Archive - 2012 Comment Letters

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National Credit Union Administration Date Published
Definition of a Small Entity   November 13, 2012
Extension of Acceptance Period for Low Income Designation for FCUs   November 26, 2012
Definition of a Rural District   December 3, 2012
Investment in Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS)   November 26, 2012
Payday Alternative Loans (PALs) ANPR   December 3, 2012
SBA Proposed Small Business Size Standard for Credit Unions   November 13, 2012
Definition of Troubled Conditions September 28, 2012

CUNA strongly opposes the agency’s proposal because it is inconsistent with the Federal Credit Union Act (FCU Act) and Executive Order No. 12612. CUNA believes the agency has not provided sufficient information to justify the need for the proposal and we urge NCUA to withdraw the proposal.

Maintaining Access to Emergency Liquidity September 28, 2012
CUNA Recommendations for Regulatory Relief and NCUA’s 2012 Regulatory Review August 3, 2012

CUNA responds to NCUA’s invitation for recommendations for regulatory relief for credit unions. Several of CUNA’s recommendations fall under one or more of the regulatory provisions that are included on the agency’s 2012 Regulatory Review list. In light of that, this letter addresses our comments on rules included on the review list as well as recommendations for other provisions in NCUA’s rules.

Financial Derivatives Transactions to Offset Interest Rate Risk (Independent Authority) April 3, 2012

We commend NCUA for continuing a rulemaking process regarding the limited use of derivatives within natural person credit unions to help manage their risks associated with rising interest rates. Currently, NCUA permits a limited number of FCUs, on a case-by-case basis, to engage in some derivatives transactions to hedge IRR through an investment pilot program. In our view, state as well as federally chartered credit unions should be able to engage in derivatives as a permissible investment activity in order to manage interest rate risk (IRR). CUNA also supports derivatives authority through a third-party for well-managed credit unions and independent authority for certain credit unions with adequate derivatives experience.

CUNA Letter to NCUA’s OMWI Office Regarding Implementing Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act March 26, 2012

CUNA understands that Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act, regarding Minority and Women Inclusion, must be implemented and that NCUA is obliged under Section 342(b)(2)(c) to develop standards for "assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by the agency. However, we urge that NCUA, through its Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) implement such standards in a manner that would minimize the information gathering and reporting burden on credit unions. CUNA commends NCUA in its efforts thus far in working towards developing these standards, and is pleased that CUNA members were invited to participate in NCUA’s first roundtable discussion on February 29, 2012. CUNA and its members urge OMWI to carefully consider the challenges credit unions face in complying with any standards that NCUA will develop under Section 342, especially relating to the difficulties involved in manually gathering diversity related data from employees, contractors, and suppliers. Since it is not required under the statute, and because it would be unduly difficult - and perhaps impossible - for our members to collect information relating to diversity of suppliers and contractors, CUNA recommends that OMWI exclude data relating to contractor and supplier relationships from any assessments it will implement under Section 342. CUNA and its members are also concerned that OMWI’s diversity-related assessments could lead to additional and unnecessary burdens for credit unions. Accordingly, CUNA asks NCUA to limit any Section 342 assessment standards to collecting employment-related data from credit unions that are subject to EEOC reporting requirements. We understand this is the approach NCUA currently plans to take, and would be pleased with such outcome. CUNA also asks OMWI to permit credit unions to self-report any data under Section 342 assessments, rather than subject them to additional examination burdens.

NCUA Proposal on Loan Workouts, Nonaccrual Policy, and Regulatory Reporting of TDRs March 2, 2012

CUNA believes the proposal is an important step forward in terms of guidance and reporting requirements for TDRs, and would provide regulatory relief on TDRs generally. Even so, there are some important issues that we believe must be addressed in the final rule, which are described in more detail our Comment Letter. One general issue is that some credit unions are concerned that their accounting practitioners may not agree that the proposal's treatment of TDRs is consistent with GAAP and NCUA should address that concern more thoroughly in the Supplementary Information accompanying the final rule.

Proposed Rule 742, Regulatory Flexibility Program February 27, 2012

CUNA does not support The National Credit Union Administration’s proposed rule, Eligible Obligations, Charitable Contributions, Nonmember Deposits, Fixed Assets, Investments, Member Business Loans, and Regulatory Flexibility (RegFlex) Program. When RegFlex was initiated in 2001, CUNA was a strong proponent of the approach to regulation that was the foundation of the program. It rewarded well-managed credit unions (generally CAMEL 1 or 2 rated and well-capitalized) with relief from regulatory requirements that were not mandated by the Federal Credit Union Act and were unnecessary for safety and soundness reasons. While some aspects of the current proposal could have a positive impact in certain areas, as discussed in the letter, the capacity of the proposal to actually help credit unions achieve real regulatory relief will be limited.

