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What property owners need to know about new registration requirements

Missouri Governor Greitens recently signed into law, RSMO §347.048, a new registration requirement affecting limited liability companies (LLCs) that own and either rent or lease real property, or own vacant real property, located in Kansas City, Missouri or Independence, Missouri.

Summary of the Guidance Issued by ICBA on ADA Accessibility for Websites

The Independent Community Bankers of America (“ICBA”) reached out to the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) asking for guidance regarding whether the DOJ will adopt the standards in the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”). The DOJ stated that although it has not yet adopted the WCAG standards, it is leaning toward adopting the standards. Furthermore, the DOJ stated that in its view, ADA requirements to provide accessible technology is an “already-existing obligation” and compliance is expected unless a business can prove an undue burden.

White Collar Update: The Supreme Court Weighs In On Bank Fraud

With Monday’s decision in Shaw v. U.S., the Supreme Court cleared up any ambiguity regarding who is protected by the bank fraud statute (18 U.S.C. §1344) and, along the way, continued to encourage federal prosecutors to rely on the powerful and far-reaching bank fraud statute. In saying that fraud against a customer is fraud against a bank, the decision continues the Court’s strong support of the statute and intolerance for technical, loophole-seeking defenses.

Document Retention Policy for Banks

Document retention sounds like a boring topic until you realize that your bank can be subject to huge monetary damages and possible regulatory action if it doesn’t handle document retention correctly. In the old days, banks could simply keep every document forever to be on the safe side. That isn’t a practical alternative in today’s environment. Nowadays, retaining documents after their useful date can actually harm the bank.

Have you revised your Reg E disclosures to take advantage of the recent changes in Kansas Law?

Effective July 1, 2015, a Kansas bank can reduce its liability for fraudulent electronic fund transfers on a consumer account by revising its Reg E disclosures.

Application of Equal Credit Opportunity Act’s Notice Provisions to Delinquent Borrowers

A California court recently found that delinquent borrowers may bring a claim under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) when a lender does not respond to an application for a loan modification within thirty days. MacDonald v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 14-cv-04970 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 24, 2015).

Snail Mail: A whale of a fail that will make your borrowers bail, your lending business flail, and leave you on the rail.

With the upcoming regulatory changes going into effect on August 1st, it is more important than ever for mortgage lenders and title companies to have an electronic disclosure system to handle the disclosure requirements promulgated by the new regulations.

Think You Can Avoid RESPA by focusing on construction and land loans? Think again, August 1st is coming!

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA,” implemented by Regulation X) and the Truth-In-Lending Act (“TILA,” implemented by Regulation Z) have long been a bane for mortgage lenders as they attempt to interpret the statutes associated with each law and apply them to real-world lending.

Proceeds from Insurance Settlement Outside the Scope of Article 9

The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit recently held that a creditor holding a perfected security interest in accounts and payment intangibles did not have a perfected security interest in the proceeds of an insurance settlement.

Supreme Court Issues Opinion on TILA Rescission Rights

We previously provided an update on developments concerning the right of rescission granted under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”). The United States Supreme Court recently issued a consumer-friendly decision regarding the rescission process.

Pat Whalen Publishes Data Breach Notification Article in BankNews

Spencer Fane Chairman Pat Whalen was featured as a guest author in this month’s issue of BankNews magazine providing insights and updates on the protocol for handling data breach notifications. The article, titled “When to Send a Data Breach Notification,” discusses the laws surrounding security breaches and the responsibility of companies to determine when notification of customers is both necessary and required by law.

Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

In a recent Midwest Real Estate News guest column, Spencer Fane Partner Andrew Brought shared his knowledge and insight on Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) with readers. The article outlines the role and common misconceptions of environmental site assessments in property transactions and provides 10 important facts on ESAs as well as their impact on buyers and sellers involved in real estate transactions.

CFPB Proposes Changes to Increase Mortgage Lending in Rural Markets

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently proposed amendments to regulations that would broaden the definition of “small creditor” in an attempt to increase mortgage lending to rural and underserved markets. Currently, small creditors are able to make loans with slightly less restriction than larger creditors. The proposed changes would make this exemption available to a greater number of creditors.

