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The CFPB released its final rule on debt collection. The rule prescribes certain disclosures and conduct limitations for covered debt collectors, as that term is defined under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FCDPA). The FDCPA and the Bureau’s final rule will regulate the activities of third-party debt collectors and not entities collecting their own debts, commonly referred to as “first-party debt collectors.”“Credit unions treat members with respect during the debt collection process, and given current environment, need to be free of regulatory hurdles,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “While this rule is designed to implement the FDCPA, we remain concerned about the potential impacts the rule could have on the credit ecosystem. Because they are the owners of the credit union, credit union members have an interest in debt collection practices that are effective, fair and efficient. We will continue to evaluate the rule to determine its full impact on credit unions and their partners."
CUNA filed a comment letter in response to the agency’s RFC on the operating fee and overhead transfer rate methodologies. We emphasized our position that “It is not our intent, nor should it be that of the NCUA, to benefit a federal credit union (FCU) over a federally insured state-chartered credit union (FISCU) or a FISCU over a FCU. . . . Our goal is to ensure a fair distribution of the charges for the supervision of credit unions—consistent with the FCU Act—for all credit unions regardless of charter type.”
We provided input on several aspects of the RFC, including increasing the operating fee exemption for credit unions below $10 million in assets. In addition, we offered suggestions on how the agency can improve the annual diversity self-assessment, which we stress must remain voluntary.
The National Credit Union Administration will host a webinar for credit unions interested in offering payday alternative loans or other forms of short-term lending.
Register here for the November 16th webinar scheduled for 3:00 PM ET.
The NCUA board voted at a special meeting Wednesday to issue a joint interagency proposal on the role of supervisory guidance. The proposal was announced last week, and comments will be due within 60 days of its publication in the Federal Register.
Specifically, it codifies a September 2018 statement that supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law. Agencies issuing the rule include the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
CUNA wrote to the CFPB in support of the intent to eliminate abusive credit card practices but warned against requirements that would make compliance more cumbersome for credit unions. The letter was in response to a request for information on the consumer credit card market, the CARD Act and its implementing regulations.“While CUNA continues to support the stated intent of the CARD Act, which is to eliminate predatory credit card practices, we caution against any expansion of regulatory requirements that would make CARD Act compliance more cumbersome for member-owned credit unions,” the letter reads. “The Bureau should focus on ensuring its rules provide meaningful consumer protections while minimizing regulatory compliance burdens on credit unions that already offer fair and sound credit card services to their members.”
CUNA filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the latest round of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations. This rulemaking is designed to implement a TRACED Act provision requiring review of TCPA’s “prior consent” exemptions. In the letter, CUNA points out that credit unions, as non-profit cooperatives, have a unique relationship with their members that requires unfettered informational communications on issues ranging from governance and financial education to critical fraud alerts and account status calls and texts. Credit union members want and often need to receive these calls, and the adoption of an “opt-out” regime and record keeping obligations would treat these communications like telemarketing calls, hindering credit unions’ ability to provide vital information to their members.
CUNA’s letter further argues that the FCC should not adopt limitations on the number of calls that can be made pursuant to the exemptions for these informational or non-solicitation calls, and asks for an expansion of the existing exemptions for informational calls and texts to wireless phones. CUNA has a petition requesting similar relief on file with the FCC.
CUNA filed a comment letter in support of NCUA’s proposal to amend its regulation governing assessment of the annual operating fee to FCUs. The proposal would primarily:
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB or the Bureau) issued a final rule extending the sunset date for the GSE Qualified Mortgage (QM) Patch. The GSE QM Patch temporarily defines certain mortgages eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as QMs that receive liability protections against claims that the loans were originated in violation of the Truth in Lending Act. This final rule amends Regulation Z to replace the previous January 10, 2021 sunset date of the GSE QM Patch with an expiration on the mandatory compliance date of final amendments to the General QM loan definition, which is being determined through a separate rulemaking.
The National Credit Union Administration will host a webinar on financial inclusion and minority depository institutions on October 21.
Registration is now open for this webinar, “Pathways to Consumer Financial Well-Being: The Importance of Financial Inclusion and Minority Depository Institutions.” It is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Eastern and run approximately 60 minutes. Participants will be able to log into the webinar and view it on their computers or mobile devices using the registration link. They should allow popups from this website.
This webinar is open to consumers, credit unions, and parties interested in working with credit unions to expand access to safe and affordable financial services in underserved communities.
CUNA filed a comment letter in support of the NCUA’s proposed rule that would allow credit unions to phase-in over three years the day-one adverse impact on regulatory capital that will likely result from adoption of CECL. Consistent with regulations issued by the federal banking agencies, the proposed rule would temporarily mitigate the adverse PCA consequences of the day-one capital adjustments, while requiring that credit unions account for CECL for other purposes, such as Call Reports. While consistent with the rule recently adopted by the banking regulators, the NCUA proposal includes a few differences.
We wrote in to Senate Majority Leader McConnell urging that the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness legislation be included in the current pandemic relief package being negotiated in the Senate. S. 4117, the Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act was introduced by Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) at the end of June.“S. 4117 would ensure those businesses can focus their time, energy, and resources back into their business and communities instead of allocating significant time and resources into completing complex forgiveness forms,” the letter reads.
The Board received a briefing on cybersecurity considerations for boards of directors during the pandemic.
CUNA submitted comments to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in response to their update, without change, of certain Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) estimates of the industry burden imposed by customer identification program (CIP) regulations.
CUNA submitted comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency in response to its proposed 2021 housing goals for the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac, and together with Fannie Mae, the GSEs).
Comments on NCUA’s current expected credit loss (CECL) proposal are among several comment deadlines for credit unions during October. CUNA calls on credit unions to submit comments and has prepared a summary of the proposal.
The CFPB released its Outline of Proposals Under Consideration for its small business data collection rulemaking pursuant to Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act. As a result, the Bureau is extending the deadline for financial institutions to complete the Section 1071 One-Time Cost survey.
The survey will remain open until October 16 and is available on the Bureau’s website.
The National Credit Union Administration will host a webinar on financial inclusion and minority depository institutions on Oct. 21.
CUNA wrote to Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI) in support of The Student Empowerment and Financial Literacy Act which would establish a Department of Education grant program encouraging K-12 schools to offer financial literacy programs. This legislation aligns with credit unions’ mission to improve the financial well-being of members.
The program outlined in the bill would award three-year grants through a competitive process, prioritizing educational institutions in underbanked communities.
CUNA submitted comments on the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2024. FHFA is responsible for oversight of the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks) System, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac, and together with Fannie Mae, the GSEs).
The House voted to pass an updated HEROES Act COVID-19 relief legislation. CUNA wrote to House leadership noting areas of supports, specific concerns and additional suggestions. “We appreciate the swift response that Congress and the administration have undertaken to address the economic consequences of the pandemic. More needs to be done, and still more will need to be accomplished in the months and years ahead. As financial first responders, America’s credit unions stand willing and able to help consumers and small businesses during the crisis and into recovery.”
CUNA submitted comments generally supporting the CFPB's proposed “Seasoned” Qualified Mortgage (QM) to aid in the expansion of the residential mortgage market. The CFPB has proposed rulemaking to create a new category of QMs, Seasoned QMs, for first-lien, fixed-rate covered transactions that meet certain performance requirements over a 36-month seasoning period.“The potential of a Seasoned QM category to aid in the expansion of the residential mortgage market in a manner that balances consumer access to affordable credit with meaningful consumer protections is an appropriate use of the CFPB’s rulemaking authority and consistent with its statutory mission,” the letter reads.
CUNA joined other trades in writing to Congressional leadership in support of additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and a simplified PPP loan forgiveness. The letter urges members of Congress not to leave Washington, D.C. without working to pass legislation to add additional PPP funding.“Throughout the pandemic, helping small businesses has consistently been bipartisan,” the letter reads. “As lenders that support our nation’s small businesses and stepped up to help deliver the critical relief the Paycheck Protection Program provided, we strongly urge members of the Senate and House to continue these bipartisan efforts by quickly supporting an extension of PPP funding and a simpler forgiveness process that will make converting loans into grants easier and less technical for millions of small business borrowers that have PPP loans.”
CUNA wrote to the House Financial Services Task Force on Financial Technology prior to the hearing on "License to Bank: Examining the Legal Framework Governing Who Can Lend and Process Payments in the Fintech Age." Credit unions welcome fintech innovation and competition, but are concerned that many products and services offered by fintechs skirt consumer protection regulations example and cited the “payment charter” proposed by Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks.“Recently, Acting Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks, has proposed what has been called a “Payment Charter,” but this appears to be a national money transmitter license that preempts state licenses requirement and provide a possible onramp for nonbanks to directly access to the Federal Reserve's payment clearing system,” the letter reads. “The Acting Comptroller has indicated in several forums that the OCC does not need to pursue rulemaking for the payments charter and that the Acting Comptroller can approve this charter at any time.
CUNA joined with other trade associations to send reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its proposed regulations to eliminate unlawful robocalls pursuant to the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act). The TRACED Act, among other things, requires the FCC to ensure that robocall blocking services are provided to consumers with transparent and effective redress options for callers whose calls are erroneously blocked.
This week, the House of Representatives will complete consideration of H.R. 6270, the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act of 2020. In addition, the House may consider possible coronavirus relief legislation.
The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, September 29, and resume consideration of H.R. 8337, the Continuing Resolution.
In addition to the hearings in Senate Banking and House Financial Services, two House Small Business Subcommittees met this week to discuss the Paycheck Protection Program. We took the opportunity to outline additional steps that should be taken if Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding becomes available and wrote in support of H.R. 7777, Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act and its Senate companion S. 4117.
Below you will find the letter to each respective Committee:
CUNA sent a letter to the Federal Reserve Board in support of their FedNOW development efforts, an instant payment service that the Federal Reserve Banks are developing to enable financial institutions to provide safe and efficient instant payment services in real time.
Section 1071 requires financial institutions to compile, maintain, and report to the bureau certain information about applications for credit made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses. To assist the process, the CFPB is conducting a survey of institutions offering small business credit products to determine potential one-time costs associated with complying with a small business data collection.
