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Some CU-backed candidates face runoffs

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WASHINGTON (5/31/12)--Two credit union-backed candidates will face U.S. Senate and House primary runoffs after their Tuesday Texas primary contests failed to declare clear winners.

One candidate, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst (R), will face Republican opponent Ted Cruz in a two-man runoff election on July 31. Dewhurst, who was endorsed by the Texas Credit Union League and has also received support from the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), received 45% of the primary vote, but did not win the more than 50% of the vote needed to win the nomination outright. Cruz tallied 34% of all votes cast in the Republican primary.

The winner of that primary contest is expected to win the Senate seat of the retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), as Texas has not had a Democratic senator in office since 1993. The Texas Democratic primary vote for this Senate contest will also be subject to a runoff vote.

In the House primary, CULAC-backed Marc Veasey (D), a current Texas state representative, received 36.7% of the total primary vote. Veasey will take part in a runoff election against Domingo Garcia (D), who received 24.9% of votes cast.

The runoff winner will take on a to-be-named Republican opponent for the state's newly created 33rd congressional district. That seat represents largely democratic areas of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Credit union candidates saw mixed results in other Texas races. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D), an eight-term House member who was also backed by CULAC, lost his primary contest to former El Paso City Councilman Beto O'Rourke (D), who won with 50.5% of the total vote. O'Rourke will face Republican nominee Barbara Carrasco in November.

Another CULAC-backed candidate, Texas State Senator Michael Jackson (R), came in third in Tuesday's 36th congressional district Republican primary with 19.7% of the vote, and will not compete in the Republican runoff for that nomination. Steve Stockman and Stephen Takach, who received 21.7% and 22.4% of the total votes, will compete for that district's Republican nomination. The winner of that runoff is expected to win the House seat, as there is no Democratic candidate at this time.

The presidency, congressional seats, and state and local positions are all at stake in 2012, and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), CULAC and state credit union leagues plan to work with credit union friendly candidates ahead of their general election contests.

Two CU-backed candidates face runoffs

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WASHINGTON (5/31/12)--Two credit union-backed candidates will face U.S. Senate and House primary runoffs after their Tuesday Texas primary contests failed to decide clear winners.

One of the candidates candidate, current Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst (R), will face Republican opponent Ted Cruz in a two-man runoff election on July 31 to determine who will run as the Republican candidate for a Senate seat.

Although Dewhurst, who was endorsed by the Texas Credit Union League and also received support from the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), received 45% of the primary vote, he needed to win more than 50% of the vote to be declared the winner. His opponent, Cruz, tallied 34% of all votes cast in the Republican primary.

The Texas Democratic primary vote for this Senate contest will also be subject to a runoff vote. The winner of the Republican  runoff  is expected to win the Senate seat of the retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) as Texas has not had a Democratic senator in office since 1993.

In the U.S. House race, CULAC-backed Marc Veasey (D), a current Texas state representative, received 36.7% of the total primary vote. Domingo Garcia (D) also vied for the Democratic nomination, receiving 24.9% of the vote. Veasey and Garcia will face off in a runoff election against later this year.

The runoff winner will take on a to-be-named Republican opponent for the state's newly created 33rd congressional district. That seat represents largely democratic areas of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Credit union candidates saw mixed results in other Texas races. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D), an eight-term House member who was also backed by CULAC, lost his primary contest to former El Paso City Councilman Beto O'Rourke (D), who won with 50.5% of the total vote. O'Rourke will face Republican nominee Barbara Carrasco in November.

Another CULAC-backed candidate, Texas State Senator Michael Jackson (R), came in third in Tuesday's 36th congressional district Republican primary with 19.7% of the vote.

Only the top two contenders will compete in the runoff for that nomination. Steve Stockman and Stephen Takach, who received 21.7% and 22.4% of the total votes, will compete for that district's Republican nomination. The winner of that runoff is expected to win the House seat, as there is no Democratic candidate at this time.

The presidency, congressional seats, and state and local positions are all at stake in 2012, and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), CULAC and state credit union leagues plan to work with credit union friendly candidates ahead of their general election contests.

60-day NFIP extension awaits presidents signature

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WASHINGTON (5/31/12)--Legislation that would extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for 60 days needs only President Barack Obama's signature to become law after the U.S. House passed the extension Wednesday afternoon.

The House bill, H.R. 5740, passed on a 402 to 18 vote. A Senate version of the 60-day extension legislation passed last week.

The program is set to expire today.

Legislation that would extend the NFIP for five years has been approved in the House and by the Senate Banking Committee. House and Senate members have both called for a long-term extension of the NFIP program, and for aspects of the program to be reformed.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has urged for the NFIP to be extended or reformed, as credit unions and other lenders cannot write certain mortgages without NFIP coverage. CUNA this year  also joined a coalition of associations representing homebuilders, the insurance industry, other financial institutions, brokers, and others to ask Congress to act on NFIP issues.

