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'Ability to repay' rule passes committee, other votes pushed back
WASHINGTON (5/8/14)--Legislation that addresses some credit union concerns regarding points and fee definitions in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's amended final "Ability to Repay" rule was passed, and votes on other financial services bills were delayed, during a Wednesday House Financial Services Committee markup.
Lead sponsor Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) said his Mortgage Choice Act of 2013 (H.R. 3211) aims to "help low- and middle-income borrowers as well as prospective first-time homeowners realize a portion of the American Dream: owning their own home."
The bill, Huizenga said, is "narrowly focused to promote access to affordable mortgage credit without overturning the important consumer protections and sound underwriting required under Dodd-Frank's 'ability to repay' provisions."
Huizenga said he hopes his bipartisan bill will receive a vote "in a timely manner."
Votes were postponed on three other bills that the Credit Union National Association supports:
  • The Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act (H.R. 2673), which would treat mortgages held in portfolio at credit unions and other mortgage lenders as qualified mortgages for purposes of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau mortgage lending rules;
  • The Financial Regulatory Clarity Act (H.R. 4466), which would fight duplicative federal rules; and
  • The Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act (H.R. 4521), which would exempt credit unions under $10 billion in assets from a Dodd-Frank Act requirement that mortgage lenders must hold an escrow account for five years for higher-priced, first-lien mortgages secured by borrower's principal dwelling.
CUNA has stated its support for these bills which would help chip away at the regulatory burden that confronts credit unions on a daily basis.
A vote on these and other bills is expected to be held after the upcoming House District Work Period.

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