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Institutions reporting 60,000 covered loans in the preceding calendar year were originally required to submit their first quarterly HMDA submissions in 2020 by May 30. While reporting is currently optional, RiskExec can support submissions if the rule applies to your institution and you choose to continue with submission.

Below are links to additional statements from the CFPB for ease of reference.

For the past year, Asurity Technologies has worked hand-in-hand with fair lending and CRA experts to best understand how to accurately record and report CRA activities in our RiskExec software. Context, freedom, and customization, it turns out, are key to building a new approach to CRA evaluations.

1. Expanding CRA Qualifying Activities

The ANPR points to the OCC’s consideration of a more metrics-based approach that would include balance sheet items like assets, deposits, capital, and other factors in CRA evaluations. However, measuring the impact of a bank’s contribution to a community with a dollar value may not do justice to the complex, long-term impact financial institutions can have on local communities through other service activities.

“A metrics-based approach may need to consider the relative costs of similar activities in different markets.” - Lynn Woosley, CRCM, Engagement Director, Treliant, LLC

“A metrics-based approach may need to consider the relative costs of similar activities in different markets,” says Lynn Woosley, CRCM, Engagement Director of Treliant, LLC. “If not, activities in rural and lower-cost markets will receive less CRA consideration than the same activities in higher cost markets. In many cases, such rural markets are in greatest need of community development.”

Because banks are already required to report the dollar values of community lending activities, they are incentivized to perform heavily-weighted activities that might distract from equally impactful but lesser-weighted activities. For smaller banks, a lack of capacity puts them at a significant disadvantage. Any proposed metrics-based approach should be broadly tested using data from institutions of differing sizes and geographic footprints prior to implementation. Appropriate testing will give real-world examples with information regarding how proposed changes will affect banks.

To increase the scope of evaluations, and level the playing field between large and small banks, the OCC should consider how a bank’s activities impact a community over time. In a recent Sratmor study of bank lenders, 100% of all respondents said that activities including attending community events, outreach programs, and cultivating relationships with realtors in LMI communities were typical of a CRA/LMI LO job description. In addition to crediting direct contributions to organizations or banking skills-based volunteerism, banks should be encouraged to fully engage within communities. While qualified loans, grants, and donations to organizations like Habitat for Humanity and United Way are important, they also need boots on the ground to help build homes, distribute items, and provide real-time support and service.

By fully crediting activities such as these banks are encouraged to fulfill the spirit of CRA and have a lasting effect on the community.

2. Redefining Assessment Areas

Current CRA assessment areas are mapped primarily based on the physical locations of banks. Yet, according to research published by the New York Fed, from 2009 to 2014, nearly 5,000 banks closed across the U.S. Between June 2016 and June 2017, 1,700 branches closed according to the Wall Street Journal - the fastest decline in history. With more than 62% of Americans primarily interfacing with banks online or on mobile, what is the best approach to defining a bank’s reasonably expected assessment area?

When regions are hit by natural disasters, regulators consider bank relief efforts as CRA activity, even if the region in need is not located within the bank’s assessment area. Communities recovering from underdevelopment, lacking economic opportunity, or located in more rural areas can benefit from a similar approach.

Providing online services to remote individuals and communities located in “CRA deserts” allows banks to positively impact rural populations regardless of their proximity to a physical branch. A Federal Reserve study found that 33% of rural residents used online banking services in 2015 and usage has since continued to increase.

A Federal Reserve study found that 33% of rural residents use online banking services.

By offering affordable products to rural, underserved, or recovering areas to incentivize CRA investment, regardless of geographic relevance to the lender, banks can support recovery and growth. CRA/LMI lending provides opportunities for borrowers and is a profitable product for the financial institution, according to 61% of respondents from the same Stratmor study. A new basis for defining assessment areas is necessary to encourage this type of activity.

3. Clarity, Simplicity, and Flexibility

The needs of an individual community may be hard to meet with a standard set of federal guidelines. When it comes to fulfilling the specific needs of a community, understanding the context of that need and a bank’s response to it, should be a factor in future CRA evaluations.

A memorandum released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury notes that “measurements or metrics utilized by the various examination tests should allow for flexibility based on the performance context of a bank.” Considering a financial institution’s ability to predict and account for the needs of its communities, “allows banks to highlight local factors and challenges.” Similarly, by retaining a strategic plan, limited purpose bank and wholesale bank CRA evaluation procedures are consistent with the Treasury’s statement on flexibility and performance context.

The Mortgage Bankers Association released a letter supporting a more flexible approach. “These components --compliance certainty and flexibility in the delivery of services--should be developed in a manner that encourages, and in fact facilitates, innovation by banks," the MBA said. The American Bankers Association also encouraged flexibility, especially when it comes to the diverse needs of America’s communities, adding “that CRA needs and opportunities in small towns and rural areas can be vastly different from those in urban centers.”

Providing greater clarity and consistency, and reducing subjectivity, according to the Consumer Bankers Association, might help motivate financial institutions to make greater investments into CRA. “If getting an Outstanding rating is too far out-of-reach,” the statement further reads, “banks might actually reduce their investment in CRA. Increased clarity in the rules and guidance, coupled with expectations that are more measurable, provide an environment where more banks will seek to reach for Outstanding ratings.”

