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CUs' Mortgage Market Access Is Key In Housing Reform: CUNA Testifies Today
WASHINGTON (7/23/13)--Consumers are increasingly choosing credit unions as their mortgage lenders, and it is critical credit unions have fair and readily available access to a functioning, well-regulated secondary market that accommodates their members' demand for long-term, fixed-rate mortgages, Credit Union National Association Chief Economist Bill Hampel will tell members of a Senate Banking subcommittee this afternoon.

Hampel will testify this afternoon before a Senate Banking subcommittee on securities, insurance and investment hearing entitled "Creating a Housing Finance System Built to Last: Ensuring Access for Community Institutions."

The 90-minute hearing is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. (ET).

Sandra Thompson, deputy director, Division of Housing Mission and Goals, Federal Housing Finance Agency, will be the lone witness for on the first witness panel.  On the second panel, Hampel will be joined by the following witnesses: Jack A. Hartings, president/CEO, The Peoples Bank Company on behalf of the Independent Community Bankers of America; Andrew J. Jetter, president/CEO, Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka; and Michael Middleton, chairman/CEO of Community Bank of Tri-County, on behalf of the American Bankers Association.

CUNA has told housing policy makers, through letters to the Obama administration and in earlier congressional testimony, that the needs of credit unions and other small mortgage lenders must be considered as the country moves forward on needed reforms.

Hampel outlined a series of principles that CUNA hopes a new housing market finance system will accommodate during a housing policy discussion hosted last month by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat of the House Financial Services Committee.

Other hearings scheduled for this week include:
  • A Tuesday House Financial Services Committee markup of the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners (PATH) Act of 2013 (H.R. 2767). It could take multiple days to complete consideration of this bill;
  • A Tuesday Senate Banking financial institutions and consumer protection subcommittee hearing entitled: "Examining Financial Holding Companies: Should Banks Control Power Plants, Warehouses, and Oil Refineries;"
  • A Tuesday Senate Appropriations financial services and general government subcommittee markup of the 2014 fiscal year Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill; and
  • A Wednesday Senate Banking Committee hearing entitled "The FHA Solvency Act of 2013."
Also this week, the House is expected to consider the Defense Appropriations bill, the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013 (H.R. 1582) and the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2013 (H.R. 2218). The Senate is expected to renew the motion to proceed to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (S. 1243).

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