Removing Barriers Blog

Keeping member credit unions and leagues current on what and why we are doing for advocacy efforts including legislative, regulatory and state governmental affairs.
Posted October 30, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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."

Posted October 30, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

 

Posted October 30, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted October 29, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted October 28, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.”

Posted October 26, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted October 23, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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:

  1. For purposes of calculating the annual operating fee, it would amend the current rule to exclude from total assets any loan an FCU reports under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or similar future programs approved for exclusion by NCUA.
  2. It would also amend the period used for the calculation of an FCU’s total assets. Currently, total assets are calculated using the FCU’s December 31st Call Report of the preceding year. Under the proposed rule, total assets would be calculated as the average total assets reported on the FCU’s previous four Call Reports.

Posted October 22, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted October 19, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted October 19, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted October 15, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted October 15, 2020 by dyi

The Board received a briefing on cybersecurity considerations for boards of directors during the pandemic.

Posted October 13, 2020 by dyi

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. 

Posted October 13, 2020 by dyi

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).

Posted October 08, 2020 by dyi

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.

Posted October 08, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted October 08, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The National Credit Union Administration will host a webinar on financial inclusion and minority depository institutions on Oct. 21.

Posted October 07, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

 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.

Posted October 06, 2020 by dyi
NCUA is accepting comments until 10 19 on its proposal to phase in the day one adverse effects on regulatory capital that may result from adoption of CECL.
Posted October 05, 2020 by dyi

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).

Posted October 01, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.” 

Posted October 01, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.

Posted September 30, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.”

Posted September 30, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

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.