Sandler, LLC (d/b/a Sandler Law Group), has acquired the business operations of McGlinchey Stafford & Youngblood and Associates PLLC (MSYA), a premier closing and fulfillment services provider for the mortgage lending industry.

This acquisition further enhances the mortgage compliance and origination ecosystem built by regtech investor and regulatory expert Andy Sandler. Asurity Technologies, a leading provider of compliance management and mortgage loan document technology, expands its operations into mortgage closing and fulfillment. All legal services previously undertaken by MSYA will now be performed at Sandler Law Group.

“With this acquisition, Asurity Technologies and Sandler, LLC have further implemented our strategy to set a new mortgage industry standard for economically efficient and fully compliant software and transaction support services,” says Andy Sandler, CEO of Asurity Technologies and Managing Partner of Sandler, LLC.

“We are excited to join the family of companies Andy Sandler has built to offer our clients expanded mortgage closing services. We are now able to provide mortgage lenders access to a powerful ecosystem with known experts in legal, compliance, services, and technology. This is a great opportunity to provide the marketplace with deeper resources and increased efficiencies,” says Vicki Murphy-Gee, Vice President of Sales, Asurity Services and Executive Director, Sandler Law Group.

Asurity Technologies now provides a full range of compliant mortgage documents and mortgage closing and fulfillment services including outsourced closing functions and CD preparation and legal review, wire orders, funding, and shipping, through a team of over 150 mortgage lending specialists and technologists and affiliated legal experts at Sandler Law Group. Learn more about AsurityServices here

For additional information about Asurity Technologies, please visit www.asurity.com.

Media Relations:
Julie Weber, Chief Marketing Officer
Asurity Technologies & Sandler, LLC
jweber@asurity.com, (240) 283-4850

 

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“Asurity’s goal is to pair expertise with technological innovation to offer solutions which make great compliance easy and cost-effective. Ed began on our Board of Advisors, where he helped us navigate from concept to an award-winning regtech platform. I am honored to formally expand his involvement in the continued growth of Asurity as a Senior Advisor,” says Luke Wimer, Chief Operating Officer, Asurity Technologies.

Asurity’s goal is to pair expertise with technological innovation to offer solutions which make great compliance easy and cost-effective. - Luke Wimer, COO

“I am delighted to join Asurity Technologies, in addition to my roles at Treliant and MERS. Asurity’s approach to building and investing in comprehensive regtech platforms is unlike any on the market,” says Ed Kramer, Senior Advisor, Asurity Technologies. “After spending more than 40 years in the mortgage and financial services industry, I am thrilled to share with my network the benefits of RiskExec's CRA, HMDA, and fair lending tools, and the proprietary capabilities of AsurityDocs to dynamically create and deliver 100% compliant mortgage packages.”

Throughout Ed’s career, his roles have ranged from senior regulatory to executive leadership including as a Public Member of the New York State Banking Board; Deputy Superintendent of Banks at the New York State Banking Department; First Senior Vice President and Director of Residential Mortgage Lending at The Dime Savings Bank of New York; and as Executive Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services.

Ed is a member of the Northeastern Regional Board of Directors of Operation Hope, Inc. and serves on the Advisory Board of Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City. He also serves as a member of Treliant’s Senior Advisory Board and is the Independent Director of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS).

For additional information about Asurity Technologies' comprehensive compliance solutions, please visit www.asurity.com.

A foreclosure sale must begin at the time designated in the notice of sale or as soon thereafter as practicable, but no later than one hour after the time designated unless it is delayed by other sales held at the same location. The sale must be held between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on any day on which the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court (“Clerk”) is normally open for transactions.

If it is determined that the sale cannot be held in the timeframe required or is postponed, then the person exercising the power of sale must, immediately upon determining that the sale will not occur and prior to the scheduled time of the sale, deliver a written notice to the Clerk of the Superior Court that includes all of the following:

If the required notice is not received by the Clerk prior to the scheduled time of the sale, then the person exercising the power of sale must personally, or through his or her agent or attorney, do all of the following:

So that the required notices may be delivered in the time frame required, the Clerk's office must, upon request, provide to the person exercising the power of sale an e-mail address and/or fax telephone number to use for delivery of the notices.

Should the Clerk's office be unexpectedly closed on the day of the sale, the above requirements will be delayed until the next day the Clerk's office is open for transactions.

All notices of a scheduled foreclosure sale, withdrawal of a scheduled sale, or postponement of a scheduled sale must, on the day of receipt by the Clerk, be posted by the person exercising the power of sale in the location at the county courthouse normally used for the posting of public notices. If a scheduled sale has been withdrawn, that notice must remain in that location for no less than 30 days. If the sale has been postponed, that notice must remain in that location until it is replaced by a notice of a rescheduled sale or of a withdrawn sale.

The required delivery of notices in no way removes any responsibility of any party to file documents with the Clerk as required elsewhere by law.

A Clerk may report habitual noncompliance with these provisions to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

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