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NH Banking Department issues consumer alert regarding
Dargon Law Firm, PLLC

The New Hampshire Banking Department has issued a consumer alert pertaining to outstanding fees and penalties concerning Dargon Law Firm, PLLC and its owner Daniel P. Dargon. Mr. Dargon was fined and ordered to pay his former clients restitution. No payment toward fines or restitution has been made and Mr. Dargon has filed for bankruptcy. The Banking Department encourages all consumers harmed by Mr. Dargon’s actions to contact the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts.

For more information please view the press release.

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Ongoing Covid-19 guidance for Banks, Credit Unions and Trust Companies

The New Hampshire Banking Department has reference materials, FAQs and guidelines in place for chartered entities that may have questions about branch closings and openings and other areas of operation that might be affected by the pandemic. For more information, please click the links below.

Impacts of Covid: impacts-of-covid-19-20200313.pdfAdobe Acrobat Reader symbol
Branch closings: updated-guidance-faqs-20200316.pdfAdobe Acrobat Reader symbol
Branch reopenings: updt-guid-breopen-20200528.pdfAdobe Acrobat Reader symbol

 

News and Events
Examination Per Diem Fee Change
September 23, 2022

Pursuant to state law and the Department's policy and procedure, the per diem fee for all state-chartered banks, credit unions, trust companies, and family trust companies has been calculated to be $954. Similarly, the per diem fee for all entities licensed under consumer credit laws has been calculated to be $329. These new per diem fees will be charged for all examinations commencing on or after October 1, 2022.

 

View Chartered Entity Memorandum and Licensed Entity Memorandum.

FDIC issues Cease and Desist letters over false or misleading representations relating to cryptocurrency and deposit insurance
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has issued letters demanding five companies and their officers, directors, and employees cease and desist from making false and misleading statements about FDIC deposit insurance and take immediate corrective action to address these false or misleading statements. For more information please visit FDIC: PR-60-2022 8/19/2022
FTC issues Consumer Alert about inheritance scam
August 10, 2022
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a consumer alert after numerous reports of people receiving a letter alleging to be from a law firm and promising to split a large inheritance. The offer urges recipients to reach out by email to learn more, which opens the door for scammers to steal valuable information. Please see the full alert here: Contacted about a long-lost relative's inheritance? Hold on a minute | Consumer Advice (ftc.gov).
FDIC issues advisory to insured institutions
July 29, 2022
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has issued an advisory to FDIC-insured institutions regarding Deposit Insurance and dealings with Crypto Companies. A fact sheet on "What the Public Needs to Know About FDIC Deposit Insurance and Crypto Companies" has been posted to the FDIC website to provide additional information about deposit insurance coverage. Please see: FDIC: FIL-35-2022: Advisory to FDIC-Insured Institutions Regarding Deposit Insurance and Dealings with Crypto Companies.
Interest Payable on Escrow Accounts Announced
July 28, 2022
Pursuant to NH RSA 397-A:9, IV, Emelia A.S. Galdieri, Bank Commissioner, announced the minimum interest rate payable on moneys on deposit in escrow accounts maintained for the payment of taxes or insurance premiums related to loans on property secured by real estate mortgages.

 

The minimum interest rate shall be 0.00% and shall be effective commencing August 1, 2022 and shall remain in effect until the next rate announcement on February 1, 2023.


Please note that the above rate is applicable only to persons subject to NH RSA 397-A.

FTC issues consumer alert regarding limited student loan forgiveness
July 21, 2022
The Federal Trade Commission has issued an alert to remind consumers that they could qualify for a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Limited Waiver. Applications for these waivers must be completed by October 31, 2022. For more information please visit Limited waiver for student loan forgiveness ends October 31 | Consumer Advice (ftc.gov).
FTC issues consumer alert about scammers pretending to be US immigration officers
July 15, 2022
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a consumer alert warning that scammers are calling and pretending to be from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in an effort to trick people into giving them money or personal information. To learn more, please visit Scammers impersonate US immigration officers | Consumer Advice (ftc.gov)
CFPB Moves to Reduce Junk Fees Charged by Debt Collectors
June 29, 2022
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued an advisory opinion affirming that federal law often prohibits debt collectors from charging "pay-to-pay" fees. These charges, commonly described by debt collectors as "convenience fees," are imposed on consumers who want to make a payment in a particular way, such as online or by phone. For more information, please see the press release.
FTC warns of crypto scams that may seek to take advantage of Pride Month
June 8, 2022
The Federal Trade Commission has released a consumer alert indicating that crypto-currency scams targeting the LGBTQ+ community could be on the rise during Pride Month. For more information please visit https://consumer.ftc.gov/consumer-alerts/2022/06/cryptocurrency-scams-and-lgbtq-community?utm_source=govdelivery
FTC issues consumer alert about crypto scams
June 3, 2022
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a consumer alert with information detailing the most reported cryptocurrency scams. Please visit Spotting the FTC's most reported crypto scams | Consumer Advice for details.
FTC to send out second round of refunds from AMG scheme
May 19, 2022