ANPR on Maintaining Access to Emergency Liquidity February 21, 2012

CUNA has serious concerns and does not support a new regulation that would require all federally insured credit unions to develop and maintain access to federal sources of liquidity that are approved by NCUA. CUNA does agree with NCUA that monitoring and managing liquidity by credit unions, particularly larger ones, is very important for a smooth functioning payment and financial system, however, in CUNA’s view, such an overly broad approach is inconsistent with the Interagency Policy Statement on Funding and Liquidity Risk Management (which was jointly issued by NCUA and other federal financial regulators) and the Basel Committee’s Principles for Sound Liquidity Risk Management. Both of these policy pronouncements recommend that financial institutions should maintain contingency liquidity plans commensurate with the risk profile of the institution, but stop short of directing specific provisions be included in the liquidity plans and do not designate the sources of liquidity.

NCUA Proposal on Loan Participations February 16, 2012

In the strongest terms appropriate, CUNA urges the Board to withdraw the proposal as issued. In today’s overregulated environment, this proposal would add to the regulatory burden of affected credit unions in a manner that is wholly disproportionate to the risks associated with loan participations. While the proposal seeks to address concentration risks and other issues the agency has identified concerning loan participations, it would do so at the price of severely limiting, if not eliminating, sound participation programs that serve credit unions, their members, and other credit unions well. The proposal would also seriously undermine lending programs and even earnings for some credit unions.

Updated Interagency Guidance Regarding Flood Insurance December 1, 2011

CUNA generally agrees that the three proposed interagency Q&As regarding force placement of flood insurance are consistent with the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 Act and its regulations. These interagency Q&As last updated in 2009 serve as guidance on flood insurance requirements for credit unions and other financial institutions, agency personnel, and the public. The three proposed interagency Q&As are intended to provide clearer guidance about the force placement of flood insurance, to clarify additional areas and avoid potential misunderstandings.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Date Published
Clearing Exemption for Certain Swaps Entered Into by Cooperatives August 16, 2012

CUNA supports the proposed clearing exemption for credit unions. As not-for-profit cooperatives, all well managed credit unions, consistent with safety and soundness, should be able to elect not to clear swaps that are for the purpose of hedging interest rate risks. We believe the proposed exemption would help minimize the additional costs and fees associated with mandatory clearing and provide flexibility for credit unions to use non-cleared swaps.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Date Published
Regulation Z Proposal re Home Ownership Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) - Part II November 7, 2012
Mortgage Servicing Amendment to Reg Z (TILA)  November 8, 2012
Mortgage Servicing Amendment to Reg X (RESPA)  November 8, 2012
TILA-RESPA Proposal to amend Reg Z and Reg X re Combination of Mortgage Disclosures November 6, 2012
TILA-RESPA Proposal to amend Reg Z and Reg X re Definition of Finance Charge November 6, 2012
Information Request on Effective Financial Education November 1, 2012
Mortgage Servicing Proposal to Amend Reg X (RESPA) November 8, 2012
Proposal to Implement Mortgage Loan Originator Compensation and Related Provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act October 16, 2012
Interagency Proposed Rule on Appraisals for Higher-Risk Mortgage Loans October 12, 2012

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Housing Finance Agency, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (collectively, the Agencies) have jointly issued a proposal to amend Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). This proposal implements the appraisal requirements for extensions of credit for "higher-risk mortgage loans required by the Dodd-Frank Act. The proposal was developed jointly by the Agencies and will apply to federally insured credit unions, among other lenders. CUNA strongly opposes a number of components of this proposal and those views are detailed in our comment letter.

Proposed Rule to Amend Regulation B (Equal Credit Opportunity Act) Regarding Provision of Copies of Appraisals and Valuations October 12, 2012

This letter represents the views of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (Bureau) proposed rule to amend Regulation B, Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), to require creditors to provide certain loan applicants with a copy of an appraisal and valuation in connection with credit to be secured by a first lien on a dwelling. Currently, § 1002.14(a) of Regulation B allows a creditor to provide the applicant with a copy of the appraisal report upon request.

Comments on 2012 Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Mortgage Servicing Proposal October 9th, 2012
Comments on 2012 Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) Mortgage Servicing Proposal October 9th, 2012
Joint Letter Reiterating Concerns on "Qualified Mortgage under Ability to Repay Proposal September 14, 2012

CUNA, along with several other financial services trade associations, filed a follow-up comment letter with the CFPB to reiterate our concerns on the QM under the pending Ability to Repay proposal. The letter expresses continued strong support that a QM meets the following: it be broadly defined; it utilize objective, bright line standards; and it include a safe harbor from ability to repay litigation.

Proposed Rule on High-Cost Mortgage and Homeownership Counseling Amendments to the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) September 7, 2012
Proposal to Amend Reg Z (TILA) and Reg X (RESPA) to Combine Mortgage Disclosures - Part I (Letter 1 of 2) September 7, 2012

The CFPB requests for comments on issues relating to the implementation of combined disclosure requirements under TILA and RESPA and the delayed effective date of certain disclosure requirements under Title XIV of the Dodd-Frank Act. We support the CFPB’s proposed delay of the Title XIV disclosures to coincide with the adoption of the combined TILA-RESPA disclosures.

Proposed Changes to HOEPA Regulations (Letter 1 of 2) September 7, 2012

CUNA has concerns with the CFPB’s proposed rule to amend Regulations X and Z to implement changes to TILA and RESPA, which expand the types of mortgage loans that are subject to the protections of the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), by revising and expanding the triggers for coverage under HOEPA, and by imposing additional restrictions on HOEPA mortgage loans. We urge the CFPB to allow flexibility where possible to creditors to reduce the compliance burden associated with this and other rules the Bureau is proposing.

