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 March 29, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

NCUA has extended the comment period for the CUSO proposal for an additional 30 days. The revised due date will be around April 30, depending on when the notice is published in the Federal Register.

Posted March 26, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA called on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio’s dismissal of the TCPA lawsuit in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, Inc. in July 2020. Credit unions  suffer unequal treatment for having made important and welcome calls to members under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), CUNA said in an amicus brief filed Wednesday in Lindenbaum v. Realgy, LLC. 

In that case the Supreme Court found that a 2015 amendment to the TCPA was unconstitutional and eliminated the addition going forward. However, credit union calls made between the 2015 amendment and the 2020 decision were still subject to unequal treatment under the TCPA during that time.

Posted March 24, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committees both held hearings with the Federal Reserve and Treasury for the quarterly CARES Act report to congress.  Prior to both hearings, CUNA wrote to leadership of each Committee in appreciation of the steps taken by the Department of Treasury, Federal Reserve, and Congress that helped credit unions remain in a position to serve their members, including allowing credit unions as lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), simplifying the PPP loan forgiveness process and to leverage the power of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) to assist communities in need.

Posted March 24, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CFPB Acting Director Uejio posted a blog asserting that “ability to repay” standards are an important consumer safeguard for underwriting small dollar loans. The Acting Director also said a future Bureau rulemaking on small-dollar loans, if deemed appropriate, is possible.

Under the prior leadership, the CFPB finalized a rescission of the 2017 Payday Rule’s mandatory underwriting provisions. The rule has been subject to multiple legal challenges. 

Posted March 24, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB submitted to Congress its annual Consumer Response Report for 2020. According to the Bureau, the report highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the consumer financial marketplace as reflected in an increase in the total number of consumer complaints.

Posted March 24, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

Representatives Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Anthony Gonzalez (OH) and Andy Barr (R-KY) reintroduced the CUNA-supported Financial Reporting Threshold Modernization Act.  If enacted, this legislation would provide much-needed relief for financial institutions by increasing the antiquated Currency Transacti

Posted March 22, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prior to the nomination hearing of The Honorable Samantha Power to be Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development Director.  While CUNA does not weigh in on presidential nominations, its letter highlights credit union priorities at USAID.

“Many [not-for-profit organizations], like credit unions, have extensive community rooted networks in countries that are prioritized by USAID,” the letter reads. “Such organizations can provide USAID with specialized skills, organized networks and a proven track record to support USAID implementation of U.S. foreign assistance. However, these U.S. private voluntary and not-for-profit organizations tend to be smaller and more specialized; as such, they face procurement obstacles in the effort to partner with USAID.”

Posted March 23, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy
Today, CUNA filed a comment letter in support of the NCUA’s proposal to raise the asset threshold for defining a credit union as “complex” for purposes of being subject to any risk based net worth (RBNW) requirement. The proposed rule
Posted March 22, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA is encouraging credit unions to take advantage of its webinar to learn more about how they can minimize potential risks to their balance sheets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online registration for the “Pandemic-Related Credit Risks for Credit Unions” webinar is now open. The webinar is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Eastern and run approximately for 60 minutes. Topics that will be covered during the webinar include:

  • Credit markets’ status;
  • Current federal regulations;
  • What NCUA examiners look for;
  • Suggestions on reporting risk to a credit union’s management and board; and
  • Advice for proactively managing credit risks.

Posted March 21, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

The House of Representatives will hold a committee work week.

The Senate will consider H.R. 1799, the PPP Extension Act and the nomination of Martin Walsh to be Secretary of Labor.

Posted March 19, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA, AACUL and the state credit union leagues called on the NCUA board to adopt an interim final rule to provide Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) relief. The 2020 interim final rule (IFR) on PCA expired December 31, 2020.

“We ask the NCUA to adopt an IFR essentially identical to the 2020 IFR adopted last year that provided relief to credit unions experiencing PCA issues related to an increase in share growth,” the letter reads. “The relief should remain in effect until the end of the pandemic as determined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or other federal entity authorized to make such a determination.”

Posted March 19, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), and Warren Davidson (R-OH) reintroduced the CUNA-backed Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act.  If enacted, this legislation would provide protections for financial institutions serving cannabis-based businesses where it is legal.  Specifically, the SAFE Banking Act would provide a safe harbor for financial institutions accepting deposits from, extending credit or providing payment services to an individual, or business engaged in legal marijuana-related commerce.

