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 June 30, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) prior to the Senate Banking Committee hearing about the digitization of money and payments.  

We appreciate the hearing’s focus on the digitization of money and payments as credit union are poised to leverage technology to deliver innovative financial services to members.

Posted June 29, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Over the weekend, CUNA joined other financial trades in sending a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee in support of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020. The bill is being considered for inclusion in the Senate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020.

“This bill includes critical provisions for law enforcement investigations into organized transnational criminal operations, human trafficking, terrorism financing and other unlawful activity that threatens our national security,” the organizations wrote. 

Posted June 29, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Seila Law v. CFPB, which challenged the constitutionality of the CFPB. CUNA filed an amicus brief calling on the Court to void the CFPB but provide Congress time to cure the constitutional defect by establishing a multi-member commission at the head of the Bureau.  

In the case, the Court considered two questions 1)  Whether the CFPB structure, an independent agency led by a single director only removable for cause, violates the separation of powers; and 2) Whether, if the CFPB structure is unconstitutional, can the “for cause” removal provision be severed from the Dodd-Frank Act.

In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that the CFPB’s structure violates the separation of powers. The Court, however, elected to sever the removal-protection provision from the other provisions of Dodd-Frank, leaving the CFPB standing but altered. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion of the court, "[t]he agency may therefore continue to operate, but its Director, in light of our decision, must be removable by the President at will."

Posted June 29, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB announced its first Tech Sprints aimed at reducing regulatory burden and improve consumer understanding of financial services. 

According to the Bureau’s release, the Tech Sprints program will “bring together regulators, technologists, software providers, consumer groups, and financial institutions to develop technological solutions to shared compliance challenges.”

The first Tech Sprint will kick off in October with another in March 2021. Participants in the October 5-9, 2020, Tech Sprint will be asked to improve upon existing consumer disclosures.  The March 22-26, 2021, Tech Sprint will focus on the HMDA platform and submission process.

CUNA responded to the CFPB’s RFI on Tech Sprints last November calling on the Bureau to ensure credit unions are represented and can actively participate in innovation-related initiatives.

Posted June 29, 2020 by dyi

The Supreme Court of the United States  today denied an appeal from the American Bankers Association (ABA) to void the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) field of membership (FOM) rule

Posted June 28, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House will consider H.R. 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020.  Also, the House will complete consideration of H.R. 5332, the Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019, as well as H.J.Res. 90, “Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency relating to Community Reinvestment Act Regulations.”  Finally, the House will begin consideration of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act.

The Senate will resume consideration of S.4049, the National Defense Authorization Act.

 

Posted June 25, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Prior to the hearing in the House Financial Services's Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, CUNA wrote to Chairman Sherman and Ranking Member Huizenga commenting on several pandemic lending-related bills.

Posted June 25, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

 CUNA wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy in opposition to H.R. 5332, the Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019. The letter cites numerous concerns over increased lawsuits and cybersecurity risks. If enacted, H.R. 5332 would revise certain provisions related to consumer credit reports and credit reporting agencies.

Posted June 25, 2020 by dyi

The NCUA Board received briefings on the Minority Depository Institutions Annual Report and on the NCUA Guaranteed Notes Oversight Program. The Board also issued an RFI on Strategies for Future Examination and Supervision Utilizing Digital Technology. In addition, the Board adopted a final rule that makes a number of technical amendments to the NCUA’s regulations, including changes to correct minor errors and inaccurate citations.

Posted June 24, 2020 by Chandler Schuette

The CFPB issued two separate rules on loss mitigation under the CARES Act and determining underserved areas under Regulation Z, respectively.

The Interim Final Rule (IFR) on loss mitigation makes it clear that servicers do not violate Regulation X by offering certain COVID-19-related loss mitigation options based on an evaluation of limited application information collected from the borrower.  Normally, with certain exceptions, Regulation X would require servicers to collect a complete loss mitigation application before making an offer. 

In a separate action, the Bureau’s Interpretive Rule on Determining Underserved Areas provides guidance to creditors about the way in which the Bureau determines which counties qualify as “underserved” for a given calendar year. 

Posted June 23, 2020 by dyi

CUNA sent a letter to the FHFA regarding their request for input on Federal Home Loan Bank membership.