Consumer Use of Reverse Mortgage Transactions August 31, 2012

The CFPB is seeking additional information on the use of reverse mortgages, consumer use of the loan proceeds, and business practices on reverse mortgages and while CUNA supports the CFPB’s efforts to understand more about reverse mortgages and to prevent abusive and deceptive practices on such products, we urge the agency to approach the regulation of reverse mortgages by first identifying abusive characteristics associated with some, but not all, reverse mortgages, and to focus on minimizing if not eliminating these harmful practices on the part of those who have a record of engaging in them.

Senior Financial Exploitation August 20, 2012

CUNA supports efforts by the CFPB to help seniors avoid financial exploitation and to encourage responsible decisions regarding financial management. As financial cooperatives, credit unions provide a full range of financial services, including financial management, retirement planning, and credit counseling to all their members, including seniors and their families. We urge the CFPB to recognize and consider how to protect the needs of seniors, while minimizing additional compliance burdens on credit unions.

Procedures to Supervise Non-Depository Institutions That Pose Risks To Consumers July 24, 2012

CUNA strongly agrees that non-depository institutions engaging or that have engaged in conduct that poses risks to consumers with regard to consumer financial products or services should be subject to the most rigorous consumer protection supervision, regulation, and enforcement, as contemplated by the Dodd-Frank Act (Act). We believe the CFPB has taken an appropriate step in that direction in developing procedures to supervise and examine certain non- depository institutions that were not subject to meaningful consumer protection supervision prior to the enactment of the Act. We support these efforts that maintain a bright line between entities subject to its rulemaking and regulated entities that should not be.

Prepaid Cards ANPR July 23, 2012

CUNA supports the goals of safe and transparent disclosures and appropriate consumer protections on GPR prepaid cards, which offer many benefits for consumers, including a higher proportion of the underserved. We urge the agency to minimize additional requirements and compliance burdens for credit unions that offer prepaid cards, so prepaid cards remain accessible and to promote payments innovation. Further, we have concerns that the potential application of certain Reg E requirements may not be appropriate for the different risks and attributes of GPR prepaid cards.

Policy Statement on Disclosure of Consumer Complaint Data July 18, 2012

The CFPB recently proposed its policy statement regarding disclosure of consumer complaint data for financial institutions with at least $10 billion in assets. Under this proposal, the Bureau would simply duplicate the final policy statement—that was recently adopted for credit card complaints—for complaints related to all other types of financial products and services. The Bureau should continue to take proactive steps to coordinate with the other regulators and to minimize regulatory burdens. Further, CUNA does not support the public release of certain complaint information that is separate from and in addition to the Bureau’s periodic reports and analyses that provide more complete complaint information to consumers.

Impact of Overdraft Programs on Consumers June 29, 2012
Information for Study of Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements June 27, 2012

In response to the CFPB’s request for information for its study on pre-dispute arbitration agreements, CUNA stated that regardless of the precise scope and method the CFPB determines is most appropriate for its study, we urge the agency to take into consideration and minimize the potential burden imposed on credit unions as a result of the study.

Collection of Information - Compliance Costs and Other Effects of Regulations June 19, 2012

CUNA believes the CFPB should fully understand and minimize the potential implementation and ongoing compliance costs and unintended consequences on credit unions from its potential new regulations. Because this information collection regarding compliance costs will also impose costs and burdens, we urge the CFPB to minimize such costs and burdens associated with this information collection by using limited, targeted questions, as well as efficient information collection methods.

Credit Card Fee Limitation Under Truth in Lending (Regulation Z) June 11, 2012

This comment letter represents the views of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed rule to amend Regulation Z, Truth in Lending Act (TILA), regarding the total amount of fees that a credit card issuer may charge a consumer with respect to the consumer’s credit card account. It is CUNA’s understanding that credit unions do not generally charge fees prior to account opening. CUNA agrees that the CFPB does not have authority under TILA to impose limits on fees prior to account opening. Nonetheless, CUNA is concerned that the proposal would open the door to additional fees for consumers from unscrupulous credit card issuers seeking to maximize profits

CUNA’s Comments on CFPB Docket No. CFPB-2011-0039, Streamlining Inherited Regulations June 4, 2012
Payday Lending Field Hearing Transcript April 23, 2012

We appreciate the opportunity for Mr. McMinn to participate in the field hearing to offer insight into the practices of Listerhill and credit unions generally with regard to short-term lending. CUNA and its member credit unions are committed to providing a safe and affordable alternative to predatory payday lenders.

Defining Larger Participants in Certain Consumer Financial Product and Service Markets April 17, 2012

CUNA strongly agrees that non-depository institutions, including consumer debt collection and consumer reporting entities, should be subject to meaningful consumer protection regulation and enforcement, as contemplated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In that connection, we believe the CFPB has taken an appropriate initial step to supervise and examine certain non-depository-institutions that were not subject to meaningful consumer protection supervision prior to the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). In light of this, CUNA urges the CFPB to define non-depository-institution "larger participants in a manner that provides the agency with the authority to ensure that consumers receive the same consumer protections under law from non-depository-institution financial service providers as they receive today from credit unions and other depository institutions.

