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House passes bill to amend TILA points and fees definition for mortgage loans

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives passed a bill to amend the TILA definition of “points and fees” that is used to determine whether a loan is a high-cost mortgage or, for purposes of TILA’s ability to repay...more

IRS Releases Favorable Private Letter Ruling on “Taxable Annuity.”

On April 10, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released PLR 201515001 (Oct. 10, 2014), favorably addressing a “taxable annuity”—essentially, a deferred annuity contract supported, in part, by subaccounts, each of which...more

Title Insurance Regulatory and Legislative Update - April 2015

Title Guaranty Fund Guidelines Adopted: The Title Insurance Task Force met at the NAIC Spring National Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona and adopted the “Title Insurance Guaranty Association-Title Insurance Consumer Protection Fund...more

Claims Made During Policy Period Barred When Arising Out of Facts Disclosed or Required to be Disclosed in Application

In Crown Capital Securities v. Endurance Amer. Specialty Ins. Co. (No. B256241, filed 4/10/15), a California appeals court affirmed summary judgment for a professional liability insurer on a finding that coverage was barred...more

Sale of Online Insurance Products: AMF Releases Recommendations

On April 2, 2015, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the regulatory body responsible for enforcing the legislative framework applicable to the financial sector in Quebec, released a report entitled Internet Insurance...more

Hypothetically Speaking, Mr. Insurance Commissioner, There Is No Need To Answer

A recent case pitted two State of Florida agencies involved in insurance regulation against one another, and resulted in a decision by the appellate court that the Insurance Commissioner could not be compelled to appear as a...more

R&W Insurance in Middle-Market M&A

As competition for middle-market M&A transactions becomes more acute, prospective buyers, particularly private equity firms, wishing to distinguish themselves from others may employ representation and warranty insurance (R&W...more

Recent Developments on Variable Annuity Captive Reinsurance and Hedging Risk Evaluation; and Impacts on VA Issuers

In the midst of the broader discussion within the insurance regulatory community regarding the financial risks potentially posed by captive reinsurers, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has recently...more

New CFPB Consent Orders Point to Growing Indirect Regulation of Title Insurance

The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 granted rule-making authority under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to the CFPB and, with respect to entities under its jurisdiction, generally granted authority to the CFPB to...more

Too Many Changes, More Consultation Required: Comments on Proposed Cooperative Capital Markets Legislation

Comments on the consultation drafts of the uniform provincial capital markets legislation, Provincial Capital Markets Act (PCMA), and new federal capital markets legislation, Capital Markets Stability Act (CMSA),...more

Part 2: Sienkiewicz v Salisbury Group Ltd – Insurers denial of indemnity upheld

In October 2013, James Baird posted an article following the Federal Court’s decision to join insurers to a proceeding issued by the applicants (trustees Mr and Mrs Sienkiewicz and AT Melville Pty Ltd) against their former...more

NCOIL Revises Unclaimed Property Model Act

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) recently adopted an enhanced Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act to address particular concerns regarding the Social Security Death Master File (the DMF). The...more

Morgan Stanley Agrees to Resolution of Multi-State Unclaimed Property Audit

The California State Controller announced an Audit Resolution Agreement with Morgan Stanley on December 23, 2014, which sets forth the terms and conditions for finalizing and resolving an unclaimed property audit that Verus...more

First Circuit’s RAA-Friendly Ruling Stands

The class plaintiffs’ challenge to a group life insurer’s use of so-called retained asset accounts (RAAs) in Merrimon v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America has come to an unsuccessful end. On January 26, the United...more

Court Denies Summary Judgment Motions Despite An Express Agreement To Arbitrate

A New York federal district judge denied Plaintiffs McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP (“McKenna”) and Vincent W. Sedmak (“Sedmak”) motions for summary judgment which sought to stop an arbitration action from Ironshore Specialty...more

The Big Deal About Big Data: What Life Insurers Must Know

Big data and predictive analytics, which forecast future outcomes based on past occurrences, allow companies to examine large stores of data and uncover patterns that can be used to gain a competitive advantage. Long-used in...more

FSOC’s Designation of Nonbank SIFIs: More New Developments

The end-of-year holidays failed to slow the pace of developments surrounding the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) process for designating nonbank Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs) for Federal...more

At the State Level, Is a Fixed-Index Annuity?

The so-called Harkin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act was intended to keep fixed-index annuities outside the SEC’s jurisdiction. But the issue remains unsettled on the state level. For example, an Illinois state court recently...more

STOLI Schemers Must Make Good on Damages Caused

Followers of stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI) issues have likely read over the last few years about Ohio National Life Assurance Corp. v. Davis and the favorable results the insurer obtained in its action against...more

Defray the Costs of CFPB Actions by Utilizing Your Insurance Portfolio

Each year since its creation in 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has steadily increased the number of investigations and enforcement actions commenced against financial companies. These investigations...more

FCA Releases Discussion Paper Under MiFID II

The revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID II”) came into force on 2 July 2014. It will have effect on 3 January 2017, reflecting the period required for European Union member states to transpose its...more

7th Circuit Rules That Title Insurer Is Not Liable for Construction Liens Resulting From Lender’s Failure to Fund

The 7th Circuit has ruled that a lender is not insured by a title company for liens that arise after a construction loan became significantly out of balance and the lender stopped funding. In BB Syndication Services, Inc v....more

Federal Court Practice Update for Insurance Matters

Recent changes in the Federal Court of Australia will streamline how insurance matters are managed and heard by the Court. Specific judges will be allocated to hear insurance related cases within the national Commercial &...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending March 20, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Probate/Quit Claim Deeds: trial court correctly ordered personal representative to issue deeds conveying properties to son and mother, subject to life estate held by son – Ciungu v. Bulea, Case...more

CFPB Issues Arbitration Study – Possible Impact On Reinsurance Unclear

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a study that is critical of arbitration in the context of consumer claims, contenting that arbitration “restricts” the rights and remedies of consumers by limiting or...more

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