Senate to Hold Hearing on Housing Finance Reform
June 28, 2011
June 28, 2011
The Senate is back in session this week and on Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on “Housing Finance Reform: Access to the Secondary Market for Small Financial Institutions.” Rod Staatz, President and CEO of SECU of Maryland, will testify on behalf of credit unions. When the Senate completes its business for the week, it will be out of session until the week of July 13.
Staff is currently working with Senator Jeff Merkley’s (D-OR) office on an amendment he drafted that would establish clear national regulatory standards for mortgage servicers. The goal of the legislation is to improve communications between homeowners and lenders and help the consumers who have been given the “run-around” by large mortgage servicers. Specifically, the amendment would:
- Require lenders to create a single point of contact for borrowers;
- End the dual-track process of foreclosing while negotiating a modification; and
- Provide a third-party review before sending a family to foreclosure.
It is important that Senator Merkley sought out the Association for credit unions’ input. Staff worked to ensure this amendment would not impact those credit unions that are not causing the problem. Similar legislation was passed by the state legislatures so staff will also request that any national mortgage standards preempt all new state foreclosure notification standards, mediation standards, and arbitration standards.
The Association will be following this issue closely and will keep you updated on our further discussions with Senator Merkley and any action on the amendment.
The House is not in session this week and will return to Washington on July 5.
As mentioned last week, the Federal Reserve Board will unveil the final rule on debit interchange tomorrow, June 29. The Fed will hold a public meeting to consider the final rule governing debit card interchange fees and routing provisions.
NCUA Prepay Plan
In an important regulatory note, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) will hold a special open meeting on Wednesday, June 29, to consider its plan to allow credit unions to prepay their Corporate Stabilization Fund assessment on a voluntary basis.
The NCUA proposed the prepayment plan at its May open board meeting and the public comment period ended June 20. If the plan is approved, the NCUA will likely give credit union approximately 40 days after that to tell the agency whether or not they will commit any funds to the plan.
Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team: