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Inside Washington (09/18/2008)
* ALEXANDRIA, Va. (9/19/08)—After two years of operating under the conditions of a National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Letter of Understanding (LUA), Toledo Metro FCU has resolved the issues of concern to the agency and the LUA has been terminated. The NCUA announced Thursday that the Toledo, Ohio, credit union has improved its underwriting and compliance with NCUA rules and regulations. Toledo Metro is “open, operating and serving its members,” the agency said in a release. The credit union board members signed the LUA in February and March of 2006 and its details were made public in September of that year. By signing the NCUA document, the credit union officials recognized the credit union's condition and committed to make a "sustained, conscientious effort to correct noted adverse conditions." According to the NCUA, those conditions included: poor loan quality; field of membership violations; delinquency issues; and weak management … * WASHINGTON (9/19/08)--House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said he wants to quicken the loan modification process and will consider changing the mortgage servicing system to give servicers more authority. Frank commended Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Chairman Sheila Bair for systemic loan modifications after IndyMac bank failed, and urged servicers to do the same. FDIC took on 742,000 mortgages after the bank failure, and iy has sent out 7,400 modification proposals. Borrowers with modifications are saving $430 a month, Bair said (American Banker Sept. 18). Modifying loans that servers do not own is a challenge, acknowledged Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America Corp. Michael Gross, Bank of America managing director for loss mitigation, said lawmakers’ expectations for Hope for Homeowners, a modification program scheduled to start Oct. 1, may be too high. Lenders may want to use traditional loan modification methods rather than taking a “haircut” to participate in the Hope program ... * WASHINGTON (9/19/08)--To bolster financial markets, regulators have proposed a number of rule changes. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has placed new limits on short-selling to help financial institutions build up money market accounts (The New York Times Sept. 18). SEC Chairman Christopher Cox also proposed a rule that would require investors and hedge funds to disclose short positions. The Federal Reserve announced Sunday that it had eased rules that would prevent companies from transferring funds to less regulated affiliates. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., have proposed changes to accounting rules that would allow goodwill to be counted as capital. The agencies’ changes are subject to a 30-day comment period ...


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