Outline of Proposals Under Consideration and Alternatives Considered" relating to the Small Business Review Panel for TILA-RESPA Integration Rulemaking April 16, 2012

CUNA supports efforts under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank Act) to consolidate the mortgage disclosures currently required by the Truth in Lending Act ("TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA). In General, CUNA supports providing consumer disclosures that are meaningful and clear for borrowers to understand the important terms of a financial transaction, yet not overly burdensome for credit unions to properly complete, generate, deliver and explain to mortgage loan applicants. However, there are several aspects of the proposals under consideration and alternatives considered with which CUNA would like to provide additional comments and suggestions to the CFPB prior to the issuance of a proposed rule in this important area.

Confidential Treatment of Privileged Information April 16, 2012

While CUNA appreciates the objectives of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal to clarify that the submission of any information to the CFPB for regulatory or supervisory purposes does not affect the privilege that has been asserted under the federal or state law with respect to any other person or entity, CUNA does have some concerns related to this proposal. It is not certain that the CFPB can alter the rules of common law that generally govern the privilege and when it is waived. CUNA is also concerned that if the CFPB adopts these regulatory amendments, it may be encouraging the Senate not to act, thus foregoing an important opportunity to provide a stronger statutory basis for the protection of privilege than the CFPB’s rule would afford, given the current uncertain legal foundation. We urge the CFPB to consider the impact of its actions on the advancement of the legislation in the Senate and to postpone its rulemaking, pending review by the Senate.

Remittance Transfers (Safe Harbor; Scheduled and Preauthorized Transfers) April 9, 2012

Credit unions remain very frustrated that few of their concerns were addressed in the final rule on remittance transfers. Credit unions provide these transfers to their members as one of many services they offer and are not in business solely to offer remittance transfers. They are not seeking to charge exorbitant fees or to prevent consumers from having reliable information about their transactions. Nonetheless, due to the impact of the final rule, a number of credit unions will simply stop providing remittance transfers to their members unless the current proposal is revised sufficiently to provide meaningful relief to credit unions from requirements in the final regulation. Unless the Bureau adopts our suggested changes, the remittance transfers final rule’s high compliance costs and legal liabilities that will be imposed on transfers through "open networks" including international wires, such as the Society for Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), or international ACH through unrelated correspondent institutions (that are outside of the sender’s control) will force credit unions with relatively small volume international payments programs to eliminate such programs since they will no longer be economically sustainable.

Streamlining Inherited Regulations March 5, 2012

This is a very important undertaking by the agency and one that CUNA has strongly encouraged. Under Executive Orders 13563 (January 2011, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) and 13579 (July 2011, Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies), the Obama Administration has called upon independent regulatory agencies to do much more to curtail requirements and address regulatory concerns. So far, credit unions have not experienced any real benefits from the orders even though throughout the economic crisis, unlike other financial institutions, credit unions continued trying to do their jobs - despite mounting regulatory responsibilities.

Interim Final Rule - Electronic Fund Transfers (Regulation E) February 27, 2012

CUNA is urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to suspend the duplicative ATM notice requirements under Reg E to no longer mandate these duplicate notices. Additionally, we urge the CFPB to provide more flexibility on existing disclosure requirements, including additional options to provide disclosures that are currently required to be in writing to be delivered electronically, consistent with the E-SIGN Act. Finally, we are asking that the CFPB provide meaningful relief for credit unions and other financial institutions under the remittances transfers final rule which was recently issued, as credit unions are concerned that they may have to cease offering international wire and international ACH products or provide them at substantially higher costs due to increased compliance costs and legal liabilities under the final rule.

Regulation Z, Truth in Lending Act February 21, 2012

Regulation Z (Reg Z) is one of the most complex and costly regulations to implement for credit unions and it is at the top of the list for most of CUNA’s members in terms of rules that need to be simplified. To that end, CUNA, working with our Consumer Protection Subcommittee and our Lending Council, is undertaking a review of Reg Z, and we hope to provide additional comments and recommendations to the Bureau by this summer at the conclusion of that review. There are some issues that CUNA members have flagged to us regarding their concerns with Reg Z, which we address in this letter.

Fair Credit Reporting (Regulation V) February 21, 2012

This comment letter represents the views of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) republished Regulation V - Fair Credit Reporting (Reg V), which implements the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The interim final rule substantially incorporates the inherited regulations from other agencies and duplicates Reg V from the Federal Reserve Board (Fed), making only certain non-substantive, technical, formatting, and stylistic changes, and does not impose any new substantive obligations on persons subject to the existing regulation.

