Hensarling’s CHOICE Act holds CUNA-backed housing reforms

June 21, 2016

Further details from Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s (R-Texas) alternative bill to the Dodd-Frank Act revealed additional CUNA-supported regulatory relief provisions. Hensarling, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, unveiled part of his proposal earlier this month.

The Financial CHOICE Act (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs) has yet to be officially introduced, but Hensarling has been releasing information on its content over the past few weeks.

Hensarling’s bill includes language from the following CUNA-supported bills:

  • Mortgage Choice Act (H.R. 685), which would adjust the definition of “points and fees” to ensure greater consumer choice in mortgage and settlement services under the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule;
  • Community Financial Institution Mortgage Relief Act (H.R. 1529), which exempts mortgages made by institutions under $10 billion in assets and held in portfolio for three years from the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act’s (RESPA) escrow requirements and exempts mortgage servicers that service fewer than 20,000 mortgages annually from the requirements of Section 6 of RESPA;
  • Homeowner Information Privacy Policy Act (H.R. 4993), which requires the Government Accountability Office to study whether additional Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data required to be collected and reported by CFPB could cause consumers harm; 
  • The Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act (H.R. 4997), which increases the thresholds for small depository institutions from HMDA reporting requirements; and
  • Senior$afe Act (H.R. 4538/S. 2216), which would protect financial institutions from liability when reporting suspected financial elder abuse;

As previously reported in News Now, the bill also contains other regulatory relief for credit unions, including:

  • Repealing the Durbin amendment to Dodd-Frank, which requires a limit on fees charged to retailers for debit card purchases;
  • Reforming the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s leadership to a five-person commission, and placing the bureau under the appropriations process;
  • Limiting the Department of Justice’s Operation Choke point, which would prevent the federal government from limiting or terminating financial institutions’ relationships with certain customers unless certain criteria are met; and
  • Reforming federal examinations of financial institutions to create an independent ombudsman and an independent examination appeals process.

For a deeper dive into Hensarling’s bill, see CUNA’s Removing Barriers blog.