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Archive - 2008 Comment Letters

Current Comment Letters

Archive: 1999-2013

NCUA

CUNA Comments on Share Insurance Coverage and the Official Sign
December 22, 2008
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the interim final rule that will provide options for displaying the official share insurance sign to reflect the increase in the maximum share insurance amount from $100,000 to $250,000 and that will increase the coverage for custodial loan accounts, which will now be referred to as “mortgage servicing accounts.” CUNA represents approximately 90 percent of our nation’s 8,200 state and federal credit unions, which serve 92 million members.

Share Insurance for Revocable Trust Accounts – Part 745
December 15, 2008
At its last meeting, the NCUA board adopted an interim final rule on share insurance for revocable trust accounts, which CUNA generally supports. The interim final rule eliminates the “qualified beneficiaries” concept, this is a positive change that will not only simplify the process for determining coverage but will also increase eligible beneficiaries. However, CUNA has suggested that NCUA rewrite the section describing coverage for larger accounts with more than $1.25m and more than 5 beneficiaries that do not have equal beneficial interests, as this section is somewhat confusing.

Regulatory Flexibility and the Ownership of Fixed Assets
December 1, 2008
CUNA supports the changes provided by NCUA in its proposed rule that would permit a Reg-Flex federal credit union to have up to six years to at least partially occupy land it has acquired for future expansion, without seeking a waiver. Currently under NCUA’s current rules, if a federal credit union purchases unimproved land to expand its facilities and does not fully occupy the premises within one year, it must at least partially occupy the premises within three years or obtain a waiver from NCUA.

Accuracy of Advertising and Notice of Insured Status
November 21, 2008
In our comment letter to NCUA in response to the proposed rule to amend the share insurance sign requirements for credit unions participating in shared branch network, CUNA supports the goal of the proposed rule, which is to reduce the burden of the current share insurance sign requirements for these shared branch networks, while suggesting additional flexibility for credit unions.

Concerns with Regard to the Mortgage Registration Provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008
November 12, 2008
CUNA raises a number of issues and concerns with regard to the mortgage registration provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and requests that it be included as part of the process in developing the required national registry.

CUNA Opposes Aspects of NCUA's Proposed Budget
November 7, 2008
CUNA has filed a detailed letter with NCUA raising serious concerns about a number of items in the agency's proposed 2009 budget. These include whether NCUA could use contracted workers instead of hiring scores of new employees. CUNA also raises concerns about the large expenditure for the 75th Anniversary of the FCU Act, the 6% pay increases for all employees and that NCUA plans to examine state CUs every 12 months if the state agency does not. FCUs will be examined on a 12 month cycle as well. The letter complements the statement made by Tennessee League President and Chairman of CUNA's Examination and Supervision Subcommittee Tom Gaines on behalf of CUNA at NCUA's budget review October 30.

PCA - Amended Definition of Post-Merger Net Worth
September 29, 2008
After reviewing the proposal, in collaboration with CUNA's Accounting Task Force, CUNA supports NCUA's efforts to implement certain statutory provisions, which will facilitate mergers once put into effect. However, we do have some concerns with the proposal as drafted. A major concern is that the proposed definition of net worth may not achieve its intended effect due to an apparent inconsistency with a provision of a rule established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

Comments on Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on 12 C.F.R. Part 723, Member Business Loans
August 25, 2008
CUNA's comment letter supports NCUA’s efforts to improve the regulation of member business lending (MBL) for credit unions and believes the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking is very timely in this regard. CUNA supports a regulatory approach to MBLs under which the rule only implements the statutory provisions of the Federal Credit Union Act and other issues, such as loan-to-value ratios, are addressed through guidance or an appendix to the regulation. However, recognizing that this may not be achievable, CUNA agrees that the agency can and should make clarifications to the MBL rule in a number of areas. CUNA’s letter also takes the opportunity to address the misinformation about member business lending that is contained in comment letters from banking trade groups.