The House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee both scheduled hearings on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act - pandemic relief legislation which, among other things, created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Prior to the hearings with Secretary Mnuchin and Chairman Powell we wrote to the Chair and Ranking Member of each Committee urging for the passage of PPP loan forgiveness legislation. Credit unions facilitated more than 170,000 PPP loans averaging $49,000 each.
“While PPP lending has concluded, there are a number of steps that SBA should take if additional funds become available. SBA should improve their national and regional operation in order to provide more timely feedback to lenders and borrowers, including lender prioritization guidance, official guidance formalizing the use of PPP forms and guidance on the loan purchasing process,” the letter reads. “Furthermore, the SBA should issue guidance and forms to reflect that privately insured state-chartered credit unions are eligible to lend through the program.”
CUNA wrote to Chairman Wicker and Ranking Member Cantwell prior to the Senate Commerce Committee's data privacy hearing urging the Committee to enact meaningful data security and privacy legislation.
Last week, Senators Wicker, Thune, Fischer and Blackburn introduced the Setting an American Framework to Ensure Data Access, Transparency, and Accountability (SAFE DATA) Act. If enacted, the bill would simplify privacy and data security laws by a creating national standard which would add protections for all Americans while reducing compliance burdens stemming from compliance with many standards across the states.
CUNA submitted comments supporting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rule on higher-priced mortgage loan (HPML) exemptions. The CFPB proposed several amendments to Regulation Z to exempt certain insured depository institutions and insured credit unions from the requirement to establish escrow accounts for HPMLs.
“We believe that this exemption represents a positive step forward to ensure that small, leanly staffed credit unions are not burdened with costly regulatory obligations that could prevent them from offering mortgage products that are right for a members’ financial situation,” the letter states. “We commend the Bureau for this codification of the statutory exemption.”
The House voted to pass two CUNA-supported pieces of legislation, H.R. 5532, the Ensuring Diversity in Community Banking Act of 2019 and H.R. 6735, the COVID-19 Fraud Prevention Act. Prior to the vote on the House floor, CUNA wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy in support of both pieces of legislation.
H.R. 5532 would encourage federal government deposits in Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), establish a Small Business Administration task force focused on MDIs and Community Development Financial Institutions and require diversity and inclusion reports from each prudential regulator.H.R. 6735 would establish a working group that would be a collaboration between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the goal of helping to protect scam attempts during the pandemic.
CUNA submitted comments to the CFPB regarding their proposed rule titled, “Higher-Priced Mortgage Loan Escrow Exemption (Regulation Z).” This rule amends Regulation Z to exempt certain insured depository institutions and insured credit unions from the requirement to establish escrow accounts for higher-priced mortgage loans (HPMLs).
This week, the House of Representatives will vote on a continuing resolution (text unavailable) to keep the government open past September 30th until December 11, 2020. In addition, the House may consider H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act; H.R. 6210, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act; and H.R. 6270, the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act of 2020.
Also, the House will consider the following bills under suspension of the rules:
H.R. 6735 - COVID-19 Fraud Prevention Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Cindy Axne / Financial Services Committee)
H.R. 5698 - Promoting Secure 5G Act of 2020 (Sponsored by Rep. William Timmons / Financial Services Committee)
H.R. 6294 - Improving Emergency Disease Response via Housing Act of 2020, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Scott Tipton / Financial Services Committee
H.R. 5322 - Diversity in Community Banking Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Gregory Meeks / Financial Services Committee)
H.R. 6934 - To amend the CARES Act to require the uniform treatment of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations under certain programs carried out in response to the COVID–19 emergency, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep Madeleine Dean / Financial Services Committee)
H.R. 7592 - STIFLE Act of 2020 (Sponsored by Rep. Ben McAdams / Financial Services Committee)
The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Monday, September 21st and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #603, Edward Hulvey Meyers, of Maryland, to be a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims for a term of fifteen years.
Summary of the September 2020 NCUA Board Meeting.
CUNA wrote to NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood to engage with NCUA on pandemic-related issues.
FinCEN is issuing a final rule implementing sections 352, 326 and 312 of the PATRIOT Act and removing the anti-money laundering program exemption for banks that lack a Federal functional regulator, including non-federally insured credit unions.
Prior to the House Financial Services Committee hearing re: “Prioritizing Fannie’s and Freddie’s Capital over America’s Homeowners and Renters? A Review of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry about how mortgage forbearance, homeowner and rental assistance programs, and the refinance fee increase affect credit unions and their members.
Our letter writes in support of H.R. 6729, the COVID-19 Homeowner Assistance Fund Act, which provides $75 billion for states and territories to prevent mortgage defaults, foreclosures, and displacements of individuals and families experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Roger Wicker and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell prior to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation's markup scheduled on a number of bills. Our letter was written in support of S. 4159, the E-SIGN Modernization Act.
The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (“E-SIGN Act”), was enacted in 2000, when the Internet was a simpler place in terms of capability, yet the Internet was much more complex to use as many standards were still being developed. Thus, because the E-SIGN Act was designed in the commercial Internet’s infancy, updates are needed to ensure efficient commerce over today’s much more mature and capable Internet.
The E-Sign Modernization Act of 2020 is a strong step toward balancing community health with financial well-being. Enhancing consumer access to online services will ensure that consumers and the financial first responders meeting their pecuniary needs remain safe in our current operating environment. Specifically, it would remove the requirement in the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act requiring consumers to reasonably demonstrate their ability to access information electronically prior to consenting to electronic records.
The CFPB released an Outline of Proposals Under Consideration for a small business lending data collection and reporting rulemaking pursuant to Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 1071 requires financial institutions to collect certain data regarding applications for credit for women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses, and to report that data to the Bureau on an annual basis.
A high-level summary of the Outline can be found here. The Outline describes proposals being considered to implement Section 1071 along with the relevant law, the regulatory process, and an economic analysis of the potential impacts of the proposals on directly affected small entities.
The CFPB, in collaboration with the SBA, will convene a Small Business Review panel in October 2020 to consult with small entities regarding the potential impact of the proposals under consideration, in advance of issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking.
CUNA and all of the state credit union leagues wrote to Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McCarthy expressing strong support for simplifying the Paycheck Protection Program’s (PPP) loan forgiveness process to better serve the small business borrowers adversely affected by COVID-19.
America's credit unions urge enactment of S. 4117 and H.R. 7777, the Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act.
This week, the House of Representatives will vote on H. Res. 908, a resolution “Condemning all forms of anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID-19”; H.R. 2574, the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act of 2019; H.R. 2639, the Strength in Diversity Act of 2019, and H.R. 2694, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Monday, September 14, and resume consideration of Mark C. Scarsi to be a United States District Judge for the Central District of California.
CUNA filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Friday in Facebook Inc. v. Duguid supporting a narrow scope for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) definition of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS). The brief raises concerns about the TCPA’s effect on credit unions who may rely on technology systems to efficiently and effectively contact their members with important information regarding their accounts, including mandatory servicing calls and fraud alerts.Confusion about the scope of the ATDS definition and use of efficient autodialing equipment to contact member-owners has led to an uptick in TCPA lawsuits filed against credit unions, including three recent cases filed at the federal level. “With the threat of litigation against leanly staffed credit unions, consumers run the risk of missing out on important information regarding their accounts. It is critically important that the ATDS definition is clarified so that communications from credit unions – and other upstanding institutions like those in the healthcare and educational fields– are not hindered from sharing vital information,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We stand alongside countless organizations such as Facebook in need of technology options that allow them to effectively contact their customers.”
NCUA will receive vote on a final appraisals rule at its Sept. 17 board meeting, among other items on the agenda.The meeting will be a live audio stream available starting at 10 a.m. (ET) on NCUA.gov.The complete agenda is:
CUNA wrote to the House Small Business Committee prior to their hearing on transparency in small business lending. In the letter, we wrote how credit unions are robust business lenders and could do more to help with the pandemic recovery. Specifically, we reminded the Committee that the member business lending cap of 12.25% of assets restricts capital from getting to Main Street businesses in need.“We urge Congress to enact legislation that exempts credit union business loans made during federally declared disasters and emergencies from the arbitrary credit union business lending restriction,” the letter reads.
CUNA joined trades in writing to Senators Perdue (R-GA) and Blumenthal (D-CT) in support of bipartisan Senate efforts to extend the Covered Business Method (CBM) review program at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Senators support efforts to extend the CBM program, which is scheduled to expire Sept. 15.The CBM program was created by Congress in 2012 (part of the American Invents Act (AIA)) to help cut back on a large increase in business method patent litigation driven largely by Non-Practicing Entities asserting low-quality business method patents. The program allows the USPTO to review whether the patent in question should have been granted in the first place.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Beatty and Ranking Member Wagner prior to the House Financial Services subcommittee on diversity and inclusion's hearing with financial regulators. CUNA and its members are committed to ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) continue to play a meaningful role throughout every aspect of the financial services sector. The letter included support for several pieces of legislation it believes would advance DEI principles in financial services.“The nation’s 5,300 credit unions are committed to enhancing DEI in our member-owned, democratically controlled, not-for-profit financial cooperatives,” the letter reads. “This commitment manifests itself in several ways, including research efforts to establish a baseline and eventually measure changes in diversity, equity, and inclusion at credit unions; the establishment of the Credit Union DEI Collective—a network of credit union system partners, including NCUA—which is dedicated to deepening DEI in the credit union movement; a large and growing number of educational opportunities to support credit unions on their DEI journey; and CUNA hiring a Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to lead its DEI efforts.”
CUNA submitted comments to the CFPB regarding their interim final rule titled, “Qualified Mortgage (QM) Definition Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z): General QM Definition.” This rule would amend Regulation Z to, among other things, replace the 43% debt-to-income (DTI) requirements and Appendix Q DTI calculation requirements with a more streamlined price-based approach.
On October 5-9, 2020, the CFPB will host a virtual Tech Sprint on Adverse Action.
The Bureau seeks sprint participants to develop innovative electronic ways to notify consumers of, and inform them about, adverse credit actions. Innovations may concern any aspect, or potential aspect, of adverse action communication, including its development or use. Participants may—but do not have to—address adverse actions based on the use of machine learning algorithms or data not found in traditional credit reports.
Learn more about Tech Sprints
Apply to participate in this Tech Sprint
The application deadline is Friday, September 11, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
The Senate will next convene for legislative session at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, September 8, and resume consideration of Brett H. Ludwig to be a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
The House of Representatives will be in pro forma session this week.
