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Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015

Your customers who turned 70½ during 2014 likely must start receiving required minimum distributions (RMDs) from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and workplace retirement plans by Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

The April 1 deadline applies to owners of traditional IRAs but not Roth IRAs. Normally, it also applies to participants in various workplace retirement plans, including 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans.

The April 1 deadline only applies to the required distribution for the first year. For all subsequent years, the RMD must be made by December 31. So, a taxpayer who turned 70½ in 2014 and receives the first required payment on April 1, 2015, for example, must still receive the second RMD by Dec. 31, 2015.

TRC provides training on IRA Fundamentals. For your convenience we provide the current and previous tax year information. You can also learn more about courses available through TRC Interactive by contacting us at info@trcinteractive.com or (800) 222-9909.

Thursday, 19 Mar 2015

The New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a deal with the credit reporting giants, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax on the reporting of medical bills and the handling of error resolution processes.

Under this new agreement, the agencies will replace automated error resolution processes with specially trained employees. The agencies will also establish a six-month interim period before reporting unpaid medical debts to allow time for resolution of issues involving delayed insurance payment or consumer disputes. When a medical debt is paid by insurance, it will be removed from a consumer's report.

The agencies will also take steps to increase awareness of the availability of free annual credit reports through the website annualcreditreport.com.

The credit reporting giants maintain credit information on consumers that directly affects a consumer's ability to not only access credit but that can also determine how good of a deal the consumer may get. “Credit reports touch every part of our lives,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a statement. “They affect whether we can obtain a credit card, take out a college loan, rent an apartment, or buy a car — and sometimes even whether we can get jobs.”

As bankers, we use credit reports nearly every day and in many aspects of our business processes. If you have worked with credit reports for many years you likely have a story about a situation gone wrong, a consumer nightmare or a problem situation that was never able to be resolved.

To stay up to date on regulatory trends and news, frequently visit our blog. TRC Interactive also offers online, interactive training on various compliance related topics. To learn more, contact us at info@trcinteractive.com or (800) 222-9909.

Thursday, 15 Jan 2015

The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is amending the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, (the "CACR"), to implement policy changes announced by the President on December 17, 2014, to further engage and empower the Cuban people by facilitating authorized travel to Cuba by U.S. persons, certain authorized commerce, and the flow of information to, from and within Cuba.

The CACR amendment will be published in the Federal Register January 16, 2015, at which time the changes will take effect. OFAC is also publishing a number of Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to this regulatory amendment.

To stay up to date on regulatory trends and news, frequently visit our blog. TRC Interactive also offers online, interactive training on various compliance related topics. To learn more, contact us at info@trcinteractive.com or (800) 222-9909.

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014

If you have gift cards on your shopping list, you’re not alone. Industry experts estimate gift card spending will top $32 billion this year – both for cards you can use at a specific store (department store or coffee shop), and for bank or credit union cards that are accepted at many businesses (Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, etc.). When you’re giving gift cards, here are a few things to know:
• Are there fees to buy or use the card? Read that tiny print to find out what kind of deal you’re giving – or getting.
• Does the card’s packaging look okay? Inspect it to be sure. If the PIN is showing, a thief might already have it – which could mean the thief can get any money you load onto the card.
• Buying gift cards through online auction sites? Those could be fakes. Stick to sources you know and trust.
• Sending a store card to your nephew in Oregon? Make sure that store is close enough for him to shop there.
On the receiving end, there are things to know, too. For example, if you lose the card, you’re out of luck. Sellers don’t have to replace it. And there are reasons to use gift cards sooner rather than later; some cards start charging fees if you don’t use the card for a while. If the store goes out of business, your gift card is also out of business.

A final word to the wise: whether you’re giving or receiving gift cards, keep track of the receipt. Whoever uses the gift card will need it in case problems arise with the card.

To stay up to date on regulatory trends and news, frequently visit our blog. TRC Interactive also offers online, interactive training on various compliance related topics. Reinforce fair lending principals with TRC Interactive Inc. Fair Lending and Laws Against Discrimination in Mortgage Lending courses. To learn more, contact us at info@trcinteractive.com or (800) 222-9909.

Wednesday, 3 Dec 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a bulletin advising lenders to avoid imposing illegal burdens on consumers receiving disability income who apply for mortgages especially if the lenders ask for proof of how long they will receive their benefits. The CFPB is reminding lenders that requiring unnecessary documentation from consumers who receive Social Security disability income may raise fair lending risk.

More than 15 million people receive Social Security disability income every year, including many who are veterans of the U.S. armed forces. For those relying on this income, qualifying for a mortgage can be a challenge when lenders ask for proof of how long they will receive their benefits. The Social Security Administration generally will not provide documentation regarding how long benefits will last. Some applicants have reported being asked for information about their disabilities or even for doctors’ notes about the likely duration of their disabilities.

Lenders can consider the source of an applicant’s income for determining pertinent elements of creditworthiness. However, lenders may face fair lending risk if they require documentation beyond that required by applicable agency or secondary market standards and guidelines to demonstrate that Social Security disability income is likely to continue.

To stay up to date on regulatory trends and news, frequently visit our blog. TRC Interactive also offers online, interactive training on various compliance related topics. Reinforce fair lending principals with TRC Interactive Inc. Fair Lending and Laws Against Discrimination in Mortgage Lending courses. To learn more, contact us at info@trcinteractive.com or (800) 222-9909.

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