OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE WEST VIRGINIA BANKERS ASSOCIATION

Pub. 13 2022 Issue 2

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Crypto-Related Activities: Ask Before You Leap

“Crypto”-related innovation in financial services is expanding at a dizzying pace. Before 2009 when the first Bitcoin was “mined” into existence, cryptocurrencies did not exist. Now there are over 19,000 cryptocurrencies with a market capital of over $1.2 trillion.1 As much as 22% of the U.S. adult population owns Bitcoin.2 Bank core processing vendors are announcing relationships with Fintechs to add cryptocurrency functions to banks’ service offerings.

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The Educated 3(16) Fiduciary

Many financial organizations tout the benefits of their ERISA 3(16) fiduciary services, and, frankly, many of these messages can sound irresistibly compelling. But buyer beware; not all 3(16) fiduciary services are created
equal. In today’s increasingly litigious environment, it is imperative for plan sponsors to be educated consumers of
3(16) fiduciary services.

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I Said, “Stop!” … or at Least I Thought I Did: Borrower Complaint Letters That Trigger a Duty to Respond

Home loan servicers in West Virginia (and the other states covered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit – Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia) now have more clarity about borrower complaint letters that trigger a duty under the Real Estate
Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Regulation X to respond to the complaints.

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The Society of Bank Executives: The Power of Peer Networks

As you know, leading a bank today has never been more challenging; to borrow a phrase from an old General Motors advertisement, “It’s not your father’s
bank.” You and your team work harder than ever to generate income through traditional lending activities and a growing portfolio of services, and as if that isn’t difficult enough in a
post-pandemic, politically-charged, inflationary environment, you find yourself swimming in change, from climate investing and disclosures to cryptocurrencies to ever-evolving
ransomware risks.

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Student Loans: Stressors and Pitfalls as Repayments Begin and CFPB Actions Against Alleged Fraudulent Conduct

On March 13, 2020, near the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S., the CARES Act included a pause for all federal student loans. Nearly 90 percent of student borrowers accepted “the option of pressing the pause button on their” student loans. Thus, the U.S. Department of Education ceased loan payments, applied a 0% interest rate, and stopped collection on defaulted loans (including garnishments). That pause has been extended repeatedly, and borrowers for certain student loans have not been required to make payments for nearly two years. [1] Despite the pandemic pause, the CFPB has actively been engaged in investigation and enforcement activity relating to student loans.

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Are Your Borrowers Getting What They Paid For?

As foreclosures resume after pauses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a predictable uptick in lender title claims has followed. Spotting trends in these
claims can help us identify common traps for the unwary. One recurring category of claim issues seen recently is an incomplete legal description that fails to include all of the parcels the parties intended to convey, often resulting in a
significant encroachment or even lack of title to the parcel where the intended residence is located.

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2022 Young Banker of the Year Award Nominees

Gabrielle “Gabby” Newcomer FNB BankResidential Lending Officer Years in Banking: 15 Gabby was brought on board at FNB Bank on Jan. 5, 2015, with the goal of resurrecting our consumer Mortgage Services department. At this point in time, this business segment was a major challenge for our bank. Gabby had previously worked in community banking and also had …

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A Conversation with EJ Hassan – 2022 West Virginia Young Banker of the Year

The most meaningful contribution I have made in my career was the time spent helping customers navigate the pandemic. In a time of extreme uncertainty that was felt across the entire state, it was an extremely humbling and rewarding experience to play the role of financial first responder. We worked around the clock to process …

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