The CFPB announced plans to host a Combined Advisory Committee Meeting via conference call on September 15. The advisory groups will meet with the Bureau’s Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law to share recommendations on improvements to the current state of federal consumer protection laws, regulations, and practices.
The meeting is part of the Taskforce’s ongoing public outreach effort to solicit feedback to inform its work. Interested parties can RSVP here.
Separately, the CFPB will host a regular meeting of the Advisory Committees via conference call on September 23. The advisory groups will discuss the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Consumers and the Financial Marketplace, the ECOA RFI on Preventing Credit Discrimination and Building a More Inclusive Financial System, and Elder Fraud Prevention and Response Networks (EFPRN).
The meeting is open to the general public. Interested parties can RSVP here.
The NCUA and other federal financial regulators extended the deadline for comments on the interagency Q&As regarding flood insurance.
CUNA joined with other trade associations to send comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its rulemaking for the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act).
CUNA filed a letter with FHFA regarding the capitalization framework for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
CUNA filed a letter with NCUA in support of the agency’s efforts to modernize the examination process.
NCUA's Ask the Regulators webinar, “Basics of PPP Loan Forgiveness and the SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness Platform,” has been rescheduled to September 3.
Credit unions can learn more about potential collaborations with NeighborWorks America during an upcoming webinar hosted by the National Credit Union Administration.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned evictions until at least December 31, 2020.
The NCUA is looking for comments on their proposed rule that would, for purposes of determining a credit union’s net worth classification under PCA, have them phase-in the day-one adverse effects on regulatory capital that may result from adoption of CECL.
CUNA, AACUL, and all of the state credit unions Leagues wrote to Director Calabria detailing the impact of the fee and urging a delay of the implementation of the GSE refinance fee. CUNA had previously written the Director and joined other trades in strong opposition of the fee.
“Credit unions provide consumers with good faith estimates of closing costs, interest rates and other loan terms well in advance of loan closing so they can understand and determine if refinancing will help them reduce monthly payments, pay off high interest debts and/or make a large purchase,” the letter reads. “Unfortunately, the fee’s September 1, 2020, effective date has caused significant disruptions to applications throughout credit union loan pipelines.”
Later in the day, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced it will delay implementation of its GSE refinance fee until December 1, past the original effective date of September 1. The Agency also announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will exempt refinance loans with loan balances below $125,000, nearly half of which are comprised of lower income borrowers at or below 80% of area median income. Affordable refinance products, in Fannie Mae’s Home Ready and Freddie Mac’s Home Possible programs, are also exempt.
The CFPB issued a request for information to assess the impact of the rules on the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act Rules).
The Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, National Credit Union Administration, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors will host a joint webinar on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. EST on the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Platform.
CUNA submitted comments in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed Advisory Opinion (AO) program that would provide another mechanism through which it may better enable regulatory compliance. The proposed AO Program would allow parties to request interpretive guidance in the form of an AO, to resolve questions regarding regulatory uncertainty.
The Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today issued a joint statement clarifying that Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) due diligence requirements for customers who may be considered "politically exposed persons" (PEPs) should be commensurate with the risks posed by the PEP relationship.
The Bureau issued a request for information (RFI) asking for information to identify opportunities to prevent credit discrimination, encourage responsible innovation, promote fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit, address potential regulatory uncertainty, and develop viable solutions to regulatory compliance challenges under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B.
CUNA submitted a comment letter to NCUA regarding the agency’s annual review of one-third of its regulations. We used the opportunity to reiterate ongoing issues as well as raise several new issues with certain regulations.
CUNA continued its strong opposition to a recently announced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fee increase for certain purchased refinanced mortgages. In a letter sent to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mark Calabria, a day after CUNA joined a broad a coalition of organizations representing housing, financial services industries as well as public interest groups to issue a statement calling for the fee, scheduled to begin September 1, to be withdrawn.
"This late night, peremptory proclamation by the GSEs threatens to undercut the mortgage market for borrowers who are benefitting from refinancing in an environment of historically low interest rates. Given the serious challenges faced by American families due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 emergency, we are unable to understand why the GSEs would be encouraged or allowed to undermine the mortgage refinancing market, one of the few bright spots in our economy at the moment. Refinanced mortgages can lower payments for borrowers and provide them with liquidity needed to pay off high interest debt, make needed home repairs or provide funds for a purchase. Not only will this decision raise costs for credit union members and other borrowers, it may ultimately price some of our most vulnerable potential homeowners out of the market."
UNA submitted comments to the CFPB in response to their interim final rule titled, "Treatment of Certain COVID-19 Related Loss Mitigation Options Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)(Reg X)."
CUNA joined a broad coalition of organizations representing the housing, financial services industries as well as public interest groups to issue the following statement on the GSEs’ new adverse market fee.
CUNA submitted comments to the CFPB in response to their request for comment regarding their interim final rule titled, “Qualified Mortgage (QM) Definition Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z): Extension of Sunset Date.”
CUNA expressed support for the Department’s goal of protecting workers and retirees and provided several recommendations for the Department to consider prior to finalizing the proposed exemption.
CUNA continued its strong push to include Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness language in the next phase of pandemic relief legislation by updating the action alert calling on credit unions and small business to support the bill.There are bipartisan Senate and House bills offering simplified forgiveness of PPP loans under $150,000 that credit unions are advocating for inclusion as Congress continues negotiations on COVID-19 relief legislation.The bills would also ensure a lender will be held harmless from any enforcement action if the borrower’s attestation contained falsehoods.In addition to reaching out to members of Congress urging them to support inclusion, CUNA is also asking credit unions to activate their members to share with Congress the importance of having the PPP loans forgiven.
The Senate Banking Committee advanced Kyle Hauptman's nomination by a voice vote this afternoon. Mr. Hauptman's nomination for the NCUA Board will now go to the full Senate floor for a vote.
CUNA historically does not take positions on presidential nominations, but submitted a letter for the hearing featuring Hauptman’s testimony commending NCUA’s recent actions and hoping any future nominee will build on that momentum.
CUNA submitted comments to the CFPB in response to their notice of proposed rulemaking amending Regulation F, which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The proposal would amend Regulation F to require debt collectors to make certain disclosures when collecting time-barred debts (debts for which the applicable statute of limitations has expired).
“We respectfully recommend the Bureau continue to rely solely on its Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) authority when promulgating rules governing the practice of debt collection,” the letter reads. “The FDCPA provides the Bureau with ample ability to achieve its desired limitations on third-party collections without exposing credit unions that collect their own debts to expanded regulatory compliance and litigation burden.”
Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced legislation that would create a $2 billion Community Development Institutions (CDFI) crisis fund to help with pandemic recovery. CUNA wrote to the Senator in support of his legislation the day it was introduced.
“The pandemic and ensuing economic crisis has had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities and the policy response needs to recognize that more needs to be done to help these communities recover,” Nussle said. “Sen. Schatz’s legislation to create a CDFI Crisis Fund will ensure that CDFI credit unions can get much needed resources to our most vulnerable communities, reducing the pain experienced as the result of any number of disasters.”
CUNA wrote to Representatives Houlahan (D-PA) and Upton (R-MI) in support of H.R. 7777, legislation “To provide automatic forgiveness for paycheck protection program loans under $150,000, and for other purposes.”
If enacted, H.R. 7777 would provide forgiveness for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $150,000 or less if the borrower submits an attestation form to the lender. It also ensures that the lender will be held harmless from any enforcement action if the borrower’s attestation contained falsehoods.
America’s credit unions have issued thousands of PPP loans to help small business owners recover from the impact of the pandemic. For the country’s smallest credit unions, that amounts to over 60,000 loans averaging just $49,000—a true measure of just how crucial this program has been to the mom and pop organizations that keep Main Street resilient.
CUNA wrote to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to express appreciation for the proactive effort to amend Regulation Z to facilitate the LIBOR transition for consumer financial products in response to LIBOR’s planned discontinuation after 2021. Currently, LIBOR is expected to be discontinued sometime after 2021 and the CFPB intends for a final rule on LIBOR to take effect on March 15, 2021 (except for certain change-in-term requirements for credit cards and home equity lines of credit.)“CUNA generally supports the Bureau’s proposal and believes clarity of compliance expectations surrounding the LIBOR discontinuation is beneficial for financial institutions and, ultimately, consumers.”
CUNA submitted comments to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in response to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking regarding national bank and federal savings associations’ digital activities. We are concerned that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is considering “industry altering changes” without sufficient public consideration.
Although Acting Comptroller Brooks in his comments mentions that this charter will have a narrow focus within the Comptroller’s authority, we are concerned chartering such a special purpose bank represents a significant policy change at the OCC that should only be done after careful consideration and public rulemaking so that public policy and the public’s interests can be thoroughly considered,” CUNA wrote.
The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm today to resume consideration of Mark Wesley Menezes to be Deputy Secretary of Energy.
The House of Representatives in not in session this week.
Credit unions, CUNA and state credit union leagues met with Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) on Friday afternoon to discuss credit union involvement in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and his proposed bill to forgive most PPP loans. Senator Cramer is the lead sponsor of the bipartisan S. 4117, the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, which would make PPP loan forgiveness easier for loans under $150,000 and provide lenders with liability protection. The conversation was held through a web meeting hosted by CUNA.
“Here in the Dakotas, credit unions really stepped up in the PPP process, as a third of our credit unions were involved in that and Senator Cramer is a longtime friend of the credit unions,” Jeff Olson, President/CEO of the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas, said during his introduction of the Senator.
On August 19th, the NCUA will host the Export-Import bank for a webinar on lending opportunities for small business exporters. The webinar, “Export Financing for Your Small Business Members,” is scheduled for August 19, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern. Online registration is now open for the free webinar.
CUNA wrote two letters to Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader McCarthy (R-CA) this week.
The first was in support of the FY2021 FSGG and the second was in opposition of a postal banking provision that was included in the FY2021 FSGG.
The NCUA Board approved a final rule for field of membership and proposed rules for transition to CECL methodology and fees paid by FCUs. The Board also approved a request for comment on the overhead transfer rate and operating fee methodologies. Lastly, the Board was briefed on NCUA’s 2020 mid-session budget.
