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Washington Archive

Washington

Inside Washington (02/15/2008)

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* WASHINGTON (2/18/08)--Senate Democrats are putting together a package to help the housing market. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the package could go on the floor Feb. 25 (CongressDaily PM Feb. 14). It would provide $200 million for housing counselors to help families about to lose their homes and raise the cap on mortgage revenue bonds by $10 billion. Four billion dollars would be placed in a Community Development Block Grant to help cities buy and revive foreclosed properties. Language to clarify home disclosure statements would be included, in addition to a measure that would allow bankruptcy judges modify mortgages on the brink of foreclosure ... * WASHINGTON (2/18/08)--House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said he has been working on more proposals to keep homeowners from foreclosure (American Banker Feb. 15). He has collected input from the Treasury Department and Bank of America on how to protect servicers who modify loans from investor lawsuits. Frank also is working on proposals to allow public entities to purchase foreclosed properties and refinance distressed loans ... * WASHINGTON (2/18/08)--Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan promoted awareness of consumer protection resources at a National Consumer Protection Week event on Capitol Hill Friday. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) supported the week’s theme “Financial Literacy: A Sound Investment” by sharing information, resources and providing staff to answer questions. Topics address included gift cards, cashiers checks, nontraditional mortgages and how to get assistance through the agency’s consumer assistance group. The OCC’s website, HelpWithMyBank.gov, provides answers to questions based on calls to the consumer assistance group each year ...

Ellsworth signs on to support CURIA

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WASHINGTON (2/18/08)—Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) signed on to the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA, H.R. 1537) last week to become the 143rd official backers of that bill. In 2007 Ellsworth, a freshman congressman and a credit union member, unseated his Republican opponent, Rep. John Hostettler, who cast one of only eight votes paced against H.R. 1151, the 1998 Credit Union Member Access Act. Key features of CURIA include proposals to:
* Increase the current cap on loans to members for business purposes (MBLs) from 12.25% to 20% of assets, allowing credit unions to assist more members start and expand small businesses and to promote economic growth. The bill would also exempt loans under $100,000 and those to nonprofit religious organizations from the MBL calculation; *Reform the National Credit Union Administration's original prompt corrective action system to a risk-based approach more closely resembling the current Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. capital standard for banks; * Clarify the 1998 Credit Union Membership Access Act to allow all credit unions, regardless of charter type, to serve those in underserved areas. The bill would also update the definition of an underserved area, incorporating definitions from the Community Development Financial Institutions Act and the New Markets Tax Credit; and *Establish additional consumer safeguards in the event of a credit union conversion to another form of financial institution.
For more CURIA details, a complete list of co-sponsor, and related stories, use the resource links below.