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NEW: House Speaker John Boehner to address CUNA's 2013 GAC

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WASHINGTON (1/16/13, UPDATED 11:35 a.m. ET)--Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) will address the Credit Union National Association's 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington on Feb. 26.

"We are very honored to again have Speaker Boehner join us at the GAC," said CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney.  "We know he has a full agenda in the House with debt ceiling, sequestration and government funding measures all coming to the fore near the time of our conference.



"The Speaker's acceptance of our invitation is indicative of his appreciation for all credit unions do to ably serve their members in Ohio and nationwide."

Speaker Boehner first addressed CUNA's GAC in 2011.  He is one of two sitting Speakers of the House to address the credit union movement's premier national conference.  Then-Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke at the GAC in February 1998 during CUNA, league and credit unions' successful fight to enact H.R. 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), champion of credit union member business lending legislation in the Senate, also has been added to the growing roster of Washington power players who will address the GAC this year.  Udall will speak Wednesday, Feb. 27.

 
 
CUNA's 2013 GAC takes place Feb. 24-28 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.  Other confirmed speakers include newly named House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and House Financial Services Committee senior members Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and Ed Royce (R-Calif.).

More congressional and regulatory speakers will be announced in coming weeks.

Inside Washington (01/16/2013)

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  • WASHINGTON (1/16/13)--Starting in March, the  Federal Housing Finance Agency will have a new as deputy director of the Division of Housing Mission and Goals. Acting FHFA Director Edward DeMarco Tuesday  announced the appointment of Sandra Thompson to that post. She will oversee FHFA's housing and regulatory policy, financial analysis, and policy research and analysis of housing finance and financial markets. Thompson joins FHFA from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC),  where she has served in various capacities over the past 23 years. During her time at the FDIC Thompson led the agency's examination and enforcement program for risk management and consumer protection at the height of the financial crisis. She also led the FDIC's outreach initiatives in response to a crisis of consumer confidence in the banking system
  • WASHINGTON (1/16/13)--Amy Friend has been named the chief counsel for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Friend, a former assistant chief counsel at the OCC, served as chief counsel to the Senate Banking Committee, where she helped shape the Dodd-Frank Act. Before joining the OCC in 1997, Friend was minority general counsel to the House Banking Committee. She previously served as counsel to the committee and as counsel to the panel's Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs and Coinage. Friend succeeds Julie L.Williams, who retired from the OCC at the end of 2012 …
  • WASHINGTON (1/16/13)--The Treasury Department will not mint a trillion-dollar platinum coin to avoid the debt ceiling, the Washington Post reported Saturday. Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes their authority should be used to produce of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit, Treasury spokesman Anthony Coley said. The idea of minting a platinum coin to invalidate the debt ceiling comes from some language added to the 1997 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act. The intent was to help coin collectors who wanted the Treasury Department to mint cheaper platinum coins …

CUNA asks CFPB to use its 'considerable latitude' to set remittance compliance date

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WASHINGTON (1/16/13)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should give credit unions and other financial institutions a minimum of one year to implement international remittance regulations, the Credit Union National Association has recommended.

"The agency has considerable latitude in determining a final compliance date," CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn noted in a comment letter Tuesday. A delayed date "will help facilitate compliance for credit unions, particularly those who work with vendors, while minimizing regulatory burdens on credit unions," the letter added.

The CFPB recently proposed extending the remittance rule implementation period until 90 days after the revised final rule is released. The rule, required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, was scheduled to take effect on Feb. 7.

The CUNA letter said this delay is welcome and thanked the agency for addressing some of the concerns that CUNA, CUNA's International Remittances Working Group, leagues and credit unions have raised regarding the remittance regulations.

Preliminary results from a CUNA survey of remittance providing credit unions has found that more than 40% of respondents will need about 12 months to implement the required changes.

Dunn said credit unions will need the extra deadline leeway to:
  • Develop new disclosures;
  • Test current and upcoming changes from vendors and third-party providers;
  • Make changes related to messaging, settlement, and payment systems; and
  • Evaluate and possibly amend operating rules, message formats, contracts, and participant agreements.
Under the CFPB's rule, remittance transfer providers would be required to provide prepayment and receipt disclosures to the consumer sender that include the exchange rate, fees and taxes associated with a transfer, and the amount of money that will be received on the other end of the transfer. Remittance transfer providers, which are subject to additional liability for errors, will also be required to comply with dispute and error resolution provisions.

The CFPB has provided a safe harbor exemption from the rule for remittance providers that transact 100 or fewer remittances per year.

CFPB regulatory counsel Eric Goldberg summarized the remittance proposal and answered credit union questions during a Monday teleconference hosted by CUNA. CUNA Director of Compliance Information Valerie Moss has highlighted noteworthy items from the teleconference in a CUNA CompBlog post.

CUNA continues to seek comments from credit unions and will be filing a second comment letter on additional substantive changes; comments on those revisions are due to the CFPB by Jan. 30.

For the comment letter, audio of the teleconference and a blog post on the teleconference, use the resource links.

Re-introduced Ross bill has no CU language

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WASHINGTON (1/16/13)--Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) late Monday re-introduced his bill to reduce the federal budget deficit. As he promised the Credit Union National Association late last year,  Ross corrected an inadvertent drafting error found in the original bill that threatened the federal income tax exemption for federal and state-chartered credit unions.