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act February 21, 2012

CUNA applauds the CFPB for its approach on combining the RESPA and TILA forms under its "Know Before You Owe mortgage project, and CUNA’s inclusion on the working groups the agency has established for direct feedback on the forms’ revisions. In this letter, CUNA is also urging the CFPB to consider placing into one location all guidance and instructions with respect to the proper completion of these forms, as the agency continues to complete this phase of the Dodd-Frank Act mandates. Additionally, CUNA has asked for sufficient time for lenders to implement any new rules that may be promulgated in the future which would affect Reg X, and has urged the CFPB to allow for at least one full calendar year beyond the date a final rule is promulgated when implementing any mandatory compliance date within such a rule. CUNA has also urged the CFPB to examine certain definitions within Reg X and to make such definitions consistent, where permissible and where appropriate, with similar definitions located in either other regulations that fall under the purview of the CFPB or the underlying statute of the rule. CUNA has asked the CFPB to provide additional clarifications and examples as to what does and does not constitute a "thing of value in connection with the prohibition of referral fees in connection with Section 8 of RESPA. Finally, CUNA has urged the CFPB to consider the difficulties that many credit union lenders face when determining whether a particular loan is covered by Reg X, Reg Z or both for purposes of determining the appropriate consumer protection disclosures that must be provided.

Comments on Regulation B, Equal Credit Opportunity Act February 21, 2012

The interim final rule substantially duplicates the rule of the Federal Reserve Board (Board) under the Act, Regulation B, 12 C.F.R. Part 202, and incorporates the appendixes, model forms, and supplements that were included with the Board’s regulation. The rule has been edited to include wording and other technical revisions required by the Dodd-Frank Act but the changes are not intended to impose any new substantive requirements on entities covered by the regulation. CUNA strongly supports equal opportunities for consumers and small businesses to belong to and benefit from credit unions, which routinely seek to serve their members and communities by providing favorable rates on loans and savings.

Interim Final Rule - Privacy of Consumer Financial Information (Regulation P) February 21, 2012

The Dodd-Frank Act requires the CFPB to assume authority relating to Regulation P. The CFPB combined the Regulation P rules of eight different agencies into one comprehensive interim final rule. In its comment letter, CUNA requests that the CFPB consider removing the requirement that financial institutions send an annual privacy notice to every consumer with whom the institution has a continuing relationship. CUNA recommends amending the annual privacy notice requirement to require financial institutions to provide a revised privacy notice to the customer only when a change is made to the institution’s privacy policy. This would not affect the existing requirement that the institution provide an initial privacy notice to the customer at the time the relationship is established. Eliminating the annual privacy notice requirement, except in the event any changes have been made to the institutions’ privacy policy, will help to relieve the regulatory burden on financial institutions. CUNA understands that any change to this requirement may require a legislative amendment to Section 503(a) of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. We encourage the CFPB to seek this legislative change in the event it is necessary.

SAFE Act Interim Final Rule February 17, 2012

While CUNA recognizes that the Rule substantially duplicates the rules previously promulgated by the OCC, the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC, the OTS, the Farm Credit Administration, and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and does not impose any new substantive obligations on regulated entities, CUNA wishes to take this opportunity to provide input to the CFPB concerning the substance of the Rule itself. In particular, CUNA has had longstanding concerns, which we have provided to NCUA, regarding the use of certain terms in the rule.

Interim Final Rule - Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (Regulation C) February 17, 2012

The CFPB has issued an interim final rule to republish (as the CFPB’s new Reg C) the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation C which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. While this interim final rule does not cover the new required data elements under HMDA which are required as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, CUNA is urging the CFPB to consider additional regulatory burdens and costs which may be placed on covered credit unions under any future rules promulgated by the agency. CUNA is also advocating for a change in the procedures concerning data collection on ethnicity, race and sex with respect to mortgage loan applications which are taken in person, but elects not to provide this information to the lender, to be more in line with those applications which are taken via mail, telephone or internet. Additionally, CUNA is urging the CFPB to harmonize, where permissible and where appropriate, certain definitions within Regulation C with either other regulations that fall under the purview of the CFPB or the underlying statute of the regulation. Finally, CUNA asks that the CFPB work to minimize the regulatory burden associated with HMDA reporting on credit unions of all sizes.

Interim Final Rule - Consumer Leasing (Regulation M) February 17, 2012

The CFPB has issued an interim final rule to republish (as the CFPB’s new Reg M) the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation M which implements the Consumer Leasing Act of 1976. CUNA believes the Reg M interim final rule is consistent with the existing regulation, but we urge the CFPB to streamline its inherited regulations, including Reg M, by updating, modifying, or eliminating outdated, unduly burdensome, or unnecessary provisions. We also urge the agency to minimize the overall regulatory burdens and costs for credit unions in the event the CFPB decides to alter existing requirements concerning the uniform cost and other disclosure requirements relating to consumer lease transactions under Reg M.

Interim Final Rule - Mortgage Advertising and Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (Regulations N & O) February 14, 2012

The CFPB has issued an interim final rule to republish (as the CFPB's new Regs N and O) the FTC's regulations concerning unfair and deceptive acts and practices (UDAP) regarding mortgage advertising and mortgage assistance relief services. Although we support the goals of Regs N and O, which are primarily to protect the consumer, we ask the CFPB to consider how the requirements of these regulations can be minimized for state-chartered credit unions since it appears these entities are covered under general rulemaking authority to address unfair and deceptive acts and practices rather than specific provisions related to credit unions.