CUNA Strongly Opposes NCUA's Underserved Proposal
August 18, 2008
CUNA's comment letter urges NCUA not to proceed with its underserved proposal which would establish a much more cumbersome procedure to approve underserved areas. CUNA maintains that the underlying rationale for t he proposal is flawed and that if adopted, the proposal would result in fewer and smaller underserved areas being approved. CUNA urges NCUA to retain the current process for approving underserved areas.

Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices Proposal
August 4, 2008
CUNA responds to the proposed rule to address unfair or deceptive credit card practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act and overdraft protection plans. This proposed rule was jointly issued by the Federal Reserve Board, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of Thrift Supervision. In our letter, CUNA notes that credit unions are strong proponents of fair lending practices and proper consumer disclosures, while expressing concerns about the ever-increasing regulatory burden on credit unions. CUNA urges that opt-in programs and case-by-case accommodations should not be subject to the proposed range of requirements and comments on all other aspects of the proposal.

National Credit Union Administration Board’s Regulatory Review for 2008
August 1, 2008
CUNA responds to NCUA's request to provide comments on its 2008 Regulatory Review List. We support efforts by regulators and legislators to identify unnecessary and/or overly burdensome regulatory requirements that have been imposed on federally insured credit unions. We also urge NCUA to address additional key regulatory issues for credit unions not on the list issued by the agency, such as field of membership and foreign currency investments.

Proposed Rule Changes on Incidental Powers
July 28, 2008
This letter responds to NCUA's proposed rule changes on incidental powers, 12 C.F.R. 721. The proposal would affect three categories of incidental powers: correspondent services; operational programs; and finder activities. It would provide additional illustrations of permissible activities within each of these categories. CUNA supports the changes NCUA is proposing. These changes include: (1) allowing federal credit unions to provide correspondent services to foreign credit unions; (2) adding payroll services to the list of activities permitted as an "operational program;" (3) clarifying that a federal credit union's negotiations and related activities with a vendor regarding a group discount for members and performance of administrative functions for vendors is permitted as a "finder" activity; and (4) authorizing credit unions to act as finders for financial products of other financial institutions.

Comment on Proposed Revisions to CUSO Regulations
June 30, 2008
This letter responds to the National Credit Union Administration Board's proposal to amend the NCUA's Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) regulations. 12 C.F.R. Part 712. CUNA commends NCUA for its efforts to expand CUSO activities by adding new categories and more examples of approved services. CUNA urges NCUA to further enhance CUSO operations by permitting CUSOs to choose from the range of activities permissible for federal credit unions, including indirect automobile lending and the sale of loan participation interests in credit card portfolios to credit unions. CUNA does not support NCUA's effort to expand the CUSO regulations to give NCUA authority to examine the books and records of state credit union CUSOs and to regulate separateness of state credit unions and CUSOs. In addition, CUNA does not agree that all federal credit unions with a net worth below 5% should have to seek prior approval from NCUA to recapitalize an insolvent CUSO; credit unions with 4-5% net worth should only be required to give prior notice to the agency. CUNA also does not support removal of the regulation allowing requests for agency approval of new CUSO activities.

Low-Income Definition
June 27, 2008
CUNA provides comments in response to NCUA's proposal to amend the definition of "low-income" federal credit unions as recommended by the agency's Outreach Task Force, and generally does not object to the proposed change in the definition from one that is based on "median household income" to one that is based on "median family income." However, we do urge the agency to permanently 'grandfather' existing low-income credit unions, to implement a waiver process allowing individual credit unions to qualify for or retain "low-Income" status, and to consider some other important modifications as well . Also, CUNA suggests that the definition should include all of those whose incomes are at or below 80% of the area or nation's income standards, and the final rule include state-chartered federally insured credit unions.

Proposed Changes to the Advertising Requirements of Insured Credit Unions
June 24, 2008
In our comment letter to NCUA in response to proposed changes to the advertising requirements for credit unions, CUNA noted no concerns regarding the proposed rulemaking. CUNA believes that this proposal will help increase flexibility in complying with NCUA's advertising requirements and thus alleviate regulatory burden.

