On January 6, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision (collectively, the Banking Agencies) issued new and revised Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment (the Community Reinvestment Guidance) intended to supplement existing guidance on the same topic. The Banking Agencies had released proposed supplemental questions and answers in 2007.
According to the accompanying press release, the Banking Agencies’ intent is for the Community Reinvestment Guidance to encourage financial institutions to participate in foreclosure prevention programs that have the objective of providing affordable, sustainable, long-term loan restructurings or modifications for homeowners who are facing foreclosure on their primary residences.
With adoption of the Community Reinvestment Guidance, the Banking Agencies adopted nine new questions and answers that were originally proposed in 2007 and also adopted substantive changes to 14 existing questions and answers that had appeared in prior guidance on the topic. The Community Reinvestment Guidance also proposed one new and two revised questions and answers. The proposed revisions to the two existing questions and answers would allow pro rata consideration in certain circumstances for an activity that provides affordable housing targeted to low- or moderate-income individuals. The newly proposed question and answer provides examples of how an institution can determine that community services it provides are targeted to low- and moderate-income individuals. Comments with respect to such proposals are due on March 9.