Potential Liability for Quoting LIBOR Rates

In drafting loan documents, banks frequently cite to an index rate as the source of the interest rate governing a particular loan. One of the most commonly cited rates is LIBOR.

Commercial Receivership Bill Introduced to Missouri Senate

On January 12, 2015, the Missouri Commercial Receivership Act was introduced to the Missouri Senate as SB 216.

Banks: The Forgotten Victim of a Data Breach

Data breaches have become a phenomenon of late—with news seemingly breaking everyday on the latest victim and the potential harm to consumers. Often overlooked, however, is the impact that each new data breach has on banks.

Legislation Introduced to Limit Operation Choke Point

Missouri Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer recently introduced legislation to the U.S. House of Representatives seeking to require the Federal Reserve and FDIC to provide a material reason to support any order to terminate a banking relationship.

Data Breach: Are You Prepared to Respond?

Data breaches are becoming an everyday occurrence. Just ask The Home Depot, Target and Schnuck’s. The number of companies reporting a data breach increased over 30% in the past two years. Experts agree that every company is susceptible to data breaches, and that it is not a question of if but when it will happen.

Missouri Changes Garnishment Fee

Missouri recently amended Mo. Rev. Stat. §525.230 to allow for higher fees to be charged by financial institutions in processing garnishment orders. Previously, the statute allowed a financial institution to charge a fee equal to the greater of $8 or 2% of the amount to be garnished, for the trouble and expense of processing the garnishment and paying over any garnished funds to the court.

FinCEN’s red flags for identifying human smuggling and/or trafficking

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) recently released advisory regarding indicators related to human smuggling and human trafficking.  FinCEN states that that human smuggling involves: (1) acts or attempt to bring unauthorized aliens to or into the United States, (2) transporting them within the United States, (3) harbor unlawful aliens, (4) encourage entry of aliens or (5) conspire to commit these violations, knowingly or in reckless disregard of illegal status.  FinCEN states that human trafficking involves: (1) recruiting, (2) harboring, (3) transporting, (4) providing or (5) obtaining a person for forced labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud or coercion.

Missouri’s Implied Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District issued a lender-friendly decision earlier this year regarding the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing regarding a promissory note.

Missouri Supreme Court Rules that Lenders and Servicers are Subject to the MMPA

The Missouri Supreme Court recently issued two decisions (Conway v. Citi Mortgage, Inc. and Federal National Mortgage Association and Watson v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc.) holding originators and servicers of mortgage loans may be subject to causes of action for unfair or deceptive practices under the Missouri Merchandise Practices Act (MMPA).

Eighth Circuit Issues ECOA Decision

The Eighth Circuit recently issued a decision regarding the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) that may change your bank’s approach to spousal guaranties.

A New Bill Could Pave the Way for the Post Office to Join the Financial Services Industry

On July 23, 2014, Representative Cedric Richmond introduced the Providing Opportunities for Savings, Transactions, and Lending Act of 2014 (also referred to as the POSTAL Act of 2014).  The bill proposes that the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) be allowed to provide some financial services, including small-dollar loans, checking accounts, and interest-bearing savings accounts.

CFPB Issues Policy Regarding Same-Sex Marriages

CFPB Director Richard Cordray recently issued a memorandum clarifying the CFPB’s policy with respect to same-sex marriages. The memorandum clarifies that the CFPB recognizes all lawful marriages that were valid at the time of the marriage in the jurisdiction where the marriage was celebrated.

How Small is Small?

Lenders that participate in Small Business Administration (“SBA”) loan programs should be aware that the SBA recently issued an interim final rule to increase monetary based small business size standards.  These standards are based on criteria such as receipts, assets, net worth and income.

Debunking the Rumor that Directors Should Not Have Access to Information in Suspicious Activity Reports

Do you remember that children’s game called “Telephone” that you played long ago at birthday parties, on car trips or around campfires?  You know — the game where one person passes a message to the next, and then to the next?  The message evolves as it travels, inevitably surprising and confounding everyone by the time it reaches the end of the circle.

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