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 February 28, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The CUNA-supported TRID Improvement Act of 2018 passed the House of Representatives. The bill would amend the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act to require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to allow the accurate disclosure of title insurance premiums and any potential available discounts to homebuyers. 

Posted February 28, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
The House Small Business Committee held a hearing entitled, “How Red Tape Affects Community Banks and Credit Unions: A GAO Report.”  Prior to the hearing, CUNA sent a letter to Chairman Chabot and Ranking Member Velázquez to highlight the burdens of overregulation and predatory litigation on credit unions and other small businesses. 
Posted February 27, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle and several other credit union leaders left CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference briefly Monday for a meeting at the White House to talk regulatory relief with President Donald Trump.
Posted February 25, 2018 by Chandler Schuette
The House and Senate will be in session for an abbreviated week due to the death of Reverend Billy Graham.  The late Reverend will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday and Thursday.

Posted February 22, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote to the members of the Iowa State Senate urging them to reject a bill that would place additional taxes on credit unions. CUNA has been working closely with the Iowa Credit Union League as bank attacks have ramped up in the state, and will continue its advocacy on a state level to work against the bill, S.S.B. 3197.  
Posted February 22, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA and the Cornerstone Credit Union League filed a motion for leave to file a brief supporting the BCM Federal Credit Union that is facing a frivolous lawsuit alleging website noncompliance under the ADA.  The brief supports Houston-based credit union’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought against it. 

Credit unions are being hit with virtually identical frivolous lawsuits from plaintiffs' firms exploiting a law designed to protect those with disabilities.  CUNA anticipates taking similar actions in several cases in the coming weeks to maximize our impact on behalf of all credit unions and to ensure we preserve our arguments for any litigation that makes it to the appellate level.  

Posted February 21, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA and NAFCU sent a letter to Chairman Hatch in response to a letter sent by the state banking trade associations.  In the letter, CUNA and NAFCU reiterated that credit unions have been, and will continue to be, the best avenue for Americans to gain access to affordable financial services and products. 

“Banking lobbyists would like the tax status to be limited based on the products or services credit unions offer, the size of credit unions individually and as a sector of the financial services industry, their efforts to support their community and raise overall awareness, and other factors,” the letter reads. “But these factors have nothing to do with why Congress originally conveyed the tax status, nor why it continues to be extended. The fact is credit unions’ structure has not changed and they continue to fulfill their mission.” 

Posted February 21, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Request for Information (RFI) on the bureau’s external engagements. Specifically, the bureau is seeking comments and information from interested parties on ways to engage the public and receive feedback on the work of the agency.

Posted February 21, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
In a recent issued report, PEW outlines ideas for expanding financial institution participation in the small dollar loan market. In its report PEW states, “many credit unions and community banks already offer some small installment loans and lines of credit. But because regulators have not yet issued guidance for how banks and credit unions should offer small-dollar installment loans, or granted specific regulatory approvals for offering a high volume of such loans, these programs have not achieved a scale to rival the 100 million or so payday loans issued annually—let alone the rest of the nonbank small-dollar loan market.” 
Posted February 16, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
In response to a request regarding the legal authority of the agency to transfer funds from the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund (TCCUSIF) to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (“Share Insurance Fund”), NCUA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a report evaluating the NCUA Board’s rationale for setting the Normal Operating Level (NOL) of the Share Insurance Fund to 1.39 percent, having determined that it was beyond the scope to undertake a legal review of the Board’s statutory authority under the Federal Credit Union Act (FCUA).
Posted February 15, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
The House of Representatives passed two pieces of CUNA supported legislation, the TRID Improvement Act of 2017 - H.R. 3978 and the Protecting Consumers' Access to Credit - H.R. 3299.
Posted February 15, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
CUNA-supported legislation, H.R. 620 – the ADA Education and Reform Act, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 225-192.  On Tuesday, CUNA sent a letter to Representative Poe in support of his legislation. 
Posted February 15, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
The NCUA Board unanimously approved a final rule to issue equity distributions from the Share Insurance Fund. As a result of the closure, and subsequent merger, of the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund, NCUA will issue the equity distribution in the form of a SIF dividend. The distribution will total $735.7 million, and is expected to be received by credit unions in Q3 2018.
Posted February 14, 2018 by Chandler Schuette
CUNA witness, Kim Sponem – President/CEO of Summit Credit Union in Madison, WI, testified before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit – she did a great job representing America’s credit unions!  This was a long-sought hearing and is hopefully the precursor to new data security legislation being introduced by Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer.
Posted February 14, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
CUNA sent a letter to Representative Ted Poe in support of his efforts to address litigation abuse under the Americans with Disabilities Act with his legislation – H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017. 
Posted February 13, 2018 by Chandler Schuette
The President sent his proposed budget to Congress.  Like last year, the President’s budget requests no new appropriations for both the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFIF) and the NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRFL).  Last year, however, due to strong advocacy from CUNA, the Leagues, and credit unions across the country – both funds received full funding in 2017. 
Posted February 13, 2018 by Chandler Schuette
This week the CFPB released its five-year Strategic Plan that establishes its mission, strategic goals, and strategic objectives. In describing the new plan, Acting Director Mick Mulvaney stated, “If there is one way to summarize the strategic changes occurring at the Bureau, it is this: we have committed to fulfill the Bureau’s statutory responsibilities, but go no further. By hewing to the statute, this Strategic Plan provides the Bureau a ready roadmap, a touchstone with a fixed meaning that should serve as a bulwark against the misuse of our unparalleled powers.” 
Posted February 12, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
Last week, the Congress passed a short term “continuing resolution” to fund the government through March 23, 2018.  Included in the bill was the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, laying the groundwork for a larger budget deal to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2018.  As part of this new law, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is reauthorized on the same track as government spending until March 23.
Posted February 09, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
Today, CUNA filed a letter with the CFPB in response to its request for information on Consumers’ Experience with Free Access to Credit Scores. Over the last few years, many credit card issuers, financial institutions—including credit unions—and other companies have
Posted February 09, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
CUNA is continuing its work with league partners and credit unions as lawsuits and demand letters continue in at least 15 states. Lawsuits that we are aware of have been filed in Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, Georgia, Maryland, Illinois, and Texas. CUNA is currently working to prepare to file in support of litigation in all of these jurisdictions and is encouraging credit unions and leagues to keep us updated if they see any new trends or legal actions in their state. 
Posted February 09, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
A hearing was held on a Georgia bill that would make a number of enhancements to the state’s credit union act. The measure, HB 780, is the result of nearly a year’s worth of work by Georgia Credit Union and Affiliates and the state regulator to enact positive changes for the industry. 
Posted February 08, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
The NCUA released the agenda for their February Board Meeting scheduled for February 15 at 10:00 a.m. at the agency’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.
Posted February 08, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
CUNA joined a number of financial trades in sending a letter to Acting Director Mulvaney to advise the CFPB on the significant unaddressed issues in the CFPB’s 2016 amendments to the 2013 TILA/RESPA Mortgage Servicer Rule that is scheduled to go into effect in April 2018.  The rule requires mortgage servicers to send monthly billing statements to consumers in active bankruptcy cases and certain other bankruptcy cases.
Posted February 08, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it will issue a Request for Information (RFI) on the Bureau's enforcement processes.