FOIA/Privacy Act
June 24, 2008
In our comment letter to NCUA in response to proposed changes to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act rules, CUNA noted no significant concerns with regard to the proposal, as it will directly impact requests submitted to NCUA, with little impact on credit unions. However, CUNA does suggest that individuals be permitted to submit requests under the Privacy Act electronically, as they are permitted to do under FOIA.

Comments on NCUA's Proposed IRPS 08-01
June 2, 2008
CUNA provides comments in response to NCUA's request for input on the proposed Interpretive Rule and Policy Statement, IRPS 08-1, Guidance Regarding Prohibitions imposed by Section 205(d) of the Federal Credit Union Act. In our letter, CUNA recommends several changes to enhance the utility of this NCUA guidance, including establishing more specific timeframes for NCUA responses to consent requests and appeals. CUNA also makes suggestions on defining or deleting certain terms used in the proposed IRPS 08-1 and adopting a similar approach to what other federal financial instituion regulatory agencies have developed.

CUNA Comments on Flood Insurance, Interagency Questions and Answers
May 19, 2008
In our comment letter to NCUA on proposed changes to the flood insurance questions and answers (Q& As) that were originally published in 1997, CUNA requests clarification of the term "insurable value' and clarification that a flood determination does not need to be made at the time of a loan application. CUNA also suggests that the Q&As be included on the NCUA website so that it is easier for credit unions to access.

NCUA Outreach Task Force Report
April 29, 2008

Comments on ANPR for Parts 708a and 708b, Credit Union Corporate Governance Issues
April 18, 2008
This letter responds to the National Credit Union Administration Board’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in January that sought comments on issues regarding the regulation of mergers, conversions to another type of financial institution, and terminations of federal share insurance. The comments reflected in this letter were developed after thorough consideration by CUNA’s Federal Credit Union Subcommittee, Examination and Supervision Subcommittee, Community Credit Union Committee, Governmental Affairs Committee, and our Executive Committee. CUNA strongly opposes any new regulation in this area at this time

CUNA Letter on Community CU Chartering and FOM
February 26, 2008
CUNA has recommended to NCUA that it consider additional changes to its 2007 proposal for chartering and field of membership policies for community chartered credit unions. In a letter to NCUA Board Chairman JoAnn Johnson, CUNA makes eight recommendations, including establishing a “core-based statistical area” (CBSA) on parameters established by the Office of Management and Budget; use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s definition of “Rural District,” and d modify the notice and comment period the agency proposed for those credit unions seeking community expansions or charters that do not qualify for the community presumption.

Proposed FACT Act Rules and Guidelines on the Accuracy of Credit Information
February 7, 2008
This letter responds to proposed rules and guidelines that the National Credit Union Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, and other agencies are required to develop under provisions of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act. These guidelines and rules are intended to enhance the accuracy and integrity of information that is furnished to the credit bureaus. The proposal outlines two approaches. CUNA favors the approach in which the definitions of “accuracy” and “integrity” are included within guidelines instead of within the rules, although we are concerned with how these terms are defined. CUNA also supports the proposed circumstances in which furnishers of credit information must investigate disputes based on a direct request from the consumer, and urges the agencies to review the cumulative burden of all the rules issued under the FACT Act. CUNA also requests that the rules not be mandatory for at least 18 months after the rules are issued in final form.

Department of Defense

Military Lending Rules
February 15, 2008
In our letter to the Department of Defense in response to their request for feedback on the recent military lending rules, CUNA emphasizes that the rule meets the objectives of targeting specific loan products, such as payday loans, vehicle title loans, and refund anticipation loans. CUNA also stresses that no further changes are needed at this time and that financial education is an important weapon in the fight against predatory lending.

