Affairs issued Circular 26-18-17, requesting relief for homeowners impacted by Hurricane Lane in Hawaii. Among other things, the Circular (i) encourages loan holders to extend forbearance to borrowers in distress because of the storms; (ii) requests that loan holders establish a 90-day moratorium on initiating new foreclosures on loans affected by the major disaster; and (iii) waives late charges on affected loans. The Circular is effective until October 1, 2019.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues OCC Department of Veterans Affairs Disaster Relief Mortgages Foreclosure Forbearance

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  • OCC provides guidance to institutions affected by Hurricane Lane; Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac offer forbearance relief to impacted homeowners

    Federal Issues

    On August 24, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions to close their offices affected by Hurricane Lane in Hawaii. OCC Bulletin 2012-28 provides further guidance on natural disasters and other emergency conditions.

    On August 23, Fannie Mae also reminded servicers of mortgage assistance options for homeowners impacted by the hurricane. Specifically, qualifying homeowners are eligible to stop making mortgage payments for up to 12 months, during which time late fees will not be incurred nor delinquencies reported to the credit bureaus. Additionally, servicers may immediately suspend or reduce mortgage payments for up to 90 days without any contact with homeowners believed to have been affected by the hurricane. Further, foreclosures and other legal proceedings must be suspended for impacted homeowners.

    The same day, Freddie Mac confirmed its disaster relief options are available to borrowers with homes or places of employment impacted by the hurricane, emphasizing that borrowers in FEMA-declared disaster areas have access to federal individual assistance programs. The relief suspends foreclosures by providing forbearance for up to 12 months. Penalties and late fees will also be waived, and servicers should not report forbearance or delinquencies caused by the disaster to credit bureaus. Moreover, Freddie Mac also reminded servicers to consider borrowers who live and work in affected areas but have homes outside the eligible disaster area for standard relief policies.

    Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.

    Federal Issues OCC Disaster Relief

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  • FHA updates loss mitigation options for mortgages in certain areas of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

    Federal Issues

    On August 15, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) released Mortgagee Letter 2018-05 (ML 2018-05), which updates loss mitigation options for certain FHA-insured mortgages located in Puerto Rico or Virgin Islands. The properties must be located in Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Areas (PDMDAs) as a result of Hurricane Maria. In adition, FHA is also instituting a 30-day foreclosure moratorium on certain properties located in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands that FEMA has declared to be eligible for individual assistance. (As previously covered by InfoBytes, ML 2018-03 had extended an existing moratorium through August 16.) Additionally, in order to reduce foreclosures and minimize losses to the Insurance Fund, ML 2018-05 provides updated loss mitigation options “designed to provide greater alternatives to foreclosure for mortgagees to use with borrowers in the designated PDMDAs.” The new options supersede the previous ones offered in ML 2018-01 and rearrange the loss mitigation waterfall in order to provide expedited permanent loss mitigation solutions by considering “Disaster Standalone Partial Claims” earlier. This option would allow borrowers, among other things, to maintain their pre-disaster monthly payment of principle and interest and does not change interest rate and term of the mortgage. These loss mitigation options must be implemented by September 15 and expire May 1, 2019. The foreclosure mortgage moratorium is effective immediately and applies to the initiation of foreclosures and foreclosures already in process.

    Federal Issues FHA HUD Disaster Relief Loss Mitigation Mortgages Foreclosure

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