March 25, 2020

TDR flexibility, more CU relief included in Senate-passed Phase 3 coronavirus package

Capitol Hill

The Senate tonight passed the Phase 3 coronavirus relief package – the CARES Act – which includes several provisions that will provide flexibility and relief to credit unions. NAFCU has been aggressively lobbying Capitol Hill to ensure lawmakers understand what credit unions need in order to serve their members and communities as the coronavirus introduces challenges.

"NAFCU has been hard at work on Capitol Hill amid the COVID-19 pandemic advocating on behalf of credit unions and their members, and we appreciate the Administration and Congress taking action in response to our advocacy efforts,” said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "Today's Senate passage of the CARES Act includes many victories for credit unions that will provide needed flexibility and relief as the industry proactively works to help our local communities recover economically.

"However, there is no doubt that other provisions in this legislation will prove difficult for some credit unions to implement, but credit unions will continue to do what they do best: Serve their members. NAFCU is proud to stand alongside credit unions as they help their 120 million members get through this uncertain time. To this end, NAFCU will continue to advocate for important relief measures that will help credit unions overcome the impact of COVID-19," added Berger.

A win for credit unions in this package is flexibility for the NCUA in dealing with troubled debt restructurings (TDRs). NAFCU's advocacy team has long been involved with ensuring this issue was taken up in Congress as its member credit unions raised concerns about the regulatory burden if the exclusion was not granted.

Other notable wins in the bill include:

  • an adjustment to the definition of eligible institutions – for which NAFCU had advocated – to ensure credit unions are eligible for new Small Business Administration (SBA) programs;
  • several enhancements to SBA offerings, including a direct appropriation for $349 billion for guaranteed 7(a) loans, a new paycheck protection program, and loan forgiveness;
  • some temporary relief in complying with the current expected credit loss (CECL) standard in 2020;
  • flexibility for credit unions to access the NCUA's central liquidity facility (CLF); and
  • ability of NCUA to provide temporary guarantees for non-interest bearing transaction accounts.

While positive changes were made between drafts of the bill and the final text, NAFCU is concerned about some provisions within the bill that could place new requirements and burdens on credit unions related to borrowers' ability to request forbearance on federally-backed mortgage loans. The association will continue to share how these changes could burden credit unions and work to obtain relief under them.

The House announced it will convene Friday to consider the legislation; the president is expected to sign it once passed.

Stay tuned to NAFCU Today for the latest developments and visit the association's coronavirus resource page.