Interim Final Rule - Requirements for Non-Federally Insured Financial Institutions - Regulation I February 14, 2012

The Dodd-Frank Act requires the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to assume regulatory authority regarding disclosures and other requirements for non-federally insured depository institutions, such as privately insured credit unions, under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA). CUNA is not seeking changes to the regulation at this time. However, we encourage the CFPB to work with American Share Insurance Company regarding the implementation and enforcement of Regulation I.

Interim Final Rule - Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Regulation F) February 14, 2012

The CFPB has issued an interim final rule to republish (as the CFPB’s new Reg F) the procedures that states may use to apply for exemption from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as implemented by the FTC. While only a small number of credit unions participate in debt collection services covered by Reg F, CUNA’s comment letter asks the CFPB to thoroughly analyze this and subsequent CFPB rules to identify changes in the rules that would minimize the regulatory compliance burden on credit unions, and then initiate the process for making such changes, in instances where the agency believes it has adequate authority to do so.

Policy Statement on Disclosure of Certain Credit Card Complaint Data (Large Issuers) January 30, 2012

CUNA supports the ability of consumers to have timely and clear information on responsible credit card use. However, we do not support the public release of certain credit card complaint information that is separate from and in addition to the agency’s periodic reports and analyses, which provide more complete credit card complaint information to consumers. While we do not anticipate that credit unions, as member-owned cooperatives, will be the subject of a sizable number of complaints, nonetheless we have concerns the proposed public data release could have unintended consequences.

Request for Information Regarding Private Education Loans and Private Educational Lenders January 17, 2012

CUNA and its members support the CFPB’s efforts to gather information regarding private student lending and to study closely the private student lending market, consistent with your authority under the Dodd-Frank Act. There are about 300 credit unions that currently offer student loans to their members and they want to ensure they are providing lending products that have favorable rates and other terms and that their members understand their obligations under the loan agreement, as credit unions do with other loans provided to their members. In that connection, we encourage the CFPB to be mindful of the positive role credit unions play in providing student loans to members pursuing educational opportunities. We also encourage the CFPB to continue to take an analytical and deliberative approach to its information gathering and rulemaking efforts, particularly with regard to generating a report regarding private education loans and private education lenders and with any follow-up actions. Along these lines, to the extent the CFPB has authority to do so, we encourage the CFPB to study the costs of higher education, the value received from higher education, and its costs on students and their families, and provide a report to Congress on its findings.

Mortgage Servicing Forms January 13, 2012

CUNA supports the CFPB’s core objective in its mortgage servicing forms information gathering effort to help refine specific features of the content and design of the mortgage servicing model forms to maximize communication effectiveness while minimizing compliance burden. CUNA encourages the CFPB take the same analytical and deliberative approach it has taken thus far with respect to its various information gathering and rulemaking efforts, by seeking information from a broad sample of industry participants and by releasing several draft model servicing forms for comment during the drafting period. We ask that CFPB gather information from participants in all areas of the mortgage servicing market, including credit unions and other small mortgage lenders and servicers. CUNA also requests that this process place emphasis on the compliance burden associated with adopting new model forms, and that the CFPB ensure that any compliance burden for servicers is minimized - especially for small servicers. Provided these steps are effectively taken, CUNA believes that this information gathering process could help minimize any compliance burden associated with adopting new model servicing forms, particularly for small servicers.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Date Published
Proposed Definition of "Predominantly Engaged in Activities That Are Financial in Nature or Incidental Thereto" August 17, 2012

We are submitting comments to seek clarity that credit unions should not be covered under this proposal and Title II of the Dodd Frank Act. CUNA believes that credit unions should not be considered entities subject to the proposed definition of "predominantly engaged in activities that are financial in nature or incidental thereto for the purposes of the Ordinary Liquidating Authority (OLA) under Title II of the DFA. The OLA should only apply to "systemically risky entities that did not previously have federal resolution authority.

Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Date Published
Short Sale Guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac November 1, 2012
Adjustment to State-Level Guarantee Fee Pricing November 27, 2012
White Paper: "New Infrastructure for the Secondary Mortgage Market" December 5, 2012
Proposed use of Eminent Domain September 7, 2012
FHFA-FHLB Community Support Amendments February 8, 2012

CUNA is generally opposed to the FHFA’s proposed rule which would amend the community support regulation to require the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB), as opposed to the FHFA, to monitor and assess the eligibility of each FHLB member for access to long-term advances through compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 and first-time homebuyer standards. CUNA has significant concerns that the proposed rule would require the FHLBs to act as regulators of their members, if finalized as proposed.