Posted June 23, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

In a message to all 535 Congressional offices, CUNA highlighted ways Congress can act to help credit unions help members recover from the pandemic and the associated economic crisis. CUNA asks that Congress:  Support House and Senate bills to exempt credit union member business loans made during the emergency from

Posted June 23, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA, the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC), and NAFCU wrote to Senate leadership in opposition to a provision in the Senate Armed Forces Committee-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Committee-approved bill contains language that would require Department of Defense (DoD) policies for government depository institutions and credit unions operating on military installations to be applied equally to all such institutions.

“We are concerned that this language in the NDAA could essentially require that the DoD treat large mega-banks, such as Wells Fargo, the same as a military installation’s local not-for-profit defense credit union when it comes to rent on military bases,” the letter reads. “A long track record of consumer abuses aside, Wells Fargo’s annual revenue for 2019 was $85 billion according to news reports."

Posted June 23, 2020 by dyi

The CFPB issued two notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) to amend the ATR-QM Rule.

Posted June 22, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB issued two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) related to the forthcoming expiration of the temporary Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) patch. According to the Bureau, the proposals are intended to transition away from the Temporary GSE patch QM (qualified mortgage) loan definition “while maintaining access to responsible, affordable mortgage credit upon its expiration.” 

Posted June 22, 2020 by dyi

The Small Business Administration announced the launch of a dedicated online tool for small businesses and non-profits to be matched with Community Development Financial Institutions, Minority Depository Institutions, Certified Development Companies, Farm Credit System lenders, Microlenders, as well as traditional smaller asset size lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program. 

Posted June 22, 2020 by dyi

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council will host an interagency webinar on Friday, June 26, 2020, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern. The focus of this webinar is on the 2020 updates to the FFIEC’s BSA/AML Examination Manual.

Posted June 22, 2020 by dyi

The NCUA wrote a letter to credit unions upon obtaining guidance from agencies and public health firms notifying them of their development of a multi-phase transition plan for the resumption of its on-site operations.

Posted June 21, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Both the House and Senate will consider policing reform legislation this week.

The House of Representatives will also begin the markups in the Armed Services Committee of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021.  

The House may also consider:

  • H.R. 51 – Washington, D.C. Admission Act
  • Veto Message to Accompany H.J.Res. 76 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to "Borrower Defense Institutional Accountability"
  • H.J.Res. 90 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency relating to “Community Reinvestment Act Regulations”
  • H.R. 5332 – Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019

Posted June 18, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The NCUA Board will hold their June Board meeting at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 25, 2020.

Agenda

  1. Board Briefing, Minority Depository Institution Annual Report
  2. Board Briefing, NCUA Guaranteed Notes Oversight Program
  3. Request for Information, Strategies for Future Examination and Supervision Utilizing Digital Technology
  4. Final Rule, Technical Amendments to NCUA’s Rules
  5. Proposed Rule, Part 702, Risk-Based Net Worth

Posted June 18, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA shared concerns with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) about the management of its consumer complaint database in response to the CFPB's request for renewal of its Consumer Response Company Response Survey, which is designed to collect additional consumer feedback at the end of the consumer complaint process.  

Posted June 18, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA joined a number of financial trades in writing a letter of support to Senator Fischer (R-NE) for the legislation she introduced yesterday. S. 3990, the Financial Product Safety Commission Act would change the leadership structure at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from a single director with a five-person, bipartisan commission.  

“Sen. Fischer’s legislation will bring stability and strength to the CFPB by creating a leadership structure that ensures all voices are heard. This legislation is an important step to reestablishing the Bureau as it was initially envisioned—with input from CUNA and the Leagues—back in the original, House-passed version of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010. We look forward to working with Congress to finding a path forward on this critical legislation.”  CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. “

Posted June 17, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB issued additional guidance on consumer reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The frequently asked questions (FAQs) address companies’ responsibilities under the CARES Act and the FCRA when they furnish information to consumer reporting agencies about consumers impacted by the crisis.

Posted June 17, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Velázquez and Ranking Member Chabot of the House Small Business Committee prior to their hearing on the Paycheck Protection Program's loan forgiveness process.  In the letter, we told of action Congress needs to take in order to protect borrowers that carried out the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in good faith from any liability stemming from the structure and design of the PPP.

“The complexity of the forgiveness process presents an even greater challenge for small business as they have fewer resources to deploy on an overly complex application process. Moreover, feedback from our members indicates that the forms will likely require help from outside accountants and even attorneys for most businesses,” the letter reads. “This is an expense many of the smallest businesses cannot afford. Creating an overly complex forgiveness process would seem to be the antithesis to the spirit of a program designed to rapidly deploy resources to small business especially when the expectation is that the funds appropriated to PPP were never expected to be repaid.”

