Monthly Bulletin – January 2021
Volume 8, Number 6
California Consumer Financial Protection Law Now in Effect
With the new California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL) now in effect, the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) will exercise expanded powers to better protect consumers from unlawful, unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices.
Beginning immediately, the DFPI will review and investigate consumer complaints against previously unregulated financial products and services, including debt collectors, credit repair and consumer credit reporting agencies, debt relief companies, rent to own contractors, private school financing, and more. The shift comes as millions of Californians turn to non-traditional financial products and services to weather job losses and other financial hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Californians struggling with the economic fallout associated with the COVID-19 pandemic face increased financial pressures and are more likely to be victims of financial scams and fraud,” said DFPI Commissioner Manuel P. Alvarez. “The new law could not have come at a better time.”
This spring, the DFPI will launch a statewide campaign to educate California consumers on how the department can support and protect consumers. Offering translation services in dozens of languages, the DFPI hotline will help all Californians. DFPI representatives never ask questions about a callers’ immigration status.
The Department is also preparing to open a new Office of Financial Technology Innovation that will engage with new industries and consumer advocates to encourage consumer friendly innovation and job creation in California. This expansion will allow department representatives to work proactively with entrepreneurs and create a regulatory framework for responsible, emerging financial products.
The DFPI is also in the process of standing up a new Division of Consumer Financial Protection that will feature a market monitoring and research arm to keep up with emerging financial products. Consumer outreach to target vulnerable populations, such as students, new Californians, military servicemembers and senior citizens will be expanded. An ombudsman will help independently investigate complaints against the Department and work to resolve process issues.
The new law expands DFPI’s reach, adding various types of financial products and services to DFPI’s existing territory, which includes state-chartered banks and credit unions, student loan servicers, commodities and investment advisers, money transmitters, securities issuers and broker-dealers, non-bank installment lenders, payday lenders, mortgage lenders and servicers, escrow companies, PACE administrators, and franchisors.
New Contact Information for the DFPI San Diego Office
The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation has relocated our San Diego offices to a new, single location. Please save the following address:
Department of Financial Protection and Innovation
(Formerly “Department of Business Oversight”)
1455 Frazee Road, Suite 315
San Diego, CA 92108
Some Escrow Reports Due Jan. 13
Each escrow agent licensee is required to submit to the Commissioner of the DFPI an annual report prepared by an independent certified public accountant or an independent public accountant (Financial Code section 17406) within 105 days after the close of the escrow agent’s fiscal year. The annual report includes audited financial statements and required supplemental information.
If your fiscal year ended on September 30, 2020, your annual report is due Jan. 13, 2021. Please have your CPA email your report to ESCAnnualReportFiling@dfpi.ca.gov by Jan. 13 using a secured encrypted delivery system. The use of a secured dropbox is also acceptable. If your CPA is unable to submit the annual report electronically, it can be mailed to Sultanna Wan, Senior Financial Institutions Examiner, Escrow Law, Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, 320 West Fourth Street, Suite 750, Los Angeles, CA 90013.
Penalties for failure to file the annual report by the due date or to include required information are $100 per day for the first five days a report is late and $500 per day thereafter (Financial Code section 17408). Failure to file a report or to include any required information may also result in the suspension or revocation of an escrow agent’s license and/or prompt an immediate examination (Financial Code section 17602.5).
For questions about the annual reports, call Sultanna Wan at (213) 576-7647.
Escrow Annual Liability Report Due Feb. 15
The 2020 Escrow Annual Liability Report forms will be available on Jan. 2, 2021 on the DFPI website portal. The report must be filed electronically through the DFPI portal no later than February 15, 2021.
All escrow agents licensed prior to Jan. 1, 2021, must file the report, even if no business was conducted.
In addition to the escrow liability figures for EAFC covered and non-covered transactions, licensees will be required to input information regarding their surety bonds, and any additional fidelity bonds that insure the non-EAFC covered transactions.
It is recommended that licensees immediately start gathering the data to ensure they can file their 2020 escrow liability report in a timely manner. Failure to file by the deadline may result in penalty assessments, and failure to file this report constitutes grounds for license revocation.
