April 26, 2017

Luetkemeyer, Kennedy, Portman and Heitkamp introduce reg relief bills

House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., this week reintroduced his NAFCU-backed "CLEARR Act," which contains several provisions for regulatory relief for credit unions.

"This bill would be an important step toward a more positive regulatory environment for the industry," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "We appreciate Chairman Luetkemeyer's leadership in advancing this legislation and look forward to working with him and his staff to create more regulatory relief for credit unions."

The "Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief (CLEARR) Act" (H.R. 2133) would:

• increase the "small servicer" exemption threshold to an annual 30,000 mortgages;
• repeal risk-based capital rules related to mortgage servicing assets;
• exempt higher-risk mortgages of $250,000 or less from appraisal requirements for loans held in portfolio for at least three years;
• waive escrow mandates for loans held in portfolio by creditors with assets of less than $50 billion;
• remove "abusive" from the CFPB prohibition against "unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices" (UDAAP);
• amend the Dodd-Frank Act to raise the current $10 billion asset-level exemption to $50 billion; and
• provide a qualified mortgage safe harbor for portfolio loans.

Luetkemeyer first introduced a version of the bill in 2013.

In related news, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., this week introduced legislation that would exempt financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets from the Dodd-Frank Act.

"Community banks and credit unions were not responsible for the 2008 financial crisis," said Kennedy, who is a member of the Senate Banking Committee. "However, they are wrongly bearing the brunt of the regulatory burden … Our community financial institutions need to get back to going what they do best, which is helping our local economies grow."

Also this week, Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., introduced the "Regulatory Accountability Act," which would require a cost-benefit analysis for every new regulation, establish a 10-year review period for major rules and subject costly rules to a judicial review process.