Troutman Pepper COVID-19 Consumer Financial Services Weekly Newsletter – Finance & Banking

Troutman Pepper COVID-19 Consumer Financial Services Weekly Newsletter – Finance & Banking

Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders
21 June 2021

Like most industries today, Consumer Finance Services businesses

are being significantly impacted by the novel coronavirus

(COVID-19). Troutman Pepper has developed a dedicated

COVID-19 Resource Center to guide clients through this

unprecedented global health challenge. We regularly update this

site with COVID-19 news and developments, recommendations from

leading health organizations, and tools that businesses can use

free of charge.


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Our bank and loan servicing clients also face novel challenges

affecting their industry due to COVID-19, particularly the

ever-changing rules and regulations concerning evictions and

foreclosures. We closely track these updates and have assembled an

interactive tracker containing state orders and guidance documents

regarding residential foreclosure and eviction moratoriums. You may

access this interactive tool at

https://covid19.troutman.com/.

To help you keep abreast of relevant activities, below find a

breakdown of some of the biggest COVID-19 driven events at the

federal and state levels to impact the Consumer Finance Services

industry this past week:

Federal

Activities:


On June 10, President Joe Biden announced that the United

States plans to donate 500 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses

globally as part of his efforts to reassert U.S. leadership on the

world stage. The move also will serve to counter efforts by Russia

and China to use their own state-funded vaccines to expand their

global influence. For more information, click here.

On June 9, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration

(OSHA) released its long anticipated interim final rule and request

for comments for the Occupational Exposure to COVID-19;

Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The ETS is limited to

covered health care employers and excludes from coverage certain

health care workplaces that have a fully vaccinated workforces and

that exclude individuals with possible COVID-19 infections. The

rule becomes effective on the date of publication in the

Federal Register with deadlines for compliance that vary

by section of the ETS. For more information, click here.


On June 11, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and D.C.

Attorney General Karl Racine led a coalition of 23 attorneys

general to file a brief with the Supreme Court, supporting the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) order that

prohibits evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Lifting of

this stay would trigger a disastrous wave of sudden evictions

across the country and in Connecticut. It would be highly unusual

for the Supreme Court to step in at this juncture. The CDC order is

lawful, necessary to protect public health, and must remain in

place,” said Attorney General Tong. For more information,

click here.

On June 8, California Attorney General Rob Bonta warned

“financial institutions, creditors and debt collectors that it

is illegal to seize federal Child Tax Credit payments for

individual debts in California.” In his statement, Attorney

General Bonta reminded financial institutions that Governor

Newsom’s April 23, 2020 executive order makes any such

garnishment unlawful as it is financial assistance provided due to

the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, click here.

The Idaho Department of Finance is expected to extend its

temporary guidance through December 31, 2021, allowing remote work

without a branch license. Licensees must still comply with security

requirements enumerated in the original guidance. For more

information, click here.

State

Activities:

Privacy and

Cybersecurity Activities:


On June 11, Troutman Pepper released a brief overview of

President Biden’s executive order (EO) signed on May 12.

“This EO calls on both the federal government and the private

sector to identify, deter, detect, and respond to cyber

incidents.” The EO appears to respond to the significant rise

of cyberattacks from cybercriminals, potentially relating to the

increased remote workforce due to COVID-19. A major takeaway

includes that the “EO should remind all companies [to] assess

their information security program and practices” because the

Biden administration may update and adopt additional security

practices moving forward. To learn about other notable EO

requirements, click here.

On June 8, the Massachusetts attorney general’s office

released a report, detailing the rise of ransomware attacks and

stressing the importance of protecting data. The COVID-19 pandemic

has increased the risk of ransomware for many organizations, such

as hospitals, governments, and universities. The report warned that

“[a]ll organizations, regardless of sector, size, or location,

must recognize that no company is safe from being targeted by

ransomware,” and Attorney General Maura Healy “strongly

encourage[d] all Massachusetts business and government

organizations to take the appropriate steps to strengthen data

security and ensure its computer networks are secure as required by

law.” To view the list of safeguards recommended by the

AG’s office and for a link to the Massachusetts Data Security

Regulations, click here.

On June 7, it was reported that as California reaches nearly 40

million individuals vaccinated as a result of the state’s cash

incentive program, “the flood of corresponding medical

information is sparking fresh privacy concerns about

Californians’ health data.” These concerns arise from the

increased proliferation among nonclinical entities, such as

employers, pharmacies, community-based health organizations, and

telehealth providers of medical patient data across third-party

platforms. Also, these concerns are coupled with updates to

confidentiality laws, such as the federal Health Insurance

Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) – for instance,

emergency waivers to make protected information available to fight

the pandemic. The emergence of vaccination verification systems

linking vaccinated patients’ health statuses and identities has

sparked debates around the efficacy of the systems’ design,

implementation, and confidentiality. For those interested in

learning more, click here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general

guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought

about your specific circumstances.

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