Kathy Kraninger, Director of the CFPB, testified on both sides of the capitol this week for the CPFB's semi-annual report to Congress. Prior to both hearings, CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) and to Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) and Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC). Both letters urged for additional flexibility and compliance assistance for the duration of the pandemic.
Needed flexibility for the duration of the pandemic includes:
CUNA also called on Congress to act to protect credit unions from frivolous litigation arising from actions to assist financially distressed members during the pandemic, to establish a bipartisan commission to lead the CFPB and reiterated its call for the CFPB to ensure execution of its regulatory agenda ensures credit unions are able to provide safe and efficient products and services.
CUNA wrote to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in support of updating the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) requirements for complying with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulation that requires financial institutions to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) Adjustment to the PRA burden calculation.CUNA believes this will “lead to greater accuracy in detailing the true cost to a financial institution for filing a SAR,” according to its letter of support.Specifically, the proposal would expand the annual PRA burden estimate to cover three stages of the SAR production process:
CUNA's Chief Advocacy Officer wrote to credit unions urging them to contact their Members of Congress in support of S. 4117 and H.R. 7777 to help streamline the forgiveness process for the Paycheck Protection Program loans.
The bills would allow small businesses that have received PPP loans of $150,000 and less to have their loans forgiven.“This legislation will help small business owners remain focused on their communities and employees, rather than burdensome regulatory hurdles,” said CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. “The more that credit unions can do to keep Main Street businesses resilient amid this pandemic, the stronger our economic recovery will be.”
This week, both the House and Senate are in session. The House will consider H.R. 7617, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2021 [Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act]. This is the second appropriations “minibus” to be considered by the House this month.
The Senate is expected to release “Phase 4” coronavirus relief legislation. The Senate will also consider several judicial nominations.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown as follow-up to the recent letter outlining credit union priorities in the upcoming COVID recovery legislation.
In addition to the issues raised in the previous letter, we raised the issue for the NCUA to have additional authority to adjust capital requirements for credit unions impacted by crisis. "Credit union capital requirements are different than bank requirements in several respects, including that only retained earnings count as Tier I capital for credit unions and thresholds for credit union capital levels are hardwired into statute. These limitations restrict NCUA in its ability to provide accommodations to otherwise healthy credit unions impacted by natural disaster, pandemic and other crises."
Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Fred Upton (R-MI) introduced legislation that would simplify loan forgiveness from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). “America’s credit unions fully support Reps. Houlahan and Upton’s legislation,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “Instead of jumping through burdensome regulatory hurdles, America’s small business owners and Main Street financial institutions will be able to focus on serving their communities.”The bill, H.R. 7777, would:
The Senate passed its FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with a CUNA-opposed provision expanding a military base lease exemption. The House overwhelmingly passed its version of the NDAA without the provision July 21. CUNA, Leagues and credit unions are advocating to ensure it is not included in the final version.“We’re disappointed the Senate bill passed with this provision, but CUNA, Leagues and credit unions will engage with policymakers going forward to ensure this expansion does not make it into the final bill,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “Credit unions’ legacy of service to military members and their families are the reason credit unions are eligible for such an exemption in the first place, and for-profit banks answering to shareholders simply can’t match that.”The bill will now go to Conference Committee, where representatives from both chambers will work out a compromise version to send to the president.
CUNA wrote to Congressional leadership as discussions on a fourth phase of COVID-19 relief legislation are expected to begin in the coming days and weeks.
“As the pandemic persists in the United States, the American economy has been shaken. In these uncertain times, credit union’s top priority is keeping their members, volunteers and employees safe while remaining in a position to serve members and the community during and after the crisis. That said, as you continue your work to provide resources to American families and small businesses, we encourage you to remove barriers and address issues in order to ensure credit unions can fully serve and support their communities." Jim Nussle, CUNA President/CEO
The House passed a “minibus” appropriations bill, legislation containing funding for the several government agencies. The bill is the first piece of government funding legislation to pass through a chamber of Congress this year with federal funding scheduled to expire September 30. Prior to the vote, CUNA wrote to House leadership in support of funding for the Cooperative Development program. The legislation that passed the House includes $17 million for the program, which funds initiatives run by the World Council around the globe.
The NCUA revealed their agenda for their July 30 meeting.
The CFPB has launched a survey of institutions offering small business credit products to determine potential one-time costs associated with complying with Section 1071 of the Dodd Frank Act
The CFPB will host a symposium on the use of cost-benefit analysis in consumer financial protection regulation on July 29, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown prior to the Senate Banking Committee's nomination hearing for the NCUA Board. CUNA hopes any potential nominee for the NCUA board will build on the agency’s positive momentum of recent years while coordinating with other agencies.
CUNA joined trades in writing to Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Thornberry of the House Armed Services Committee in support including legislation to end the abuse of anonymous shell companies and modernize anti-money laundering (AML) requirements and expectations in the NDAA FY21. A proposed amendment to the bill would add legislation from Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) with the AML modernizations to the NDAA, which the House will consider over several days this week.
CUNA filed a comment letter with NCUA in support of its proposed rule intended to updated, clarify, and simplify provisions of its regulations pertaining to corporate credit unions.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency proposed its 2021 housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Due to the economic uncertainty related to the current pandemic, FHFA is proposing benchmarks for calendar year 2021 only, and those levels will remain the same as they were for 2018-2020.
The FCC on Thursday voted 5-0 to approve an Order and issue a proposal addressing many CUNA, League and credit union concerns with automatic call blocking.
The NCUA penned a letter to credit union boards and CEOs regarding updates to their 2020 supervisory priorities to reflect economic conditions that emerged in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as various statutory and regulatory changes that have occurred since March 2020.
This week, both the House and Senate are in session. The House will consider H.R. 6395, the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. In addition, the House will vote on H.R. 7608, the State, Foreign Operations, Agriculture, Rural Development, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2021.
The Senate will resume consideration of Russell Vought to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Also, the Senate will continue its consideration of S. 4049, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.
The House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2021 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act. The bill contains funding for several credit union priorities, as well as other provisions relevant to credit unions.The bill funds the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at $273.5 million, an $11.5 million increase from last year. CUNA has called for $300 billion in funding.
Prior to the House Small Business Committee, CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Velázquez and Ranking Member Chabot about the changes to regulations and the creation of new lending programs have, and will continue to help consumers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. CUNA thanked Congress for its efforts to establish the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as the Federal Reserve for creating a PPP Liquidity Facility, which made it easier for credit unions to make PPP loans without liquidity concerns.
Credit unions have supported more than a million pandemic-affected members through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote to all 535 Congressional offices. Billions of dollars remain available through the program, which Congress extended to August 8.The email included information about how credit unions can continue to help members through the pandemic, more so if Congress:
Prior to the Subcommittee's hearing, CUNA wrote to Chairman Green and Ranking Member Barr about the need for credit unions to remain in a position to help Americans and small businesses across the country as COVID-19 persists. With that in mind, extending the Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR) exemption and Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) enhancements through 2021 would have a significant impact in ensuring credit unions continue to be there for their members.
CUNA wrote to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in response to the notice and request for comment regarding renewal of information collection relating to the currency transaction report (CTR) requirements.
We support FinCEN updating the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) burden estimates from complying with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulation that requires financial institutions to report transactions in currency of more than $10,000 using FinCEN Report 112, the CTR report. Adjustment to the PRA burden calculation will lead to greater accuracy in detailing the true cost to a financial institution for filing a CTR.
The NCUA will be hosing a conference call for credit unions interested in learning more about updates to the Small Business Administration’s lending programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program. The call will be at 3 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, July 14.
This week, the House and Senate are in recess. However, the House will continue to have committee meetings.
The U.S. Supreme Court joined the debate over what qualifies as an autodialer under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), agreeing to hear Facebook Inc. v. Duguid. According to the order issued today, the court will decide “whether the definition of ATDS in the TCPA encompasses any device that can ‘store’ and ‘automatically dial’ telephone numbers, even if the device does not ‘us[e] a random or sequential number generator.’”CUNA and leagues have continued to call for clarity from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) since its 2015 TCPA ruling, which has led to uncertainty over credit unions being able to contact members with important account information without being exposed to legal action.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Beatty and Ranking Member Wagner of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion prior to the Committee's hearing entitled, "Access Denied: Challenges for Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses Accessing Capital and Financial Services During the Pandemic." Credit unions recognize that financial inclusion and access to capital are critical to ensuring the survival of many of our nation’s most vulnerable small businesses, especially women- and minority-owned businesses (MWBEs).“During economic and financial crises, credit unions have stood out with their focus on mission and we have continued lending to help members navigate through tough times while banks were more concerned with preserving capital, Indeed, credit unions are more likely than other lenders to continue to lend during recessions.”
CUNA joined several organizations calling on leadership of the House and Senate Small Business Committees to support of S. 4117, “The Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act a bill to simplify forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under $150,000. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-NN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced the PPP Forgiveness Act.“PPP loans of $150,000 and under account for 85% of total PPP recipients, but less than 26% of PPP loan dollars,” the joint letter reads. “Expediting the loan forgiveness process for many of these hard-hit businesses will save more than $7 billion and hours of paperwork…Small businesses and their employees are the backbone of our nation’s economy and communities. Their time and resources would be better focused on getting the economy safely back up and running, not processing burdensome paperwork.”
CUNA wrote to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) expressing concern that the administration’s budget request does not include adequate funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund or the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF).The Treasury’s CDFI Fund and NCUA’s CDRLF are two important funds that help credit unions advance underserved communities. The CDFI Fund makes capital grants, equity investments and awards for technical assistance to CDFIs for community development initiatives such as small businesses, community facilities, and low-income housing.CDFIs such as Community Development Credit Unions (CDCUs) are charged with supplying low-income, distressed communities with traditional banking services such as savings accounts and personal loans, and offering individuals the tools needed to become self-sufficient stakeholders in their own future.
The CFPB issued a final rule rescinding the mandatory underwriting provisions of the 2017 rule after re-evaluating the legal and evidentiary bases for these provisions and finding them to be insufficient. The final rule does not rescind or alter the payments provisions of the 2017 rule.
The Bureau stated it intends to move forward with implementing the payments provisions of the 2017 final rule, including a provision that prohibits lenders from making a new attempt to withdraw funds from an account where two consecutive attempts have failed unless consumers consent to further withdrawals. The payment provisions also require lenders of covered products to provide consumers with written notice before making their first attempt to withdraw payment from their accounts and before subsequent attempts that involve different dates, amounts, or payment channels.
