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Inside Washington (10/31/2011)
  • WASHINGTON (11/1/11)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) must navigate a disagreement between banks and consumer groups to finalize a rule that would require lenders to verify a borrower's ability to repay a mortgage loan. The Dodd-Frank Act amended the Truth in Lending Act and required regulators to establish "qualified mortgages" that would be exempt from the ability-to-repay standard. Raj Date, the bureau's de facto chief, said CFPB plans to issue a final rule by early next year. Banks and consumer groups are at odds over whether lenders should receive safe harbor protection from liability if they make a so-called qualified mortgage that meets certain criteria rather than verifying the ability of the borrower to repay. Two alternative definitions for a qualified mortgage have been proposed. One would create safe-harbor protection, which is promoted by banks, and would require the loan to meet four specific criteria. The other plan would establish a rebuttal presumption of compliance with a weaker safe harbor. The second plan would require a creditor to meet up to nine criteria. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) supports the safe harbor  proposal because it will make compliance less resource intensive for credit unions. CUNA will monitor the progress of the rule and work with the CFPB to ease the compliance burden for credit unions …

  • WASHINGTON (11/1/11)—The U.S. Treasury on Monday reminded credit unions and other stakeholders that they have until Nov. 14 to comment on how the Treasury's Office of Financial Education and Financial Access (OFEFA) can design, implement and administer certain financial access activities to aid the underbanked and unbanked. The Treasury is developing a multi-year program of grants, cooperative agreements, financial agency agreements, and similar undertakings to promote initiatives aimed at enabling low- and moderate-income individuals to establish accounts in a federally insured depository institution, including federally insured credit unions. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in a comment call asked credit unions to comment on how the Treasury could best help low- and moderate-income individuals to establish accounts in federally insured depository institutions and how the treasury could evaluate which types of accounts would best meet the financial needs of low- and moderate-income individuals. CUNA is also seeking comment on how the Treasury can enable, enhance and assist local, regional, and state start-up collaborations that work with the underbanked. Credit unions must forward their comments to CUNA by the end of today…

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