Alternative Mortgage Servicing Compensation Discussion Paper December 27, 2011

CUNA and its members urge FHFA to release further details on each proposal laid out in the Discussion Paper, and to refrain from making any changes to the servicing compensation structure until the future of the GSEs are determined and national servicing standards are developed. While we understand FHFA’s objectives, it is impossible to understand at this point what the effects of either proposal will be on credit unions and on the industry as a whole. We also believe any change in servicing compensation at this point is premature, in light of the myriad servicing standards proposals flowing from various initiatives by agencies, legislators, and Attorneys General. CUNA and its members are also concerned that the reduction in servicing compensation proposed under either option will lead to consolidation in the industry, driving out the small servicers and significantly reducing competition.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Date Published
Child Online Privacy Protection Act December 22, 2011

The FTC proposal would revise the existing Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rules established in 2000 to change their parental consent and disclosure requirements, among other things. CUNA supports the FTC’s efforts to protect children. We urge the agency, however, to modify several aspects of the proposal in order to make it easier for credit unions to obtain parental consent under the COPPA rules and limit unnecessary disclosure requirements. Credit unions frequently provide savings accounts and other limited services to children and seek to help them develop productive savings habits. Credit unions also provide children and other minors with financial literacy education that will serve them well as financial service users and borrowers. Many credit unions engage in youth outreach using CUNA’s Googolplex, a financial literacy website for young people, as well as the National Credit Union Foundation’s "Biz Kid$ financial literacy initiative that teaches children and teens about money and business.

Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Date Published
Private Company Decision-Making Framework November 1, 2012
Proposed Accounting Standards Update: Financial Instruments (Topic 825) Disclosures about Liquidity Risk and Interest Rate Risk September 25, 2012

CUNA strongly opposes this proposed regulation and is urging FASB to exclude credit unions from the coverage of the proposal. Credit unions are not publicly traded entities and CUNA is concerned that this proposal will treat them as if they are. As outlined in our comment letter, under the proposed ruling, a financial institution would be required to disclose liquidity risk information and interest rate risk disclosures. A requirement CUNA believes would be onerous to credit unions in light of the range of information they already provide to their members and to the government.

Proposed Plan to Improve Private Company Standard January 13, 2012

We appreciate the Foundation’s initiative in addressing the issue of whether improvements are necessary for private entity accounting and, if so, how to best facilitate such improvements. We believe strongly that there is a need for improvements to the accounting standards that private companies must work under on a daily basis. We agree with constituents, as noted in the Foundation’s proposed plan, that "complexity in financial reporting is, in many ways, the real problem for private entities. In regard to the proposed Council, we support the Foundation’s general approach to address the concerns raised by private entities, and offer several suggestions for the Foundation to consider.

Federal Housing Finance AgencyDate Published Date Published
Short Sale Guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac   November 1, 2012
Adjustment to State-Level Guarantee Fee Pricing November 27, 2012
White Paper: "New Infrastructure for the Secondary Mortgage Market" December 5, 2012
Alternative Mortgage Servicing Compensation Discussion Paper October 4, 2012
Proposed use of Eminent Domain October 4, 2012
FHLB Community Support Amendments September 11, 2012

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Date Published
Customer Due Diligence ANPR May 4, 2012

While CUNA supports the objective to improve the tracking of money laundering and terrorist financing, we strongly urge FinCEN not to proceed with the customer due diligence advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR). We are concerned that the increased regulatory burdens and costs on credit unions would far outweigh the purported benefits to FinCEN. We are especially concerned about the potential expansion of the "beneficial ownership requirements. Credit unions currently face significant challenges to obtain such information. These difficulties would only be exacerbated if FinCEN proceeds to a final rule. Instead, FinCEN working with the federal financial regulators should issue specific guidance to address specific problem areas and to clarify the current BSA/AML rules. If the agency determines it must proceed with a rulemaking, we urge FinCEN to adopt changes that we recommend in this letter.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Date Published
Comments regarding HUD’s proposed Risk Management Initiative: Revised Seller Concessions March 26, 2012

HUD’s proposal limits the amount of closing costs a seller may pay on behalf of a homebuyer purchasing a home with financing insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). HUD previously sought and received comments on this proposal on July 15, 2010, as one of three initiatives proposed to help restore the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF) capital reserve account. HUD is proposing implementing a cap of $6,000 or 3%, whichever is greater, on the concessions a seller may pay on behalf of a homebuyer in purchasing a home insured by FHA. HUD is also proposing narrowing the definition of acceptable concessions to limit seller payments to the following: (a) the borrower’s actual costs to close on the loan, (b) the up-front mortgage insurance premium due on the loan, and (c) an interest rate buydown. CUNA submitted a comment letter on August 16, 2010 on HUD’s previous proposal, and reiterates its previous comments, supporting HUD’s proposal to institute a cap of $6,000 or 3%, whichever is greater, on the concessions a seller may pay on behalf of a homebuyer in purchasing a home insured by FHA. CUNA supports including a $6,000 dollar limit as an alternative to a 3% cap to avoid the possibility that the 3% cap could have a disproportionately negative impact on borrowers with low and moderate incomes who are purchasing moderately priced homes. CUNA also supports HUD’s proposed narrowing of the definition of acceptable concessions paid by the seller.