CUNA wrote to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations and Related Programs in strong support of the Cooperative Development Program (CDP) and the $17 million funding level for fiscal year 2021.The CDP is a global initiative that focuses on building capacity of cooperative businesses and cooperative systems for self-reliance, local ownership, and sustainability.
CFPB released a document of frequently asked questions regarding prioritized assessments
CUNA filed a
comment letter in support of NCUA’s proposed rule on joint ownership proposal for share accounts.
CUNA filed a letter today in support of the NCUA’s proposed rule on subordinated debt.
he House and Senate passed a bill that would extend the deadline for applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The president is expected to sign it shortly.The bill, introduced by Senate Small Business Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), would extend the deadline for applying for PPP loans to August 8.Though the PPP still has approximately $130 billion in unspent funds, the program expired June 30 at midnight.Credit unions are strong supporters of the PPP, but CUNA has engaged with Congress, the Treasury and Small Business Association with concerns about the program, including on the need for guidance on several matters and lender liability protection.
CUNA wrote to Senators Cramer (R-ND), Menendez (D-NJ), Tillis (R-NC), and Sinema (D-AZ) in support of their recently introduced legislation - Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act. If enacted, this legislation would simplify loan forgiveness from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and has CUNA’s full support.
In the letter CUNA wrote, "This bill will allow America’s small business owners and Main Street financial institutions to remain focused on serving their communities rather than jumping through burdensome regulatory hurdles. Specifically, this bill would provide forgiveness for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $150,000 or less if the borrower submits an attestation form to the lender. It also ensures that the lender will be held harmless from any enforcement action if the borrower’s attestation contained falsehoods.”
In a letter to Chairman Hood, CUNA continues ongoing, pandemic-related engagement with NCUA recommending policy changes and comments.CUNA has been in regular contact with NCUA board members and staff throughout the pandemic to discuss actions to help credit unions increase service to affected members.
The CFPB published its Spring 2020 rulemaking agenda as part of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which is coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget. The agenda lists the regulatory matters the Bureau expects to focus on between May 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021.
While the agenda is merely a prediction and could be amended, the Bureau included updates on several major rulemaking initiatives in its latest agenda.
Earlier this week, CUNA submitted comments to the Federal Reserve strongly supporting the decision to remove the limit of account transfers under Regulation D and suggested to the Fed Monday it become permanent. CUNA has pushed for elimination of the limit prior to the onset of the pandemic, and the Fed announced an
CUNA responded to the NCUA's proposed temporary prompt corrective action (PCA) changes would provide agency staff and credit unions with additional necessary flexibility. The board issued the interim final rule at its May board meeting with two changes to PCA requirements.The first would allow credit unions more flexibility if they fall to the PCA “adequately capitalized” level due to unhistorical, abnormal share deposit influxes.Specifically, it changes the existing requirement for an “adequately capitalized” credit union to increase the dollar amount of net worth by a specified amount until the credit union becomes “well-capitalized,” and instead provides a blanket waiver by the NCUA Board of the earnings retention requirement for all “adequately capitalized” credit unions.The second would temporarily waive net worth restoration plans under existing PCA requirements for credit unions that become “undercapitalized” primarily as the result of share deposit growth.
CUNA wrote to the NCUA in support of temporary changes to the Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) and is continuing to pursue additional statutory changes to the CLF with Congress. CUNA submitted its comments on NCUA’s interim final rule making the CLF changes, issued in April in response to the pandemic.“CUNA supports the termination of membership and updated collateral requirement made in the interim final rules,” the letter reads. “These amendments are regulatory and do not have a sunset provision and will bring the CLF more closely into alignment with requirements of the Federal Reserve to borrow from the Discount Window. These changes also encourage larger credit unions to join the CLF and reduce barriers for all credit unions to join and use CLF.”
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) and Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC) expressing views ahead of the House Financial Services Committee hearing on the Oversight of the Treasury Department's and Federal Reserve's Pandemic Response. The pandemic response from the Treasury and Federal Reserve has helped stabilize the economy, but additional actions could continue to help individuals and businesses.
CUNA strongly supports the Fed’s action to remove the account transfer limit under Regulation D, and wrote to the Fed earlier this week requesting the removal be made permanent.
The NCUA released its Spring rulemaking agenda, which provides a rough roadmap on regulatory issues the agency is and will be working on.
CUNA sent a letter to congratulate Richard Jones on his new position as Chairman of the FASB.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) prior to the Senate Banking Committee hearing about the digitization of money and payments.
We appreciate the hearing’s focus on the digitization of money and payments as credit union are poised to leverage technology to deliver innovative financial services to members.
Over the weekend, CUNA joined other financial trades in sending a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee in support of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020. The bill is being considered for inclusion in the Senate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020.“This bill includes critical provisions for law enforcement investigations into organized transnational criminal operations, human trafficking, terrorism financing and other unlawful activity that threatens our national security,” the organizations wrote.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Seila Law v. CFPB, which challenged the constitutionality of the CFPB. CUNA filed an amicus brief calling on the Court to void the CFPB but provide Congress time to cure the constitutional defect by establishing a multi-member commission at the head of the Bureau.
In the case, the Court considered two questions 1) Whether the CFPB structure, an independent agency led by a single director only removable for cause, violates the separation of powers; and 2) Whether, if the CFPB structure is unconstitutional, can the “for cause” removal provision be severed from the Dodd-Frank Act.
In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that the CFPB’s structure violates the separation of powers. The Court, however, elected to sever the removal-protection provision from the other provisions of Dodd-Frank, leaving the CFPB standing but altered. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion of the court, "[t]he agency may therefore continue to operate, but its Director, in light of our decision, must be removable by the President at will."
The CFPB announced its first Tech Sprints aimed at reducing regulatory burden and improve consumer understanding of financial services.
According to the Bureau’s release, the Tech Sprints program will “bring together regulators, technologists, software providers, consumer groups, and financial institutions to develop technological solutions to shared compliance challenges.”
The first Tech Sprint will kick off in October with another in March 2021. Participants in the October 5-9, 2020, Tech Sprint will be asked to improve upon existing consumer disclosures. The March 22-26, 2021, Tech Sprint will focus on the HMDA platform and submission process.
CUNA responded to the CFPB’s RFI on Tech Sprints last November calling on the Bureau to ensure credit unions are represented and can actively participate in innovation-related initiatives.
The Supreme Court of the United States today denied an appeal from the American Bankers Association (ABA) to void the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) field of membership (FOM) rule
This week, the House will consider H.R. 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020. Also, the House will complete consideration of H.R. 5332, the Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019, as well as H.J.Res. 90, “Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency relating to Community Reinvestment Act Regulations.” Finally, the House will begin consideration of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act.
The Senate will resume consideration of S.4049, the National Defense Authorization Act.
Prior to the hearing in the House Financial Services's Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, CUNA wrote to Chairman Sherman and Ranking Member Huizenga commenting on several pandemic lending-related bills.
CUNA wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy in opposition to H.R. 5332, the Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019. The letter cites numerous concerns over increased lawsuits and cybersecurity risks. If enacted, H.R. 5332 would revise certain provisions related to consumer credit reports and credit reporting agencies.
The NCUA Board received briefings on the Minority Depository Institutions Annual Report and on the NCUA Guaranteed Notes Oversight Program. The Board also issued an RFI on Strategies for Future Examination and Supervision Utilizing Digital Technology. In addition, the Board adopted a final rule that makes a number of technical amendments to the NCUA’s regulations, including changes to correct minor errors and inaccurate citations.
The CFPB issued two separate rules on loss mitigation under the CARES Act and determining underserved areas under Regulation Z, respectively.
The Interim Final Rule (IFR) on loss mitigation makes it clear that servicers do not violate Regulation X by offering certain COVID-19-related loss mitigation options based on an evaluation of limited application information collected from the borrower. Normally, with certain exceptions, Regulation X would require servicers to collect a complete loss mitigation application before making an offer.
In a separate action, the Bureau’s Interpretive Rule on Determining Underserved Areas provides guidance to creditors about the way in which the Bureau determines which counties qualify as “underserved” for a given calendar year.
CUNA sent a letter to the FHFA regarding their request for input on Federal Home Loan Bank membership.
In a message to all 535 Congressional offices, CUNA highlighted ways Congress can act to help credit unions help members recover from the pandemic and the associated economic crisis. CUNA asks that Congress: Support House and Senate bills to exempt credit union member business loans made during the emergency from
CUNA, the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC), and NAFCU wrote to Senate leadership in opposition to a provision in the Senate Armed Forces Committee-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Committee-approved bill contains language that would require Department of Defense (DoD) policies for government depository institutions and credit unions operating on military installations to be applied equally to all such institutions.“We are concerned that this language in the NDAA could essentially require that the DoD treat large mega-banks, such as Wells Fargo, the same as a military installation’s local not-for-profit defense credit union when it comes to rent on military bases,” the letter reads. “A long track record of consumer abuses aside, Wells Fargo’s annual revenue for 2019 was $85 billion according to news reports."
The CFPB issued two notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) to amend the ATR-QM Rule.
The CFPB issued two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) related to the forthcoming expiration of the temporary Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) patch. According to the Bureau, the proposals are intended to transition away from the Temporary GSE patch QM (qualified mortgage) loan definition “while maintaining access to responsible, affordable mortgage credit upon its expiration.”
The Small Business Administration announced the launch of a dedicated online tool for small businesses and non-profits to be matched with Community Development Financial Institutions, Minority Depository Institutions, Certified Development Companies, Farm Credit System lenders, Microlenders, as well as traditional smaller asset size lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program.
The Federal Financial
Institutions Examination Council will host an interagency webinar on Friday,
June 26, 2020, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern. The focus of this webinar is on the
2020 updates to the FFIEC’s BSA/AML Examination Manual.
The NCUA wrote a letter to credit unions upon obtaining guidance from agencies and public health firms notifying them of their development of a multi-phase transition plan for the resumption of its on-site operations.
Both the House and Senate will consider policing reform legislation this week.
The House of Representatives will also begin the markups in the Armed Services Committee of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021.
The House may also consider:
The NCUA Board will hold their June Board meeting at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 25, 2020.
