Luetkemeyer introduces 'good first step' toward reg. relief, Nussle says

March 4, 2015

WASHINGTON (3/5/15)--CUNA expressed its appreciation Wednesday for a bill introduced by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) that contains several regulatory relief provisions. The Community Lending and Regulatory Relief Act of 2015 (CLEARR Act) contains a number of items that were part of regulatory relief bills in the previous Congress.

"We believe your legislation is a good first step toward meaningful regulatory relief for credit unions and other community based financial institutions," Nussle wrote to the chief sponsor of the bill. "We look forward to working with you on ways to further regulatory relief for community based financial institutions."

Most importantly, the bill contains a much-sought-after provision that directs federal banking agencies to conduct a study of appropriate capital requirements for mortgage servicing assets for nonsystemic banking institutions.

Luetkemeyer introduced a bill last Congress calling for the study, and CUNA advocated for a manager's amendment that would have included the National Credit Union Administration in the study and postponed the agency's risk-based capital proposal. The amendment eventually was not offered.

Other items in the bill that CUNA appreciates include:

  • A provision that would treat mortgages held in portfolio at credit unions and other mortgage lenders as Qualified Mortgages;
  • Language that amends the exemption of small servicers of mortgage loans from the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, exempting credit unions and other community financial institutions that service 20,000 or fewer mortgage loans;
  • Language from a previous Luetkemeyer bill that would amend the Truth in Lending Act to exempt higher risk mortgages from property appraisal requirements; and
  • A provision eliminating the privacy notice requirement that the notices be sent annually, and requiring them only to be sent when the privacy policy of the financial institution has changed.