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Inside Washington (05/10/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (5/11/12)--Christopher L. Peterson has been hired by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to serve as the agency's enforcement analyst, according to the law firm Ballard Spahr.  Peterson, who has taken a leave from his position as associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law at the University of Utah, is an outspoken critic of payday lending and the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS). In an article that will be published later this year in the Washington & Lee Law Review, Peterson will recommend that cities and other local municipalities enact ordinances requiring payday lenders to prominently disclose "Warning: Predatory Lender" on their signage …
  • WASHINGTON (5/11/12)--Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, along with 46 co-sponsors, has introduced legislation that would limit the number of overdraft fees that can be charged to one per month and six per year. Overdrafts also would have to be "reasonable and proportional" to the cost of the transaction. Consumers would also be required to opt in to overdraft plans with clear disclosure of coverage and fees and improved notification procedures. Manipulation of transaction posting to maximize fees paid to financial institutions would be banned under the legislation. "The Federal Reserve opt-in rule for debit card overdrafts has been in effect since August 2010," Maloney said. "But it is quite clear more needs to be done in the area of consumer disclosures and to help consumers avoid multiple overdrafts. That's why my bill expands the opt-in requirement to paper checks, ATMs and recurring monthly payments--and also increases disclosure to consumers when an overdraft occurs, limits the fees' price and frequency, and bans the manipulation of transactions," she added …
  • WASHINGTON (5/11/12)--Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) Wednesday introduced legislation designed to prevent large banks from putting the economy and financial system at risk. The Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Efficient (SAFE) Banking Act would institute a 10% cap on any bank's share of the total deposits of all insured U.S. banks. The liabilities that any one financial company can take on would be capped at 10%, relative to the U.S. financial sector. The non-deposit liabilities, including off-balance-sheet (OBS) exposure, of a bank holding company would be limited to 2% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for a nonbank financial institution. For a nonbank financial institution, the measure would impose a limit on the non-deposit liabilities, including OBS exposure, of 3% of the GDP. Bank holding companies and selected nonbank financial institutions would be held to a 10% leverage limit, including OBS exposure …
  • WASHINGTON (5/11/12)--The House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted an amendment to the Commerce, Justice Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2013, that will prohibit the Department of Justice (DOJ) from entering into any future residential mortgage-backed security settlement agreement with state attorney generals and banks that would take money away from private investors without their consent. The amendment, sponsored by Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), would bar the DOJ from being a party to a single or multi-state court settlement where funds are removed from any residential mortgage-backed securitization trust. Investors such as state retirement systems, 401(k) plans, public and private pension plans, insurance company annuities and mutual funds would be protected because the DOJ could not interfere with private contract rights or investors' right to due process before the government can take their property …
  • WASHINGTON (5/11/12)--Fannie Mae Wednesday reported net income of $2.7 billion for the first quarter, compared with a net loss of $6.5 billion in the first quarter of 2011 and following a net loss of $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. The improvement was due primarily to lower credit-related expenses, resulting from a less significant decline in home prices, a decline in the company's inventory of single-family real estate owned (REO) properties, improved REO sales prices and lower single-family serious delinquency rates, the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) said.  Fannie Mae did not require funding from Treasury Department in the first quarter. The company's 3.1 billion income in the first quarter of 2012 is sufficient to pay the first-quarter dividend of $2.8 billion. The GSE's total loss reserves, which reflect its estimate of the probable losses it has incurred on loans in its guaranty book of business, decreased to $74.6 billion as of March 31 from $76.9 billion on Dec. 31 …
  • ALEXANDRIA, Va. (5/11/12)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has scheduled a closed board meeting for 10:00 a.m. ET on Monday, May 14. Supervisory issues are on the agenda ...


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