Posted February 07, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA sent a letter to Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in response to the letter he wrote to the NCUA asking a number of questions about credit unions and whether they are evolving beyond their original purpose. 

In the letter, CUNA reiterated that credit unions are Americans’ best option for financial services, and the credit union tax status represents one of the best investment that the government makes in its citizens.

Posted February 07, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
CUNA joined a number of trade associations in sending a letter to Congress urging them to vote in favor of H.R. 1153 – the Mortgage Choice Act.
Posted February 07, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

As previously reported, the CFPB listened to CUNA and others and decided to delay the effective date of the prepaid accounts rule to allow additional implementation time. The CFPB recently released a final rule that amends the prepaid accounts rule, including by extending the effective date until April 1, 2019.

Posted February 07, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

A Vermont House member presented an anti-credit union bill at a committee hearing. Representative Fred Baser spoke in support of HB 737, which would apply the sales and use tax to state credit unions. The bill would also subject state chartered credit unions to Community Reinvestment Act like requirements. If enacted, credit unions would be required to file an annual report concerning their efforts to serve the needs of low and moderate income Vermonters. 

Posted February 06, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City gave conditional approval to a Colorado credit union to serve marijuana-related businesses. However, to obtain the Fed’s approval, Fourth Corner Credit Union will not serve state-licensed dispensaries, but will focus on individuals and companies that support legalized marijuana, including those who partner with vendors, such as accountants, lawyers and landlords. 
Posted February 05, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
This week, both the House and Senate are in session.  Starting Wednesday, House Democrats will hold their winter retreat.  The House is expected to consider the “Mortgage Choice Act of 2017” (H.R. 1153); the “Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2017” (H.R. 772); and a “Continuing Resolution” to fund the government. 
Posted February 02, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA and the Defense Credit Union Council sent a formal petition to the DoD seeking immediate removal of language in recently released guidance that is causing confusion and making it difficult to offer certain products under the Military Lending Act regulation.

Posted February 02, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Earlier this week, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) wrote to the NCUA asking a number of questions about credit unions and whether they are evolving beyond their original purpose. 

CUNA respects the oversight role of the Senate Finance Committee but disagrees with the Senator’s position and will continue to promote the credit union difference on Capitol Hill. 

Posted February 01, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

In a decision last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Northwest Federal Credit Union prevailed in a Motion for Summary Judgment. The decision had two important rulings. One that the plaintiff lacked standing because they could not be a member of the credit union, and the other that a website should not be considered a public accommodation.

Posted February 01, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

In a decision stemming from an en banc review of the PHH Corporation v. CFPB in the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C., the CFPB’s single director structure was upheld. CUNA participated as an Amici in the en banc review, with a brief focused not on the constitutional issues. The decision was 7-4. 

Posted January 31, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
Earlier this week, the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit met for a hearing entitled, “Examining Opportunities and Challenges in the Financial Technology (“Fintech”) Marketplace.” Prior to the hearing, CUNA sent a