March 14, 2014

House panel OKs 'rural designation' bill

March 17, 2014 – The House Financial Services Committee on Friday passed H.R. 2672 – NAFCU-supported legislation from Rep. Andy Barr, R-Kent., which addresses the CFPB's designation of areas as "rural" in relation to its qualified mortgage rule.

The legislation – the "CFPB Rural Designation Petition and Correction Act" would be helpful to small creditors, including credit unions, offering mortgages with balloon-payment features in underserved areas, because it would allow them to satisfy the rule's "ability to repay" requirements.

Brad Thaler, NAFCU's vice president of legislative affairs wrote Barr in advance of the markup session in support of the bill, which he said would make the process for obtaining a rural designation fairer and more transparent.

The committee also passed the "Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act," H.R. 3584, which would allow privately insured credit unions to join federal home loan banks.

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger wrote the committee before the markup session to reiterate the association's support for H.R. 719, the "Capital Access for Small Businesses and Jobs Act" – a bill from Reps. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Brad Sherman, D-Calif., which would allow federal credit unions to receive payments on eligible uninsured, non-share capital accounts.

King, during mark-up, entered a statement into the record supporting credit unions and promoting their access to supplemental capital: "Since the financial crisis tipped our country into recession, credit unions have stepped up and served as a vital source of capital and market liquidity in local communities. But current law and pending regulations are discouraging credit unions from continuing to grow to meet the needs of small businesses, homebuyers and families."