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 April 30, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
CUNA filed a letter with the BCFP regarding its request to the Office of Management and Budget to allow the Bureau to continue collecting certain documents from credit card issuers for public disclosure on the Bureau’s website.
Posted April 26, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA submitted a comment letter the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection in response to their Request for Information (RFI) on its Civil Investigative Demand (CID) process. The bureau investigates potential violations by issuing CIDs and compelling testimony at investigative hearings. A CID permits the Bureau to demand production of documents, written responses and oral testimony, among other things.

Posted April 26, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The Bureau of Consumer Protection announced the finalized amendments to the "Know Before You Owe" mortgage disclosure rule that addresses when mortgage lenders with a valid justification may pass on increased closing costs to consumers and disclose them on a Closing Disclosure. The update is intended to provide greater clarity and certainty to the mortgage industry. 

Posted April 26, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing entitled, “Do Not Call: Combating Robocalls and Caller ID Spoofing.”  Prior to tomorrow's hearing, CUNA joined a number of trades in sending a letter to Chairman Latta and Ranking Member Schakowsky of the Subcommittee.

CUNA and the trades are seeking clarity from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the definition of an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (ATDS) and looking for new telephone consumer protection guidelines for the industry.  

Posted April 26, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The National Taxpayer's Union (NTU) wrote to the Senate Finance Committee urging them to evaluate the income tax status for large credit unions. CUNA wrote to Chairman Hatch and responded and corrected several falsehoods about the credit union tax status and reiterated that any change to the status would be a direct tax increase on 110 million Americans.

Posted April 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA and the Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA) wrote a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to request timely floor consideration of S. 2155 – the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.

Posted April 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Chairman Hatch of the Senate Finance Committee wrote to Acting Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commission David Kautter asking him to consider whether the “largest federal credit unions” should be required to file an annual IRS Form 990.  Yesterday evening, CUNA responded to Chairman Hatch stating, “There is no question that credit unions are complying with their tax-exempt purpose, as determined by the Congress in the Federal Credit Union Act. This makes such additional disclosure unnecessary.” 

Posted April 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) in response to the agency’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on ways to streamline, clarify, and improve standard Federal Credit Union Act bylaws. In the letter, CUNA acknowledged the limitations that the Federal Credit Union Act imposes upon NCUA and the credit union industry as a whole. Each recommendation included a statement as to permissibility under the Act. 

Posted April 25, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

NCUA Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters’ response letter to the Senate Finance Committee was publicly released.  Specifically, the letter was a detailed response to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch's (R-UT) recent letter to NCUA, questioning the continued policy case for the federal tax exemption for credit unions. 

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle released the following statement regarding the NCUA response letter: 

“We appreciate Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hatch and NCUA Chairman McWatters’ exchange of letters related to the credit union tax status and NCUA’s implementation of the Federal Credit Union Act. America’s credit unions are proud of the service they provide consumers, small businesses and communities, and we welcome the dialogue and awareness. Chairman Hatch asked very reasonable questions related to our tax status and various NCUA actions and procedure. In response, Chairman McWatters correctly states that Congress has conveyed the credit union tax status based on credit unions’ structure as not-for-profit financial cooperatives and their mission to promote thrift and provide access to credit for provident purposes.  We are confident that credit unions earn this status every day through the service to their members and communities.” 

Posted April 24, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The CFPB is looking for 12 people to join its credit union advisory council. This is a great opportunity to influence the rulemaking process and represent the credit union movement.

The CFPB extended the application window by one week.  The new deadline is April 30, 2018! 

Posted April 23, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House is expected to consider H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. The Senate is expected to consider S. 140, the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act. In addition, the Senate may consider the nominations of Stuart Kyle Duncan to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit and Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.

Posted April 19, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The CFPB is looking for 12 people to join its credit union advisory council. This is a great opportunity to influence the rulemaking process and represent the credit union movement.

Posted April 20, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a settlement with Wells Fargo for a violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) in the way Wells Fargo administered a mandatory insurance program related to its auto loans.   

Posted April 20, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Over the past few months CUNA and state credit union leagues have been actively engaged in combating frivolous lawsuits and demand letters that credit unions are facing concerning website accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Together, CUNA and state credit union Leagues in TexasIllinoisOhio, and Alabama have filed multiple amicus briefs supporting credit unions facing litigation. 

Posted April 19, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

NCUA issued a notice to the Court regarding implementing the ruling in ABA’s FOM challenge (not requiring de-listing of members in existence as of April 4) by not granting new charters.

Posted April 19, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA Board held their monthly open meeting. As expected, the Board unanimously approved a rule on capital planning and stress testing. The rule provides for tiered application of stress tests, permits credit unions that are required to conduct the exercises to do so on their own, rather than agency-conducted. Additionally, credit unions holding less than $15 billion (increased from $10 billion in the proposed rule) in assets would not be required to perform stress tests, and those credit unions that reach the $15 billion threshold would have three years to begin stress testing. There are 3 credit unions with over $20 billion in assets (Tier 3). The due date for capital plan submissions remains May 31. 

Posted April 19, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA wrote to Senators Scott, Baldwin, Manchin, and Rounds in support of their recently introduced legislation - S. 2702, the Business of Insurance Regulatory Reform Act to clarify the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) regulation of insurance products. 

Posted April 18, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The Senate approved its resolution of disapproval for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) indirect auto lending bulletin. CUNA wrote a letter of support for the resolution, which would void the bulletin using the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

Posted April 18, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA joined a number of trade associations in sending a letter to Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson prior to the Senate Commerce Committee's hearing entitled, "Abusive Robocalls and How We Can Stop Them.”  In the letter, the signers noted that it is important to distinguish between robocalls and legitimate businesses seeking to communicate with their customers. 