Posted June 17, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Federal Reserve Chairman Powell testified before both the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee for the Fed's semiannual testimony.  Prior to each hearing, CUNA wrote to Committee leadership expressing credit union concerns Paycheck Protection Program, support for Reg D changes and support for changes to the Fed's Main Street Lending Program.

The Federal Reserve Board met the COVID-19 crisis head-on with a variety of decisive, impactful and far-reaching policy responses that clearly steadied financial markets and the broader economy, CUNA wrote for the record of a House Financial Services Committee hearing featuring Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s semiannual testimony. Among the actions CUNA supported is the creation of and changes made to the Fed’s Main Street Lending Program.

Posted June 17, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairman Cleaver and Ranking Member Hill of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy prior to their hearing entitled, “Cybercriminals and Fraudsters: How Bad Actors Are Exploiting the Financial System During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” 

We wrote in support of several bills it believes will help financial institutions combat financial scammers.

Posted June 15, 2020 by dyi

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it will be re-proposing the updated minimum financial eligibility requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicers.

Posted June 14, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA joined the Defense Credit Union Council and NAFCU in writing to leadership of the House Armed Servies Committee pushing back against banker requests for an increased military base lease exemption in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Credit unions are eligible for an exemption that allows for the waiving of certain fees and land lease costs for credit unions on military installations. The Senate Armed Forces Committee passed their version of the NDAA with a provision requiring the Department of Defense (DoD) to consider for-profit banks the same as credit unions.

Posted June 14, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 1957, the legislative vehicle for the Great American Outdoors Act.

The House of Representatives will be holding committee meetings this week but will not hold any votes on the House floor.

Posted June 11, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB released an online resource to help communities form networks to increase their capacity to prevent and respond to elder financial abuse.  The Elder Fraud Prevention and Response Networks Development Guide (Networks Development Guide) offers planning tools, templates, and exercises to help communities create a collaborative network to fight elder fraud or refresh or expand an existing network.

The Networks Development Guide is an online tool that includes a meeting model on how to set up a retreat and training event to rally stakeholders and community leaders. The CFPB will be offering presentations and webinars in the near future to walk stakeholders through the Networks Development Guide and provide tips on how to use it.  

Posted June 11, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Credit unions can receive an update on the impact of elder financial exploitation and other COVID-19 related scams in a June 11 webinar hosted by the National Credit Union Administration.

Posted June 11, 2020 by dyi

CUNA signed on to a letter with several joint trades to HUD Secretary Carson to express concern with the recently announced Federal Housing Administration (FHA) policy requiring lenders to provide 20 percent indemnification (of the original loan amount) for up to two years in relation to borrowers who enter into forbearance due to COVID19-related hardship after closing and prior to FHA insuring their loan.

Posted June 11, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to leadership of the House Financial Services Committee's FinTech Task Force prior to their hearing entitled, “Inclusive Banking During a Pandemic: Using Fed Accounts and Digital Tools to Improve Delivery of Stimulus Payments.”  Chairwoman Waters (D-CA)has proposed monthly stimulus payments that would go to “FedAccounts,” and other similar past proposals have included utilizing the post office for similar deposit accounts.

In the letter we wrote, “There is no need to pass legislation requiring the Federal Reserve or the United State Postal Service to provide products and services that the organizations were not designed to provide. Instead, Congress should be using its public platform to encourage all consumers, especially the most vulnerable among us, to seek out financial services from a community-based, not-for-profit credit union,” the letter reads. “As the nation’s original consumer protectors, credit unions have a long history of providing affordable, responsible access to banking services.”

Posted June 11, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to the Senate Small Business Committee prior to their hearing on Title I of the Cares Act -- which includes PPP language.  Credit unions are a vital component to the delivery of financial services to many Americans and credit union members should have equal access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Although the pace of PPP lending has slowed, CUNA notes operational challenges remain and should be addressed if additional funding is provided. 

Posted June 11, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate Banking Committee held an oversight hearing with the Housing Regulators.  Prior to the hearing with FHFA Director Calabria, CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) with concerns about the impact a large number of mortgage forbearances will have on the liquidity of mortgage servicers.  Additionally, we wrote supporting down payment assistance, provided by the housing finance agencies, to enable minority and low- to moderate-income homebuyers to become homeowners.  Additionally, we called for guidance or clarity on several issues.