Department of Justice

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities.
August 18, 2008
CUNA responds to a proposal under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to place the existing guidelines into regulations. The proposal addresses a number of issues including provisions for fixed equipment, such as ATMs, and a safe harbor for certain elements of existing equipment. CUNA strongly supports the goals of the ADA and believes all members should have access to credit union services. We generally support the proposal including the safe harbor provision for certain elements of existing structures. The safe harbor would not be extended to auxiliary aids and services, such as speech output in ATM. CUNA requests that the safe harbor exemption include the proposed requirement for speech enabled ATMs.

Fannie Mae

Home Valuation Code of Conduct
October 8, 2008
In light of the latest developments in which both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were placed into government conservatorship, CUNA has submitted a letter to their new regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, requesting that it review the recent appraisal code that will soon be imposed on lenders who sell loans to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The letter specifically requests removal of the requirement that lenders maintain a telephone hotline and email address for purposes of receiving and investing complaints with regard to the appraisal process.

Home Valuation Code of Conduct
April 30, 2008
CUNA submitted comment letters to both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in response to the new Home Valuation Protection Code in which Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will buy loans only from financial institutions that meet new standards that are intended to ensure independent and reliable appraisals. CUNA outlines a number of concerns with regard to the requirement that staff may not be involved in the appraisal process and the new requirement in which financial institutions will be required to maintain a telephone hotline that will address appraisal problems.

Federal Housing Finance Agency

Federal Home Loan Bank Boards of Directors: Eligibility and Elections
In our comment letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency in response to proposed changes to the election process for Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) directors, CUNA requests the opportunity to work with the agency to enhance credit union representation on these FHLB boards of directors as this will help facilitate the statutory requirement that certain of the directors represent consumer and community interests.

Federal Reserve System

Fed to Pay Interest on Reserves
November 21, 2008
This letter responds the Federal Reserve Board's interim final rule paying interest on reserve deposits. CUNA appreciates the Fed's timely implementation of its statutory authority to pay interest on deposits held at the Reserve Banks and urges the Fed to begin working with financial institutions on the transition to zero reserve requirements consistent with its statutory authority under the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act of 2006.

Reimbursement of Financial Records
September 26, 2008
CUNA supports the Federal Reserve Board’s proposed rule to amend Regulation S, the Right to Financial Privacy Act, which determines the rates and conditions in which a government agency must reimburse a financial institution for costs incurred in producing consumer financial records in response to government requests. These amendments update and increase the fees that may be charged by financial institutions and incorporate recent advances in electronic document productions.

Proposed Revision to the HMDA Reporting Threshold
August 28, 2008
In our comment letter to the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) in response to its proposal to change the threshold for reporting "higher-priced" loans under Regulation C, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, CUNA supports the proposed threshold, which is based on conventional mortgage rates and will be determined by using the “average prime mortgage rate,” as reported by Freddie Mac. We advocated a similar threshold in response to the recent Regulation Z mortgage loan rules, which the Fed adopted. We do, however, suggest that the information from Freddie Mac be provided in an electronically retrievable format and are also concerned with the January 1, 2009 implementation date, which does not provide sufficient time to make the necessary programming changes.

FACT Act Risk-Based Pricing Rule
August 19, 2008
CUNA generally supports the goal of providing risk-based pricing notices to those who will receive credit on less than favorable terms, which will be based on the annual percentage rate that is offered, although CUNA requests clarification of certain terms and requests that the notice should only be provided to one applicant when there is a joint application. However, the automobile dealer should generally be the one to provide notices in an indirect lending situation, and we are also concerned that these requirements will cause delay and inconvenience as it applies to multi-featured, open-end lending. The letter suggests additional changes to the notice to alleviate burdens for creditors and also requests that the effective date of these rules be delayed for at least two years.

Regulation DD Proposal
July 18, 2008
In our comment letter to the Fed, although we support the consumer’s right to opt-out of an overdraft protection program at any time, we oppose the provisions that will require credit unions to provide a notice of this right in each periodic statement period in which the service is used. Also, financial institutions that “promote the payment of overdrafts” must currently disclose on the periodic statement the fees charged for overdraft services and the fees charged for returning items unpaid, both for the statement period and for the year-to-date. CUNA opposes the provisions of this proposal that will expand these disclosure requirements to all financial institutions.

