Legal Analysts

Showing posts with label compliance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label compliance. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Attention Insurance Companies - DFS Puts More on Your Plate

The Department of Financial Services' Circular No. 5 (2020) is making its rounds and requires all entities regulated by DFS to submit a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. All regulated entities are required to submit the plan on or before Thursday, April 9, 2020.

DFS is requiring the Preparedness Plan to account for both operational and financial risks. On the operational side, the plan should include:
  1. Preventative measures tailored to the entity’s specific profile and operations to mitigate the risk of operational disruption, which should include identifying the impact on consumers and vendors;
  2. A documented strategy addressing the impact of the outbreak in stages, so that the entity’s efforts can be appropriately scaled, consistent with the effects of a particular stage of the outbreak;
  3. Assessment of all facilities, systems, policies and procedures necessary to continue critical operations and services if members of the staff are unavailable for longer periods or are working off-site, including the effectiveness and security of remote access;
  4. Employee protection strategies, critical to sustaining an adequate workforce during the outbreak, including employee awareness and steps that employees can take to reduce the likelihood of contracting COVID-19;[1]
  5. Assessment of the preparedness of critical third-party service providers and suppliers;
  6. Development of a communication plan to effectively communicate with consumers and vendors, and to deliver important news and instructions to employees, along with establishing forums for questions to be asked and addressed;
  7. Testing of the plan to ensure that the policies, processes, and procedures are effective; and
  8. Governance and oversight of the plan, including identifying the critical members of a response team, to ensure ongoing review and updates to the plan, including the tracking of relevant information from government sources and the entity’s own monitoring program.
On the financial risk side, the plan should include: 
  1. Assessment of the overall impact of COVID-19 on reserve requirements, consumers’ ability to make timely premium payments, and resources required to timely process claims;
  2. Assessment of the credit risk of counterparties and business sectors impacted by COVID-19;
  3. Assessment of the credit exposure to counterparties and business sectors impacted by COVID-19 arising from investing and other financial transactions;
  4. Assessment of the scope and the size of admitted assets or other investments adversely impacted by COVID-19 that currently are in, or potentially may move to, non-performing/delinquent status, including consideration of stress testing and/or sensitivity analysis of such assets or investments;
  5. Assessment of the valuation of assets and investments that may be, or have been, impacted by COVID-19; and
  6. Assessment of the overall impact of COVID-19 on earnings, profits, capital, and liquidity.
A full copy of Circular No. 5 (2020) can be found HERE

If it seems that DFS is just here to put more on your plate when you need it least, DFS has also issued a temporary COVID-19 relief order which improves the ability of banks and insurers to operate remotely. A full copy of the temporary relief order can be found HERE. 

Monday, January 06, 2020

New Law: Nuisance Call Act - RE Brokers Be Warned - Telemarketers Must Give a Warning to Avoid Heavy Fines

On December 6, 2019, S4777, the Nuisance Call Act, became law and telemarketers must now give specific information to customers starting on March 5, 2020, the effective date of the law, or face heavy fines.

Under the Nuisance Call Act, General Business Law section 399-z now requires that a "telemarketer or seller [] inform[s] the customer that he or she may request that his or her telephone number be added to the seller's entity specific do-not-call list" where the telemarketer must immediately end the call if the customer so elects.

This is serious - fines can be up to $11,000 per violation if you fail to give this information.

Real Estate Brokers must advise all of their associated Real Estate Salespersons immediately and train their teams. In fact, a defense to a fine includes that "the person has trained his or her personnel in the requirements of this section."

Get your training today at Lieb Compliance, LLC.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Case Alert: Title Regulation 208 is Back - No More Wining and Dining Permitted - DFS Enforcement is Coming

On December 26, 2019, the Appellate Division, First Department, reversed the Supreme Court and dismissed the New York State Land Title Association's challenge to Regulation 208.

Now, title insurance underwriters and their agents may not offer free meals and beverages, tickets to entertainment events, gifts, golf outings, parties, office supplies and the like as we had previously discussed in the November 2019 article, No More Title Insurance Bribes: Compliance Protocol needed at Every Title Insurance Agency

The only aspects of Regulation 208 which remain annulled after this decision are the ancillary fees at 228.5 and the closer payment restrictions.

To understand the current title landscape, read our blog from January 19, 2019, Title Insurance Regulation 208 is Back - Soliciting Title Business is Seriously Restricted Yet Again.

Now, after the December 26 decision, the only possibilities that can change the new reality of the title insurance industry in New York are:

  • An application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals is made and granted, then, the matter is heard and reversed;
  • New regulations are issued by DFS; or
  • New legislation is enacted. 
Title insurance companies should immediately issue policy notices to their staff, conduct trainings and prepare for DFS enforcement. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

We Now Offer Real Estate Brokerage Video Compliance Trainings & Certifications

Lieb Compliance is now offering real estate brokerage companies a private online portal with customized video compliance classes and certifications for their agents. Certifications include Fair Housing & Discrimination, Rentals (Tenant Protection Act of 2019), Agency Disclosure, Sexual Harassment Prevention and more.

To learn more visit 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Closed Captioning On TVs In Public Accommodations Must Now Be Provided Upon Request

Televisions in an area of public accommodation that have a closed captioning feature must be enabled upon request. However, business owners will not be penalized if the television does not have a closed captioning feature.

The specific law S1650 signed by Governor Cuomo states:
“A place of public accommodation, resort or amusement. . . shall upon request be required to have closed captioning enabled on all televisions that are located in the public area . . . during regular business hours.”
Owners/Managers of public accommodations should train staff on this new requirement to avoid potential exposure to costly lawsuits.