Simpler PPP Forgiveness; FAQs on RESPA; FBAR Natural Disaster Relief

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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, has released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less.

This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

Additionally, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continue to support House and Senate bills that would provide simple forgiveness for PPP loans under $150,000 and “commonsense” liability protections for PPP lenders.

The SBA and Treasury Department have also eased the burden on PPP lenders, allowing lenders to process forgiveness applications more swiftly. SBA began approving PPP forgiveness applications and remitting forgiveness payments to PPP lenders for PPP borrowers Oct 2. According to the SBA, it will continue to process all PPP forgiveness applications in an expeditious manner. Instructions for completing the simpler loan forgiveness application are available here.

A simpler PPP forgiveness process can help protect against fraud and misuse of funds.

The most recent announcement is the 25th PPP interim final rule.

The alternative Loan Forgiveness Application, SBA Form 3508S, can be used by PPP borrowers applying for loan forgiveness on PPP loans with a total loan amount of $50,000 or less (except for PPP borrowers that together with their affiliates received PPP loans totaling $2 million or more).

A borrower that uses SBA Form 3508S (or lender’s equivalent form) is exempt from any reductions in the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount based on reductions in full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or reductions in employee salary or wages that would otherwise apply.

The simpler Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3508S can be found here. Instructions for the Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3508S can be found here. And the interim final rule can be found here.

CFPB Releases FAQs on RESPA and Reg X
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) discussing topics under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Regulation X. The FAQs provide an overview of the provisions in RESPA Section 8 (and the respective sections in Regulation X), and they address the application of these provisions to gifts and promotional activities and also to marketing services agreements (MSAs).

At the same time, the bureau is rescinding Compliance Bulletin 2015-05, RESPA Compliance and Marketing Services Agreements. As stated in the bureau’s blog post on the rescission, the CFPB’s rescission of the bulletin does not mean that MSAs are per se or presumptively legal. Instead, as explained in the FAQs, whether a particular MSA violates RESPA Section 8 will depend on specific facts and circumstances, including how the MSA is structured and implemented.

The FAQs aim to provide greater clarity on these points and highlight examples of when an MSA is or is not legal.

FinCEN Provides FBAR Relief to Natural Disaster Victims
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced that victims of the California wildfires have until Dec. 31 to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) for the 2019 calendar year.

You can read the notice here.

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