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The Bureau has issued a small entity compliance guide summarizing the October 2020 Debt Collection Rule. The guide is available here.
The small entity compliance guide includes a detailed summary of the Rule’s substantive prohibitions and requirements, including those that generally restate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s (FDCPA) prohibitions and requirements. Section 2 of the guide provides a summary that highlights the Rule’s key interpretations and clarifications of the FDCPA.
The Rule is effective November 30, 2021.
The Board was briefed on the ACCESS (Advancing Communities through Credit, Education, Stability & Support) Initiative, which was first announced by Chairman Hood last October. ACCESS is intended to bring together agency leaders to develop policies and programs that support financial inclusion within the NCUA and more broadly, throughout the credit union system. ACCESS will expand existing efforts to address the financial services and financial literacy needs of underserved and diverse communities, as well as expand opportunities for employment.
The CFPB issued guidance (the Statement) for financial institutions that serve limited English proficiency (LEP) consumers and members. The statement includes guidance on how financial institutions can serve LEP consumers in non-English languages, in a manner that is beneficial to consumers and that is in compliance with relevant statutes and regulations.
Specifically, the statement covers principles to inform and guide financial institutions in their decision-making related to serving LEP consumers, and key considerations institutions can use to develop compliance solutions for providing products and services in non-English languages to LEP consumers.
Submissions for the 2020 Credit Union Diversity Self-Assessment (CUDSA) are due by Friday, January 15.
Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury Department will present an overview of the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) features associated with the recently passed Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act. This webinar will take place on Monday, Jan. 11, at 2 p.m. (ET) and registration is now open.
From CUNA's Compliance Blog
NCUA recently issued two letters to federal credit unions, #21-FCU-01 and #21-FCU-02. NCUA Letter to Federal Credit Unions #21-FCU-01 pertains to community charter conversions and expansions and replaces previously issued guidance from 2011. In addition, it provides links to templates to be used when applying for a community charter conversion or expansion (business and marketing plans and the pro forma financial statements).
The National Credit Union Administration released it's January Board meeting agenda. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 14th at 10:00 AM ET. The NCUA board will propose a risk-based net worth rule to raise the asset threshold for defining a credit union as complex, among other items. The board will also hear a briefing on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, a summary of which the agency recently released.
CUNA's Chief Advocacy Officer wrote to all members of the 117th Congress. The email continued to remind Congress that America’s credit unions are committed to advancing the communities they serve and improving members’ financial well-being.
NCUA has issued a request for information on the agency’s communication methods to promote efficiency and increase transparency.
Specifically, the request for information seeks public input on how the agency can maximize efficiency and minimize burdens associated with obtaining information on federal laws, regulations, policies, guidance, and other materials relevant to federally insured credit unions. It contains questions about the effectiveness of press releases, social media content, and the timing and frequency of agency communications. There are also questions related to improving the agency’s websites, online data resources, and the delivery and format of supervisory guidance.
In a letter sent to the CFPB in response to a proposal to codify a joint interagency statement on the role of guidance, CUNA wrote that it is critical for federal regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), to appreciate the significant differences in the appropriate role of regulations and of guidance. The letter follows a similar communication sent to NCUA last month.
“We appreciate the role of supervisory guidance and support the proposal to codify the 2018 Statement,” the letter reads. “Doing so not only ensures credit unions understand where an examiner is basing its decisions, but also ensures the basis for such decisions is well-founded, given statutes must go through the legislative process and regulations through the rulemaking process under the Administrative Procedure Act.”
CUNA submitted comments to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) regarding their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on information collection and reporting requirements for certain transactions involving Convertible Virtual Currency (CVC) or Legal Tender Digital Assets (LTDA).
