[COVID-19] California Finance Lenders: How to Remain in Compliance During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Article by

Share This Post

We understand that during this uniquely challenging time, California Lenders are focused on ways to keep their businesses afloat despite fluctuations in the market.

This may lead to changes in location, control persons, directors, trustees, members, managers, branch managers, or qualifying individuals. It is important to know that any of these changes will require an amendment to your California Finance Lender’s license or branch office license.

Any changes to control persons, directors, trustees, members, managers, branch managers, or qualifying individuals must be disclosed to the Department of Business (DBO) within thirty days of the change. If your business decides to relocate, any change in address must be reported to the DBO ten days prior to the move. If lending activities are now taking place at locations not listed on the application for licensure, branch office applications must be submitted. Failing to disclose any of these changes with the required time period could lead to fines and a loss of licensure.  

On March 22, 2020, the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency released guidelines for California Lenders operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines stated that, during the California state of emergency, Lenders and their employees may work from home without obtaining a branch license, but this is subject to strict requirements. These requirements include: not keeping physical business records at home, not meeting with customers at home, creating procedures to supervise employees, ensuring all computers and devices are encrypted and access to the licensee’s network is done via a virtual private network (VPN) that is encrypted, and the licensee and employee taking all other necessary measures to protect consumer data privacy.

The Agency also made some recommendations to licensees. The Commissioner recommended that Lenders offer payment accommodations and ease terms for new loans to affected borrowers. The Department of Business Oversight has indicated that it will not subject modifications of the terms of any existing loans to scrutiny if it is prudently done in order to mitigate losses caused by the pandemic. The Commissioner also recommended that all licensees comply with shelter in place orders and report to the Department any disruption of services provided to consumers.

Questions about this article? Reach out to our team below.
Busted Construction Projects

Busted Construction Projects

Not all construction projects go as planned; construction projects are inherently risky.  A lender is literally providing funds to borrower who will “lego” together the

Too Regional to Fail? A 2023 Tale

Too Regional to Fail? A 2023 Tale

By the time I am publishing this article, there have been millions of words written about the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, why it failed, what controls it did or did not have, etc. Rather than focus on that, I would rather focus on the government’s actions post takeover, the timing, and everything in between.