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Washington Archive

Washington

NCUA SBA clarify MBL programs in audio event

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WASHINGTON (12/26/08)--Credit unions on Monday tuned into a joint audio conference on the topic of member business loans and the Small Business Administration (SBA). The event featured representatives of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and SBA. The call focused on several SBA programs designed to facilitate greater small business lending, which has recently slowed in light of the current overall economy. Grady Hedgespeth, SBA's director of financial assistance, detailed an interim final rule adopted by the SBA which “uses an alternative base rate for determining the interest applied to certain SBA loans.” This interim rule has resulted in more favorable terms for lenders and is aimed at increasing lending, according to Hedgespeth. He also discussed another recently adopted rule related to weighted average coupons for formulation of pools. This rule allows the aggregation of multiple coupon rates. Frank Kressman, NCUA staff attorney in the Office of General Counsel, discussed NCUA's Member Business Lending (MBL) rule and its relation to SBA lending. The agency’s MBL rule contains collateral and security requirements, as detailed in Parts 723.3 and 723.7, which contains required loan to value (LTV) ratios per safety and soundness concerns. A few years ago, NCUA amended the MBL rule for SBA lending in order to allow CUs to more fully participate in the program, explained Kressman. Specifically, the change removed the language which previously stated that the collateral and security requirements of the MBL rules do not apply to MBLs as part of the SBA program. Kressman reiterated that the SBA 7(a) program was included. NCUA recently released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to review its entire MBL rule. One of the issues includes the LTV rules for construction and development loans and whether they are appropriate or should be adjusted. To access the entire audio conference, use the resource link below.

GAC performer earns presidential honor

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WASHINGTON (12/26/08)--An upcoming presenter of the 2009 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal--one of the highest honors a U.S. president can confer upon a civilian, second only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
President George W. Bush (right) with Gary Sinise after presenting him with the 2008 Presidential Citizens Medal Wednesday, Dec. 10 in the Oval Office of the White House. (Photo provided by White House/Chris Greenberg
Actor and musician Gary Sinise was among 23 people awarded the medal, established in 1969 to recognize U.S. citizens who have “performed exemplary deeds of service for the nation.” Sinise, star of the hit CBS TV show "CSI New York," will perform during the GAC on Feb. 22 with his Lt. Dan Band, formed with Chicago composer Kimo Williams. "Lieutenant Dan" is the character Sinise portrayed in the 1994 blockbuster film, "Forrest Gump," a role that won him an Oscar nomination. The band has completed six tours for the USO and performs regularly for troops around the world. Separately, Sinise is actively involved in a program that provides school supplies to Iraqi children. “The United States honors Gary Sinise for his efforts to improve the human condition and his strong commitment to the selfless men and women who devote their lives to military service,” said the White House in a statement. For more information on the CUNA GAC, use the link below.

Inside Washington (12/25/2008)

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* WASHINGTON (12/26/08)--The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision Monday released a second report on mortgage performance. According to the report, newly initiated foreclosures dropped 2.6% from the second to third quarter, new loan modifications increased 16% to 133,000, and the number of loans modified in the first quarter that were 30 or more days delinquent was 37% after three months and 55% after six months. Banks and thrifts continue to work with borrowers to mitigate losses and keep them in their homes. Newly initiated home retention actions increased 13% from the second quarter to the third quarter, the report said ... * WASHINGTON (12/26/08)--The Hope Now alliance released a statement Monday indicating that it expects to double loan modifications in 2009. Hope Now’s 11-month data also projected that this year, there were 2.2 million foreclosure preventions, 950,000 mortgage modifications, more than 20,000 homeowners helped at 29 workshops, more than one million calls from homeowners to the Hope hotline, and an 18% response rate to 2.9 million letters sent by Hope Now to at-risk homeowners. Hope Now is an alliance of mortgage market participants, mortgage servicers and counselors that aims to help homeowners ... * WASHINGTON (12/26/08)--The Bush administration is planning to stop the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) refinancing program, FHASecure, at the end of the year, industry observers said (American Banker Dec. 23). The program was slated to expire at the end of 2008 after helping 460,000 subprime borrowers refinance, but some consumer groups have encouraged the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the White House to keep it through next year. FHASecure allowed borrowers to refinance into fixed-rate mortgages and was expected to help homeowners who were behind on payments, but it refinanced only 4,000 delinquent borrowers ...