Specifically, this proposed rule would require compliance with recordkeeping and reporting requirements for certain suspect deposits, withdrawals, exchanges, or other payments or transfers of CVC or LTDA by, through, or to a bank or money service business that involve an “unhosted” wallet (a cybercurrency wallet that is not hosted by a third-party financial system) or an “otherwise covered wallet,” (a hosted wallet located in a jurisdiction designated by FinCEN as having anti-money laundering compliance problems, such as North Korea and Iran). By in large, the recordkeeping requirements for these CVC and LTDA transactions are similar to existing rules for wire transfers over $3,000. Similarly, the reporting requirements are similar to the Currency Transaction Report (CTR) rules in place for currency withdrawls over $10,000.
The FCC completed its The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act)-mandated review of certain regulations and regulatory exemptions adopted to implement the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) prohibitions and limitations on robocalls. The Commission’s order reflects a number of victories for positions CUNA advocated for, both on its own and in coalition with other trade associations, including:
We filed a comment letter in support of proposed changes to the NCUA’s Derivatives rule intended to modernize and make it more principles-based. We agree with the agency that the proposal retains key safety and soundness components, while providing more flexibility for FCUs to manage their interest rate risk through the use of Derivatives. Specifically, the proposal would eliminate some of the existing prescriptive requirements in the Derivatives rule, including removal of the application process for FCUs with at least $500 million in assets that have a CAMEL rating of 1 or 2.
CUNA submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) re: the small business lending data collection under Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The CFPB released an outline of potential proposal for small business lending data collection in September.
CUNA expressed support the goals of section 1071 and noted that credit unions seek to provide all members with fair and equitable financial opportunities.
The CFPB issued final rule to implement Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requirements regarding certain disclosures for consumers. The Bureau also issued an executive summary of and a table of contents for the final rule.
In general, the final rule requires debt collectors to provide detailed disclosures about the consumer’s debt and rights at the outset of collection communications and take specific steps – outlined in the rulemaking – to disclose the existence of a debt to consumers, orally, in writing, or electronically, before reporting information about the debt to a consumer reporting agency (CRA). The rule also prohibits debt collectors from making threats to sue, or from suing, consumers on time-barred debt.
As with the October 2020 Debt Collection Final Rule, the requirements of this latest rulemaking only apply to “debt collectors” as that term is defined in the FDCPA.
This rule is effective on November 30, 2021.
Final Rule – Annual Operating Fee Assessment (Part 701)
The Board adopted a final rule to amend its regulation governing assessment of the annual operating fee to FCUs, including by:
CUNA filed a comment letter in support of these changes.
The final rule will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
CUNA expressed concerns about the recent SolarWinds cyberattack in a letter to NCUA Thursday. The data breach that appears to be a most significant cyberattack in recent history, according to cybersecurity experts. Hackers corrupted a software update for Orion, an IT monitoring platform, to infiltrate nearly every sector of the economy, including credit unions and other financial institutions.
“As the NCUA seeks to determine the attack’s impact on the agency and as credit unions do the same, CUNA members have two concerns,” wrote CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “First, we urge the agency to be forthright in its communications with credit unions if it is determined that the agency is impacted. Second, we call on NCUA to suspend the collection of data from credit unions until it can ascertain that its systems have not been and are not compromised.”
The NCUA held day 1 of their December Board meeting.
The U.S. Dept. of Labor announced a new exemption for investment advice fiduciaries and launched a resource page on the exemption. The exemption allows investment advice fiduciaries to offer a wide array of investment advice services in compliance with specified Impartial Conduct Standards.
The new prohibited transaction class exemption is for investment advice fiduciaries and is based on an existing temporary policy adopted after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the Department’s 2016 fiduciary rule package. Since the 5th Circuit’s 2018 ruling, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a package of advice standards. The standards in the Department’s exemption announced today align with standards of other regulators, including the SEC.
The CFPB released a panel report today as part of its rulemaking process under Dodd-Frank Act Section 1071 governing the collection and reporting of small business lending data.
In October 2020, a panel was convened pursuant to the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) and was comprised of representatives of the CFPB, the Small Business Administration, and the Office of Management and Budget. The panel consulted with small entity representatives (SERs) likely to be affected directly by a Section 1071 regulation, including five credit unions.
