May 02, 2014

Reg relief bills on House floor, in committee

May 5, 2014 – The House tomorrow is expected to consider several regulatory relief measures for credit unions, including a NAFCU-backed bill to help ensure credit unions have parity with FDIC-insured institutions in coverage of escrow accounts such as Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts.

Other possible measures on the House floor this week: a bill to permit lenders more input into CFPB-designated rural designations; and another that allows Federal Home Loan Bank System membership eligibility for privately insured credit unions.

NAFCU will monitor the status of these regulatory relief measures and their impact on credit unions.

Also this week, the House Financial Services Committee is expected to mark up several NAFCU-supported measures, including:

  • H.R. 4466, the "Financial Regulatory Clarity Act," introduced by Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Ranking Member Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., to require regulators to review whether new proposals are duplicative or inconsistent with existing rules;
  • H.R. 3211, the "Mortgage Choice Act," introduced by Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., to clarify the definition of points and fees under the Truth in Lending Act and applied in CFPB's qualified mortgage rule; and
  • H.R. 2673, the "Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act," introduced by Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., providing that residential mortgage loans held in portfolio by the loan originator automatically attain the qualified mortgage safe harbor.

NAFCU also continues to monitor Senate Banking Committee action on housing finance reform. Last week, after brief opening statements by Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Ranking Member Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, the panel paused its mark-up of S. 1217 to give members more time review the legislation. While the committee's delay speaks to the delicate nature of ongoing negotiations, NAFCU lobbyists said the mark-up could reconvene this week.

Also delayed last week was the Senate Judiciary Committee's planned markup of S. 1720, the "Patent Transparency and Improvements Act," introduced by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. The bill is meant to increase transparency in patent ownership and protect consumers against frivolous patent-infringement lawsuits. NAFCU lobbyists will continue to monitor action as it seeks to win credit unions relief from patent trolls.