CUNA seeks CU comment on CFPB issues

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WASHINGTON (5/31/12)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is asking mortgage and remittance industry participants to detail how new regulations could create new compliance and cost issues for those institutions, and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has urged credit unions to add their voices to the discussion in a new comment call.

Federal law requires the CFPB to consider the burden that potential regulatory actions could create before the agency moves forward.

The CFPB will collect information on implementation costs, ongoing compliance costs, and other associated costs that new regulations could create for credit unions and other institutions through structured interviews, focus groups, conference calls, written questionnaires, and online surveys. The agency is also seeking information on how the costs created by new regulations could impact consumers, and the products that they are offered.

CUNA in its comment call asks credit unions if they support the CFPB's information collection plans, and whether the collection plans have "practical utility." Credit unions can also suggest ways the CFPB could enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collection process, and how any information reporting burdens could be minimized.

The CFPB is working on new mortgage servicing and disclosure rules as well as overdraft fee regulations, and recently announced its intention to develop new rules for prepaid cards and supervising nonbank financial services providers.

The CFPB also has rulemaking authority over the Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act; the Consumer Leasing Act; the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; the Fair Credit Billing Act; the Fair Credit Reporting Act; the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; the Federal Deposit Insurance Act; the Homeowners Protection Act; the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act; the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act; the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act; the SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act; the Truth in Lending Act; the Interstate Land Sale Full Disclosures Act; and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.

CUNA will collect credit union comments on this issue until June 11. For the full comment call, use the resource link.

Compliance ESIGN and the remittance transfer rule

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WASHINGTON (5/31/12)--Combined remittance notices that are provided electronically to credit union members and others that request remittance transfers online will be required to comply with the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Director of Compliance Information Valerie Moss said in a recent Comp Blog post.

These requirements fall under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Regulation E remittance rule, which goes into effect on Feb. 7, 2013.

ESIGN imposes special requirements on businesses that use electronic records or signatures in consumer transactions, and requires certain disclosures to be provided to consumers before an electronic document can be "signed" online or an electronic transaction can be completed.

Moss in the blog post noted that when a sender electronically requests a remittance transfer, the financial institution that is originating the remittance transfer may provide the pre-payment notice to the sender in electronic form without regard to ESIGN's consumer consent provisions. The receipt may also be provided in electronic form, but must comply with ESIGN.

In the case of a combined notice, Moss said, ESIGN applies since half of the disclosure would fall under those requirements.

For more of CUNA's Comp Blog, use the resource link.

Inside Washington (05/30/2012)

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  • WASHINGTON (5/31/12)--Motivated, it said, by the upcoming 100th anniversary in December 2013 of the signing of the Federal Reserve Act and the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Federal Reserve Banks in November 2014, the Federal Reserve System is preparing an "inventory of historical materials."  The system intends to create its first single point of access to all its historical records, which will include documents, photographs, and audio and video recordings related to the Federal Reserve System and its leaders.  It will create Web access for materials that are currently available from a variety of sources, such as the Federal Reserve District Banks, the Fed Board of Governors and the Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research,  as well as websites housed at universities and other private collections. To continue to expand the inventory of materials available through a single point of online access, the Fed is asking historians, scholars and other members of the public to identify additional sources of Federal Reserve history  …
  • WASHINGTON (5/31/12)--Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced yesterday that he has introduced a bill to prevent officers, directors and employees of financial firms from purchasing insurance that would keep them from having to pay a compensation "clawback" or a civil penalty from their personal assets when their actions result in harm to their companies. Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), ranking member of the Committee on Agriculture, are original co-sponsors of the Executive Compensation Clawback Full Enforcement Act of 2012, which would require any officer, director or employee of a financial firm who is required under a federal financial regulatory law to repay previously earned compensation or to pay a civil penalty to be personally liable for the amounts owed …
  • WASHINGTON (5/31/12)--Federal regulators are expected to reduce the 20% down payment required from borrowers for mortgage lenders to be exempt from holding added credit risk after securitization of home loans. Under the rule proposed by regulators in 2011 in the Dodd-Frank Act, banks would be required to maintain 5% of the credit risk for mortgages and other loans sold to the secondary market (Housingwire May 30). The exception--known as the qualified residential mortgage--requires a minimum 20% down payment from the borrower, a reduced debt-to-income ratio and other requirements. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been working with administration and regulatory officials to ensure the rule does not limit mortgage availability. Regulators are expected to modify restrictions in the finalized rule following the CFPB's analysis, Housingwire said …
  • WASHINGTON (5/31/12)--Jeremy C. Stein on Wednesday took the oath of office for the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors. The oath was administered by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke. President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Stein on Dec. 27. The Senate confirmed him on May 17. Stein was nominated to an unexpired term ending Jan. 31, 2018. The seat was vacated by the resignation of Kevin M. Warsh on April 2, 2011. Prior to his appointment to the Board, Stein was the Moise Y. Safra Professor of Economics at Harvard University, where he taught courses in finance in the undergraduate and doctorate programs. From February to July 2009, Stein served in the Obama administration as a senior adviser to the Secretary of the Treasury and on the staff of the National Economic Council …