"Rep. Ross has a strong relationship with Florida credit unions and has been very open to us at CUNA. In fact, we met with his staff as recently as two weeks ago--the first day of the new Congress--to touch base with him and reiterate the value that credit unions bring to consumers," John Magill, CUNA executive vice president of governmental affairs said Tuesday.

"Exclusion of the credit union tax status from this legislation is consistent with Rep. Ross' statements to CUNA following the introduction of similar legislation in the 112th Congress. He remains a friend to credit unions and we look forward to working with him as the discussion about the federal budget and tax reform goes forward," Magill added.

Last year, CUNA identified language within the original bill (H.R.6474) that threatened credit unions' tax status. CUNA and the League of Southeastern Credit Unions immediately arranged meetings with Ross's office and a correction was promised.

As required by the rules of the U.S. Congress, any bill still in play when a session adjourns must be re-introduced in the new Congress to be considered.  Ross assured CUNA that the bill's language would be corrected before being re-introduced this year.

NCUA approves high-risk mortgage appraisal rules

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WASHINGTON (1/16/13)--The National Credit Union Administration and federal bank regulators have approved rules that will require lenders offering higher-risk mortgages to use licensed or certified appraisers.

The appraisers will need to prepare written reports, based on physical inspections of a home's interior, when they determine the value of a given home.

Mortgage lenders will also be required to provide homebuyers with a free copy of the resulting home appraisal report. If the seller of a given home has purchased the home for less than the current sale price within the last six months, an additional appraisal document will also need to be provided to the homebuyer. The document will need to detail the difference in sale prices, any changes in market conditions, and any improvements that have been made to the property since it was purchased by the current owner. This requirement is an attempt to address fraudulent property flipping.

High-priced mortgages will be considered non-qualified residential mortgages that are secured by a principal dwelling with annual percentage rates that exceed the average prime offer rate by 1.5% for first-lien loans, 2.5% for first-lien jumbo loans, and 3.5% for junior lien loans.

Safe harbors and exemptions will be provided in some cases.

The higher-risk mortgage appraisal requirements will go into effect on Jan. 18, 2014. The Credit Union National Association is analyzing the NCUA regulations and will post a summary soon.

The new mortgage appraisal requirements are mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. They are a joint rulemaking effort between the NCUA, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and other federal financial agencies.

For the full regulation, as approved by the FDIC on Tuesday, use the resource link.

The CFPB's version of these regulations will likely be released when that agency holds an Atlanta, Ga. mortgage issues hearing on Jan. 17. Pam Davis of Delta Community CU, Atlanta, Ga., and other credit union representatives from that state will join Georgia Credit Union League leaders at that hearing. Davis is set to speak on behalf of her credit union and CUNA during the hearing.

Reminder: Matz, Cordray available to CUs in Feb 5 webinar

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (1/16/13)--There is still time for credit unions to register for a Feb. 5 webinar that will bring National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz together with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray to discuss recent developments.

The NCUA-sponsored session will feature a broad discussion of such topics as the CFPB's recently finalized Ability-to-Repay rule and a related proposed rule. That proposed rule would provide an alternative definition of Qualified Mortgage potentially applicable to thousands of credit unions with $2 billion or less in assets that originate 500 or less mortgages annually.

Webinar participants will be able to type in questions about any topic related to the credit union industry or the CFPB during the webinar. They also can submit advance questions at WebinarQuestions@ncua.gov. The subject line of the email should read, "NCUA-CFPB Town Hall."

Use the resource link below to register for the 3 p.m. (ET) webinar.

Financial services, Ways and Means subcommittee spots are being filled

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WASHINGTON (1/16/13)--Several leadership and membership slots for House Financial Services and Ways and Means subcommittees were filled on Tuesday.

House Financial Services Committee Ranking Minority Member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) named the following representatives to serve as ranking House Financial Services subcommittee members:

  • Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who will serve on the Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee;
  • Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who will serve on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee;
  • Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), who will serve on the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee;
  • Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), who will serve on the Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee; and
  • Rep. William "Lacy" Clay (D-Mo.), who will serve on the International Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee.
Waters in a release said these selections reflect the consensus of financial services committee members, and will need to be approved by the Democratic Policy and Steering Committee and the Democratic Caucus. Full Democratic subcommittee membership for the 113th U.S. Congress was also announced in that release. For more on those members, use the resource link.

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) announced subcommittee leadership late last month. (See Dec. 27 News Now story: More named to House Financial Services positions)

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Sander Levin (D-Mich.) also announced their respective subcommittee leaders.

Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) will lead the Subcommittee on Oversight, and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) will serve as ranking member. Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) will lead the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, with Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) serving as ranking member. These subcommittees are of interest to credit unions: the oversight subcommittee investigates the tax exempt sector, and the select revenue measures subcommittee is in charge of tax reform.

Leaders for social security, trade, human resources and health subcommittees were also named. Levin also released full Democratic subcommittee rosters, but Camp said the remaining Republican subcommittee members will be named once the remaining vacant Republican position of the full Ways and Means Committee has been filled.

For more on the subcommittee selections, use the resource links.