Proposed Rule Eliminating Requests for Alternative Mortgage Limits for Federal Housing Administration Maximum Mortgage Amounts March 12, 2012

HUD proposes eliminating the process for requesting alternative FHA maximum mortgage amounts. Because HUD now has direct price data through CoreLogic for over 2,000 counties, as well as indirect price data for an additional 1,200 counties, only ten counties out of the total 3,234 counties in the United States could qualify for an appeal. But of those ten counties, HUD believes only one (Lancaster County, VA) could actually qualify for an appeal. Since the number of appeals dropped to zero in 2010, HUD finds that the rule permitting a process for requesting alternative FHA maximum mortgage amounts is outdated and unnecessarily disrupts its loan limit determination process. HUD expects that if the appeals process is eliminated, it would be able to release its annual loan limits one month earlier than it has for the past three calendar years (in October rather than November). CUNA and its members appreciate HUD's efforts to release loan limit data one month earlier each year than it currently does. This will enable lenders to accept, with certainty, loan applications in November and December conforming to the following year's loan limits. However, we are concerned that eliminating the appeals process altogether will penalize the ten counties for which HUD does not have sufficient direct or indirect data to accurately determine a loan limit. Additionally, even though the number of appeals dropped to zero in 2010 (for the 2011 loan limits), we do not believe one year is enough time to conclude with certainty that the appeals process is altogether obsolete – especially given the lackluster state of the current mortgage market. For these reasons, CUNA recommends that HUD maintain an adequate process by which interested parties in these ten counties may request an alternative loan limit, at least until HUD has sufficient data (indirect or direct) to accurately calculate an appropriate loan limit for those counties.

Proposed Rule Implementing a Discriminatory Effects Standard into the Fair Housing Act January 17, 2012

CUNA believes that incorporating a discriminatory effects standard into the Fair Housing Act is premature at this point. HUD should not consider implementing a discriminatory effects standard until after the U.S. Supreme Court has reached a decision in Magner v. Gallagher, No. 10-1032. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in this case on November 7, 2011 and oral argument is scheduled for February 29, 2012. In Magner v. Gallagher, the U.S. Supreme Court will review the precise issues that HUD’s proposed rule addresses. The questions presented in the case are (1) whether a lawsuit can be brought for a violation of the Fair Housing Act based on a practice that does not have a discriminatory intent but instead has a discriminatory effect, and (2) if so, what test should be used to determine whether a practice has a discriminatory effect and therefore violates the Fair Housing Act? CUNA is concerned that implementing a uniform discriminatory effects standard before Magner v. Gallagher is decided could cause unnecessary confusion for both lenders and borrowers regarding the proper interpretation of the Fair Housing Act.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Date Published
IRS Proposal on "Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act" April 30, 2012

CUNA has serious concerns with an IRS proposal to implement provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).  CUNA believes U.S. credit unions should not be subjected to any new requirements as a result of the IRS’s proposed FATCA regulations.  In addition to the comments in our letter, CUNA supports the views of the World Council of Credit Unions, as provided in its comment letter to the IRS.  In particular, we support the World Council’s remarks regarding the treatment of “nonregistering local banks” and remittance transfers.

Determination of Governmental Plan Status February 6, 2012

CUNA is generally supportive of the IRS’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking and accompanying draft proposed rule to establish regulations that would provide general guidance relating to the determination of whether a retirement plan is a governmental plan within the meaning of § 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code..

NACHA (Electronic Payments Association) Date Published
Person-to-Person (P2P) Payments October 1, 2012

CUNA appreciates NACHA’s efforts to standardize person-to-person payments (P2P) on the ACH network, which is intended to facilitate risk management and payments innovation. We understand that a small but growing number of credit unions offer P2P services on the ACH network. We urge NACHA to minimize the costs associated with the proposed changes to standardize P2P payments on Receiving Depository Financial Institutions (RDFIs) and Originating Depository Financial Institutions (ODFIs), especially for smaller credit unions.

Compliance and Operational Topics September 24, 2012

CUNA generally supports NACHA’s proposal on compliance and operational topics to clarify the meaning or intent of provisions, improve processing efficiency, and eliminate requirements that no longer add value to the ACH network. While these technical changes are intended to improve the ACH network, we ask NACHA to minimize additional implementation and compliance costs.

ACH Security Framework June 22, 2012

CUNA appreciates NACHA’s efforts to improve the security and integrity of the ACH network. However, while we generally agree with the objective to improve the security and integrity of sensitive ACH data, we urge NACHA to minimize compliance costs on all credit unions and minimize redundancy with other data security requirements. We agree the proposed ACH security framework should be expressed in general terms. The framework should permit each covered entity to implement ACH security on protected information based on its business and risk needs, help minimize additional compliance costs and burdens, and ensure consistency with other regulatory responsibilities. The ACH security framework should not impose specific requirements, such as specific security policies, procedures, and systems.

Healthcare Payments Processing April 27, 2012

CUNA believes NACHA should minimize costs on financial institutions that process healthcare remittance (reimbursement) payments on the ACH network. NACHA should continue to permit Receiving Depository Financial Institutions (RDFIs) to provide healthcare payments information to assist their healthcare receivers based on the capabilities and preferences of both the RDFI and the receiver. In addition, we offer other recommendations to minimize costs with regard to healthcare payments processing.

Expedited Processing and Settlement (EPS) December 12, 2011

CUNA appreciates NACHA’s objective to provide a new premium same-day, expedited payment service on the ACH network. However, we believe not all receiving financial institutions should be required to receive and post same-day ACH payments because of significant implementation and risk management concerns, especially for smaller credit unions and other financial institutions. Instead, NACHA should permit credit unions and others to opt in to the new EPS service or conduct a pilot program first to study the extensive effects of the proposal before taking further action.