Questions regarding liability report filing may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CRMLA Annual Reports Due March 1
Licensees under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act (CRMLA) must file their 2020 annual report electronically by March 1.
A notice about the CRMLA annual report filing was sent to each licensee’s designated email address. The annual report must be completed by signing into the DFPI self-service portal.
All CRMLA licensees must file the report by March 1. No extensions will be granted. Missing the deadline may result in penalty assessments. Failure to file constitutes grounds for license revocation.
Email any questions to CRMLA.Licensing@dfpi.ca.gov.
CFL Annual Reports for Calendar Year 2020 Due March 15
Annual reports for calendar year 2020 for licensees engaged in business under the California Financing Law (CFL), the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing Program, and the Responsible Small Dollar Loan (RSDL) pilot program must be submitted to the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation no later than March 15, as required under Financial Code section 22159(a).
Reports must be completed online on the DFPI’s website at https://docqnet.dfpi.ca.gov/. Licensees must log in to the self-service portal in order to complete the report.
CDDTL Annual Report and Industry Survey Due March 15
All California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law (CDDTL) licensees must submit a 2020 Annual Report and Industry Survey to the DFPI by March 15.
The Annual Report and Industry Survey must be completed online through the DFPI self-service portal. To prepare and submit the required reports, all CDDTL licensees are required to have a registered DFPI portal account.
The Annual Report and Industry Survey are required by California Financial Code sections 23026 and 23015. If you have questions, or need clarification on the instructions, please email RespondToCDDTL@dfpi.ca.gov.
Student Loan Servicing Annual Reports Due March 15
Pursuant to Financial Code section 28146(a) of the Student Loan Servicing Act, student loan servicers are required to file an annual report with the Commissioner of Financial Protection and Innovation by March 15.
Annual reports must be completed on the DFPI’s website via your self-service portal account labeled Student Loan Servicing Annual Report under the “Your Reports” section. Paper or mailed submissions will not be accepted. The Commissioner may impose a financial penalty if a licensee fails to submit a report on time.
Licensees with questions about the SLS report should send an email to email@example.com.
Holden Act Reports Due Mar. 31
Mortgage lending licensees must file their Residential Mortgage Loan Report for calendar year 2020 (Holden Act Report) no later than Mar. 31.
The Holden Act Report must be filed by all State-licensed residential mortgage lenders that do not report the data to a federal or State regulatory agency as provided by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975.
Licensees should consult with their internal compliance officers regarding whether they are required to file the report. Instructions and reporting forms may be found at the DFPI website here.
Completed reports may be scanned and emailed on or before Mar. 31 to Holden.Inquiries@dfpi.ca.gov. Information regarding the report may be obtained by calling (866) 275-2677.
Reminder: Banks Required to File Lists of Offices
Pursuant to Financial Code section 1077, on or before January 1, all commercial banks, industrial banks and trust companies are required to file with the DFPI a list of all offices they maintain and operate. The report must specify the type of each office listed (branch or facility, head office, but not ATMs) and its complete address.
Please note that this requirement is only for banks and does not apply to credit unions or money transmitters. Responses may be emailed to Licensing@dfpi.ca.gov or mailed to:
Department of Financial Protection and Innovation
Division of Financial Institutions
Attn: Licensing & Information Reporting Office
One Sansome Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94104-4428
For questions, please contact Patrick Carroll at Patrick.Carroll@dfpi.ca.gov or (415) 263-8559.
Jan. 13 Deadline to Comment on Proposed Modifications to CFL Regulations
On Oct. 25, 2019, the Department issued a notice of rulemaking to amend the regulations under the California Financing Law. The proposed changes require applicants and licensees to transition onto Nationwide Multi-state Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) and set forth licensure requirements for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program administrators.
On Dec. 29, 2020, the DFPI issued a notice of fourth modifications to this rulemaking action for a 15-day comment period. Previous notices of modifications to the text were issued for 15-day comment periods on May 27, 2020, Sept. 2, 2020, and Nov. 18, 2020. Comments should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline of Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.
