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Upcoming bill to address CUNAs FTC concerns
WASHINGTON (3/9/09)--The Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) concerns about the expansion of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) mortgage-lending rulemaking authority--contained in H.R. 1105, the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which the Senate is expected to vote on today--will be addressed in upcoming legislation. "The Senate cannot fix the language in [H.R. 1105] because the House will not accept any amendments to the bill, so they are going to have to do it in a future bill,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA vice president of legislative affairs. “Everyone seems to agree that the language in the omnibus is too broad and it will be fixed in the near future.” On Thursday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) noted that he would ask senators to work with him to add an amendment to future legislation to clarify the FTC’s powers. CUNA supported an amendment by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) to H.R. 1105 that would have addressed the FTC’s powers. The amendment was withdrawn Thursday because the intent of H.R. 1105 is not to expand the FTC’s powers to affect credit unions or other financial institutions. Rather, the bill intends to give state attorneys the power to bring civil actions against mortgage industry participants not supervised by federal banking agencies or are not federal credit unions, according to Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), the bill’s author (Congressional Record Exchange March 5). CUNA supported Crapo’s amendment because it would have removed the proposed increased FTC authority and increased state attorneys’ general authority to enforce Truth-in-Lending violations. Currently those violations primarily are addressed by federal agency enforcement actions and in private lawsuits. Crapo noted Thursday that if the initial FTC proposed rule goes beyond scope, “it is my understanding that there is agreement that the Senate would immediately take up legislation and stop that from occurring. “It would be a terrible mistake to add another patchwork of conflicting authorities and interpretations of federal laws for insured depository institutions as it relates to home loans and other types of consumer finance transactions,” he said.

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