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COVID-19 Insights

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By way of this Resource Center, Krieg DeVault promises to keep our clients and business partners up-to-date on the many legal, regulatory and industry updates that are published daily in regard to the COVID-19 outbreak.
 




COVID-19 and the Mortgage Industry: Embracing
the Virus on the Legislative and Regulatory Front

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, S. 3548 (“CARES Act”), was signed by the President on March 27, 2020. Grappling with the wide array of industries impacted by the CARES Act, and COVID-19, can be overwhelming. This holds true particularly for anyone in a consumer-facing industry, such as mortgage lenders and servicers. In addition to moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions, the federal government has implemented other programs that have an effect on the mortgage industry. The update below provides a brief overview of major considerations lenders and secured parties should bear in mind as a result of the sweeping CARES Act legislation. read more



 




Protect Yourself from Anti-Kickback Statute
Liability When Donating PPE

The HHS Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) recently updated its COVID-19 FAQ page to clarify its view of donated Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”) during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Specifically, the OIG clarified that donations to actual or potential referral sources made during the public health emergency would not violate the Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”), so long as the donations are made consistent with the OIG’s guidance.  read more





 




Indiana Announces the Small Business
Restart Fund

On May 29, 2020, Governor Holcomb announced the Small Business Restart Fund (“Grant”) which takes $30,000,000 in federal funding made available through the CARES Act and creates grants for Indiana small businesses.

In order to qualify for the Grant, the applicant must meet all of the following requirements: read more



 






What Every Construction Owner and Entity
Should Do Right Now

Until a few days ago, construction projects seemed to be moving forward notwithstanding the constant barrage of news involving COVID-19.  However, a steadily increasing number of states and local units of government have begun considering, and declaring, states of emergency and local governmental emergencies.  Many questions are being asked about what impact, if any, COVID-19 will have on construction projects, the trades, manpower, scheduling, and overall safety issues on these projects.  read more




DOL Finalizes Rule Providing Alternative
Safe Harbor Method for Electronic Disclosure
by ERISA Retirement Plans

On May 21, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its final rule establishing an alternative safe harbor method of delivery of electronic disclosures by retirement plan administrators. The Alternative Safe Harbor allows employers to post retirement plan disclosures online or deliver them to workers via email, which is expected to significantly reduce administrative costs and provide participants ready access to plan information required to be disclosed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  read more






CFPB Provides Flexibility to Financial Institutions
When Dealing with Billing Errors, Payment Rules
and Deposit Accounts Terms related to the 
COVID-19 Pandemic

On May 13, 2020 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau”) released a Statement on Supervisory Practices Regarding Regulation Z (the “Statement”) and two FAQs regarding the Bureau’s Payment and Deposits Rule (the “Payments and Deposits FAQs”)  and Open-End (not Home-Secured) Rule (the “Open-End Rules FAQs”), providing additional guidance regarding the obligations financial institutions have during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Client Alert outlines the key portions of the Statement and FAQs as provided by the Bureau. read more






Insurance Coverage for COVID-19: Six Steps to
Help Your Business Maximize Insurance Coverage
That May Be Available to Offset COVID-19 Losses and Claims

The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic creates unprecedented and significant challenges for businesses of all sizes. In light of the rapidly evolving circumstances, Krieg DeVault has assembled a COVID-19 Resource Center and Checklist to help your business navigate this crisis.  One important issue that should be front and center for businesses is insurance coverage.  read more




If Our Company Gets Sued Because of 
COVID-19, Will We be Covered by Insurance?

There has been a steady stream of commentary about insurance coverage issues and COVID-19.  Most of the commentary has appropriately focused on first-party coverages, in particular Business Interruption or Business Income coverages.  First-party coverages and business interruption losses can and will remain an important issue with COVID-19.  To be clear, it is not too late to look at your policies and submit a claim to your insurance company under your Business Interruption coverage.  See our commentary here for a simple six-step action plan to maximize insurance recoveries for COVID-19.  But with the easing of shelter-in-place restrictions and ‘return to work’ scenarios imminent, a new phase of COVID-19 may be underway:  third-party lawsuits.  For insurance coverage, this will shift the focus to third-party liability coverages. read more





Exceptions to Indiana's Open Door Law and
Access to Public Records Act Extended Until
June 13, 2020

On March 23, 2020, Governor Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-09 (“Order 20-09”), further easing statutory requirements concerning Indiana’s Open Door Law (“ODL”) and Access to Public Records Act (“APRA”) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For further information concerning Order 20-09, and the particular exceptions granted to political subdivisions and local units, please refer to earlier Krieg DeVault Client Alerts.1

On May 21, 2020, Governor Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-28, titled Back on Track: Reopening Indiana in Stage Three (the “Back on Track Order”). Pertinent to the ODL and the APRA, which were temporarily modified via Order 20-09, the Back on Track Order provides: read more




Force Majeure Considerations for Commercial
Leases in Indiana

The concept of force majeure has garnered significant attention due to the social and economic impact of the novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) resulting in a reduction of operations or closure of businesses, factories, stores and restaurants across the U.S. What does force majeure mean to landlords and tenants, and how can either party properly invoke such affirmative defense? This summary reviews the definition of force majeure, presents its possible interpretation by the Indiana courts, and discusses how landlord and tenants can protect themselves in future leases. read more




IRS Issues Tax-Exempt Bond Guidance 
in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

On May 4, 2020, the IRS provided notice of forthcoming guidance to be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2020-22, dated May 26, 2020.

Exception for Public Hearing Requirement

Revenue Procedure 2020-21 (“RP 20-21”) provides temporary guidance regarding the public approval requirement under § 147(f) of the Code for tax-exempt qualified private activity bonds.  Specifically, in light of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, state and local governmental units have been seeking alternatives to in-person hearings held to meet the public approval requirement. In response, RP 20-21 provides that hearings held by teleconference accessible to interested individuals by calling a toll-free number will be treated as held in a location that is convenient for residents of the approving governmental unit for the purpose of Treas. Reg. §1.147-1(d)(2). Provided this telephonic access is provided, governmental units may provide additional hearing access via internet-based meeting technology. This change is effective beginning May 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020. read more