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CUNA members serving on the CFPB’s Credit Union Advisory
Council (CUAC) represented credit unions across the country this week. CUAC members
participated in closed-door meetings with regulators throughout the day, and
culminated the day with an open meeting where the group discussed elder
financial abuse and the CFPB’s strategic outlook.
Director Richard Cordray provided opening remarks during the
open session and participated in the discussions throughout the meeting. During
the meeting, several issues outlined in the CFPB’s strategic
outlook were discussed.
Credit unions remain concerned that including credit union
products and services within policy makings following from the strategic
outlook could add to the regulatory burdens that they already face.
In the discussions, several CUAC members questioned the CFPB
about rulemakings that have, or could, impact credit union operations and
members. For example, a CUAC member questioned whether the forthcoming
arbitration rulemaking, which will likely result in more class action lawsuits,
will actually benefit credit union members instead of the plaintiffs’ bar. We
similar concerns to the CFPB.
Another member of the committee noted that any upcoming debt
collection rules from the CFPB should allow credit unions to continue contacting
their members about outstanding debts, noting there should be different
considerations between those who actually cannot pay their debts, and those
that simply don’t want to. The CUAC participants emphasized that communication
with CU members is best for all involved, since credit unions have a history of
working closely with their member owners to help them during times of financial
distress. In the past, we have
advocated that first-party creditors should be treated differently than
third-party debt collectors.
One CUAC member said he had hoped the CFPB would give credit
unions a “breather” to digest the existing rules affecting credit unions before
beginning to work through the lengthy agenda encompassed in the strategic
outlook. Credit unions continue
to struggle to find the resources to implement the massive overhaul to
rules in the mortgage
market, as well as other recent policy-makings from the CFPB.
The meeting also included a discussion of elder financial
abuse and efforts to protect senior credit union members and their families, an
issue in which we have been actively participating. A bill recently introduced in the Senate by Sen. Susan
Collins (R-Maine), which is supported by CUNA, would provide legal
immunity when reporting elder abuse. This bill would encourage more wide-scale
reporting when fraud or abuse is suspected. Additionally, our Compliance Department also provides resources to help credit unions identify
elder financial abuse.
As in the past, a recording of this meeting will be posted
on the CFPB’s website in the coming weeks.
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