CFPB Publishes a Financial Toolkit for Victims of Hurricane Harvey

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a blog post on September 8 about what to do in the event of a natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey. The CFPB recommends that affected consumers consolidate their financial information by using a checklist and take the following steps after their most urgent needs, such as food and safety, have been met:

  1. Start the claims process by calling the insurance company;
  2. Register for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance;
  3. Contact their mortgage servicer and tell them about the situation, including damage to the home;
  4. Contact their credit card company and any other creditors to explain the situation before the next payment is due; and
  5. Contact utility companies to suspend service if the home is too damaged to live in.

The CFPB also provides a number of resources to assist consumers:

Finally, the CFPB warns consumers of the increased risk of fraud and provides tips on how to avoid common scams, such as fake charities and contractors selling repairs door-to-door.

Previously, we wrote about guidance from HUD, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae, as well information from banking agencies regarding Hurricane Harvey.

- Pavitra Bacon

Introducing Our Future Colleagues at Lindquist & Vennum

Last week, our firm announced that, effective January 1, 2018, Ballard Spahr will merge with the law firm of Lindquist & Vennum. Although this merger will benefit many practice groups at our firm, I am particularly excited about the fact that Lindquist & Vennum has several lawyers who focus on consumer financial services (most importantly, payment systems) and bank regulation. Although the merger will not be effective until the beginning of next year, I have invited the Lindquist lawyers who practice in those areas to write guest blogs between now and the end of this year on important developments of interest to our readers. To that end, I am very pleased that Amy Lauck has accepted my invitation and has written her first guest blog on a very important paper issued by the Federal Reserve earlier this week pertaining to payment system improvements. Several of us have known Amy for many years and have greatly admired the work that she has done in the consumer financial services area, particularly with respect to prepaid cards, mobile banking, and payment systems.

- Alan S. Kaplinsky


Arkansas Requiring Amended Surety Bonds

Prior to the approval of their renewal request for the 2018 calendar year, Arkansas licensed mortgage companies and money transmitters must reissue their surety bonds to reflect the amended bond requirements adopted in March 2017. The amended bond forms indicate that a surety bond will cover claims for at least five years after the licensee ceases to provide the licensed services in Arkansas or longer if required by the commissioner. Previously, the time frame for filing a claim was not specified.

The amended bond forms can be found here on the Arkansas Renewal Checklist.

- Wendy T. Novotne

Iowa Transitions Division of Banking Licenses to NMLS

On October 1, 2017, the Iowa Division of Banking will require the following licensees to submit a license transition request via NMLS:

  • Delayed Deposit Services Business Registration;
  • Delayed Deposit Services Business Branch License;
  • Debt Management License; and
  • Money Services License.

Current licensees must submit a transition request via NMLS by December 1, 2017. More information can be found here.

- Wendy T. Novotne

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This alert is a periodic publication of Ballard Spahr LLP and is intended to notify recipients of new developments in the law. It should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own attorney concerning your situation and specific legal questions you have.