The Bureau has published its Fall 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 includes the regulatory matters that the Bureau expects to focus on between now and November 2021. However, the timelines projected are merely estimates and are not binding on future CFPB leadership.
Kyle Hauptman became the 24th Board Member of NCUA following a swearing-in ceremony held Monday at the agency’s Alexandria, Va. headquarters. NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood delivered the oath of office to Hauptman.“I am proud to have been nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate,” said Hauptman following his swearing-in. “It is an honor to serve on the Board of the National Credit Union Administration.”Hauptman stated that he has three priorities as a Board member:
CUNA filed a comment letter in support of an interagency proposal to codify a 2018 Statement on the role of supervisory guidance. By codifying the Statement, the proposed rule is intended to confirm that the federal financial regulatory agencies will continue to follow and respect the limits of administrative law in carrying out their supervisory responsibilities. The 2018 Statement reiterated well-established law by stating that, unlike a law or regulation, supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law.
Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released the latest in a series of Paperwork Reduction Act notices requesting comment on a proposed renewal, without change, of a currently approved information collection authorized for existing Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations. Comments on this notice are due by February 9, 2021.
While CUNA continues to advocate for regulatory flexibility for credit unions covered by the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), we also help credit unions stay informed about FinCEN’s sub-regulatory guidance on BSA issues. Last week, FinCEN released an update to their 314(b) fact sheet containing helpful information about the ability of financial institutions to share information with one another to better identify and report activities that may involve money laundering or terrorist activities while complying with the requirements for a BSA safe harbor that offers liability protections.
For more information about this fact sheet and other BSA-related compliance issues, please visit the CUNA Compliance blog.
The CFPB finalized its General Qualified Mortgage (QM) definition, and the new Seasoned QM regulations under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z). The changes made in these final rules were generally responsive to CUNA’s requests and credit unions will need to review these changes and make their processes and systems to meet the new QM requirements.
The Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to consider appropriations legislation as well as possible COVID-19 relief legislation.
CUNA submitted its comments on NCUA’s proposed 2021 budget, following CUNA Chief Economist Mike Schenk’s presentation before NCUA at last week’s briefing.
NCUA’s proposed budget reflects a 0.1% decline from the previous year, and CUNA commends the agency due to proposed activities and expenditures generally aligning with previously announced and vetted strategic. CUNA also believes it also appropriately responds to changing supervisory priorities in light of the COVID-19 Crisis.
“We believe there is immense capacity for NCUA to reduce its footprint, right-size the organization and come out of the resulting transition as a nimble, stronger, more efficient and more effective regulator,” the letter adds.
The Senate passed the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), following House passage of the bill earlier this week. The bill passed by a 84-13 margin, which is enough to override a threatened veto from President Donald Trump, as the House also passed by more than a two-thirds majority.The bill contains CUNA-supported language to eliminate redundancies, unnecessary burdens and create opportunities for efficiencies within the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering statutory framework. It also includes a study to review the current thresholds for Currency Transaction and Suspicious Activity reporting.The final bill does not contain a provision related to leases on military bases CUNA, Leagues and the Defense Credit Union Council fought to exclude what would have expanded an exemption for certain cost waivers for financial institution branches on military installations.
NCUA will vote on several proposed and final rules, as well as the proposed 2021 budget, over two days of meetings December 17 and 18. According to NCUA, the meeting will be over two days “to ensure a transparent and open discussion of several policy issues affecting federally insured credit unions.
Both open meetings will be streamed live via audio webcast on NCUA.gov and are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. (ET).
CUNA wrote to Chairman Rubio and Ranking Member Cardin of the Senate Small Business Committee with credit unions concerns with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that could be alleviated by Congressional action. Credit unions helped facilitate more than 170,000 PPP loans averaging $49,000 per loan.
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) released the schedule for monthly meetings in 2021. Read the full press release below.
CUNA and other organizations wrote to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) urging the OCC to postpone consideration of a national bank charter application for an uninsured depository institution. The Nevada-based Figure Bank submitted an application to the OCC at the beginning of November.
