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Washington Archive

Washington

House amendment would extend NFIP into 2015

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WASHINGTON (7/15/10)--The U.S. House Committee on Rules this week completed its markup of legislation that would extend the National flood Insurance Plan (NFIP) until Sept. 15, 2015. H.R. 5114, the Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act of 2010, was introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) earlier this year. The legislation, as amended, also revises the priorities of the insurance program. It would require lenders to disclose in their estimates whether or not the real estate is located in an area that is subject to flood hazards and whether flood insurance coverage for residential real estate is available under the NFIP. Lenders must also notify the respective home purchasers of the need to contact the NFIP, and provide contact information for the NFIP. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's authority to extend flood insurance contracts under NFIP must be periodically reauthorized by Congress. While that authority has lapsed three times this year, an extension until Sept. 30 was approved earlier this month.

Inside Washington (07/14/2010)

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* WASHINGTON (7/15/10)--Rep. Dan Maffei’s (D-N.Y.) gift card bill, which will delay the effective date by which retailers must replace gift cards to make them compliant with new regulations in the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosures Act, passed the House Tuesday night. Maffei’s bill requires gift cards to be printed to reflect the CARD Act changes by Jan. 31 instead of the original August 2010 date. “Had retailers been required to destroy all gift cards in stock and reprint new cards by August 2010, they would have destroyed approximately 100 million cards, the equivalent of eight football fields filled 12 feet deep with plastic cards,” Maffei said. “By delaying the effective date until after the 2010 holiday season, we’re giving retailers a chance to clear out their stock while still protecting consumers with the new rules.” Retailers are required to inform consumers that they will not be charged dormancy fees and cards cannot expire, according to a statement on Maffei’s website ...

NCUA regulators urge fin. inst. to aid oil spill victims

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WASHINGTON (7/15/10)—Credit unions should work with their members and “consider measures to assist creditworthy borrowers” that have been affected by the environmental disaster caused by the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) said on Wednesday. The NCUA joined banking and thrift regulators, including the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., in stating their commitment to working with the financial services industry “to respond to issues that arise in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill and to minimize disruption and the burden on banks and credit unions in affected areas.” Those agencies have directed their examiners to “consider the unusual circumstances of banks and credit unions in affected areas in determining the appropriate supervisory response to safety-and-soundness issues.” For the full release, use the resource link.

A third July NCUA closed meeting is scheduled

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WASHINGTON (7/15/10)—The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) on Wednesday announced that it has scheduled a closed board meeting for July 21. According to an NCUA release, the board will discuss supervisory activities during the meeting. The meeting will take place at 9:00 am E.T. The NCUA has also scheduled a separate closed meeting for July 30, and will hold a closed session following its monthly open meeting on July 29. The NCUA has not released agendas for those meetings. For the full NCUA release on the July 21 meeting, use the resource link.

Sen. leaders hope small biz package moves forward soon

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WASHINGTON (7/15/10)—Senate leaders Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said that they were hopeful that the senate could move forward with a small business funding bill, which could include an amendment that would lift the member business lending cap to 27.5% of total assets, this week. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who sponsored the MBL legislation and is looking to have it attached to legislation that would grant $30 billion in funds to small banks that could then lend it to small businesses, spoke on behalf of his MBL bill on Tuesday.


In his remarks, Udall said that his legislation would “safely and soundly increase small business lending by credit unions without costing Americans a dime” and “could lead to large-scale job creation” in both his home district and nationwide. Udall gained another co-sponsor following those remarks, with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on Wednesday joining Sens. Reid, Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Joe Lieberman (I-Ct.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) as backers of the pro-MBL legislation. Udall’s MBL cap increase legislation mirrors legislative language sent to federal lawmakers by the U.S. Treasury earlier this year, and is backed by the Obama administration as well. National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz has also backed the MBL cap lift in recent days. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions have led a sustained grassroots push for MBL legislation, and have amplified their efforts to garner bipartisan support for the Udall provision.