Legal Briefs March 3, 2011



Federal Reserve Board

The FRB issued a Spanish version of the 2010 FFIEC BSA/AML Examination Manual.  The goal of having a Spanish version of the manual is to make the regulatory expectations regarding BSA/AML compliance programs accessible to a wider group of people.

The FRB issued a final rule and request for public comment on a second rule under Reg Z to revise the escrow account requirements for certain home mortgage loans.  The final rule is in 2 parts and implements a provision of Dodd-Frank that increases the annual percentage rate threshold used to determine whether a mortgage lender is required to establish an escrow account for property taxes and insurance for first-lien “jumbo” mortgage loans.  In addition the board is proposing that the minimum period for mandatory escrow accounts be increased from 1 year to 5 years, some new exemptions, and new disclosure requirements. Part 1  Part 2 Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, approximately April 25, 2011.

The FRB issued 2 proposed rules that will implement provisions of Dodd-Frank for disclosing credit scores on risk-based pricing notices and adverse action notices.  The proposals will amend Reg V to revise the content requirements for risk-based pricing notices and Reg B to amend the certain model notices for Adverse Action.  Comments will be due within 30 days after the rules are published in the Federal Register.  Approximately April 2, 2011.


National Credit Union Administration

The NCUA issued legal opinion letter 10-0842The legal opinion letter covers the permissibility of federal credit unions to charge fees to a member’s account for ID theft protection without member’s request or consent.  The conclusion of the letter is that the practice would be unfair or deceptive and in violation of one or more regulatory rules.

The NCUA published proposed rulemaking regarding removing references to credit ratings in regulations.  The proposed rules will implement certain statutory provisions in Title IX of Dodd-Frank.  Comments are due by May 2, 2011.


Office of Foreign Assets Control

The OFAC SDN list was updated again.  Last update February 25, 2011.

The OFAC is changing the maximum width of the “City” field in the SDN address date files to 116 characters.



The FASB released meeting handouts for the February 25, 2011 Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee meeting.  The handout includes clarification to accounting for TDRs by creditors.



The IRS announced a new effort to help struggling taxpayers get a fresh start by implementing major changes to the IRS lien process.  These changes include increasing the dollar threshold when a lien is issued, expanding compromises and other work out programs.



The OCC released consumer advisory CA 2011-1.  This consumer advisory discusses what to look for and how to avoid mortgage modification scams and foreclosure rescue scams.



The FinCEN issued a final rule on Foreign Bank and Financial Account report responsibilities.  The rule addresses the scope of persons required to file FBAR reports, the types of accounts that are reportable, and adopts provisions to prevent persons subject to the rule from avoiding their reporting requirements.  The rule goes into effect on March 28, 2011.

 The FinCEN’s streamlined regulations in new Chapter X became effective on March 1, 2011.  The new chapter encompasses the BSA rules


US Treasury

The US Treasury and other departments released interim final rules regarding garnishments of accounts containing federal benefit payments.  The interim final rule will require credit unions to determine the sum of such Federal benefit payments deposited to the account during a two month period, and ensure that the account holder has access to an amount equal to that sum or the current balance of the account, whichever is lower.  This interim final rule is effective May 1, 2011.  Comments are due by May 24, 2011.




The HUD issued guidance on discrimination complaints from victims of domestic violence.  Under the guidance, the HUD will review claims of discrimination from victims of domestic violence to determine if there is sufficient evidence to apply the Fair Housing Act to those complaints.


Oregon OSHA

The Oregon OSHA is celebrating Safety Break for Oregon on May 11.  Employers across Oregon are encouraged to use award programs, trainings, and other special events to promote workplace safety and health during Safety Break for Oregon.


Small Business Administration

The SBA began accepting applications on February 28, 2011 to allow small businesses facing maturity of commercial mortgages or balloon payments before December 31, 2012 to refinance their mortgage debt with a 504 loan.

Posted in Federal.