“Given the significant policy, legal, systemic, and other implications that chartering an organization like Applicant, with its unique business model and structure, would have for the banking system, the Associations urge the OCC to postpone its consideration of Figure Bank’s application until after it has solicited and evaluated public comments, and consulted with Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Department of Justice."
The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Monday, December 7 and resume consideration of Stephen Sidney Schwartz to be a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims for a term of fifteen years.
The House of Representatives will consider the conference report to H.R. 6395, the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.
Both chambers of Congress are expected to consider legislation to fund government operations beyond Friday, December 11th, the current deadline. It is likely that the Congress will pass a short-tern continuing resolution to give budget negotiators more time to reach a compromise FY 2021 omnibus spending bill. Congressional leadership is also negotiating the terms of a possible COVID-19 relief package that may be added to an omnibus spending deal.
As Congress considers end of year legislation, including a potential COVID recovery package, we wrote to Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee and leadership of the House Financial Services Committee to ask that the following CARES Act provisions be extended through the end of 2021:
Section 4013 - Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR). This provision makes it easier for consumers impacted by the pandemic to obtain loan modifications by giving credit unions flexibility not to consider these modifications as troubled debt for supervisory purposes. If this provision expires, it will be harder for credit unions and banks to help consumers impacted by the pandemic. Section 4016 - Central Liquidity Facility (CLF). This provision provided for a temporary expansion of the National Credit Union Administration's (NCUA) Central Liquidity Facility (CLF), allowing corporate credit unions to act as agents for natural person credit unions and expanding the CLF's borrowing authority from 12 times the paid in capital to 16 times. These changes make the CLF more accessible to credit unions ensuring that credit unions have adequate supply of emergency capital.
House and Senate legislators unveiled the compromise FY21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) without a language provision that would allow certain banks to obtain cost waivers to operate on military installations. CUNA, the Leagues, and the Defense Credit Union Council fought to exclude this provision, which was included in the Senate-passed NDAA, from the final bill.
The Senate confirmed Kyle Hauptman for a seat on the NCUA board. Hauptman will serve a term through August 2025 once sworn in. “CUNA, Leagues, and credit unions congratulate Kyle Hauptman for his confirmation as an NCUA board member. With his record of engagement with Leagues and credit unions, we look forward to working with him on ways NCUA can help credit unions more efficiently serve members through the duration of the pandemic and through the economic recovery. We hope he will continue NCUA’s trend in recent years as an efficient, effective regulator.” - Jim Nussle, CUNA's President & CEO
This week the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee held their quarterly hearings on the CARES Act. CUNA wrote to leaders of both Committees prior to the hearings with Treasury and Federal Reserve Leaders on implementation of the CARES Act.
In the letters, CUNA reminded the Committees of the role credit unions have played in carrying the spirit of the CARES Act to their members by participating in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), modifying troubled loans and ensuring that members get the assistance they need to weather this crisis. Our comments on the implementation of the CARES Act include views on how SBA and Treasury have implemented the PPP, but also called on Congress to extend essential CARES Act provisions that expire at the end of the month, including the Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR) and Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) provisions.
CUNA Chief Economist Mike Schenk presented before the NCUA Board regarding the agency’s 2021-2022 draft budget.
We appreciate the NCUA’s effort in publishing a detailed draft budget that rationalizes agency expenditures. We, once again, find the NCUA’s Budget Justification document to be clear, comprehensive, and well-developed. The proposed activities and expenditures described generally align with previously announced and vetted strategic initiatives. It also appropriately responds to changing supervisory priorities, especially in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
The CFPB issues a final Advisory Opinions (AO) Policy to address regulatory uncertainty and provide guidance to covered entities.
Under the final Policy, any person or entity can submit a request for an AO via email to email@example.com. The Bureau will review the submissions received, prioritize certain requests for response, and issue opinions with a description of the incoming request. The Bureau may also decide to issue advisory opinions on its own initiative.
To increase transparency, the Bureau will publish all AOs in the Federal Register and on its website here.
