November 13, 2017

NAFCU-backed reg relief bills under committee review today

The House Financial Services Committee begins a 23-bill mark-up today. Included among the bills is the NAFCU-backed Mortgage Choice Act of 2017 (H.R. 1153) and a handful of other bills that would provide regulatory relief to credit unions.

In a letter ahead of today's mark-up, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler outlined how several of the bills would impact the credit union industry and shared with committee leaders the association's five tenets for ensuring a positive environment for credit unions. Included under one tenet is the ability for credit unions to establish healthy fields of membership that are not limited by outdated laws or regulatory red tape. It also includes modernized capital standards for credit unions – something NAFCU will continue to press for in any legislative regulatory relief package.

"We hope this mark-up serves as another step forward in addressing regulatory relief for community financial institutions such as credit unions," Thaler wrote.

Among the bills outlined by Thaler was H.R. 1153, which would adjust Truth in Lending Act (TILA) mortgage rules by exempting from the qualified mortgage cap on points and fees any affiliated title charges and escrow charges for taxes and insurance.

During a congressional hearing two weeks ago on housing finance reform, NAFCU witness Rick Stafford, president and CEO of Tower Federal Credit Union (Laurel, Md.), testified on the need to pass H.R. 1153 because of the competitiveness it will bring to the mortgage market, benefitting consumers.

Additionally, NAFCU with 10 other trade associations last month urged members of the House to support the legislation in order to clarify the definition of points and fees under TILA as applied through the CFPB's qualified mortgage rule.

Some of the other bills NAFCU will be monitoring during today's mark-up include:

  • Securing Access to Affordable Mortgages Act (H.R. 3221), which would provide some exemptions from appraiser requirements on mortgage loans for lower-cost dwellings.
  • Protecting Consumers' Access to Credit Act of 2017 (H.R. 3299), which would amend various banking laws, including the Federal Credit Union Act, to provide that federal interest rate preemption applies "regardless of whether the loan is subsequently sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred to a third party," including a non-bank purchaser.
  • TRID Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 3978), which would amend the CFPB's TILA/RESPA integrated disclosures rule (TRID), specifically how fees are presented on loan estimates and closing disclosure forms.
  • A bill (H.R. 4296) that would place some requirements on operational risk capital requirements for financial institutions by a federal regulator, including credit unions and NCUA. Thaler urged the committee to continue a focus on capital requirements for credit unions, by considering action to provide credit unions relief from the NCUA's risk-based capital rule.