For purposes of MLA safe harbor check, does the bank have to determine the covered borrower status exactly at application or 30 days before?
No. The bank may qualify for the safe harbor if it timely checks the status either at the time the consumer either initiates the transaction or submits an application to establish an account, or anytime during a 30-day period of time prior to either of these. The check may not be done earlier than this 30-day window, however. See Question #20 from the amended interpretive rule, here: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-26974/p-28
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