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 September 30, 2020 by dyi

CUNA joined with other trade associations to send reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its proposed regulations to eliminate unlawful robocalls pursuant to the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act). The TRACED Act, among other things, requires the FCC to ensure that robocall blocking services are provided to consumers with transparent and effective redress options for callers whose calls are erroneously blocked. 

Posted September 27, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House of Representatives will complete consideration of H.R. 6270, the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act of 2020.  In addition, the House may consider possible coronavirus relief legislation.

The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, September 29, and resume consideration of H.R. 8337, the Continuing Resolution.

Posted September 25, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

In addition to the hearings in Senate Banking and House Financial Services, two House Small Business Subcommittees met this week to discuss the Paycheck Protection Program.  We took the opportunity to outline additional steps that should be taken if Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding becomes available and wrote in support of H.R. 7777, Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act and its Senate companion S. 4117.  

Below you will find the letter to each respective Committee: 

Posted September 23, 2020 by dyi

CUNA sent a letter to the Federal Reserve Board in support of their FedNOW development efforts, an instant payment service that the Federal Reserve Banks are developing to enable financial institutions to provide safe and efficient instant payment services in real time. 

Posted September 23, 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.

Section 1071 requires financial institutions to compile, maintain, and report to the bureau certain information about applications for credit made by women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses.  To assist the process, the CFPB is conducting a survey of institutions offering small business credit products to determine potential one-time costs associated with complying with a small business data collection.

Posted September 23, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee both scheduled hearings on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  The CARES Act - pandemic relief legislation which, among other things, created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

Prior to the hearings with Secretary Mnuchin and Chairman Powell we wrote to the Chair and Ranking Member of each Committee urging for the passage of PPP loan forgiveness legislation.  Credit unions facilitated more than 170,000 PPP loans averaging $49,000 each.

“While PPP lending has concluded, there are a number of steps that SBA should take if additional funds become available. SBA should improve their national and regional operation in order to provide more timely feedback to lenders and borrowers, including lender prioritization guidance, official guidance formalizing the use of PPP forms and guidance on the loan purchasing process,” the letter reads. “Furthermore, the SBA should issue guidance and forms to reflect that privately insured state-chartered credit unions are eligible to lend through the program.”

Posted September 22, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairman Wicker and Ranking Member Cantwell prior to the Senate Commerce Committee's data privacy hearing urging the Committee to enact meaningful data security and privacy legislation.

Last week, Senators Wicker, Thune, Fischer and Blackburn introduced the Setting an American Framework to Ensure Data Access, Transparency, and Accountability (SAFE DATA) Act.  If enacted, the bill would simplify privacy and data security laws by a creating national standard which would add protections for all Americans while reducing compliance burdens stemming from compliance with many standards across the states.

Posted September 21, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA submitted comments supporting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rule on higher-priced mortgage loan (HPML) exemptions. The CFPB proposed several amendments to Regulation Z to exempt certain insured depository institutions and insured credit unions from the requirement to establish escrow accounts for HPMLs.

 “We believe that this exemption represents a positive step forward to ensure that small, leanly staffed credit unions are not burdened with costly regulatory obligations that could prevent them from offering mortgage products that are right for a members’ financial situation,” the letter states. “We commend the Bureau for this codification of the statutory exemption.”

Posted September 21, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The House voted to pass two CUNA-supported pieces of legislation, H.R. 5532, the Ensuring Diversity in Community Banking Act of 2019 and H.R. 6735, the COVID-19 Fraud Prevention Act. Prior to the vote on the House floor, CUNA wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy in support of both pieces of legislation.

H.R. 5532 would encourage federal government deposits in Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), establish a Small Business Administration task force focused on MDIs and Community Development Financial Institutions   and require diversity and inclusion reports from each prudential regulator.

H.R. 6735 would establish a working group that would be a collaboration between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the goal of helping to protect scam attempts during the pandemic.

Posted September 22, 2020 by dyi

CUNA submitted comments to the CFPB regarding their proposed rule titled, “Higher-Priced Mortgage Loan Escrow Exemption (Regulation Z).” This rule amends Regulation Z to exempt certain insured depository institutions and insured credit unions from the requirement to establish escrow accounts for higher-priced mortgage loans (HPMLs). 

Posted September 20, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House of Representatives will vote on a continuing resolution (text unavailable) to keep the government open past September 30th until December 11, 2020.  In addition, the House may consider H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act; H.R. 6210, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act; and H.R. 6270, the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act of 2020.