Posted June 10, 2020 by dyi

The CFPB published guidance related to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) Rule.

Posted June 10, 2020 by dyi

The NCUA Board wrote a letter to credit unions on prompt corrective action regulatory relief measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic where some credit unions may experience a temporary reduction in earnings and capital due to their response efforts.

Posted June 09, 2020 by dyi

Credit unions and their member-owners can receive an update on the impact of elder financial exploitation and other COVID-19 related scams in a June 11 webinar hosted by the National Credit Union Administration.

Posted June 07, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate will consider H.R. 1957, the legislative vehicle for the Great American Outdoors Act.  In addition, the subcommittees of the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold markups on various parts of the proposed National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021.

The House of Representatives will be holding committee meetings this week but will not hold any votes on the House floor.

Posted June 05, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate passed a measure late Wednesday to increase flexibility in the Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  President Trump signed the legislation into law earlier today.

Specifically, the measure would:

  • Allow forgiveness for expenses beyond the eight-week covered period;
  • Eliminate restrictions limiting non-payroll expenses to 25% of loan proceeds;
  • Eliminate restrictions that limit loan terms to two years;
  • Ensure full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans; and
  • Extend the rehiring deadline to offset the effect of enhanced Unemployment Insurance.

Posted June 05, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Senator Reed in support of his recently introduced legislation to establish a housing assistance fund - S. 3620.

“CUNA supports S. 3620 that would establish a $75 billion Housing Assistance Fund which would provide those resources directly to state Housing Finance Agencies,” CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote in support of the bill. “This will help to prevent mortgage defaults, foreclosures, and displacements of those Americans experiencing financial hardship caused by the pandemic.”

Posted June 04, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB issued a policy statement intended to help consumers receive prompt relief during the pandemic from credit card issuers.  

Regulation Z requires that creditors provide written disclosures to consumers for account-opening disclosures and temporary rate or fee reduction. 

During the pandemic, some consumers are seeking to open a new account or request a temporary reduction in APR or fees for an existing account or a low-rate balance transfer. In response, the Bureau is providing temporary and targeted flexibility for credit card issuers regarding electronic provision of certain disclosures required to be in writing during this pandemic.  

Posted June 04, 2020 by Chandler Schuette

The CFPB and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) issued joint guidance to mortgage servicers to assist in complying with the forbearance provisions of the CARES Act.

The CARES Act requires servicers of federally-backed mortgages must grant forbearance to borrowers with pandemic-related hardships that may last as long as two consecutive 180-day periods. Furthermore, additional interest, fees, or penalties beyond the amounts scheduled or calculated should be waived with no negative impact to the borrower’s mortgage contract during the forbearance.

Posted June 04, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Yesterday, CUNA wrote to Chairman Meeks and Ranking Member Luetkemeyer prior to the Subcommittee's hearing entitled, "Promoting Inclusive Lending During the Pandemic: Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDI).” In the letter, we wrote how credit unions are well-purposed and well-positioned to address inequity in the financial services sector. 

Posted June 04, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown prior to the Senate Banking Committee hearing regarding Title IV of the CARES Act.  We wrote about several of the provisions designed to assist in pandemic recovery that should be extended for at least a year beyond the scheduled December 31, 2020 sunset date.

CUNA believes the following CARES Act provisions should be extended at least one year beyond the scheduled December 31, 2020 sunset date:

  • Troubled debt restructuring compliance relief for financial institutions, which allows credit unions to modify troubled and other loans in relation to COVID-19
  • Expanded borrowing authority of the Central Liquidity Facility. CUNA also called for Congress to expand its borrowing authority to 25 times the amount paid in (up from the current 16 times);
  • Authority provided to NCUA to increase federal insurance noninterest bearing transaction accounts.

Posted June 04, 2020 by dyi

Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) published a final rule on the Federal Home Loan Banks' Housing Goals. The new goals take effect in 2021 and enforcement of the rule will be phased in over three years. 

Posted June 03, 2020 by dyi

CUNA filed a letter in support of the NCUA’s interim final rule to temporarily defer the appraisal requirement. 

Posted June 02, 2020 by Chandler Schuette

CUNA and joint trades sent a letter to Administrator Jovita Carranza and Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to express concerns about the complexity of the Paycheck Protection Program’s loan forgiveness process. 

Posted June 02, 2020 by dyi

The NCUA will be hosting a webinar on the Bank Secrecy Act where credit unions can receive valuable information on best practices in BSA programs