Proposed Regulation Z Open-end Credit Rules
July 18, 2008
In our comment letter to the Fed, CUNA supports a number of the proposed changes, which includes providing a cut-off time no earlier then 5:00 PM for purposes of determining if a payment is late, eliminating disclosure of minimum finance charges that are less than $1, and additional disclosures for accounts in which fees and security deposits exceed 25% of the available credit. We also request that the required compliance date be at least two years after these open-end rules are finalized, which includes this proposal and the proposal issued last year.

ACH Posting Times
June 4, 2008
This letter responds to the Federal Reserve Board’s (Board’s) request for comment with respect to proposed changes to the automated clearinghouse (ACH) debit transfers that are processed by the Reserve Banks’ FedACH service and on proposed changes to its Payments System Risk (PSR) Policy. CUNA opposes the Board’s proposal to change the posting times of ACH debit transfers that are processed by the Reserve Banks’ FedACH service. We do not believe the Board has substantiated the need for the change, and it would create an extreme hardship for corporate credit unions and their constituents in managing their balances with the Reserve Banks. If the Board finalizes the proposed changes to the ACH posting times, we are requesting that the Board to permit corporate credit unions to pledge collateral for intraday overdrafts with an implementation date equal to the change in posting times.

Proposed Rule to Amend Regulation Z Home Mortgage Provisions.
April 8, 2008
In the comment letter submitted in response to the Federal Reserve Board’s proposal that would significantly change the Regulation Z mortgage loan rules, CUNA questioned the threshold used for determining whether a loan is "high-priced" and, therefore, subject to additional restrictions. However, CUNA agrees that lenders should consider the borrower’s ability to repay the loan, supports the use of escrow accounts, and suggests further restrictions on the use of prepayment penalties. CUNA also supports a number of other provisions that address appraisers, servicing abuses, and advertising practices.

Proposed Amendments to Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions
March 28, 2008
This letter comments on the Federal Reserve Board's proposal on Regulation D, Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions. CUNA urges the Board to work with financial institutions to reduce reserve requirements to zero, which will be within its statutory authority, under the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act of 2006 effective in 2011. CUNA supports the proposed amendments and seeks clarification that deposits would still be classified as "savings deposits" not subject to reserve requirements under certain proposed conditions.

Federal Trade Commission

FACT Act Risk-Based Pricing Rule
August 19, 2008
CUNA generally supports the goal of providing risk-based pricing notices to those who will receive credit on less than favorable terms, which will be based on the annual percentage rate that is offered, although CUNA requests clarification of certain terms and requests that the notice should only be provided to one applicant when there is a joint application. However, the automobile dealer should generally be the one to provide notices in an indirect lending situation, and we are also concerned that these requirements will cause delay and inconvenience as it applies to multi-featured, open-end lending. The letter suggests additional changes to the notice to alleviate burdens for creditors and also requests that the effective date of these rules be delayed for at least two years.

Proposed FACT Act Rules & Guidelines on the Accuracy of Credit Information.
February 7, 2008
This letter responds to proposed rules and guidelines that the National Credit Union Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, and other agencies are required to develop under provisions of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act. These guidelines and rules are intended to enhance the accuracy and integrity of information that is furnished to the credit bureaus. The proposal outlines two approaches. CUNA favors the approach in which the definitions of “accuracy” and “integrity” are included within guidelines instead of within the rules, although we are concerned with how these terms are defined. CUNA also supports the proposed circumstances in which furnishers of credit information must investigate disputes based on a direct request from the consumer, and urges the agencies to review the cumulative burden of all the rules issued under the FACT Act. CUNA also requests that the rules not be mandatory for at least 18 months after the rules are issued in final form.

Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)

Amendments to the Impairment and Interest Income Measurement Guidance of EITF Issue No. 99-20
December 30, 2008
CUNA generally supports FASB's proposed Staff Position, EITF 99-20-a, that would amend EITF Issue No. 99-20. We fully support the Board’s underlying objective of increasing consistency in determining whether other-than-temporary-impairment (OTTI) of a security has occurred. However, we feel that EITF 99-20-a does not go far enough in addressing certain problems with OTTI models. Overall, we are encouraged by this FSP and believe holders of securities covered by EITF 99-20 will benefit from these proposed changes in this current dislocated market, but we believe its long-term effects are less certain. Lastly, we encourage the Board to fully address the issue of impairment testing and measurement as quickly as possible.

Proposed FSP FAS 157-d
October 9, 2008
CUNA's comment letter in response to the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) Proposed Staff Position FAS 157-d was developed under the auspices of CUNA's Accounting Task Force, lead by Scott Waite. The Proposed Staff Position offers guidance on using FASB Statement No. 157, Fair Value Measurements, in a market that is not active. CUNA has a few concerns regarding the Proposed Staff Position, including the extremely short five-day comment period. CUNA is also concerned that the proposal does not go far enough in addressing key issues regarding the application of fair value for assets where there is an ability and intent to hold them until recovery or maturity; fair value accounting requires certain assets to be valued at the price they can be sold at today on the market. CUNA has urged an extension to the comment period and will keep members updated.

Proposed Structural Changes to FASB
February 13, 2008
CUNA filed a comment letter with the FASB urging the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) to reconsider some proposed changes to the structure and operations of the FASB. The letter, developed with CUNA's Accounting Task Force Chairman Scott Waite, disagrees with some of the proposed changes. Specifically, the FAF has proposed decreasing the size of the FASB from seven to five members, and limiting to one the number of invidiuals with expertise in certain areas, such as auditing and financial statement preparation. CUNA is concerned that these proposed changes would not result in their intended effect, of increasing efficiency, but may result in a decreased representation of concerns common to credit unions. Lastly, CUNA urges the FAF to provide a more thorough explanation to stakeholders of how its changes will improve its oversight and the processing of accounting issues before advancing this proposal.

Delay of FIN 48
January 18, 2008 CUNA filed a comment letter with FASB strongly supporting a delay in the application of FIN 48 to state chartered credit unions. The letter, developed with CUNA's Accounting Task Force Chairman Scott Waite, notes that FIN 48 would apply to UBIT for state chartered credit unions. FIN 48 provides guidance to entities as to how they should recognize a potential tax, such as UBIT, when the precise amount of the tax liability is uncertain. The letter not only supports the deferral of FIN 48, which has raised questions for FASB as well as for credit unions and accountants, but also seeks clarification that credit unions should qualify for the deferral even if they have already provided GAAP financial statements to NCUA or a state regulator. FASB proposed to allow the deferral only if entities had not provided the information to a third party. CUNA's letter strongly recommends that regulators not be considered as "third parties" for purposes of the delay, as they are not the entities that FASB was seeking to address.

FinCen

Currency Transaction Report Exemptions Rule and Form Amendments
June 23, 2008
This letter responds to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN's) notice of proposed rulemaking and request for comments on the exemptions to filing currency transaction reports (CTRs). CUNA supports eliminating the biennial filing of FinCEN’s Designation of Exempt Person Form 110 (Form110) for Phase II customers/members and supports replacing the current twelve month waiting period with a risk-based determination when designating an eligible non-listed or payroll (Phase II) customer/member for exemption. However, CUNA does not support requiring depository institutions report revocations of exempt status and believes it is duplicative and should continue to be voluntary.

Freddie Mac

Home Valuation Code of Conduct
October 8, 2008
In light of the latest developments in which both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were placed into government conservatorship, CUNA has submitted a letter to their new regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, requesting that it review the recent appraisal code that will soon be imposed on lenders who sell loans to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The letter specifically requests removal of the requirement that lenders maintain a telephone hotline and email address for purposes of receiving and investing complaints with regard to the appraisal process.

