January


01/15/19

Question: We have a customer that is leaving for boot camp for the Air Force. Am I correct in stating that boot camp is not active duty?

Answer:

Boot camp is included in active duty. "Military Service" is defined under SCRA as period of active duty status. For members of the regular Armed Forces, active duty begins the day they leave civilian life; for them, active duty is not synonymous with deployment. For a member of a reserve component, the protections the SCRA offers begin when a member of the Reserves or National Guard receives mobilization orders. It is initiated upon receipt of mobilization orders in order to give the soldier time to put his or her affairs in order.

 

There may be several active duty periods during a member of the Reserves or National Guard’s career, including the initial active duty for training ("boot camp") and subsequent call-ups for service, whether or not the Servicemember volunteered for active duty is immaterial. Finally, military service also includes any period during which a Servicemember is absent from duty because of sickness, wounds, leave or other lawful causes.

 

Our Lending to Servicemembers Policy has great information regarding both the SCRA and MLA: https://www.compliancealliance.com/find-a-tool/tool/lending-to-service-members-policy

The term “active duty” means full-time duty in the active military service of the United States. Such term includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, and attendance, while in the active military service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary of the military department concerned. 10 USC 101(d)(1) http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title32-section101&num=0&edition=prelim

 


01/09/19

Question: Our current practice on residential balloon mortgages is to extend the maturity date prior to the balloon period if the customer requests it prior to the balloon and the borrower meets certain conditions. This is completed with a change in terms document leaving the current amortization period the same. The examiners have reviewed the process and are ok with this. We have a customer that has approached the bank and would like to extend the maturity but would like to shorten the amortization. She currently has 13 years left, but wants the bank to shorten it to 12. I guess my concern is, do we now have to treat it as a new request because it is a change that is increasing the monthly burden, not decreasing it.

 

Answer: So the rules on whether a "modification" would be considered a "refinancing" for Reg. Z purposes can be found in 1026.20 here: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/eregulations/1026-20/2016-14782_20160627#1026-20

 

Generally speaking, if there's satisfaction and replacement, or if the bank changes the rate based on a new variable rate feature, it will be considered a refinance which would require new disclosures. And although the rule doesn't specifically say this, we also interpret that it's best practice to provide new disclosures for any increase in credit, or if the prior obligation has already matured. So if any of these are occurring, that's when a new set of disclosures should be provided--but from what you describe, it doesn't sound like any of these are happening here.


01/02/19
Question: With the lapse in funding for the NFIP, is it true that no new policies can be written?

 

Answer: On December 28, 2018 FEMA announced that it will resume the sale of new insurance policies and the renewal of expiring policies.

This press release rescinds initial guidance that was issued on December 26, 2018 to suspend sales operations as a result of the current lapse in annual appropriations. The National Flood Insurance Program has been reauthorized by congress until May 31, 2019. 

The guidance is located here: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2018/12/28/fema-resumes-selling-flood-insurance-policies-during-appropriations-lapse

December


12/19/18
Question: If the Bank identifies a bookkeeping error or a posting error prior to a commercial customer notifying the Bank, does the Bank still need to fill out the Error Resolution form and/or follow the procedures set out in Reg. E for errors? We know that we need to correct the error, of course. 

Answer: Technically the bank does not need to comply with the procedures set forth in section 1005.11 of Reg. E. This is for multiple reasons, though. The first and foremost reason being that the scope of Reg. E coverage is limited to consumer accounts, as the definition of “account” is narrowed to include only consumer-type accounts. Thus, when a bank encounters an error in respect to a commercial customer, the bank is not bound by Reg. E. The second reason being that errors discovered by the Bank, itself, are expressly carved out of the error resolution procedures of Reg. E. So, even if the error was in regards to a consumer account, for section 1005.11 procedures to kick in, the customer would need to notify the Bank of the error.  

 

(b)(1) “Account” means a demand deposit (checking), savings, or other consumer asset account (other than an occasional or incidental credit balance in a credit plan) held directly or indirectly by a financial institution and established primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

12 CFR § 1005.2(b)(1): https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/rulemaking/regulations/1005/2/#b

 

5. Discovery of error by institution. The error resolution procedures of this section apply when a notice of error is received from the consumer, and not when the financial institution itself discovers and corrects an error.

12 CFR § 1005.11(b)(1)-5: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/rulemaking/regulations/1005/Interp-11/#11-b-1-Interp

 

However; check your disclosures to ensure the bank has not given error resolution rights to commercial customers.  If it is disclosed, we must follow our contract with the customer.


12/12/18

Question: Would the bank be violating Reg. O if it offered a higher Money Market rate for just shareholders?


Answer: There is not a direct prohibition in Reg. O, since it primarily governs credit and not deposit accounts, like money market accounts. However, many banks have it in their internal policy to not give preferential interest rates to shareholders on deposit accounts either, to follow the spirit and intent of Reg O.  Also, remember preferential treatment will oftentimes bring extra scrutiny.


12/05/18
Question:
I have a loan officer who issued a loan estimate that predates the application date by 1 day. While I don’t believe this to be best practice, I’m not certain whether it’s also a violation of regulation. Can someone please confirm?


Answer: Assuming the required six pieces of information had not been received, then at least conservatively, yes, this could be considered a violation. The timeline to provide an LE starts running from the time the application is received, which is based on when the bank received the sixth piece of required information. So an LE issued before the application wouldn't have followed the rules of being provided within 3 days after the application, and likely would not have included all of the required information.

 

(iii) Timing.

(A) The creditor shall deliver or place in the mail the disclosures required under paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section not later than the third business day after the creditor receives the consumer's application, as defined in § 1026.2(a)(3).

1026.19(e)(1)(iii)(A), https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/rulemaking/regulations/1026/19/#e-1-iii