Posted April 17, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA wrote to Senators Moran and Toomey in support of S.J.Res 57, a joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) relating to “Indirect Auto Lending and Compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.” 

Posted April 16, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House of Representatives will consider a number of tax-related bills that passed out of the Ways and Means Committee last week.  These bipartisan and unanimously approved bills aim to combat identity theft, repair shortcomings at the IRS, and protect taxpayers.  Several of these bills will affect the operations of credit unions and other financial institutions.  It is likely that many or all of these bills will easily pass the House and Senate and be enacted into law.

Posted April 16, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House of Representatives and the Senate will be in session. 

Posted April 13, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

In response to Attorney General Sessions rescinding the Cole Memo (the Obama-era policy that permitted legalized cannabis to expand), Senator Corey Gardner (R-CO) placed a hold on Department of Justice (DOJ) nominees until he received a commitment that Colorado’s legal cannabis industry would not be impacted. 

Posted April 13, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued its latest Request for Information (RFI).  The CFPB requests information on its handling of consumer complaints and inquiries. 

Posted April 13, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
Credit unions were well represented at this year’s Financial Literacy Hill Day, as CUNA and the National Credit Union Foundation manned a booth at the Hart Senate Office Building during the day’s event.
Posted April 13, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mulvaney was on both sides of the Capitol for Congressional hearings this week.  The House Financial Services Committee held the first hearing on Wednesday entitled, “The 2018 Semi-Annual Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.” The Senate Banking Committee’s hearing took place yesterday.  Prior to both hearings, CUNA sent letters to Chairman Hensarling and Ranking Member Waters and to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown highlighting a number of issues with the CFPB and ways improvements could help credit unions.

Posted April 12, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA board will meet next Thursday to finalize proposed rules relating to stress testing/capital planning and advertising/notice of insured status. CUNA issued comment letters on both proposals, indicating that credit unions should not be subject to stress testing, and that credit unions should enjoy the same allowances in radio advertising that banks are afforded. 

Posted April 12, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
Suncoast Credit Union EVP/CFO and CUNA Accounting Advisory Committee Chair Julie Renderos represented CUNA at an American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) meeting. The meeting focused on implementation issues credit unions and other (non-public) entities are encountering as they continue to prepare for compliance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s CECL (current expected credit losses) standard.
Posted April 10, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB’s Payday and Small dollar lending rule was officially challenged in federal court in the United States District Court for the Western Division of Texas Austin Division. Additionally, the CFPB previously announced it may further review the final rule. It stated, “January 16, 2018 is the effective date of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s final rule entitled 'Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans' ('Payday Rule').  The Bureau intends to engage in a rulemaking process so that the Bureau may reconsider the Payday Rule.” 

Posted April 10, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

Five financial regulators, including the NCUA, issued a joint statement on the use of cyber insurance for credit unions and banks.  The statement “describes matters that financial institutions should consider if they are determining whether to use cyber insurance as a component of their risk management programs.”  They key takeaway is that credit unions and banks should not to view cyber insurance as a substitute for having strong controls to protect against cyberattacks.

Posted April 10, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA joined more than 20 financial services trade organizations in support of legislation to replace the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) single director with a bipartisan, five-member commission. The bill was introduced by Representatives Dennis Ross, Kyrsten Sinema, Ann Wagner and David Scott and would create a bipartisan, five-member commission to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). H.R. 5266, The Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2018 is consistent with one of the primary goals of CUNA’s bipartisan, pro-consumer Campaign for Common-Sense Regulations.

Posted April 10, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

The House Financial Services Committee will meet for a hearing entitled "The 2018 Semi-Annual Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.”  The hearing will feature the first testimony from CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney.  Prior to the hearing, CUNA sent a letter to Chairman Hensarling and Ranking Member Waters highlighting a number of issues with the CFPB and ways improvements could help credit unions.

Posted April 09, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, both houses of Congress will be in session.  The House will consider  several financial services bills.

Posted April 05, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

CFPB Acting Director Mulvaney responded to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s lengthy letter that was sent to the Acting Director in the middle of March.  In the letter from March 16, Senator Warren asked more than 100 questions to the Acting Director and raised concerns about the dual role he has by leading both the CFPB and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Acting Director Mulvaney and Senator Warren have been known to spar in the press and public comments, and their letters are no exception.  Even Mulvaney’s speech at CUNA’s GAC was noted and highlighted by a number of publications across the country.

Posted April 05, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

A lawsuit against a Texas credit union was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff, only days after CUNA and the Cornerstone Credit Union League filed an amicus brief in defense of Local 20 IBEW FCU of Grand Prairie, Texas.

Posted April 04, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Wednesday issued its latest request for information (RFI) on consumer financial education. It is designed to assist the bureau in assessing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of its consumer financial education programs.
Posted April 03, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy
CUNA continues its aggressive nationwide defense of credit unions facing frivolous lawsuits Friday by filing a brief with the Cornerstone Credit Union League. The brief supports Local 20 IBEW FCU, Grand Prairie, Texas, which has sued by a plaintiff alleging website noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Posted April 03, 2018 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA's Senior Director of Advocacy and Counsel, Leah Dempsey, appeared on the Brownstein Client Conversations podcast to discuss the state of frivolous lawsuits hitting credit unions due to uncertainty with how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to websites.

Posted April 03, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

The Treasury Department released recommendations to reform the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), a 40-year old law meant to increase access to banking services to low- and moderate-income communities. Credit unions are not subject to CRA, as the law only applies to financial institutions insured by FDIC. The report’s only relevant credit union mention is a statement noting that CRA “does not apply” to credit unions. Among Treasury’s recommendations are updates to how banks are examined for compliance including the definitions of geographic boundaries for CRA exams.