CUNA shared concerns with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) about the management of its consumer complaint database in response to the CFPB's request for renewal of its Consumer Response Company Response Survey, which is designed to collect additional consumer feedback at the end of the consumer complaint process.
CUNA joined a number of financial trades in writing a letter of support to Senator Fischer (R-NE) for the legislation she introduced yesterday. S. 3990, the Financial Product Safety Commission Act would change the leadership structure at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from a single director with a five-person, bipartisan commission. “Sen. Fischer’s legislation will bring stability and strength to the CFPB by creating a leadership structure that ensures all voices are heard. This legislation is an important step to reestablishing the Bureau as it was initially envisioned—with input from CUNA and the Leagues—back in the original, House-passed version of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010. We look forward to working with Congress to finding a path forward on this critical legislation.” CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. “
The CFPB issued additional guidance on consumer reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The frequently asked questions (FAQs) address companies’ responsibilities under the CARES Act and the FCRA when they furnish information to consumer reporting agencies about consumers impacted by the crisis.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Velázquez and Ranking Member Chabot of the House Small Business Committee prior to their hearing on the Paycheck Protection Program's loan forgiveness process. In the letter, we told of action Congress needs to take in order to protect borrowers that carried out the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in good faith from any liability stemming from the structure and design of the PPP.“The complexity of the forgiveness process presents an even greater challenge for small business as they have fewer resources to deploy on an overly complex application process. Moreover, feedback from our members indicates that the forms will likely require help from outside accountants and even attorneys for most businesses,” the letter reads. “This is an expense many of the smallest businesses cannot afford. Creating an overly complex forgiveness process would seem to be the antithesis to the spirit of a program designed to rapidly deploy resources to small business especially when the expectation is that the funds appropriated to PPP were never expected to be repaid.”
Federal Reserve Chairman Powell testified before both the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee for the Fed's semiannual testimony. Prior to each hearing, CUNA wrote to Committee leadership expressing credit union concerns Paycheck Protection Program, support for Reg D changes and support for changes to the Fed's Main Street Lending Program.
The Federal Reserve Board met the COVID-19 crisis head-on with a variety of decisive, impactful and far-reaching policy responses that clearly steadied financial markets and the broader economy, CUNA wrote for the record of a House Financial Services Committee hearing featuring Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s semiannual testimony. Among the actions CUNA supported is the creation of and changes made to the Fed’s Main Street Lending Program.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Cleaver and Ranking Member Hill of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy prior to their hearing entitled, “Cybercriminals and Fraudsters: How Bad Actors Are Exploiting the Financial System During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
We wrote in support of several bills it believes will help financial institutions combat financial scammers.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it will be re-proposing the updated minimum financial eligibility requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicers.
CUNA joined the Defense Credit Union Council and NAFCU in writing to leadership of the House Armed Servies Committee pushing back against banker requests for an increased military base lease exemption in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).Credit unions are eligible for an exemption that allows for the waiving of certain fees and land lease costs for credit unions on military installations. The Senate Armed Forces Committee passed their version of the NDAA with a provision requiring the Department of Defense (DoD) to consider for-profit banks the same as credit unions.
The Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 1957, the legislative vehicle for the Great American Outdoors Act.
The House of Representatives will be holding committee meetings this week but will not hold any votes on the House floor.
The CFPB released an online resource to help communities form networks to increase their capacity to prevent and respond to elder financial abuse. The Elder Fraud Prevention and Response Networks Development Guide (Networks Development Guide) offers planning tools, templates, and exercises to help communities create a collaborative network to fight elder fraud or refresh or expand an existing network.
The Networks Development Guide is an online tool that includes a meeting model on how to set up a retreat and training event to rally stakeholders and community leaders. The CFPB will be offering presentations and webinars in the near future to walk stakeholders through the Networks Development Guide and provide tips on how to use it.
Credit unions can receive an update on the impact of elder financial exploitation and other COVID-19 related scams in a June 11 webinar hosted by the National Credit Union Administration.
CUNA signed on to a letter with several joint trades to HUD Secretary Carson to express concern with the recently announced Federal Housing Administration (FHA) policy requiring lenders to provide 20 percent indemnification (of the original loan amount) for up to two years in relation to borrowers who enter into forbearance due to COVID19-related hardship after closing and prior to FHA insuring their loan.
CUNA wrote to leadership of the House Financial Services Committee's FinTech Task Force prior to their hearing entitled, “Inclusive Banking During a Pandemic: Using Fed Accounts and Digital Tools to Improve Delivery of Stimulus Payments.” Chairwoman Waters (D-CA)has proposed monthly stimulus payments that would go to “FedAccounts,” and other similar past proposals have included utilizing the post office for similar deposit accounts.
In the letter we wrote, “There is no need to pass legislation requiring the Federal Reserve or the United State Postal Service to provide products and services that the organizations were not designed to provide. Instead, Congress should be using its public platform to encourage all consumers, especially the most vulnerable among us, to seek out financial services from a community-based, not-for-profit credit union,” the letter reads. “As the nation’s original consumer protectors, credit unions have a long history of providing affordable, responsible access to banking services.”
CUNA wrote to the Senate Small Business Committee prior to their hearing on Title I of the Cares Act -- which includes PPP language. Credit unions are a vital component to the delivery of financial services to many Americans and credit union members should have equal access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).Although the pace of PPP lending has slowed, CUNA notes operational challenges remain and should be addressed if additional funding is provided.
The Senate Banking Committee held an oversight hearing with the Housing Regulators. Prior to the hearing with FHFA Director Calabria, CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) with concerns about the impact a large number of mortgage forbearances will have on the liquidity of mortgage servicers. Additionally, we wrote supporting down payment assistance, provided by the housing finance agencies, to enable minority and low- to moderate-income homebuyers to become homeowners. Additionally, we called for guidance or clarity on several issues.
The CFPB published guidance related to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) Rule.
The NCUA Board wrote a letter to credit unions on prompt corrective action regulatory relief measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic where some credit unions may experience a temporary reduction in earnings and capital due to their response efforts.
Credit unions and their member-owners can receive an update on the impact of elder financial exploitation and other COVID-19 related scams in a June 11 webinar hosted by the National Credit Union Administration.
The Senate will consider H.R. 1957, the legislative vehicle for the Great American Outdoors Act. In addition, the subcommittees of the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold markups on various parts of the proposed National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021.
The Senate passed a measure late Wednesday to increase flexibility in the Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). President Trump signed the legislation into law earlier today.Specifically, the measure would:
CUNA wrote to Senator Reed in support of his recently introduced legislation to establish a housing assistance fund - S. 3620.“CUNA supports S. 3620 that would establish a $75 billion Housing Assistance Fund which would provide those resources directly to state Housing Finance Agencies,” CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote in support of the bill. “This will help to prevent mortgage defaults, foreclosures, and displacements of those Americans experiencing financial hardship caused by the pandemic.”
The CFPB issued a policy statement intended to help consumers receive prompt relief during the pandemic from credit card issuers.
Regulation Z requires that creditors provide written disclosures to consumers for account-opening disclosures and temporary rate or fee reduction.
During the pandemic, some consumers are seeking to open a new account or request a temporary reduction in APR or fees for an existing account or a low-rate balance transfer. In response, the Bureau is providing temporary and targeted flexibility for credit card issuers regarding electronic provision of certain disclosures required to be in writing during this pandemic.
The CFPB and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) issued joint guidance to mortgage servicers to assist in complying with the forbearance provisions of the CARES Act.
The CARES Act requires servicers of federally-backed mortgages must grant forbearance to borrowers with pandemic-related hardships that may last as long as two consecutive 180-day periods. Furthermore, additional interest, fees, or penalties beyond the amounts scheduled or calculated should be waived with no negative impact to the borrower’s mortgage contract during the forbearance.
Yesterday, CUNA wrote to Chairman Meeks and Ranking Member Luetkemeyer prior to the Subcommittee's hearing entitled, "Promoting Inclusive Lending During the Pandemic: Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDI).” In the letter, we wrote how credit unions are well-purposed and well-positioned to address inequity in the financial services sector.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown prior to the Senate Banking Committee hearing regarding Title IV of the CARES Act. We wrote about several of the provisions designed to assist in pandemic recovery that should be extended for at least a year beyond the scheduled December 31, 2020 sunset date.CUNA believes the following CARES Act provisions should be extended at least one year beyond the scheduled December 31, 2020 sunset date:
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) published a final rule on the Federal Home Loan Banks' Housing Goals. The new goals take effect in 2021 and enforcement of the rule will be phased in over three years.
CUNA filed a letter in support of the NCUA’s interim final rule to temporarily defer the appraisal requirement.
CUNA and joint trades sent a letter to Administrator Jovita Carranza and Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to express concerns about the complexity of the Paycheck Protection Program’s loan forgiveness process.
The NCUA will be hosting a webinar on the Bank Secrecy Act where credit unions can receive valuable information on best practices in BSA programs
The Senate will consider a number of federal judicial nominations.
CUNA's Chief Advocacy Officer, Ryan Donovan posted a 6-minute video with three things to know:
CUNA, ACCUL, and the Leagues wrote to the SBA & Treasury re: PPP loan forgiveness;
NCUA Chairman weighs in on TCPA emergency petition; and
Phase 4... the dance continues. Watch now!
The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced it is setting aside $10 billion of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Round 2 funding to be lent exclusively by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs work to expand economic opportunity in low-income communities by providing access to financial products and services for local residents and businesses.
The PPP ran out of its initial $349 billion in funding, and Congress approved a second round of $310 billion in April. Of that, $60 billion is allocated to insured depository institutions with below $50 billion in assets. The $10 billion set aside for CDFIs announced Thursday comes out of that $60 billion.
CUNA sent a letter to the NCUA supporting their technical amendment necessary to help credit unions that made PPP loans.
The NCUA penned a letter to credit unions on their updated approach for conducting examinations offsite.
Credit unions interested in using the National Credit Union Administration’s streamlined process for obtaining Community Development Financial Institution certification have until Sunday, May 31 to apply.
The House of Representatives will consider several bills under suspension of the rules.
