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Financial Institutions May Now Post Annual Privacy Policies Online

Under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and regulations promulgated by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau), financial institutions are required to provide customers with an annual disclosure of their privacy policies. The cost of mailing paper copies to consumers is significant. The Bureau therefore promulgated a new rule effective October 28, 2014, that allows financial institutions to post their notices via alternative delivery means, including on their websites, provided certain conditions are met.

Financial institutions can avoid considerable compliance costs by using this alternative notice method.
Among the qualifications: (1) the privacy notice must not trigger any opt-out rights and the institution must have previously provided opt-out notices as required; (2) information included in the privacy notice must not have changed since the prior notice; and (3) the financial institution must use the Bureau’s model form as its annual privacy notice. Other qualifications also apply, including (but not limited to) notification to customers that the privacy policy is located online at least annually through a statement mailed to them.

For more complete information about qualifying for the alternative annual privacy policy delivery option, view the final rule here or contact Verrill Dana’s Banking Law group.


Financial Institutions...In the News

  • New federal requirements for banking institutions coming in 2016.  (MPBN 9.3.14)
  • Financial Institutions search for solutions to retail data breaches.  (Portland Press Herald 9.8.14)
  • Credit card use is on the rise while mortgage demand slows even though rates are at record lows for the year.  (Bangor Daily News 9.11.14)
  • Many older Americans are paying off student loan debts into retirement.  (Bangor Daily News 9.11.14)
  • 76 Million households affected by JPMorgan Chase data breach.  (Portland Press Herald 10.2.14)
  • Wealth-building 15-year mortgage may help homeownership.  (MPBN 10.4.14)
  • 10-Year deference of bonuses recommended by NY Fed President William Dudley to cover institutions’ fines from financial crisis.  (Bangor Daily News 10.20.2014)
  • Mortgage rates a bargain for 30-year fixed rate mortgages.  (Portland Press Herald 10.19.14)
  • Discussions of lowering mortgage requirements for homeowners are in the planning stages.  (Portland Press Herald 10.21.14)

Supreme Court Set to Decide if Mortgage Loan Officers Are Entitled to Overtime Pay

Whether or not mortgage loan officers are entitled to overtime pay is an unsettled issue under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  At one point, mortgage loan officers were deemed exempt “administrative” workers.  However, a 2010 interpretation of the US Department of Labor suggested that this exemption did not apply, an interpretation that has since been challenged in court and is now pending before the US Supreme Court in the case of Mortgage Bankers Association v. Harris, No. 12-5246 (D.C. Cir. July 2, 2013).

In the Sept/Oct. 2014 edition of the Maine Banker magazine, Verrill Dana lawyer Janet Britton discusses the uncertain history behind this provision, and why financial institutions should pay careful attention to the October 2014 term of the US Supreme Court.


Cyber-security: FDIC Issues Warning on “Shellshock” and “Bash”

On September 29, 2014, the FDIC, on behalf of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, issued an alert to banks on recently discovered material vulnerabilities in the security of the GNU Bourne-again shell system software -- nicknamed “Bash” -- commonly used by bank servers and computers. Researchers reported the newly discovered vulnerability -- nicknamed “Shellshock” -- in Bash versions 1.14 through 4.3 on September 24, 2014.

Click to read more ...


Financial Institutions . . . In the News

  • Mortgage refinancing is available to many homeowners through HARP, but Americans are skeptical.  (MPBN 8.26.14)
  • Coordinated hacker attacks struck JP Morgan and other banks.  (New York Times 8.27.14)
  • Bank of America is close to a $16-17 billion settlement with Justice Department over sale of mortgage-backed securities.  (Portland Press Herald 8.6.14)
  • Maine ranks 30th in nation for mortgage closing costs.  (Mainebiz 8.4.14)
  • FAME increases loan-insurance by 50% or up to $375,000 for commercial borrowing.  (Portland Press Herald 8.4.14)
  • U.S. Senators introduce legislation to provide regulatory relief to small financial institutions and credit unions.  (Insurance 7.13.14)
  • Why the economy is still stifled after the housing collapse.  (MPBN 7.24.14)
  • U.S. House votes to change banking laws related to the marijuana industry.  (MSN 7.17.14)
  • Maine Supreme Court rules MERS’ has limited ability to assign mortgages in Bank of America, N.A. v. Greenleaf.  ( 7.16.14)
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