CUNA Advocacy Update – Week of November 20, 2017


The House and Senate are both out of session this week for the Thanksgiving holiday. Next week, the full Senate is expected to consider and vote on the Senate’s version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” Should it pass the Senate, House and Senate negotiators are expected to immediately begin a conference committee to iron out differences in the House and Senate bills in order to send a consensus tax cut package back to both chambers for final passage. In addition, funding for the federal government will expire December 8. We expect Congress to pass a short-term funding bill until an omnibus bill can be agreed to that will fund government operations through the end of fiscal year 2018.

This week, we expect the Senate to release its version of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2018. As with the House bill, CUNA and its League/Association partners have been advocating for Senate lawmakers to fully fund credit union priorities like the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. CUNA has also advocated for Senate lawmakers not to strip away the independence of the National Credit Union Administration by placing the agency under the appropriations process. Finally, we expect the Senate Banking Committee to consider on December 5 a bipartisan regulatory relief package for community banks and credit unions.

Credit Union Specific Provision Included in Senate’s Common Sense Regulatory Relief Package

Last week, a bipartisan group of Senate Banking Committee members released a bill that could offer credit union regulatory relief. This bill includes credit union-specific provisions that provide meaningful regulatory relief, a sign that policymakers are paying close attention to the needs of credit union members. The credit union provision would grant credit unions parity with banks by classifying residential loans on one-to-four non-owner occupied units as real estate loans, instead of the current classification as business loans. CUNA has been very engaged with Senators on both sides of the aisle to ensure that this provision was included and made it known it was needed to garner credit union support. It also includes relief from mortgage rules and protection for credit unions serving seniors who may be facing elder abuse.

CUNA thanks Senator Crapo and his colleagues for working across party lines to advance regulatory relief legislation, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them as the bill moves through the legislative process. [Read more here]

CUNA White Papers on Tax Reform

The CUNA Advocacy and Economics teams have broken down both the House and Senate tax reform bills into short white papers.

[Read more here]

CUNA Sends Comments to Senate Finance Committee Prior to Tax Reform Vote

On Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee voted to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It is expected to be considered by the entire Senate after the Thanksgiving holiday. Prior to the Committee mark-up, CUNA sent a letter to Chairman Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Ron Wyden of the Senate Finance Committee in response to the Chairman’s mark of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

While the Committee’s language leaves the credit union tax status alone, it does include several provisions that could impact tax-exempt organizations like credit unions, including expansion of the Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) and new excise taxes on executive compensation. [Read more here]

Letter Sent Prior to Markup in House Financial Services Committee

The House Financial Services Committee held a multi-day markup of a number of bills. Prior to the start of the markup, CUNA sent a letter supporting three of the bills. All three bills passed through the Committee and will now wait consideration on the House Floor. [Read more here]

Letter Sent Prior to DoJ Oversight Hearing to Bring Attention to Frivolous ADA Class Actions

The House Judiciary Committee held an oversight hearing concerning the Department of Justice. Prior to the hearing, CUNA sent a letter to Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers in order to bring attention to the fact that frivolous class action lawsuits brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act have become increasingly problematic for credit unions. [Read more here]

ICYMI: Director Cordray Announces Resignation

CFPB Director Richard Cordray announced to Bureau staff that he will step down from the Bureau by the end of the month after serving since 2013.

We greatly appreciate that throughout his time as Director, Richard Cordray on multiple occasions publicly recognized the exceptional work of credit unions in protecting consumers. CUNA looks forward to a new era at the CFPB that will hopefully reconcile this recognition that credit unions are the pro-consumer protection financial institutions, with rules that always reflect that sentiment. [Read more here]

CUNA Sends Comments to CFPB on RESPA/FDCPA Compliance

CUNA responded to the CFPB’s interim final rule clarifying that mortgage servicing compliance with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) for a borrower who has invoked cease communication rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is satisfied when notice has been provided within 10 days following the 180th day after initial written notice. [Read more here]

CUNA Attends NCUA’s November Board Meeting

CUNA attended the NCUA’s November open board meeting. During the meeting, the Board approved a final corporate credit union rule, the 2018-2019 operating fund budget, and the overhead transfer rate methodology. The Board also received the final briefing on the Corporate Stabilization Fund before it was merged into the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. [Read more here]

CUNA Supports Proposed Change to Reg Z Mortgage Servicing Rules

In a recent letter to the CFPB, CUNA supports a proposed change to the Reg Z mortgage servicing rules (effective April 2018).

The current rule provides a “single-billing-cycle” exemption from the requirement to provide a periodic statement to a borrower who has filed bankruptcy. Although the current rule hasn’t yet gone into effect, the CFPB has heard from industry that the single-billing-cycle exemption may be problematic in certain instances due to timing issues. Therefore, the CFPB has proposed to replace the single-billing-cycle exemption with a “single-statement” exemption. [Read more here]

Pending Regulatory Comments Calls

CUNA plans to comment on the following pending regulatory proposals. For our comment letters to have the greatest impact, we need to hear from you. Please consider whether and how these proposals would affect your credit union, and contact the CUNA staff listed for each proposal with your feedback. Also, feel free to contact the CUNA staff listed if you would like more information on how to send your own letter.

For more information regarding these proposals, please follow the links below:

Issue Comment Period Deadline Agency CUNA Staff Contact
Regulatory Reform Agenda Nov. 20, 2017 NCUA Monique Michel
Disclosure of Loan-Level HMDA Data Nov. 24, 2017 CFPB Luke Martone
NCUA Draft 2018-2022 Strategic Plan Dec. 4, 2017 NCUA Monique Michel
Accuracy of Advertising and Notice of Insured Status Dec. 4, 2017 NCUA Monique Michel
Capital Planning and Supervisory Stress Testing Dec. 29, 2017 NCUA Lance Noggle
Electronic Loan, Deposit and Investment Data Collection Jan. 2, 2017 NCUA Lance Noggle
Over on the Removing Barriers Blog

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