Also, the House will consider the following bills under suspension of the rules:

H.R. 6735 - COVID-19 Fraud Prevention Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Cindy Axne / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 5698 - Promoting Secure 5G Act of 2020 (Sponsored by Rep. William Timmons / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 6294 - Improving Emergency Disease Response via Housing Act of 2020, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Scott Tipton / Financial Services Committee

H.R. 5322 - Diversity in Community Banking Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Gregory Meeks / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 6934 - To amend the CARES Act to require the uniform treatment of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations under certain programs carried out in response to the COVID–19 emergency, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep Madeleine Dean / Financial Services Committee)

H.R. 7592 - STIFLE Act of 2020 (Sponsored by Rep. Ben McAdams / Financial Services Committee) 

The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Monday, September 21st and resume consideration of Executive Calendar #603, Edward Hulvey Meyers, of Maryland, to be a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims for a term of fifteen years.

 

Posted September 17, 2020 by dyi

Summary of the September 2020 NCUA Board Meeting.

Posted September 16, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood to engage with NCUA on pandemic-related issues.

Posted September 16, 2020 by dyi

FinCEN is issuing a final rule implementing sections 352, 326 and 312 of the PATRIOT Act and removing the anti-money laundering program exemption for banks that lack a Federal functional regulator, including non-federally insured credit unions. 

Posted September 15, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Prior to the House Financial Services Committee hearing re: “Prioritizing Fannie’s and Freddie’s Capital over America’s Homeowners and Renters? A Review of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry about how mortgage forbearance, homeowner and rental assistance programs, and the refinance fee increase affect credit unions and their members. 

Our letter writes in support of H.R. 6729, the COVID-19 Homeowner Assistance Fund Act, which provides $75 billion for states and territories to prevent mortgage defaults, foreclosures, and displacements of individuals and families experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. 

Posted September 15, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairman Roger Wicker and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell prior to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation's markup scheduled on a number of bills.  Our letter was written in support of S. 4159, the E-SIGN Modernization Act.

The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (“E-SIGN Act”), was enacted in 2000, when the Internet was a simpler place in terms of capability, yet the Internet was much more complex to use as many standards were still being developed. Thus, because the E-SIGN Act was designed in the commercial Internet’s infancy, updates are needed to ensure efficient commerce over today’s much more mature and capable Internet.

The E-Sign Modernization Act of 2020 is a strong step toward balancing community health with financial well-being. Enhancing consumer access to online services will ensure that consumers and the financial first responders meeting their pecuniary needs remain safe in our current operating environment.  Specifically, it would remove the requirement in the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act requiring consumers to reasonably demonstrate their ability to access information electronically prior to consenting to electronic records. 

Posted September 15, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB released an Outline of Proposals Under Consideration for a small business lending data collection and reporting rulemaking pursuant to Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 1071 requires financial institutions to collect certain data regarding applications for credit for women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses, and to report that data to the Bureau on an annual basis.  

A high-level summary of the Outline can be found here. The Outline describes proposals being considered to implement Section 1071 along with the relevant law, the regulatory process, and an economic analysis of the potential impacts of the proposals on directly affected small entities.  

The CFPB, in collaboration with the SBA, will convene a Small Business Review panel in October 2020 to consult with small entities regarding the potential impact of the proposals under consideration, in advance of issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking. 

Posted September 14, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA and all of the state credit union leagues wrote to Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McCarthy expressing strong support for simplifying the Paycheck Protection Program’s (PPP) loan forgiveness process to better serve the small business borrowers adversely affected by COVID-19.

America's credit unions urge enactment of S. 4117 and H.R. 7777, the Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act. 

Posted September 13, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

This week, the House of Representatives will vote on H. Res. 908, a resolution “Condemning all forms of anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID-19”; H.R. 2574, the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act of 2019; H.R. 2639, the Strength in Diversity Act of 2019, and H.R. 2694, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

The Senate will convene at 3:00 pm on Monday, September 14, and resume consideration of Mark C. Scarsi to be a United States District Judge for the Central District of California.

Posted September 11, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Friday in Facebook Inc. v. Duguid supporting a narrow scope for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) definition of an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS). The brief raises concerns about the TCPA’s effect on credit unions who may rely on technology systems to efficiently and effectively contact their members with important information regarding their accounts, including mandatory servicing calls and fraud alerts.

Confusion about the scope of the ATDS definition and use of efficient autodialing equipment to contact member-owners has led to an uptick in TCPA lawsuits filed against credit unions, including three recent cases filed at the federal level. 

“With the threat of litigation against leanly staffed credit unions, consumers run the risk of missing out on important information regarding their accounts. It is critically important that the ATDS definition is clarified so that communications from credit unions – and other upstanding institutions like those in the healthcare and educational fields– are not hindered from sharing vital information,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We stand alongside countless organizations such as Facebook in need of technology options that allow them to effectively contact their customers.”  

