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CUNA meets with CFPB on remittance rule changes
WASHINGTON (9/25/12)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney urged Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray to distinguish in the agency's rulemaking between credit unions that champion consumers' interests and other service providers in the financial marketplace in a meeting with the director.

Cheney also urged the agency to continue considering ways to lessen the impact of the final international remittance transfer rule on credit unions, and addressed other credit union priorities during the meeting last week.

Under the CFPB remittance rule, remittance transfer providers would be required to disclose the exchange rate, all fees associated with a transfer, and the amount of money that will be received on the other end. Remittance transfer providers will also be required to investigate disputes and correct errors. The bureau's new remittance disclosure rule will take effect Feb. 7.

The CFPB has provided a safe harbor exemption from the rule for remittance providers that transact 100 or fewer remittances per year. The agency has claimed at least 80% of credit unions that offer remittance services would be exempt under this safe harbor, but CUNA during the meeting last week revealed recent research showing that a number of credit unions they surveyed make more than 100 remittance transfers per year.

CUNA staff and the CFPB during the meeting also discussed foreign tax disclosures and liability issues related to the remittance transfer regulations.

Mortgage regulation changes, including the CFPB's revisions of the qualified mortgage definition, were also discussed during the meeting. Under a still-developing CFPB rule, mortgage originators would be required to consider a homebuyer's ability to repay a loan before the loan is offered. The CFPB's ability-to-repay requirements would apply to consumer credit transactions that are secured by a dwelling and be further defined by the agency's definition of a qualified mortgage.

CUNA called on the CFPB to broadly define qualified mortgages and provide mortgage lenders with a legal safe harbor from ability-to-repay litigation.

Mortgage servicing, mortgage loan officer compensation and the definition of "finance charge" under the proposal accompanying the CFPB's still-under-development combined Truth in Lending Act (TILA)/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) forms were also discussed during the meeting.

CUNA General Counsel Eric Richard and Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn participated in the meeting.

In other CFPB news, Zixta Martinez, CFPB assistant director for community affairs, and Bart Shapiro, senior advisor for small business, also met recently with the CUNA Council Forum. CUNA's Council Forum also met with National Credit Union Administration senior staff Buddy Gill, Owen Cole, and Tim Segerson last week.


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