Home Valuation Code of Conduct
April 30, 2008
CUNA submitted comment letters to both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in response to the new Home Valuation Protection Code in which Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will buy loans only from financial institutions that meet new standards that are intended to ensure independent and reliable appraisals. CUNA outlines a number of concerns with regard to the requirement that staff may not be involved in the appraisal process and the new requirement in which financial institutions will be required to maintain a telephone hotline that will address appraisal problems.

Housing and Urban Development

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
May 14, 2008
In our comment letter in response to proposed changes to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) rules, CUNA opposes the provisions that require certain disclosures to be read aloud to the borrower, the changes that will lengthen the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) from one to four pages, and the time deadlines for providing the GFE or notice if the loan request is rejected. CUNA also requests clarification of the circumstances in which closing costs may be increased and supports provisions that will allow creditors to remedy violations of these provisions.

IRS

IRS Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt
August 18, 2008
CUNA responds to the IRS' request to provide comments on its form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt. We believe Form 1099-C provides a clear and succinct format and the instructions are user-friendly and provide useful guidance for completing the form.

Form 990 Revision
June 1, 2008
This letter responds to the Internal Revenue Service’s draft instructions for completing the recently redesigned Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. The draft instructions include a general overview of the form and schedules explaining their purpose, description of who must file a particular schedule, and line-by-line explanations. CUNA expresses a number of concerns on the instructions including the thresholds for reporting compensation, the definition of “key employee” and instructions for group returns.

NACHA

Proposed Changes to ACH Authorizations and Returns
November 7, 2008
CUNA's comment letter responds to NACHA's proposal to clarify the requirements for obtaining authorization of an ACH payment and amend its rules regarding the process by which receiving depository financial institutions handle claims of unauthorized debits. We support clarifying that an "unclear" or "deceptive" authorization does not satisfy the requirements, but believe the terms are subjective and should be clarified in the rules. Additionally, we support NACHA's recommendation to omit all references to the phrase "penalty of perjury" regarding a consumer's statement that a debit was unauthorized. We also support consolidating return reason codes and establishing subcodes to more accurately identify the reason for a return.

Stop Payment Rules -- NACHA Rules and Regulation E
June 27, 2008
CUNA fully supports amendments to NACHA Operating Rules on stop payment authorizations to re-align them with the Federal Reserve Board's official staff commentary on stop payments of pre-authorized electronic debits. The proposed amendments would enable a receiving depository financial institution to reconcile better its obligations under both the Rules and Regulation E regarding stop payments.

NACHA Management Assessment and Compliance Audit Proposals
February 27, 2008
CUNA provides comments in response to NACHA's request for comments its risk management and assessment and compliance audit proposals. NACHA is proposing to broaden the scope of its Operating Rules on risk management to incorporate specific requirements for conducting an overall annual assessment of ACH risk.

OFAC

Economic Sanctions Enforcement Guidelines
October 27, 2008
CUNA's comment letter supports OFAC's interim rule on enforcement guidance for persons subject to the requirements of U.S. sanctions statutes, executive orders and regulations. The guidance was developed as a result of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which substantially increased the maximum penalties for violations, and identify general factors that OFAC will consider in determining an appropriate enforcement response. We agree that the factors accurately identify the considerations that are most critical to a determination of appropriate agency action.

Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Study of Mark-to-Market
November 13, 2008
CUNA's comment letter to the SEC is in response to its 90-day study on mark-to-market accounting. We strongly support a thorough and comprehensive examination of the positive and negative effects of mark-to-market accounting, especially when used in a stagnant market. While credit unions generally practice more conservative investment strategies than other financial institutions, the wide-spread nature of the current financial crisis is likely to have at least some effect on credit unions. We encourage the SEC to explore how an institution's intent to hold an asset can be incorporated into determining its "fair value." We also ask that the study include a look at auditor practices and the inflexibility shown by some firms in conducting the measurement process under fair value accounting.