Posted September 10, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

NCUA will receive vote on a final appraisals rule at its Sept. 17 board meeting, among other items on the agenda.

The meeting will be a live audio stream available starting at 10 a.m. (ET) on NCUA.gov.

The complete agenda is:

  • National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund quarterly report;
  • Modern Examination and Risk Identification Tool (MERIT) update;
  • Bank Secrecy Act, Customer Identification Program exemption; and
  • Final Rule, Part 722, Real Estate Appraisals.

Posted September 10, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to the House Small Business Committee prior to their hearing on transparency in small business lending.  In the letter, we wrote how credit unions are robust business lenders and could do more to help with the pandemic recovery.  Specifically, we reminded the Committee that the member business lending cap of 12.25% of assets restricts capital from getting to Main Street businesses in need.

“We urge Congress to enact legislation that exempts credit union business loans made during federally declared disasters and emergencies from the arbitrary credit union business lending restriction,” the letter reads.

Posted September 09, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA joined trades in writing to Senators Perdue (R-GA) and Blumenthal (D-CT) in support of bipartisan Senate efforts to extend the Covered Business Method (CBM) review program at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Senators support efforts to extend the CBM program, which is scheduled to expire Sept. 15.

The CBM program was created by Congress in 2012 (part of the American Invents Act (AIA)) to help cut back on a large increase in business method patent litigation driven largely by Non-Practicing Entities asserting low-quality business method patents. The program allows the USPTO to review whether the patent in question should have been granted in the first place.

Posted September 09, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Beatty and Ranking Member Wagner prior to the House Financial Services subcommittee on diversity and inclusion's hearing with financial regulators.  CUNA and its members are committed to ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) continue to play a meaningful role throughout every aspect of the financial services sector.  The letter included support for several pieces of legislation it believes would advance DEI principles in financial services.

“The nation’s 5,300 credit unions are committed to enhancing DEI in our member-owned, democratically controlled, not-for-profit financial cooperatives,” the letter reads. “This commitment manifests itself in several ways, including research efforts to establish a baseline and eventually measure changes in diversity, equity, and inclusion at credit unions; the establishment of the Credit Union DEI Collective—a network of credit union system partners, including NCUA—which is dedicated to deepening DEI in the credit union movement; a large and growing number of educational opportunities to support credit unions on their DEI journey; and CUNA hiring a Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to lead its DEI efforts.”

Posted September 08, 2020 by dyi

CUNA submitted comments to the CFPB regarding their interim final rule titled, “Qualified Mortgage (QM) Definition Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z): General QM Definition.” This rule would amend Regulation Z to, among other things, replace the 43% debt-to-income (DTI) requirements and Appendix Q DTI calculation requirements with a more streamlined price-based approach.

Posted September 08, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

On October 5-9, 2020, the CFPB will host a virtual Tech Sprint on Adverse Action. 

The Bureau seeks sprint participants to develop innovative electronic ways to notify consumers of, and inform them about, adverse credit actions. Innovations may concern any aspect, or potential aspect, of adverse action communication, including its development or use. Participants may—but do not have to—address adverse actions based on the use of machine learning algorithms or data not found in traditional credit reports. 

Learn more about Tech Sprints

Apply to participate in this Tech Sprint

The application deadline is Friday, September 11, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Posted September 07, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The Senate will next convene for legislative session at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, September 8, and resume consideration of Brett H. Ludwig to be a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

The House of Representatives will be in pro forma session this week.

Posted September 04, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB announced plans to host a Combined Advisory Committee Meeting via conference call on September 15.  The advisory groups will meet with the Bureau’s Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law to share recommendations on improvements to the current state of federal consumer protection laws, regulations, and practices. 

The meeting is part of the Taskforce’s ongoing public outreach effort to solicit feedback to inform its work.  Interested parties can RSVP here

Separately, the CFPB will host a regular meeting of the Advisory Committees via conference call on September 23.  The advisory groups will discuss the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Consumers and the Financial Marketplace, the ECOA RFI on Preventing Credit Discrimination and Building a More Inclusive Financial System, and Elder Fraud Prevention and Response Networks (EFPRN). 

The meeting is open to the general public. Interested parties can RSVP here.

Posted September 01, 2020 by dyi

The NCUA and other federal financial regulators extended the deadline for comments on the interagency Q&As regarding flood insurance. 

Posted September 01, 2020 by dyi

 CUNA joined with other trade associations to send comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its rulemaking for the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act).