Below please find League Business Leaders Network member Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s COVID-19 weekly digest, which includes our analysis of the most current legal developments related to this pandemic. To receive regular updates, news and information related to COVID-19, please register here.
- The CARES ACT: Forbearance to Deferment, RESPA Compliance, and Credit Reporting
Consumer Finance Litigation
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Consumer Finance attorneys Trip Riley, Ryan DiClemente and Colleen Fox delivered a presentation about the CARES Act to the Women in Housing and Finance Professional Organization. The presentation covered the CARES Act’s mortgage payment forbearance on existing and deferment, along with what that means for servicers’ Reg. X compliance. The program also addressed servicers’ credit reporting obligations in light of a forbearance or deferment.
- New York City Enacts New COVID-19 Legislation Gutting Commercial Lease Guaranties
As executives and legislatures across the country continue to take varying approaches to soften the economic and public health toll that COVID-19 leaves in its wake, the New York City Council has met the novel COVID-19 virus with a novel (and arguably unconstitutional) measure that Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law on May 26, 2020. Int. No. 1932-A is an ordinance which purports to void personal guaranty provisions in connection with commercial leases for defaults occurring between March 7 until September 30, 2020.
- School Is Out: Summer Compliance Reading for Athletics Programs
As colleges and universities and their athletics departments navigate the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, they should be aware of the NCAA’s guidance about offseason training, communications with current and prospective student-athletes, and recruiting. This article describes the key aspects of the NCAA’s guidance to give school administrators a head start on athletics compliance in a post-pandemic world.
- Chicago Enacts COVID-19 Anti-Retaliation Ordinance
Labor and Employment
In response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, on May 20, 2020, the City of Chicago passed the COVID-19 Anti-Retaliation Ordinance.
- New Interim-Rule Requires Employers Seeking PPP Loan Forgiveness to Notify Their State Unemployment Office If an Employee Declines an Offer for Reinstatement
Labor and Employment
Effective May 28, 2020 the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department – the government agencies overseeing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – enacted an interim-rule adding new requirements for businesses receiving PPP funds who anticipate seeking forgiveness. In the interim-rule, the agencies seek to clarify several outstanding questions business owners have raised as areas throughout the country begin to return to the workplace. In doing so, however, the agencies have raised new questions, left some glaring ones unanswered, and altered the Treasury Department’s previous guidance that businesses have been relying on.
- Do Not Make Promises to Consumers That Cannot Be Kept: Look Out for Consumer Litigation for Failing to Honor Refund Policies
Consumer Financial Services Litigation
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have seen numerous class action lawsuits filed against companies for changing their refund policies to ones that have a negative impact on consumers or for not giving full monetary refunds for cancelled events or closed venues (previous blogs can be found here and here). Airlines, Ticketmaster, StubHub, Magic Mountain, and the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball are some of the entities currently defending these lawsuits. More companies could soon be defending against these types of claims, such as retailers that no longer allow the return of health, beauty, wellness, and pet products, and travel companies that have retroactively amended their refund policies to avoid issuing full monetary refunds for cancelled trips.
- Statutory Revisions to the PPP
CARES Act Provisions
This week, the House and the Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the Bill), making it easier for borrowers to obtain forgiveness of loans obtained under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). President Trump is expected to sign the Bill. For our previous coverage on the requirements for PPP loan forgiveness, please see here.