Small Business Administration

Proposed Rule on the Use of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and Secondary Market Pool Interest Rate Changes
December 15, 2008
This comment letter responds to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) interim final rule that will allow SBA lenders the option to price loans based on the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR) as a means to alleviate the problems caused by the narrowing of the spread between LIBOR and the prime rate, which has reduced the number of SBA loans that lenders are willing to make. CUNA supports the proposal, although recognizes that borrowers may be concerned about using the LIBOR, as it is relatively unknown and because it fluctuates more than the prime rate. These concerns should be addressed since use of the prime rate is still an option and the use of the prime rate should increase once the spread between the LIBOR and the prime rate widens to normal levels. CUNA also supports other efforts to improve liquidity for SBA loans, including the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) that was recently established by the Federal Reserve Board and the Department of the Treasury, and would welcome the opportunity to work with the SBA on other efforts to achieve these goals.

Treasury

Troubled Assets Purchase Program
November 14, 2008
This letter expresses CUNA’s concerns to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson regarding the Treasury’s decision not to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions as part of its economic stabilization efforts. CUNA is concerned that the valuation of mortgage-backed securities and similar troubled assets will remain unsettled unless the Treasury sets a market for these instruments through an asset purchase program, as intended by Congress when it passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Further, CUNA is concerned that credit unions are being left without access to any financial assistance, which is also contrary to Congress’s intent, since the Treasury has abandoned the asset purchase program and credit unions are not eligible for the Treasury’s Capital Purchase Program for banks and thrifts. This letter asks Secretary Paulson to work with NCUA to establish a troubled asset purchase program for credit unions—using money from the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and, if necessary, the Treasury—even if the Treasury is not willing to establish a broader asset purchase program. It also suggests that such an asset purchase program could be used to inject net worth into troubled credit unions.

Treasury's Guarantee Program for Troubled Assets Under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act
October 28, 2008
CUNA has written to the Treasury Department in response to its request for comments on its proposed guarantee program for troubled assets under the Emergency Economic Stability Act of 2008 (EESA). While CUNA supports first an assistance program from NCUA, CUNA also advocates the inclusion of credit unions among the institutions eligible to seek assistance, as needed, under all aspects of the Temporary Assets Relief Program (TARP). We strongly concur with NCUA that non-interest bearing asset accounts at credit unions should have full insurance coverage on parity with FDIC-insured institutions and that NCUSIF has authority to provide that coverage.

Workplace Financial Education Honor Roll Program
October 27, 2008
CUNA supports financial literacy efforts and acknowledges the need for expanding current efforts to reach more Americans. In light of today’s economic instability, the relevance of this topic is quite apparent. The objective of the Workplace Financial Literacy Honor Roll program is to encourage employers to implement efforts that will ultimately result in enhanced employee financial knowledge. We do have some concerns regarding the program. The primary concern is with the financial and resource requirements that the program will likely place on participating organizations.

Comments on Burden of CDFI Program Certification Application
July 29, 2008
This letter responds to the CDFI Fund's comment request regarding the burden of the CDFI application for certification as a CDFI. In writing its letter, CUNA worked with the National Federation of CDCUs. CUNA is not aware that the current burden imposed by the CDFI application is overly burdensome. CUNA does, however, encourage the CDFI Fund to refrain from making changes that may complicate the application process unless such changes are absolutely necessary.

State of Financial Literacy in the United States
May 23, 2008
This letter responds to a comment request by the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy regarding the state of financial education in the U.S. The Council is tasked with working with public and private organizations to develop and implement programs to help increase financial literacy. The Council is soliciting comments in order to gain a better understanding of pressing issues in this area. CUNA is in full support of the Council’s objective.

Comment on Certification of Entities as CDFI
February 25, 2008
CUNA filed a comment letter with the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund providing suggestions to improve the process involved in certifying a financial institution as a CDFI. CDFIs are a unique class of institutions that receive certain benefits from the government, it is thus very important that the certification process be comprehensive yet efficient. Overall, in its letter, CUNA urges the CDFI Fund to reduce certain formalities and restrictions involved in the certification process, making certification easier for some institutions.

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