The Federal Trade Commission is sending out a second round of refunds to people affected by a major payday lending scheme operated by AMG Services, Inc. that used names like 500FastCash, OneClickCash, Ameriloan, UnitedCashLoans, and USFastCash, among others. If you received an online payday loan from a company linked to AMG, you may be getting a check in the mail. If you do, you must cash it before August 17, 2022.

 

The FTC sued AMG for charging people more for loans than they had originally agreed to pay and sent the first round of refunds in 2018. The FTC is now sending more than 690,000 refund checks totaling $152 million.

 

Here’s what to know: Checks will arrive automatically. You don’t need to apply or fill out a claim form. Checks expire on August 17, 2022. To verify the check is from the FTC, go to AMG Services Refunds | Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov). For questions about your check or the refund process, call the administrator (Rust Consulting) at 1-866-730-8147, or email admin@AMGServicesRefund.com.

Federal Trade Commission issues reminder about Western Union refund claims
April 19, 2022
Refunds are still available to people who were tricked into wiring money to scammers through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017. If you did not file a claim for a refund yet, you have until July 1, 2022 to file. The refunds are part of a $586 million settlement Western Union reached with the FTC and Department of Justice in 2017 for violating the law when it failed to guard against fraud in its system.

If you received a pre-filled claim form in the mail (showing eligible dollar loss amounts, based on the report you filed with Western Union) you can use it to submit your claim. If you did not receive a form in the mail, you can file a claim online at Western Union Remission Phase 2. For more information please visit the Frequently Asked Questions section here: Western Union Remission Phase 2.
FTC kicks off National Consumer Protection Week
March 3, 2022
The Federal Trade Commission will launch the annual National Consumer Protection Week on March 6. Joined by other federal, state, and local agencies as well as consumer and national advocacy organizations, the FTC will spend March 6-12 sharing information with Americans on how they can avoid scams, identity theft, and other consumer protection issues. To support these efforts, the FTC and its partners have organized a series of programming ranging from webinars to Twitter chats and livestreams. Topics of interest include college students and cryptocurrency scams, financial caregiving, and how to recover from fraud. For more information, please visit: National Consumer Protection Week | FTC Consumer Information
Interest Payable on Escrow Accounts Announced
January 31, 2022
Pursuant to NH RSA 397-A:9, IV, Emelia A.S. Galdieri, Bank Commissioner, announced the minimum interest rate payable on moneys on deposit in escrow accounts maintained for the payment of taxes or insurance premiums related to loans on property secured by real estate mortgages.

Said rate shall be 0.00% and shall be effective commencing February 1, 2022 and shall remain in effect until the next rate announcement on August 1, 2022.


Please note that the above rate is applicable only to persons subject to NH RSA 397-A. After the passage of House Bill 610 in 2021, depository banks shall credit each escrow account with interest at a rate no lower than the highest target federal funds interest rate in the range set by the Federal Open Market Committee, minus one percent. For more details, please review RSA 383-B:3-303(a)(7)(E).