DFPI Launches Second Round of Grants to Support Financial Education
(Update: The planned Jan. 19 launch of the second round of CalMoneySmart grant applications has been postponed. A new start date will be announced as soon as possible.)
On Jan. 19, 2021, the Department will begin accepting applications for CalMoneySmart grants to support financial education and empowerment programs for unbanked and underbanked consumers in the state of California. This is the second round of application submissions, with the first round awarding 12 nonprofits with close to $1 million in grant funding in 2020.
CalMoneySmart awards a total of $1 million per year in grants of up to $100,000 to nonprofit organizations to develop or provide unbanked and underbanked consumers with free financial education, access lower-cost financial services, establish or improve their credit, increase savings, or reduce debt. Additional information can be found at https://dfpi.ca.gov/calmoneysmart/ or on the CalMoneySmart Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CalMoneySmart. For questions, comments, or help applying, contact CalMoneySmart@dfpi.ca.gov
Jan. 21 Deadline for Comments on Public Banking Regs
The Department has filed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with the Office of Administrative Law and is seeking comment by Jan. 21, 2021, on proposed regulations to implement the new public banking law. Governor Newsom signed AB 857 (Chapter 442, Statutes of 2019) which authorizes local agencies to apply with DFPI for a certificate of authorization to transact business as a bank.
The proposed rules are meant to define new terms related to public banking that require clarification, and to clarify factors upon which the Commissioner must make determinations in processing an application for a bank charter.
A copy of the Notice, Initial Statement of Reasons, and proposed Text can be found on the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation’s website.
The 45-day public comment period ends on Jan. 21, 2021. Comments may be e-mailed to email@example.com.
California COVID-19 Relief Grant Program Launched
California recently announced a $500 million Small Business Covid-19 Relief Grant program for eligible small business owners and nonprofits who have been impacted by COVID-19 and the health and safety restrictions. Grants up to $25,000 will be given to eligible small businesses and nonprofits to help cover expenses during the pandemic.
Applications for Round 1 are open now and will close by end of day on Wednesday, January 13. Round 2 will be announced in the near future.
The program is administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) and disbursed through Lendistry, a Community Development Financial Institution serving as the Intermediary.
Applicants will be evaluated to determine grant approvals based on eligibility and pre-determined COVID-19 impact factors will be incorporated into the program’s priority criteria. To connect to a partner or find more information on the program and requirements, visit www.CAReliefGrant.com.
Premium Finance Company Activity
New Premium Finance Company
Ultimate Premium Finance
411 W. Lambert Rd, Brea
Ultimate Premium Finance, INC.
411 W. Lambert Rd, Brea
Acquisition of Control
James Ferrer, to acquire control of Equinox Premium Acceptance Inc.
Foreign (Other Nation) Bank Activity
Discontinuance of Office
Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A.
600 Montgomery Street, San Francisco (Representative Office)
Foreign (Other State) Bank Activity
State Street Global Advisors Trust Company
From 255 California Street, San Francisco to 42 Discovery, Irvine, Orange County (Facility – Uninsured Trust Company)
Credit Union Activity
Change of Name
1st United Services Credit Union, to change its name to 1st United Credit Union
Money Transmitter Activity
New Money Transmitter
AllPaid, Inc. dba GovPayNet
American Financial Integrity of California, Inc.
Barri Money Services, LLC
CSG Forte Payments, Inc
Acquisition of Control
Pangea Transfer Company, LLC, to acquire control of Pangea USA, LLC
Voluntary Suspension of Operations
Moneydart Global Services, Inc.
Voluntarily suspended operations in California effective December 15, 2020 through March 31, 2021.
Consumers may contact Maria Casillas at (732) 582-6416 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MANUEL P. ALVAREZ • Commissioner of Financial Protection and Innovation
The January 2021 Monthly Bulletin covers the month ended December 31, 2020.
It is issued pursuant to Financial Code section 376.
The Monthly Bulletin is available at no charge via e-mail.
To subscribe, go to: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/CADFI/subscriber/new.