Washington State Legislative Week in Review

NWCUA-sponsored House Bill 1327 received a hearing before the House Business & Financial Services Committee on Thursday, January 27. Larry Hoff from Fibre FCU and Debie Keesee from Spokane Media FCU testified in support of the bill. The banks testified in opposition. The next day, the committee gave the bill a do pass recommendation by unanimous vote! The bill now heads to the House Rules Committee. Its companion measure, Senate Bill 5233 is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee on Tuesday, February 1, at 10:00 a.m. The bills will allow public entities to deposit public funds into federally chartered credit unions (existing law effective this summer allows deposits into state chartered credit unions), and increases the amount that may be deposited to the maximum level of NCUSIF insurance.

NWCUA-sponsored Senate Bill 5232 received a hearing before the Senate Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection Committee on Tuesday, January 25. The Association along with members of the Washington Asset Building Coalition testified in support of the bill. Its companion measure, House Bill 1326 has been scheduled for a hearing before the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee on Thursday, February 3 at 10:00 a.m. The bills would allow financial institutions to participate in prize-linked savings promotions. Prize-linked savings programs start with low threshold certificates of deposit, and incent consumer savings by entering participants into drawings for cash prizes.

House Bill 1362, Addressing Homeowner Foreclosures received a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, January 26. Its companion measure, Senate Bill 5275 received a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee on Wednesday, January 26. The Association signed in, in opposition to both bills. The bills make the current meet & confer requirements permanent, add penalties for failure to comply, and add a complex mandatory mediation requirement. The Association continues to be actively involved in negotiations on the pending bills and on behalf of credit unions.

Senate Bill 5309, which would require all deed of trust assignments to be recorded, was removed from the hearing calendar.

House Bill 1558 was introduced on Tuesday, January 25 and referred to the House Business & Financial Services Committee. The bill authorizes (and requires) shared appreciation mortgages (SAMs). A SAM occurs when the appraised value of a home is less than the outstanding mortgage and the lender reduces the monthly payment on the loan in return for a percentage of recouped market value on eventual sale. House Bill 1558 would essentially cram down the value of underwater loans and give lenders a cut of future values. While the bill would keep homeowners in their homes, it also represents substantial accounting, tax, and safety & soundness challenges for financial institutions.

Senate Bill 5238 received a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee on January 25. The Association signed in, with concerns on the bill. House Bill 1320 also received a hearing that same day before the House Business & Financial Services Committee. The Association signed-in, with concerns on both bills. The bills deposit state funds into a Washington Investment Trust, and charge the Trust with promoting agriculture, education, community development, economic development, housing, and industry in Washington by lending capital to existing financial institutions and by exercising all of the powers and authorities of a state-chartered bank in Washington.

House Bill 1150 received a hearing before the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee on Wednesday, February 26. The Association signed-in, in support of the bill. The committee then gave the bill a do pass recommendation and referred it to the House Ways & Means Committee. The bill extends from two, to seven calendar days the grace period allowing a small business to correct a violation of a law or rule before sanctions can set in.

House Bill 1356 is scheduled for a hearing before the House Business & Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, February 1 at 1:30 p.m. The bill prohibits financial institutions from charging credit card interest rates in excess of the state usury rate.

House Bill 1342 is scheduled for a hearing before House Committee on Business & Financial Services on Tuesday, February 1 at 1:30 p.m. The bill essentially prohibits a lender purchasing or receiving a residential mortgage loan from another lender from requiring flood insurance on a property if the original lender didn’t require flood insurance. The bill also requires lenders to use flood determinations made locally by counties, cities or towns which could be problematic if the flood certification is in error, making the loan unsalable on the secondary market.

Posted in Business Solutions, Industry Insight.