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July 9, 2014

CUNA's Hampel in The Hill: CUs a good option for anyone

Washington
WASHINGTON (7/9/14)--Washington, D.C.-based newspaper The Hill featured an op-ed by Credit Union National Association interim President/CEO Bill Hampel that underscored that credit union membership is right for all Americans. The Hill , with a circulation of more than 24,000, reaches many legislators and other federal policymakers.

Hampel's letter is a response to a June 24 op-ed by the American Bankers Association that attacked plans to create a credit union to serve professional athletes and their families.  

The proposed credit union, sponsored by the ex-spouse and the mother of professional baseball players, would have financial education as its mission and aim to meet the unique needs of professional athletes at all levels.

Hampel went on to say that while superstars with eight-figure contracts receive most of the attention--especially from the bankers--the proposed Players Choice FCU would serve all athletes.

"Our understanding is that the new credit union referred to by the leader of the trade group for big banks would provide financial management resources to athletes and their families, and serve a number of organizations focused primarily on professional and amateur sports," Hampel wrote. "Their membership would include associations and businesses, and would serve both active and retired athletes.

"Most pro athletes are not millionaires. Also on the list are minor league baseball, basketball and soccer players, many of whom have quite low incomes. A much greater portion of these lower-income athletes are likely to avail themselves of a credit union than would the high-paid superstars, most of whom are probably served by private bankers," Hampel wrote.

"A credit union makes sense for everyone, offering a place for the members to pool their resources and save for their futures and help their colleagues meet their own financial challenges in the meantime."

Hampel's op-ed comes a week after National Credit Union Administration board member Michael Fryzel weighed in on the same topic in The Hill , saying credit unions are part of a financial system that offers a wide variety of services to meet the needs of consumers of all types ( News Now July 3).

CUNA's Hampel also refuted the ABA's claim that that professional athletes don't deserve membership to a credit union specific to their needs in a June 29 editorial by Wayne Green in the Tulsa (Okla.) World . ReadMore

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NCUA will post recorded Listening Sessions to website

Washington
WASHINGTON (7/9/14)--The National Credit Union Administration will begin posting audios of its June 26, July 10 and July 17 Listening Sessions within the next few weeks.  Although the forums are open to any topic, the NCUA's risk-based capital proposal dominated the discussion at the June gathering in Los Angeles and promises to do so at the final two sessions.
 
Originally, the agency had not planned to record the sessions.  However, the NCUA has subsequently said that within a few weeks of each gathering--which is the amount of time the agency expects it will take to transcribe the audios to comply with federal laws on closed captioning for the hearing impaired--the recordings will be posted to the NCUA website.
 
This week's session in Chicago will be attended by NCUA Chair Debbie Matz, as well as board members Rick Metsger and Michael Fryzel. The sessions are scheduled to run from 1 to 4 p.m. (CT) Thursday. Watch News Now for coverage. ReadMore

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Rep. McHenry requests explanation on RBC proposal

Washington
WASHINGTON (7/9/14)--Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), chair of the House Financial Services subcommittee on oversight and investigations, has asked National Credit Union Administration Chair Debbie Matz for several clarifications to the agency's risk-based capital (RBC) proposal.

The letter requests that the NCUA submit answers to a series of questions to the subcommittee no later than 5 p.m. July 18.

The NCUA's proposal would require credit unions to hold capital at 8% of risk-based assets in order to be considered adequately capitalized and 10.5% to be considered well-capitalized. This is in addition to the 6% and 7% leverage ratio requirements to be adequately and well-capitalized. The NCUA would also reserve the right to require credit unions on a case-by-case basis to hold additional capital.

"It is my understanding that this rule would institute far-reaching changes in the Prompt Corrective Action regime, including replacing the agency's current risk-based net worth requirements with new requirements for federally insured credit unions with over $50 million in assets," McHenry's letter reads.

"Given the breadth and scope of the changes the proposed rule would make, the implementation stage will be critical. As a matter of fairness and transparency, the public deserves the opportunity to understand the logic behind this proposal."

McHenry requested that the NCUA provide the subcommittee with the following information:
  • Any cost-benefit analyses performed by the NCUA or that otherwise form part of the administrative record in this matter;

  • The metrics used to determine what asset classifications required revisions;

  • A justification for the revised weighing associated with each individual asset class; and

  • An explanation of the extent to which NCUA examiners would be empowered to assess and make capital recommendations to credit unions that might deviate from the new RBC standards.
ReadMore

CFPB clarifies mortgage rule for surviving family members

Washington
WASHINGTON (7/9/14)--A clarification has been issued to mortgage lending rules that states when a borrower dies, the name of the borrower's heir generally may be added to the mortgage without triggering the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's ability-to-repay rule. The clarification, issued by the CFPB, is meant to help surviving family members who acquire title to a property to take over their loved one's mortgage.

