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Texas League Monitoring Bills Of Interest To CUs
AUSTIN, Texas (3/19/13)--The Texas Credit Union League is monitoring several bills in the state  legislature that are of interest to credit unions.

March 8 was the last day for lawmakers to file legislation for this session. They filed more than 6,000 new bills, TCUL said (The Advocate March 15).

TCUL will be closely monitoring several for their potential impact on credit unions, but there are no bills filed that are a directly attacking the franchise tax exemption or other aspects of credit union operations, TCUL said.

Highlights of recent activity likely to be of the most interest to credit unions include:  

  • SB 244 passed favorably out of the Senate and was sent to the House. This is the Texas Credit Union Department's bill, which would increase the number of advisory/honorary directors for credit unions to six from three.
  • HB 560 was reported favorably out of the House Investments and Financial Institutions Committee and sent to the floor of the house. The stand-alone House bill increases the number of advisory/honorary directors.
  • HB 1602, which is identical to SB 244, was heard in the House Investments and Financial Institutions Committee. It's expected that it will be reported favorably out of the committee in the next week, said TCUL.
  • HB 1451 would require the Texas Credit Union Department to establish a program to encourage credit unions to make micro-loans to victims of domestic abuse.
  • SB 295 would require lenders to notify contractors of the suspension of a loan disbursement, with certain exceptions. At the moment, this legislation does not appear to have any momentum, but TCUL said it is watching it closely and is expressing concerns about the bill to the sponsor.
  • SB 385 proposes a new section in the law called "Property Assessed Clean Energy Act,"  TCUL said. The act would create a superior lien for loans that finance energy upgrades to the borrower's property.
  • SB 232 would permit the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner to require Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry registration for additional industries, such as property tax lenders, credit access businesses, and pawnshops, under its jurisdiction
  • SB 247 gives the Finance Commission additional administrative powers over property tax lenders. Property tax lenders are prohibited from deceptive advertisements and must disclose all fees and charges in solicitations or for any subsequent transactions. Other entities such as credit unions, with pre-existing recorded liens on encumbered properties gain a regulated form and process to request a payoff from property tax lenders.
  • SB 474 would change financing statements that are filed to protect secured transactions to require lenders, including credit unions, to use new financing forms.

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