As part of a joint trades group representing important financial services, health care and other industries, CUNA conducted outreach to Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) staff regarding the Commission’s proposed Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”) robocalling regulations and requests for comments regarding current TCPA exemptions. The FCC’s recent TCPA notices were required by the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act of 2019 (TRACED Act).
The joint trades emphasized that the FCC’s record clearly demonstrates the need for telephone providers to prevent erroneous call blocking and labeling of legitimate calls and to require quick and effective resolution of such errors. Examples of credit unions facing these problems were discussed, and the group reiterated the need for a 24-hour time-frame for resolution of such problems.
Register Now for Webinar on NCUA’s Response to COVID-19
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 16, 2020) – Federally insured credit unions can learn more about the National Credit Union Administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by participating in a webinar hosted by the agency on Thursday, December 3, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern.
During the webinar, NCUA staff will also discuss recently issued guidance and regulations, as well as other agency initiatives.
The Senate will resume consideration of Taylor B. McNeel, of Mississippi, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi.
The House of Representatives will consider H.R. 3884, the MORE Act of 2019.
CUNA submitted comments to the Federal Reserve Board and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in response to their joint notice of proposed rulemaking (JNPRM) lowering the threshold for collection, retention and transmittal of information for international funds transfers, and clarifying the treatment of convertible virtual currencies and other assets with legal tender status. Most significantly, the proposal would lower this critical threshold from transactions valued at $3,000 and above to $250 and above.
The NCUA and other Federal financial regulators issued a joint fact sheet regarding compliance efforts required to meet Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) due diligence requirements for customers that are charities and other nonprofit organizations.
In the joint statement, the agencies stated that the due diligence efforts should be based on the money laundering risks posed by the customer relationship. The clarification was issued to recognize that legitimate charities and nonprofits deserve and benefit from access to financial services, and “do not present a uniform or unacceptably high risk of being used or exploited for money laundering, terrorist financing, or sanctions violations . . ..” Accordingly, the due diligence expected of credit unions and other banks should be based on the risk profile of individual charitable customers, and the fact sheet gives examples of useful customer data that credit unions may want to collect to help determine those risks.
The fact sheet was developed and disseminated by the National Credit Union Administration, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
NCUA Chairman Hood sent a letter to federal credit unions outlining relief measures around meeting flexibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CUNA has been advocating for these changes during meetings with the NCUA over the past few months.
The Board issued a proposed rule to allow the capitalization of interest in connection with loan workouts and modifications. The proposal would remove the current prohibition on capitalizing interest, which according to the agency “may be overly burdensome and, in some cases, hamper a federally insured credit union’s good-faith efforts to engage in loan workouts with borrowers facing difficulty because of the economic disruption that the COVID-19 event has caused.”
Earlier this week, CUNA wrote to Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Leahy regarding the Committee’s release of twelve fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills.
Credit unions have interest in several programs and report language included in these bills and as we continue to endure the
COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing e
CUNA joined 80 other trade associations in writing to Congressional, Treasury and Small Business Administration leadership with concerns over a new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) review process established by the Treasury and SBA that includes “Loan Necessity Questionnaires.”“Unfortunately, the questionnaires introduce a confusing and burdensome process for both borrowers and lenders, and we fear that it could lead the agencies to inappropriately question thousands of qualified PPP loans made to struggling small businesses,” the letter reads. “On behalf of the millions of American workers supported by PPP loans, we urge you to act quickly to work directly with SBA and Treasury to avoid this unintended consequence.”
CUNA has submitted comments to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in response to its advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on anti-money laundering (AML) program effectiveness.
The ANPRM provided a broad definition of an “effective and reasonably designed” AML program as one that:
Reminder that NCUA will be conducting two webinars this week.
PALs and Short-Term Lending Webinar
TODAY: Monday, Nov. 16 at 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST
Fair Lending and Consumer Compliance Regulatory Update Webinar
Tomorrow: Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST
The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Monday and resume consideration of Kristi Haskins Johnson to be a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi. The House of Representatives will consider H.R. 8294, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020.
