When COVID-19 first made its appearance, it affected every part of our lives, including our financial health and well-being. The pandemic also caused a monumental pivot on how we conducted business. The financial industry’s shift to digital and drain on resources could become a compliance nightmare as more and more people and businesses sought relief through loans and other considerations.

To alleviate the strain and ensure that funding would continue to reach those who needed it, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released seven Statements of Policy that affected how banks handle their compliance responsibilities. For example, one revision temporarily created a hold on citing or enforcing any action against a financial institution that did not keep up with reporting their Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data quarterly. Another stated that the CFPB “…does not intend to cite a violation in an examination or bring an enforcement action against a creditor that takes longer than required by the regulation to resolve a billing error.”

These temporary measures allowed financial institutions to tend to their customers’ needs without placing an undue burden upon their employees. Banks and credit unions would still need to acquire the same data and follow the same regulations; they just had more time and increased flexibility.

Now that the country is opening up, the CFPB has determined it is time to get back to business as usual. On April 1, 2021, the Bureau rescinded these temporary Statements of Policy. However, business as usual will not be the same as experienced over the last four years. Under the new administration, the CFPB will be looking for non-compliance issues more “actively and aggressively” than the previous administration.

What does this mean for you and your financial institution? It means that when it comes to reporting time, your data must be clean and up-to-date. From your Compliance Management System (CMS) to considerations taken on approving and declining loans, you still have to present the necessary data to support your actions. You have to identify issues occurring over the past year and a half and create a plan that addresses correcting them. You have to be able to tell your story accurately and with confidence.

As banks, credit unions and mortgage companies return to their physical facilities, the drain on resources continues. While the CDC’s eviction moratorium was slated to end on July 31, 2021, President Biden announced on July 29 that federal agencies should use their authority to extend their respective eviction moratoria. Therefore, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Federal Housing Administration extended their eviction moratoria through September 30 for foreclosed borrowers and other occupants. Meanwhile, more than $46 billion in emergency rental assistance has already been allocated by Congress and awaits distribution.

The influx of mortgage forbearance cases was supposed to begin in October of 2021. Financial institutions are still reallocating and training their employees as they continue to adapt to the changing landscape.

Even if your compliance team is still intact, the constantly changing regulations and Statement of Policy rescissions can put more pressure on already stressed team members. Partnering with compliance experts can help see you through the first hurdle – returning to pre-pandemic protocols and procedures.

Marquis Software Solutions offers a suite of compliance solutions to help you through your compliance issues. With CenTrax NEXT, you’ll have all you need for Fair Lending, HMDA and CRA. This Marquis flagship compliance software comes with customizable dashboards, intuitive reporting tools, advanced mapping technology, security management and demographics analysis to ensure accurate submissions and exams.

To pull everything together, Marquis compliance experts offer an array of services from HMDA/CRA file review, risk assessments, Compliance Management System reviews and self-assessments. We’ve stayed on top of how special considerations brought on by the pandemic affect compliance and what that means to your financial institution. We’ll give you all the support you need to tell your story and face regulators with confidence.

To learn more about Marquis’ comprehensive compliance solutions, contact us at [email protected].

NOTE: COVID-19 and the Delta variant continue to impact the ability of home-owners and renters to meet their obligations. Marquis will continue to monitor the situation and how that impacts your compliance efforts.

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