It also provides safe harbor to credit unions and their employees who are not aware if their members or customers are involved in such businesses. 

CUNA wrote to the bill's cosponsors in support for the bill shortly after it was introduced.

Posted March 18, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

The Board adopted an interim final rule to update its regulations regarding the temporary changes to the CLF initially made by the CARES Act, including increasing the CLF’s borrowing authority and allowing corporate credit unions to act as agent members to borrow for their own needs.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) extended several changes to the CLF that were first made by the CARES Act. The CAA extended the sunset date of the CLF provisions included in the CARES Act from December 31, 2020 to December 31, 2021. Today’s interim final rule updates NCUA’s CLF regulations to reflect the extended sunset date of these provisions.

Posted March 16, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

Senators Scott (R-SC) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced a CUNA-supported bill -- the Expanding Access to Lending Options Act. If enacted, this legislation would raise federal credit union loan maturity limits on non-mortgage loans from 15 to 20 years. The bill comes after strong engagement with the legislators from CUNA, as well as the Carolinas Credit Union League and the Nevada Credit Union League.

Posted March 16, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA joined several organizations this week to issue a statement regarding the delayed availability of funds from economic impact payments to consumers. Based on the delivery system the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) chose, funds will be available starting March 17.

“The IRS recently sent an initial wave of tens of millions of economic impact payments via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system. The actual funds will be sent to the banks and credit unions on March 17, at which time funds will be made available to customers. Until that time, the funds remain with the government,” the letter reads. “While the IRS could have chosen to send the funds via Same Day ACH or provided for an earlier effective date, it chose not to do so. It is up to the sender, in this case the IRS, to decide when it wants the money to be made available and the IRS chose March 17.”

Posted March 16, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairman Cardin and Ranking Member Paul prior to the Committee's hearing entitled, "The Paycheck Protection Program: Performance, Impact, and Next Steps.”  The letter wrote in support of additional PPP funding and of H.R. 1471, legislation that would lift the MBL cap for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic for one year following its declared end.

Credit unions were proud participants in the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In fact, some credit unions were so eager to help their members through this program that they participated even though they had no previous relationship with the SBA. However, the quick implementation and slow bureaucracy at the SBA lead to significant and well documented problems for even the most experienced SBA lenders. 

Posted March 16, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairman Brown and Ranking Member Toomey prior to the Committee's hearing entitled, “Home = Life: The State of Housing in America.” In the letter, CUNA wrote how the housing market has been one of the few bright spots in the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spurred by the historic lows in interest rates, credit unions have continued to provide a record-breaking number of mortgage loans. These numbers include loan refinances that are reducing members’ monthly mortgage bills and purchase money mortgages as credit unions continue their mission of providing credit access to members who may not be able to receive financing from banks or other lenders. Credit unions are also continuing their role in financial education, informing members of significant mortgage relief available to those negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Posted March 12, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

The March National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday - March 18th at 10:00 AM ET.  

MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

  1. Interim Final Rule, Part 725, Central Liquidity Facility.
  2. Interim Final Rule, Parts 700, 702, 708a, 708b, and 790, Asset Thresholds Pertaining to Large Credit Unions.
  3. Board Briefing, NCUA Guaranteed Note and Asset Management Estates Programs.

Posted March 12, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government prior to their hearing on oversight of the United States Postal Services (USPS).  In the letter, CUNA wrote that credit unions support and are working towards the goal of expanding banking access, but there are “grave reservations” about proposals to leverage the USPS to provide banking services.

Posted March 11, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy
CUNA filed a comment letter this week expressing support for the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) efforts to build a strong Enterprise liquidity framework. The letter states that   “The Enterprises are systemically important and having formal liquidity requirements ensures safety
Posted March 11, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB rescinded its January 24, 2020 policy statement, “Statement of Policy Regarding Prohibition on Abusive Acts or Practices.” 

Congress defined abusive acts or practices in section 1031(d) of the Dodd-Frank Act. Under the statute, companies are prohibited from: 

  • Materially interfering with someone’s ability to understand a product or service;
  • Taking unreasonable advantage of someone’s lack of understanding;
  • Taking unreasonable advantage of someone who cannot protect themselves; and
  • Taking unreasonable advantage of someone who reasonably relies on a company to act in their interests.