State regulators settle with hundreds of Mortgage Loan Originators over SAFE Act education requirements
January 18, 2022
The New Hampshire Banking Department and financial regulatory agencies from a total of 42 states have reached settlements with 441 mortgage loan originators nationwide that deceptively claimed to have completed annual continuing education as required under state and federal law. For more information please see the full press release.
Federal Trade Commission Issues Crypto Scam Alert
January 11, 2022
The Federal Trade Commission has issued an alert pertaining to a new scam involving cryptocurrency. The scam features an impersonator directing you to withdraw money from your bank and use it to purchase cryptocurrency. For more details on this scam and how to protect yourself, please visit New crypto payment scam alert | FTC Consumer Information
New Guide Released to Help Prevent Elder Financial Abuse
November 12, 2021
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released a new guide to help family members and friends of people living in nursing homes and assisted living communities learn how to prevent and report elder financial abuse. The guide lists red flags to watch for, shares common scenarios, and includes resources. Download or order the new guide for free. There is also a “quick reference” handout focused on how to report elder financial abuse.
Early NMLS Renewals Encouraged Amid Increase in Eligible Licensees
October 29, 2021
All Consumer Credit Licensees are encouraged to start renewing their licenses in the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) starting November 1 to avoid licensing delays. There has been a significant increase in the number of licensed individuals and businesses from this time last year. The renewal period in New Hampshire is open from November 1 to December 31.
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month
September 29, 2021

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an annual observation that encourages consumers and businesses to take steps to protect themselves from cyberattacks. The theme of Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021 is “Focusing on the Fundamentals.”

 

Cybersecurity breaches are not always the act of sophisticated hackers and foreign agents. Most successful cyberattacks are caused by a failure to follow well-established cybersecurity practices. To ensure your institution is following these best practices, we encourage you to take steps to collaborate with your regulators and your peers.

 

For more information and additional resources about being cyber-secure please visit: Keep My Bank Secure, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors Ransomware Self-Assessment Tool, the US Government’s Stop Ransomware initiative, and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (Cybersecurity Awareness Month | CISA).

 

Informative videos: ANATOMY OF A CYBER ATTACK - KeepMyBankSecure.com - YouTube and Cybersecurity Strategies with Phillip Hinkle, Director of IT Security Examinations with the Texas Department of Banking, and Trey Maust, Executive Chairman of Lewis & Clark Bank (Cybersecurity Strategies - featuring Phillip Hinkle and Trey Maust - YouTube).

House Bill 610 effective October 9, 2021
September 14, 2021
The passage of New Hampshire House Bill 610 will take effect on October 9, 2021. Please review the bill for changes relative to banking department statutes. See House Bill 610. View letters from the Commissioner outlining changes impacting chartered institutions - Chartered Entity Complaints and Chartered Entity Overview and Licensed Entity Complaints.
Examination Per Diem Fee Change
September 7, 2021

Pursuant to state law and the Department's policy and procedure, the per diem fee for all state-chartered banks, credit unions, trust companies, and family trust companies has been calculated to be $908. Similarly, the per diem fee for all entities licensed under consumer credit laws has been calculated to be $934. This new per diem fee will be charged for all examinations commencing on or after October 1, 2021.

 

View Chartered Entity Memorandum and Licensed Entity Memorandum.

House Bill 312 effective July 24, 2021
July 30, 2021
The passage of New Hampshire House Bill 312 became effective July 24, 2021. Please review the bill for any changes relative to banking department statutes. View House Bill 312 here.Adobe Acrobat Reader symbol
Remote Work For Mortgage Loan Originator Licensees
July 30, 2021
The New Hampshire Banking Department ("Department") has issued guidance to clarify the requirements applicable to New Hampshire licensed mortgage loans originators (MLOs) who work remotely from alternative locations including their home. This guidane supersedes any previous guidance issued on this topic. View the Department's Guidance here.Adobe Acrobat Reader symbol
Interest Payable on Escrow Accounts Announced
July 30, 2021

Pursuant to NH RSA 383-B:3-303(a)(7)(E), Gerald H. Little,Bank Commissioner, announced the minimum interest rate payable on moneys on deposit in escrow accounts maintained for the payment of taxes or insurance premiums related to loans on property secured by real estate mortgages.

 

Said rate shall be 0.00% and shall be effective commencing August 1, 2021 and shall remain in effect until House Bill 610 becomes effective.