CUNA and other organizations filed reply comments to their petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) calling for Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) relief for calls made from financial institutions to consumers related to the pandemic. CUNA and the organizations filed the original petition March 30, calling for COVID-19 related communications to fall under the TCPA’s Emergency Purposes Exception.The organizations followed up in April to call on the FCC to immediately grant the petition, as delaying is putting credit unions and other financial institutions at risk as they focus on serving members and communities through the pandemic.
Investments in the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund pay off, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote to all 535 Congressional offices. CUNA has called for a $1 billion appropriation for the CDFI Fund, which gives grants, equity investments and other awards to certified CDFIs. “Small but crucial investments can pay dividends in helping moderate- to low-income families who are particularly vulnerable during this economic crisis,” Donovan wrote. “CDFIs take a market-based approach to supporting economically disadvantaged communities, helping neighborhoods that lack access to financing foster and sustain a prosperous future.”
The NCUA Board adopted an interim final rule on PCA, issued a proposal on joint ownership of share accounts, and received a briefing on the Share Insurance Fund.
The CFPB will provide an additional 60 days for the public to comment on its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on time-barred debt disclosures. The extension is intended to allow stakeholders additional time to comment on the rulemaking as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The comment period will now close on August 4, 2020.In the Supplemental NPRM, the Bureau proposes to prohibit collectors from using non-litigation means (including calls) to collect on time-barred debt unless collectors disclose to consumers during the initial contact and on any required validation notice that the debt is time-barred. The NPRM also proposes model language and forms that debt collectors could use to comply with the proposed disclosure requirements.
NCUA announced the launch of its new Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion Council
CUNA's Chief Advocacy Officer sent the email below to all 535 Members of Congress. We continue to advocate for Congress to remove the arbitrary member business lending cap.
The Senate will consider a number of federal judicial nominations.
The House of Representatives is expected to be in recess.
The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a full committee hearing: "The Quarterly CARES Act Report to Congress."
Witnesses: The Honorable Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary, Department of the Treasury; and The Honorable Jerome H. Powell, Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
Earlier this week, the House released CARES 2 -- the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act of 2020. Prior to the scheduled consideration on the House floor, CUNA wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy sharing concerns and feedback on the legislation. The House passed the latest round of COVID-19 stimulus legislation by a vote of 208-199.
“House passage of the HEROES Act starts a process for a new round of recovery legislation intended to help consumers, small businesses and the economy in general weather and rebuild from the crisis,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We were happy to see a number of the provisions that will help credit unions remain in a position to serve their members and communities, but we were disappointed that the legislation includes several provisions that would actually make it more difficult for consumers and small businesses to access safe and affordable financial services.”
The NCUA board will consider a proposed rule on joint ownership accounts, as well as two interim final rules at its May 21 meeting.
The meeting is open to the public, but will be open via live audio webcast only, starting at 10 a.m. (ET).
The full agenda is:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) this week released a statement and frequently asked questions (FAQs) document outlining the responsibility of credit card issuers and open-end non-home secured creditors during the pandemic. The statement outlines billing error responsibilities under Regulation Z, while the FAQs cover the payments and deposits rule and the open end (not home-secured) rules.According to the statement, the CFPB will take a flexible supervisory and enforcement approach during the pandemic regarding the timeframe within which creditors complete their investigations of consumers’ billing error notices.
The FHFA announced that a payment deferral option would be available by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for homeowners who are currently in COVID-19 related forebearance
CUNA wrote to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown prior to the Committee's virtual hearing with financial regulators. The hearing's witnesses include: NCUA Chairman Hood, FDIC Chairman, OCC Chairman, and the Vice Chairman For Supervision at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
In the letter, CUNA wrote about communications with the NCUA since the onset of the crisis. CUNA leaders have spoken with Hood several times, and CUNA and Leagues have also provided the agency with input on additional policies to help increase member service, several of which NCUA has acted on.
NCUA has allowed military personnel to count toward the low-income credit union designation, issued guidance on remote and virtual board meetings, implemented a rule to relax appraisal requirements, acted quickly to expand the Central Liquidity Facility and other actions since the onset of the pandemic.
“Notwithstanding the breadth and depth of the action NCUA has taken so far to help credit unions weather this crisis, more needs to be done,” CUNA’s letter reads. “We take this opportunity to highlight several areas where NCUA and Congress should take action to ensure that credit unions remain in a position to serve their members during this crisis and into recovery.”
Recommendation actions fro
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its final rule on remittances, which comes after strong CUNA engagement with the CFPB to finalize the rule. The rule raises the “normal course of business threshold” to 500 remittance transfers per year, up from the current 100.“The CFPB’s final remittances rule will help credit union members access safe and affordable remittance services from their credit union. We appreciate the CFPB for having given consideration to the concerns we expressed during the rulemaking process and making changes to the final rule. While we continue to believe an even higher exemption threshold is appropriate, this rule should result in more options for consumers which is always important, but even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle.
The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Monday and resume consideration of the nomination of Brian D. Montgomery to be Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
The House of Representatives is expected to be in session to consider “CARES 2” … emergency legislation regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood announced that military personnel will now be able to count toward a credit union earning the Low-Income Credit Union (LICU) designation. CUNA requested this change in its engagement with NCUA, most recently in a letter sent to Hood in March. Shortly after the announcement, the Chairman, members of the Agency's staff, the CEO of Inclusiv, and a Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury conducted a webinar with CUNA to discuss the announcement and resources for LICU credit unions. Interested in learning more - watch the recorded version of the webinar here!The LICU designation means low-income members comprise more than 50% of a federal credit union’s membership, and entitles the credit union to certain statutory benefits, including being able to accept non-member deposits from any source, offering secondary capital accounts, member business lending exemptions and the ability to apply for grants and low-interest loans from NCUA.
On Tuesday, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle discussed how credit unions are serving members during the pandemic, and what the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) could do to help, with FHFA Director Mark Calabria. CUNA previously wrote to Calabria outlining ways the agency could help credit unions assist members better.“Credit unions have a vested interest in keeping members in their homes and have worked diligently throughout this crisis to work alongside members to offer assistance and other relief as necessary,” Nussle said. “I shared this with Director Calabria, as well as the feedback we’ve heard from our members about what policy changes could help credit unions increase outreach to affected members and communities, and I thanked him for his time.”
The CFPB issued clarifying frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) compliance for Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Under ECOA, creditors are generally required to notify applicants within 30 days of receiving a “completed application” of the creditor’s approval, counteroffer, denial or other adverse notice regarding the application.
CUNA joined more than 100 organizations from around the country in sending a letter to Congressional leadership and appropriators to continue its push for increased Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) funding due to the coronavirus disease.
CUNA's Chief Advocacy Officer wrote to all 535 Congressional offices to highlight how credit unions are helping those affected by COVID-19 and how they are ready to do more.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency extended several loan origination flexibilities currently offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac designed to help borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency.
The House of Representatives was expected to be in session this week. However, the House leadership cancelled this week’s session.
The Senate is back in session on Monday, with a 5:30 pm confirmation vote on Robert J. Feitel to be Inspector General of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In addition, the Senate may vote to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The CFPB hosted a conference call meeting of its advisory groups, including the Credit Union Advisory Council. The call focused on the state of consumer financial services during the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic slowdown.
The call began with remarks from CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger highlighting the challenges consumers are facing and how the CFPB has responded to assist consumers and provide flexibility to providers. In particular, the Director noted the Bureau’s financial education efforts focused on student loan borrowers and servicemembers and expressed concern about the growing frequency of fraud schemes targeting vulnerable groups, especially older Americans.
NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood sent a letter to FASB urging them to exempt credit unions from complying with CECL.
Hood’s letter states that, for most credit unions, implementing CECL will have an immediate impact on net worth, and though CECL extended implementation for credit unions by one year, credit unions are currently devoting maximum time and resources seeing members and businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I believe the compliance costs associated with implementing CECL overwhelmingly exceed the benefits,” Chairman Hood wrote. “Even before the current pandemic, credit unions had approached the NCUA with concerns about the unintended consequences of requiring credit unions to implement CECL. In our current environment, I am especially concerned that adopting CECL will have a chilling effect on lending, including loans to low-income borrowers."
NCUA Chairman wrote to Senator Crapo, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee with suggestions Congress can make to improve the operating environment for credit unions. Many suggestions align with CUNA’s efforts raised during engagement with both NCUA and members of Congress in recent weeks.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced that on April 29, 2020, from 4:00 PM EDT through 11:59 PM EDT, the SBA systems will only accept PPP loan applications from participating lenders with asset sizes less than $1 billion.
This is intended to ensure access to the PPP loans for the smallest participating lenders and their small business members.
Participating lenders with asset sizes less than $1 billion can still submit PPP loan applications outside of this time frame. Participating lenders with asset sizes exceeding $1 billion can submit loans outside of today's 4 PM EDT through 11:59 PM EDT reserved submission time frame.
CUNA and other financial trade associations wrote to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza to address continued concerns with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan submission process and E-TRAN access issues. “Unfortunately, with the start of the second round of funding many lenders are having significant problems submitting loan applications into the SBA’s system, preventing them from delivering this critical financial assistance to small businesses that desperately need it. Quite simply, it is taking too long to submit loans and get these funds where they need to go,” the letter reads. “We respectfully request that you help us resolve these access issues, or at least explain to our members what is causing the problem.
The CFPB issued an interpretive rule and FAQ document regarding flexibility for its mortgage origination requirements. The actions taken address the TRID Rule’s 3-day waiting period requirements, Regulation Z’s consumer recession rights, and the ECOA and Regulation B’s appraisal and written valuation requirements in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger wrote to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to voice her support for allowing financial institutions to use certain automated calls to alert consumers about relief options available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic without violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Last week, CUNA wrote to the FCC asking the Commission to find that calls or texts relaying information related to financial relief efforts and other actions necessitated by the governments' response to COVID-19 fall within the emergency purposes exception to the proscriptions of the TCPA that bar autodialed calls to cell phones without prior consent.
In this week’s letter, the CFPB Director stated the Bureau “has sought every avenue through stakeholders and fellow agencies to increase consumer awareness of the various relief options that may be available to them, including those available due to government actions and those made available by their financial institutions.”
CUNA's President/CEO Jim Nussle was on CBS News’ Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett's podcast last night -- The Takeout. During the conversation, they discussed the credit union difference, PPP problems and his experiences in Congress and the administration during previous crises.
