Regulators Offer Guidance for Troubled Debt Restructurings



The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the State Banking Regulators issues an interagency statement to provide additional information to financial institutions working with borrowers affected by the coronavirus.

The United States has been operating under a presidentially declared emergency since March 13, 2020, and financial institutions and their customers are affected by COVID-19. The agencies understand that this unique and evolving situation could pose temporary business disruptions and challenges that affect banks, credit unions, businesses, borrowers, and the economy. The agencies will continue to communicate with the industry as this situation unfolds, including through additional statements, webinars, frequently asked questions, and other means, as appropriate.

Working with Customers

The agencies encourage financial institutions to work prudently with borrowers who are or may be unable to meet their contractual payment obligations because of the effects of COVID-19. The agencies view loan modification programs as positive actions that can mitigate adverse effects on borrowers due to COVID-19. The agencies will not criticize institutions for working with borrowers and will not direct supervised institutions to automatically categorize all COVID19 related loan modifications as troubled debt restructurings (TDRs).

The agencies will not criticize financial institutions that mitigate credit risk through prudent actions consistent with safe and sound practices. The agencies consider such proactive actions to be in the best interest of institutions, their borrowers and the economy. This approach is consistent with the agencies’ longstanding practice of encouraging financial institutions to assist borrowers in times of natural disaster and other extreme events. The agencies also will not criticize institutions that work with borrowers as part of a risk mitigation strategy intended to improve an existing non-pass loan.

Accounting for Loan Modifications

Modifications of loan terms do not automatically result in TDRs. According to U.S. GAAP, a restructuring of a debt constitutes a TDR if the creditor, for economic or legal reasons related to the debtor’s financial difficulties, grants a concession to the debtor that it would not otherwise consider. The agencies have confirmed with staff of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) that short-term modifications made on a good faith basis in response to COVID-19 to borrowers who were current prior to any relief, are not TDRs. This includes short-term (e.g., six months) modifications such as payment deferrals, fee waivers, extensions of repayment terms, or other delays in payment that are insignificant. Borrowers considered current are those that are less than 30 days past due on their contractual payments at the time a modification program is implemented.

Working with borrowers that are current on existing loans, either individually or as part of a program for creditworthy borrowers who are experiencing short-term financial or operational problems as a result of COVID-19, generally would not be considered TDRs. For modification programs designed to provide temporary relief for current borrowers affected by COVID-19, financial institutions may presume that borrowers that are current on payments are not experiencing financial difficulties at the time of the modification for purposes of determining TDR status, and thus no further TDR analysis is required for each loan modification in the program.

Modification or deferral programs mandated by the federal or a state government related to COVID-19 would not be in the scope of ASC 310-40, e.g., a state program that requires all institutions within that state to suspend mortgage payments for a specified period.

The agencies’ examiners will exercise judgment in reviewing loan modifications, including TDRs, and will not automatically adversely risk rate credits that are affected by COVID-19, including those considered TDRs. Regardless of whether modifications result in loans that are considered TDRs or are adversely classified, agency examiners will not criticize prudent efforts to modify the terms on existing loans to affected customers.

In addition, the FRB, the FDIC, and the OCC note that efforts to work with borrowers of one-to-four family residential mortgages as described in the modification section of this document, where the loans are prudently underwritten, and not past due or carried in nonaccrual status, will not result in the loans being considered restructured or modified for the purposes of their respective risk-based capital rules.

Past Due Reporting

With regard to loans not otherwise reportable as past due, financial institutions are not expected to designate loans with deferrals granted due to COVID-19 as past due because of the deferral. A loan’s payment date is governed by the due date stipulated in the legal loan documents. If a financial institution agrees to a payment deferral, this may result in no contractual payments being past due, and these loans are not considered past due during the period of the deferral.

Nonaccrual Status and Charge-offs

Each financial institution should refer to the applicable regulatory reporting instructions, as well as its internal accounting policies, to determine if loans to stressed borrowers should be reported as nonaccrual assets in regulatory reports. However, during the short-term arrangements discussed in this statement, these loans generally should not be reported as nonaccrual. As more information becomes available indicating a specific loan will not be repaid, institutions should refer to the charge-off guidance in the instructions for the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income.

Discount Window Eligibility

Institutions are reminded that loans that have been restructured as described under this statement will continue to be eligible as collateral at the FRB’s discount window based on the usual criteria.


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Terry Mulreany
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