New Fed Mortgage Corp. Ransomware Attack
June 22, 2021
The New Hampshire Banking Department has been notified by New Fed Mortgage Corp. (“NewFed”) that it has suffered a ransomware attack that resulted in unauthorized access to its systems. As a result of the attack, an unauthorized individual gained access to the personal information of 2,021 New Hampshire consumers. On June 21, 2021, NewFed mailed a written notification to consumers affected by the attack. If you are a customer of NewFed Mortgage and you have questions about this incident, please call NewFed directly at 1-888-365-7345 between the hours of 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.
Nationstar Mortgage LLC d/b/a Mr Cooper experiences Payment Processing Issue
April 27, 2021
On April 24, 2021, Nationstar Mortgage LLC d/b/a Mr. Cooper discovered that a payment processing issue resulted in a number of customers experiencing incorrect mortgage payment drafts from their bank account. This was a payment processing transaction error and neither consumer bank accounts, nor Mr. Cooper’s systems or accounts were compromised. All unauthorized charges are being corrected. This issue was expected to be resolved by the end of the day, April 26, 2021.

For more specific information about this issue please see the website set up by Nationstar Mortgage LLC d/b/a Mr. Cooper at https://www.mrcooper.com/blog/2021/04/26/payment-information-center/.

Interest Payable on Escrow Accounts Announced
February 1, 2021

The escrow rate for the period February 1, 2021 through July 31, 2021 is 0.00%.

 

Pursuant to NH RSA 383-B:3-303(a)(7)(E), Gerald H. Little, Bank Commissioner, announced the minimum interest rate payable on moneys on deposit in escrow accounts maintained for the payment of taxes or insurance premiums related to loans on property secured by real estate mortgages.

 

Said rate shall be 0.00% and shall be effective commencing February 1, 2021 and shall remain in effect until the next rate announcement on August 1, 2021.

Attorney General and New Hampshire Banking Commissioner Jointly Announce Settlement with Nationstar Mortgage LLC
December 10, 2020

Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald and New Hampshire Bank Commissioner Gerald H. Little announce that their agencies have joined with 52 other state regulators, 51 state attorneys general and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in a settlement agreement with Nationstar Mortgage LLC, d/b/a Mr. Cooper, one of the largest mortgage servicers in the nation, closing a multiyear investigation of the company.

 

The Joint Press Release may be found at: [https://www.doj.nh.gov/news/2020/20201210-nationstar-settlement.htm].

 

The settlement agreement and consent order may be found at: [www.csbs.org/2020-settlement-agreement-and-consent-order].

Mortgage Payment Relief Information
October 20, 2020

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to help consumers struggling with financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

For consumers experiencing financial hardship that has made it difficult to maintain your mortgage payments, the following link provides important information about your rights to mortgage payment forbearance and foreclosure protection under the CARES Act.

 

https://www.csbs.org/system/files/2020-05/CSBS-CFPB_Consumers_Forbearance_Guide_May_2020_0.pdf

 

Please review this information carefully and reach out to your servicer for assistance with making your loan payments.

 

If you are having difficulty working with your servicer, you may contact the Department at 603-271-3561 for assistance with understanding your rights under the CARES Act.

Examination Per Diem Fee Change
September 3, 2020

Pursuant to state law and the Department's policy and procedure, the per diem fee for all state-chartered banks, credit unions, trust companies, and family trust companies has been calculated to be $1,074. Similarly, the per diem fee for all entities licensed under consumer credit laws has been calculated to be $955. This new per diem fee will be charged for all examinations commencing on or after October 1, 2020.

 

View Chartered Entity Memorandum and Licensed Entity Memorandum.

Interest Payable on Escrow Accounts Announced
July 31, 2020

The escrow rate for the period August 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021 is 0.00%.


Pursuant to NH RSA 383-B:3-303(a)(7)(E), Emelia A.S. Galdieri, Deputy Bank Commissioner, announced the minimum interest rate payable on moneys on deposit in escrow accounts maintained for the payment of taxes or insurance premiums related to loans on property secured by real estate mortgages.

