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CUs Should Plan For CFPB Changes, Panelists Say
WASHINGTON (2/27/13)--Credit unions are facing a barrage of new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau mortgage regulations, and the first step in dealing with these regulations should be credit union staff education, panelists at a Tuesday Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference session said.

The GAC breakout session, entitled "Managing the Change in Lending Rules," was moderated by CUNA Associate General Counsel Jared Ihrig. The panel also featured commentary from:
  • CFPB Deputy Assistant Director, Regulations, Ben Olson;
  • SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana, Calif., Chief Operations Officer Erin Mendez; and
  • PolicyWorks LLC Vice President Andrea Stritzke.
The session provided a brief overview of three new CFPB releases, the agency's new ability-to-repay, mortgage loan originator compensation and mortgage servicing rules. These rules are scheduled to go into effect in January 2014, and Stritzke said credit unions should not wait long to begin to analyze the rules and implement needed changes.

"Someone has to start to learn these rules to help train others in your credit union," she said. There are a lot of details, she noted. There are a lot of little exceptions in the rules that will impact credit unions, and a lot of little exceptions that will help credit unions, she said. Credit unions without a full education in the rules may start compliance processes when they do not need to, Stritzke stressed.

She also emphasized that interpretations of the rules can vary, and elements of the rules could change before January.

Mendez said her credit union has brought together real estate, lending and compliance staff to form a task force to take on the CFPB mortgage regulations. The task force members review the regulations and hold meetings to discuss what the rules are and what they mean for credit unions and membership.

Mendez also advised credit unions not to get so focused on the rules that they forget the members they are trying to serve. Credit unions should also try to be as thoughtful as possible when they look for ways to adapt current processes or current notices to meet the new requirements.

Olson said the CFPB is trying to make the new regulations as digestible as possible, and will work to help credit unions and others impacted by the rules prepare for compliance with guidance, webinars and other outreach efforts. He noted that the CFPB regulations do not aim to be overly restrictive. "There are good loans to be made across the board," he said.


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