NCUA’s proposed 2021–2022 budget is now available for review and comment. The proposed budget summary and detailed budget justification are available on the Budget and Supplementary Materials page of NCUA.gov. Comments must be emailed to NCUA at BudgetComments@ncua.gov by Dec. 11.The agency will hold a public budget briefing on Wednesday, Dec. 2 beginning at 10 a.m. (ET).
The CFPB announced that next Combined Advisory Committee Meeting is scheduled to occur on the afternoon of November 18.
The focus of the meetings will be broad policy matters related to the Bureau’s Unified Regulatory Agenda and general scope of authority, including:
Those interested in streaming the meeting via WebEx can RSVP here.
CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry prior to the House Financial Services Committee hearing with financial regulators. In the letter, CUNA wrote that the NCUA and Congress should take further steps to ensure credit unions remain in position to serve members during and after the pandemic. NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood testified at the hearing, which also featured discussion of two CUNA-backed bills.
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) released the agenda for the November Board meeting scheduled for 10:00 AM ET on November 19th.
CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown prior to the Senate Banking Committee's hearing with financial regulators. In the letter, CUNA wrote that credit unions remain in a position to help consumers, but looming stress suggests Congress and regulators need to act quickly to avoid a deeper economic crisis. CUNA’s letter notes two surveys that indicate significant economic assistance to consumers and small businesses is critically important.“As Congress contemplates further COVID-recovery legislation and exercises its oversight responsibilities over the Federal financial regulators, it is critical that policy be examined and modified to ensure credit unions remain in a position to serve their members throughout and after this crisis,” the letter reads.
The FHFA announced the validation and approval of the Classic FICO credit score model for use the Enterprises. The validation and approval of Classic FICO by the Enterprises allows them to continue supporting the mortgage market while assessing more modern credit score models.
CUNA weighed in on the FHFA’s 2018 request for comment regarding use of several credit score models by the Enterprises. In our letter, we stressed the importance that the FHFA work to find the right balance between safety and soundness on the one hand, and credit availability for American consumers on the other. Having a housing finance market that provides liquidity throughout the country requires strong participation by a wide range of lenders, including small lenders and lenders serving rural areas. Qualified financial institutions and creditworthy eligible borrowers should have fair and equitable access to the financial services offered by the Enterprises.
The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Monday and resume consideration of James Ray Knepp II to be a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio. The House of Representatives will be in pro forma session this week.
CUNA submitted comments to the Treasury in response to the recently proposed potential revisions to the application as part of its ongoing review of policies and procedures. In the letter, CUNA wrote that the proposed Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Certification Application is flawed and should be reconsidered.“While CUNA supports the CDFI Fund’s ongoing efforts to evaluate and consider the efficiency and relevance of its certification and monitoring process, we strongly believe the proposed revisions to the certification application fail to achieve these goals nor would they further the purposes of the CDFI Program,” the letter reads. “In fact, the proposed application changes could ultimately serve as unnecessary barriers for qualified credit unions to access the CDFI designation.”
CUNA has filed reply comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its regulatory review of certain exemptions to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The review was mandated by the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act).
In its letter, CUNA argues that “the initial comments demonstrate overwhelming support for retaining the current exemptions, particularly the exemption for commercial informational calls to residential lines, without imposing additional restrictions.” The letter also points out the importance of such critical informational calls to credit union members, and highlights submitted comments against arbitrary caps or “opt out” requirements. In addition, CUNA echoed trade group requests for modest modifications to the financial services exigency exemption to make it more effective, and reiterated its longstanding request for the FCC to extend existing residential informational call exemptions to wireless phones.
The NCUA will host a webinar on November 17th where staff from the NCUA’s Office of Consumer Financial Protection will discuss the focus areas for the agency’s consumer compliance exams in 2021, including a review of COVID-19-related loan modifications and credit reporting, and fair lending policies and procedures. The discussion will also include the findings from the 2020 consumer compliance exam reviews.
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.
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ADA Compliance / Terms & Conditions
© 2020 Credit Union National Association
ADA Compliance / Terms & Conditions