 

Said rate shall be 0.00% and shall be effective commencing August 1, 2020 and shall remain in effect until the next rate announcement on February 1, 2021.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors Issue Joint Guidance for Mortgage Servicers
June 5, 2020
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors have issued joint guidance for mortgage servicers that outlines servicing requirements for federally backed mortgages during the COVID-19 Outbreak. This guidance includes requirements under the CARES Act, federal regulations, and investor servicing guidelines. The guidance includes Q&As about servicing requirements. See this guidance at this link: https://www.csbs.org/cares-act-forbearance-foreclosure
Guidance on the Reopening of Branches or Other Financial Institution Offices Previously Closed Due to the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic
May 28, 2020
The New Hampshire Banking Department is providing guidance concerning the reopening of branches or other financial institution offices that were temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. View the Updated Guidance.Adobe Acrobat Reader symbol
Consumer Guide on Mortgage Relief Options
May 15, 2020
The Conference of State Bank Supervisors ("CSBS") and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") released a Consumer Relief Guide with borrowers’ rights to mortgage payment forbearance and foreclosure protection under the federal CARES Act. View the link for information about your options for mortgage relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Links are provided to explain what assistance is available under the CARES Act, how to file a consumer complaint, and other helpful information. [PDF] [link]
U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of the Treasury Issues Guidance on Counterfeit COVID-19 Relief Checks
April 21, 2020
View this link to find important information provided by the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of the Treasury to help you identify a counterfeit U.S. Treasury check, and who to contact if you receive a counterfeit check: https://www.secretservice.gov/data/press/releases/2020/20-APR/Check-Security-Features-for-Economic-Impact-Payments.pdf
Guidance on Paycheck Protection Program and the Legal Lending Limit
April 3, 2020
On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). Section 1102 of the CARES Act establishes the Paycheck Protection Program as a Small Business Administration 7(a) Loan Program. The Paycheck Protection Program provides loans to entities to enable them to cover payroll costs and other costs associated with payroll during the COVID-19 state of emergency. For further details about the Paycheck Protection Program, please visit the Small Business Administration website: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options.

The New Hampshire Banking Department has received requests for guidance from state-chartered banks as to whether loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program are exempt from the legal lending limit in RSA 383-B:3-303(a)(7)(A). For the reasons outlined in this Guidance, loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program are exempt from the legal lending limit in RSA 383-B:3-303(a)(7)(A).
COVID-19 Temporary Branch Closures
April 3, 2020
Financial institutions are considered an essential business and remain open during the stay-at-home order. Please visit your financial institution’s website regarding changes in branch hours and branch closures. Many financial institutions have temporarily closed their lobbies but banking services are available through the drive-thru, ATM, or by appointment.
View the list of COVID-19 temporary branch closures.
FAQ's on Mortgage Foreclosures during the COVID-19 Pandemic
March 31, 2020
Details about the Governor's Emergency Order #4 regarding foreclosures. View the Department's FAQs.
New Hampshire Attorney General's Charitable Trusts Unit Issues Scam Alert as a result of the COVID-19 Outbreak
March 26, 2020

Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald urges people in New Hampshire to be on the alert for charitable giving and consumer product scams related to the COVID-19 outbreak. View the Press Release. View the Charitable Giving Fraud Alert Flyer.

 

Also visit covid19.nh.gov for up-to-date information about the COVID-19 outbreak in New Hampshire.

U.S. Attorney Urges the Public to Report Suspected Fraud Related to the COVID-19 Outbreak
March 23, 2020

U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murrary of the District of New Hampshire today urged the public to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or to the NCDF e-mail address disaster@leo.gov. The public can also report fraud to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov. View the Press Release.

 

To find more about Department of Justice resources and information, please visit www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Consumer Alert - Checks from the Government
March 18, 2020

The Federal Trade Commissioner ("FTC") warns consumers to be aware of scammers asking you to pay to get your government issued check. FTC article Checks from the Government.

 

Be aware of this as well as other Coronavirus-related scams. Visit ftc.gov.

Updated Guidance on Branch Closings and FAQs related to Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
March 16, 2020
The New Hampshire Banking Department is providing further clarification on its guidance issued on March 13, 2020, concerning branch closings resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. View Commissioner's Updated Memorandum.Adobe Acrobat Reader symbol
Responding to Impacts of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
March 13, 2020
The New Hampshire Banking Department encourages banks, credit unions, trust companies, and all licensed financial service institutions to work constructively with New Hampshire consumers who may experience difficulties beyond their control due to economic disruptions by the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
View Commissioner's Memorandum to Chartered Entities. Adobe Acrobat Reader symbol
View Commissioner's Memorandum to Licensed Financial Service Institutions. Adobe Acrobat Reader symbol

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Banking Department
53 Regional Drive  |  Suite 200  |  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-3561  |  fax: (603) 271-1090 or (603) 271-0750