"Losing a loved one should not mean also losing your home. Today's interpretive rule makes it clear that when family members inherit property, they can take over the mortgage without jumping through unnecessary hoops," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "This gives heirs an opportunity to work with the lender to pay off the loan or seek a loan modification."

If a property is legally transferred from family members to their heirs with an outstanding loan still on the property, there can be consequences if the heir cannot add their name to the mortgage. For example, a creditor can deny a loan modification on the grounds that the heir is not officially named on the mortgage.

Since an heir has already acquired the title to the home, the new rule allows the heir's name to be added to the title without triggering the ability-to-repay requirements. The ability-to-repay rule requires lenders make a reasonable, good-faith determination that prospective borrowers have the ability to repay their loans.

In addition, the rule does not require the creditor to determine the heir's ability to repay the mortgage before formally recognizing the heir as the borrower. As the named borrower, the heir may more easily be able to obtain account information, pay off the loan, or seek a loan modification.

The rule can also apply to other family-related transfers, including transfers to living trusts, transfers during life from parents to children and transfers resulting from divorce or legal separation.

Cordray also issued a memo Tuesday clarifying that the CFPB, to the extent permitted by federal law, "recognizes all lawful marriages valid at the time of the marriage in the jurisdiction where the marriage was celebrated."

This rule means any terms used in laws, regulations and policies administered by the CFPB related to family and marital status shall now include lawful same-sex marriages and lawfully married same-sex spouses. This includes the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.

Use the resource links below for more information. ReadMore

CDFI requests comment on new reporting form

Washington
WASHINGTON (7/9/14)--The U.S Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund seeks comment on a new reporting form designed to reduce the burden on CDFIs during the recertification process.

The CDFI Annual Certification and Data Collection Report Form would replace the extensive process currently conducted every three years with a shorter annual report. 

CDFIs traditionally serve economically distressed target markets and provide a range of financial products, such as mortgage financing for low-income and first-time homebuyers and not-for-profit developers; flexible underwriting and risk capital for needed community facilities; and technical assistance, commercial loans and investments to small start-up or expanding businesses in low-income areas. Credit unions represented 177 out of the 811 CDFIs active at the end of 2013, according to a CDFI Fund annual report released last week.

The new reporting form will collect annual financial and impact data from all CDFIs, regardless of whether they have received monetary awards in their last fiscal year. This information will be used to provide the CDFI Fund and the community development finance industry with more insight into the state and accomplishments of CDFIs. 

According to the CDFI Fund, comments are specifically invited on:
  • Whether the collection of information is consistent with the stated background and proposed use necessary for proper performance of the CDFI Fund;

  • The accuracy of the CDFI Fund's estimate of the burden of the collection of information;

  • Ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of collected information;

  • Ways to minimize the collection burden, including through the use of technology; and

  • Estimates of operational or maintenance costs to provide information.
Comments are due on Sept. 9 and should be directed to Brette Fishman, Management Analyst at the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20020; by e-mail to annualreport@cdfi.treas.gov ; or by fax to 202-508-0083.

Use the resource link below for more information. ReadMore

Spots open for OSCUI training sessions July 23 and 26

Washington
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (7/9/14)--The National Credit Union Administration's Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI) is hosting two training sessions during the month of July. Registration for these sessions is still available for credit union staff, managers and leadership.

A training workshop will be held July 23 in Pittsburgh at the Four Points by Sheraton Pittsburgh North Hotel. Industry leaders will lead a discussion on a number of financial operations and strategic management issues.

Sessions include "Protecting Your Credit Union From the Rising Trend of Employment Practices Lawsuits," "Marketing in the Digital Age," "Bank Secrecy Act--Money Services Businesses" and "Examination Modernization."

A leadership boot camp for senior leaders and management will be held July 26 at the Hilton Newark Penn Station Hotel in Newark, N.J. The daylong training program is designed for current and new credit union CEOs.

The program features breakout sessions for managers and directors, providing a chance for credit union leaders to network with their peers. Participants will receive OSCUI's new Credit Union Leadership Resource Guide (see link below). ReadMore
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