Posted March 11, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

Five federal regulatory agencies today, including NCUA, requested public comment on 24 proposed Interagency Questions and Answers Regarding Private Flood Insurance.

The proposal is intended to help lenders comply with the agencies' joint rule promulgated in 2019 to implement the private flood insurance provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

Posted March 11, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to a House Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions prior to the hearing discussing policy options to help consumers during the pandemic.  We urge Congress to implement COVID-19 policies that protect both consumers and financial institutions.

Posted March 10, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to House Financial Services Committee prior to the Committee's hearing entitled, "Justice for All: Achieving Racial Equity Through Fair Access to Housing and Financial Services.”  In the letter, CUNA notes that women- and minority-owned businesses (MWBEs) face barriers when it comes to access to credit and financial services, a situation made worse by the pandemic. 

“Credit unions are committed to financial inclusion and access. MDI and CDFI credit unions play a critical role in advancing financial inclusion and the economic well-being of their members, including MWBEs,” the letter reads. “We are pulling together as a movement to support our members and make a difference in their lives during this difficult moment, but we know that, given the opportunity, we could do more, especially when it comes to providing access to capital to America’s small businesses.”

Posted March 10, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

We wrote to the the House Small Business Committee prior to their hearing entitled, “The Next Steps for the Paycheck Protection Program.”  The letter wrote in support of additional PPP funding and of H.R. 1471, legislation that would lift the MBL cap for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic for one year following its declared end.

Posted March 08, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA filed a comment letter in response to the NCUA’s RFI on communications and transparency. We applaud the agency for taking the initiative to solicit feedback on how it can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of its communications to the public. It is now more important than ever to ensure credit unions have timely access to necessary information from the agency.

While, overall, the agency does a good job in communicating important information to the industry, we took the opportunity to share a number of suggestions on things that can be improved. For example, the NCUA Express email are often flagged and sent to recipients’ spam folders. Further, the agency should do more in the area of social media, including posting all video communications to the official NCUA YouTube channel.

Posted March 07, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy
Last week, CUNA filed a brief in the Court of Appeals for the Second Judicial District in Fort Worth Texas calling for the reversal of a state trial court’s decision on the validity of the Visa Global Compromised Account Recovery (GCAR)
Posted March 07, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

The House of Representatives will consider H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021; H.R. 842, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021; H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021; and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021.

The Senate will consider Marcia Louise Fudge to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Merrick Brian Garland to be Attorney General.

Posted March 04, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy
State credit union Leagues made sure that the credit union voice was heard this week with virtual meetings with policymakers during this year's virtual GAC. Prior to the start of this year's conference, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote to all
Posted March 04, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to the Senate Banking Committee prior to the nomination hearing of Rohit Chopra, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Chopra is currently a commissioner with the Federal Trade Commission, previously served as assistant director and student loan ombudsman at the CFPB. While CUNA does not historically tale a position on nominees, it will be engaged with the hearing.

In the letter, CUNA wrote in support of a multi-person Commission to lead the CFPB.

Posted March 03, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to delay the mandatory compliance date of the General Qualified Mortgage (QM) final rule from July 1, 2021 to October 1, 2022. The proposal does not change the implementation date of the General QM rule, which began on March 1, 2021.

If this NPRM is finalized as proposed, the old, DTI-based General QM definition; the new, price-based General QM definition; and the GSE Patch (unless the GSEs exit conservatorship prior to October 1, 2022) would all remain available as long as the lender received the consumer’s application prior to October 1, 2022.

Comments on the NPRM must be received on or before April 5, 2021.

CUNA sent a letter to Acting Director Uejio recommending the Bureau permit credit unions to begin making price-based QMs under the recently-finalized General QM rule without delay. 

Posted March 02, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

As the 2021 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference begins this week, Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced legislation that would exempt all credit union member business loans made during a declared disaster from the member business lending cap for one year. CUNA and its League partners requested such an exemption in its engagement with Congress and the administration.  

“Thanks to Reps. Sherman and Fitzpatrick for their bipartisan introducing this to ensure that all available business credit is deployable during and after the pandemic so small businesses can get back to business and Main Street communities can recover quickly,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We look forward to engaging further with Congress to advance this bipartisan legislation.”