A condensed version of Nussle’s interview was also featured on the CBS News podcast, Debriefing the Briefing, in which Garrett and other CBS news correspondents break down the daily White House COVID-19 briefings.
CUNA wrote to the NCUA to follow up on previous communication with the agency. The letter gives possible actions the NCUA could implement to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus disease.
“CUNA continues to engage with credit unions of all sizes throughout the country to collect feedback within the industry,” the letter reads. “Based on recent communications with credit unions, we have the following policy recommendations for the NCUA to consider. These comments supplement CUNA’s previous communications with you, other members of the NCUA Board, and NCUA staff.”
The Treasury Department announced that the next Financial Literacy and Education Commission meeting will be on May 12th at 9:00 AM ET.
The Financial Literacy and Education Commission was established under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. The Commission was tasked to develop a national financial education web site (MyMoney.gov) and a national strategy on financial education. It is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury and the vice chair is the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The Commission is coordinated by the Department of the Treasury's Office of Consumer Policy.
The Small Business Administration released information about steps the SBA and Treasury are implementing to help the next phase of PPP loan processing.
Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the SBA will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications Monday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. (ET) from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. President Donald Trump signed legislation Friday authorizing an additional $310 billion for the PPP.
“We encourage all approved lenders to process loan applications previously submitted by eligible borrowers and disburse funds expeditiously. All eligible borrowers who need these funds should work with an approved lender to apply,” Carranza and Mnuchin said in a joint statement.
CUNA wrote to all 535 Congressional offices reminding them that credit unions are there for their members and have been active participants in the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program.
Last night, CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry urging the Committee to remove barriers preventing credit unions from fully serving their communities as Phase 4 of the COVID-19 relief legislation comes together.
- Ensuring Small Businesses Can Access Credit from Credit Unions
- Ensuring Credit Unions Have Access to Sufficient Liquidity to Meet Members’ Needs
President Trump recently signed legislation that was passed by both the House and Senate this week. The legislation adds funding to the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which ran out of funding last week.
"This important legislation will ensure that Main Street businesses and their employees can work with local credit unions to receive the financial support they need to see them through this crisis,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “Credit unions have been connecting community businesses with PPP funds since the program’s inception, and the $60 billion dedicated to community lenders, including credit unions, will especially go a long way to supporting small businesses that might have been unable to access the first round of funding.”
The Federal Reserve Board announced an interim final rule to amend Regulation D to delete the six-per-month limit on convenient transfers from the "savings deposit" definition. CUNA has urged the Federal Reserve to make this change for years, but recently increased its engagement on behalf of consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today’s action by the federal reserve will make it easier for credit unions to give members access to their funds, which is vitally important as communities around the country deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We’ve long believed the threshold was arbitrary and unnecessary. We thank the Federal Reserve for making this critical change.”
The NCUA sent a letter to credit unions on the appraisal changes made last week
The NCUA approved an interim final rule that amends the agency’s capital adequacy and member business loans and commercial lending regulations following the creation of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program
The CFPB released a video with the steps non-filers must take to receive their economic impact payments.
“The information we released today is intended to help consumers navigate the economic impact payments as well as helping them avoid scams related to the payments,” said Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathleen L. Kraninger. “The Bureau stands ready to provide consumers with additional resources to protect their finances during this pandemic.”
The FHFA announced the alignment of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's policies regarding servicer obligations to advance scheduled monthly principal and interest payments for single-family mortgage loans. Once a servicer has advanced four months of missed payments on a loan, it will have no further obligation to advance scheduled payments.
This limit applies to all Enterprise servicers regardless of type or size.
The intent of the policy is to provide mortgage servicers the ability to plan for exactly how long they will need to advance principal and interest payments on loans for which borrowers have not made their monthly payment.
The FHFA is also instructing the Enterprises to maintain loans in COVID-19 payment forbearance plans in Mortgage Backed Security (MBS) pools for at least the duration of the forbearance plan. This action clarifies that mortgage loans with COVID-19 payment forbearance shall be treated like a natural disaster event and will remain in the MBS pool.
The CFPB announced that the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), the Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC), and the Academic Research Council (ARC) will meet jointly on May 1, 2020, from 2:00 to 4:15 pm ET via conference call. The call will be open to the public.
The meeting will focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, including a snap shot of consumer complaints as a result of the pandemic, and the impact of the pandemic on consumers, including servicemembers, students, older Americans, and the underserved.
Those interested in listening to the meeting must RSVP here.
UNA sent a letter urging the FCC to act more quickly on the petition for expedited declaratory rule, clarification, or waiver, filed by CUNA and other trade associations
CUNA and its members seek additional guidance on how Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans work in conjunction with NCUA’s member business lending requirements
On Sunday, CUNA wrote to Majority Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, and Leader McCarthy encouraging Congress to appropriate the largest amount possible to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Additionally, the letter urges Congress to set aside a substantial portion of those fund for small lenders to ensure that small businesses are able to access funds from Main Street lenders, provided that such a set aside for small lenders does not delay the delivery of funds to small businesses, or complicate the approval process for lenders.
The demand for these funds was so substantial that funds were exhausted within two weeks of implementation, leaving many small businesses across the country in the queue for loan approvals. Given the significant need that remains, it is critical that that Congress and the administration continue to support America's small businesses and their employees through additional PPP funding.
Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) was joined by Representatives Don Young (R-AK), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) to introduce the Access to Credit for Small Businesses Impacted by the COVID-19 Crisis Act. If enacted this legislation would exempt credit union business loans related to the COVID-19 pandemic from the member business lending cap for three years.
Currently law restricts most credit unions’ business lending authority at 12.25% of assets. But credit unions are well capitalized, safe and sound; credit unions for which this cap is limiting have significant business lending experience and additional capital to lend. Keeping this business credit on the sidelines during and after this crisis would make absolutely no sense.After the bill's introduction, CUNA wrote to the sponsors in support of the legislation saying: “CUNA fully supports the Access to Credit for Small Businesses Impacted by the COVID–19 Crisis Act, which would provide a three-year exemption to the Member Business Lending cap for loans made by credit unions to aid in COVID-19 crisis relief and recovery. This legislation is targeted to the crisis at hand and will make a difference for America’s small businesses and those they employ."
The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ran out of money on Thursday. CUNA issued an action alert Friday for credit unions to contact policymakers to share the importance of the PPP funds and how additional funds will help credit unions continue their service during the pandemic. In addition to the Action Alert, CUNA wrote to all 535 Congressional offices urging action to re-fund the program.
Designed to help small businesses meet payroll and other costs as they are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, the PPP was funded at $349 billion by the CARES Act.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Hood to seek additional guidance on how Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans work in conjunction with NCUA’s member business lending requirements. The PPP is a Small Business Administration program aimed at providing loans to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.“We have recently heard from credit unions that they have concerns about how PPP loans work in conjunction with NCUA’s member business lending requirements,” the letter reads. “Furthermore, our members seek guidance on the impact of the Federal Reserve Board’s April 6, 2020 announcement of a Paycheck Protection Program Lending Facility (PPPL facility) to provide term financing backed by PPP loans and whether additional NCUA rulemaking is necessary to fully utilize this facility.”
The NCUA Board Meeting was called to order today at 10:00 a.m. EST. This was the first public meeting NCUA has had since adopting a telework posture nearly one month ago. The meeting was open to the public via a live webcast only.
The NCUA sent a letter to credit unions regarding key changes to the NCUA’s Central Liquidity Facility (CLF).
The CFPB issued a final rule amending Regulation C to adjust the HMDA reporting thresholds for closed-end mortgage loans and open-end lines of credit.
Pursuant to the rule, effective July 1, 2020, the threshold for reporting data about closed-end mortgage loans will increase from 25 to 100 closed-end mortgage loans. CUNA supported this increase during the comment period but had called on the Bureau to establish a higher threshold.
In addition, effective January 1, 2022, when the current temporary threshold of 500 open-end lines of credit expires, the threshold for reporting data about open-end lines of credit will be permanently set at 200 open-end lines of credit.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters to engage on the Phase 4 of COVID-19 legislation. The letter comments on aspects of proposed legislation in the works, highlights areas where credit unions have concerns, and lists additional credit union priorities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented small businesses, consumers, and community-based financial institutions with an unprecedented challenge. Nonetheless, CUNA is confident that credit unions will be able to continue delivering critical financial services to members throughout the duration of the pandemic.
CUNA wrote to all 535 Congressional offices prior to the Economic Impact Payments hitting accounts later this week. The email reminded Congress and their staff about the work credit unions are doing to ensure their members are prepared and protected.
CUNA wrote to the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws in regards to permitting electronic signatures on wire transfer documents. This would allow credit unions to continue member service during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in a safe and sound manner.
Credit unions are committed to continuing to serve their members throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and sound manner that protects employees and members by complying with federal and state health and safety guidance. This has resulted in a technological shift away from in-person service of credit union members to electronic service as a result of stay-at-home orders and mandated social distancing.
CUNA and Leagues wrote to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin about the challenges credit unions have been facing with implementing the PPP and concerns with the program.
Challenges with the program include:
The CFPB and FHFA announced a new “Borrower Protection Program,” a new joint initiative that enables the agencies to share servicing information to protect borrowers during the coronavirus national emergency.
Under the program, the CFPB will make complaint information and analytical tools available to FHFA via a secure electronic interface; and FHFA will make available to the Bureau information about forbearances, modifications and other loss mitigation initiatives undertaken by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises).
The CFPB has taken numerous steps to protect and assist consumers during the COVID-19 national emergency. For more information, the Bureau has developed a dedicated webpage with information on how consumers can protect their finances during the pandemic.
The Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, issued a document of Frequent Asked Questions on the Paycheck Protection program.
The NCUA sent out a risk alert suggesting cybersecurity considerations for remote work
The NCUA and the FDIC are hosting a free webinar to increase awareness of the benefits of federal deposit and share insurance, and answer questions about the safety of deposits at federally insured financial institutions.
The CFPB issued a policy statement on remittance transfers that outlined the Bureau’s plan to adopt a flexible approach to supervision and enforcement of remittance transfers. Previously, the Bureau proposed amendments to the Remittance Rule in December 2019 in part to address the effects of the expiration of that temporary exception and expects to issue a final rule in May.
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