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Inside Washington (12/22/2008)

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* WASHINGTON (12/23/08)--The National Association of Mortgage Brokers said Friday that it plans to sue the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to block the Real Estate Settlement Practices Act (RESPA). The group said it will ask for an injunction (American Banker Dec. 22). RESPA would make lenders liable for penalties charged for late payments on property taxes or insurance premiums paid from a mortgage escrow account, prevent lenders from increasing prices on settlement services from third parties, and allow borrowers to sue lenders for violations of the law ... * WASHINGTON (12/23/08)--Financial services industry observers don’t anticipate that the Bush administration will ask for the remaining $350 billion earmarked for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in the $700 billion rescue plan. On Friday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and the Bush administration said it would use $13.4 billion now and another $4 billion in February from TARP to bail out the auto industry (American Banker Dec. 22). Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.), who was appointed to oversee TARP, said the matter will be left for President-elect Barack Obama. If Paulson asks Congress for the funds, the approval likely would be tied to conditions. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said the Treasury will not receive more money from Congress until it agrees to a loan modification plan ...

Baltimore newspaper explores CU MBL cap

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BALTIMORE (12/23/08)--A Baltimore newspaper yesterday focused on credit unions’ effort to lift the statutory cap on member business loans (MBLs). The story features Credit Union National Association Legislative Affairs Vice President Ryan Donovan and Maryland and D.C. Credit Union League President/CEO Mike Beall explaining why Congress should lift the decade-old MBL cap. CUNA’s Donovan “estimates a first-year, $10 billion credit infusion from cap removal,” and that “the fastest-growing loans for credit unions are business loans." The Maryland league’s Beall said lifting the cap would help his state’s small businesses. Use the resource link to access the complete story.

Dodd Kanjorski Waters to address GAC

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WASHINGTON (12/23/08)--Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and two senior members of the House Financial Services Committee--Reps. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)--will address attendees at the Credit union National Association's upcoming Governmental Affairs Conference, which runs Feb. 22-26.
* Kanjorski will speak Tuesday morning, Feb. 24; * Waters will speak Wednesday morning, Feb. 25; and * Dodd will speak Wednesday morning, Feb. 25.
Rep. Kanjorski is the second-ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee--behind Chairman Barney Frank, who is also speaker at this year's GAC--and chief sponsor of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA, H.R. 1537). He also chairs the House subcommittee on capital markets, insurance and government-sponsored enterprises. Rep. Waters chairs the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. She also serves on the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, Technology. In addition to serving as Senate Banking Committee chairman, Sen. Dodd serves on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe; Joint Committee on the Library; Committee on Foreign Relations; Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; and Committee on Rules and Administration. He spent almost a decade fighting to enact the Family and Medical Leave Act. The three lawmakers join House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who heads the panel's subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit. They will speak on Feb. 25. CUNA's 2009 Governmental Affairs Conference is Feb. 22-26 at the Washington Convention Center. Use the resource link to register or learn more.

Feds update ID Theft brochure

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WASHINGTON (12/23/08)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), along with the federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies, Monday announced publication of a revised identity theft brochure to assist consumers in preventing and resolving identity theft. The updated brochure, “You Have the Power to Stop Identity Theft,” focuses primarily on Internet “phishing” by describing how phishing works, offering ways to protect against identity theft, and detailing steps to follow for victims of identity theft. The brochure includes contact information for three major credit bureaus, where to report suspicious e-mails, and where to access additional information. The brochure is available to download from the websites of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, NCUA, and Office of Thrift Supervision. Use the resource link below to access the new brochure or other ID theft resources for credit unions.