9 CUNA-backed reg. relief bills to be marked up by HFSC this week

March 23, 2015

WASHINGTON (3/24/15)--A number of regulatory relief bills will be marked up by the U.S. House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, including bills supported by CUNA. CUNA testified on regulatory relief before the committee last week, and the bills included in the markup were part of more than two dozen regulatory relief proposals CUNA testified on.

"There are certainly a number of other things we'd like to see Congress do, but a lot of these bills ... have passed the House previously, generally by wide margins," said Ryan Donovan, CUNA's chief advocacy officer. "These bills, for the most part, are generally very familiar to the committee; we appreciate the speed with which the committee has taken them up. We're going to be encouraging the House to pass them when it returns in April."

CUNA reinforced its support for these pieces of legislation in a letter sent to the committee prior to the hearing, calling them a good first step, and reiterating its desire to continue to work with the committee to provide additional regulatory relief.

The CUNA-supported bills that will be marked up include (Click the link for News Now coverage, as well as more information, about each bill):

  • Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act (H.R. 299);
  • Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act (H.R. 601);
  • Mortgage Choice Act of 2015 (H.R 685);
  • Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Board Act (H.R. 1195);
  • Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Community Act (H.R. 1259);
  • Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act (H.R. 1265);
  • Mortgage Servicing Asset Capital Requirements Act of 2015 (H.R. 1408); and
  • The SAFE Act Confidentiality and Privilege Enhancement Act (H.R. 1480), which would protect the privilege of information shared between state and federal financial regulations regarding businesses licensed in the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.

The committee will also mark up the Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act, which will be introduced shortly by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.). The bill would amend escrow and mortgage servicing requirements for smaller financial institutions by providing a safe harbor from escrow requirements for loans held in portfolio for three years.

It would also exempt mortgage servicers that service fewer than 20,000 mortgages from certain mortgage servicing requirements. CUNA mentioned the bill in its letter to the committee, saying Sherman's legislation would allow credit unions to continue efficiently serving their members.

"These combination of these bills, if enacted, would provide some significant relief for credit unions," said Sam Whitfield, CUNA's deputy chief advocacy officer. "For example, the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act would give credit unions in rural areas a chance to serve a lot more of their membership by exempting them from certain escrow requirements and standards."

Donovan said the bills would likely, should they make it through committee, be individually considered by the full House.

See today's News Now ("Patent hearing, budget discussion on CUNA's radar this week") for more information on the happenings in Congress this weekend.