From the Archives: February 2013

Blight Legislation Update, Foreclosures Issues Roundtable, Callton to Chair House Financial Services Committee 

Amendment Introduced to Exempt Financial Institutions from Blight Legislation
Chairman Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) began hearings two weeks ago on re-introduced bills addressing urban blight. Senate Bill’s 35-39 are similar to legislation introduced last session to increase fines and sanctions for blight violations. SB 35 and 36, introduced by Sen. Virgil Smith (D-Detroit) is once again the lead proponent of the measures, among a larger bi-partisan group. These bills would amend the Home Rule City Act to establish additional civil and criminal penalties that could be imposed on a party who committed a blight violation and failed to pay associated costs. The legislation would also lower the minimum population requirements to set up a blight administration system, from 2 million to 1.5 million for a county containing a city with a population of 3,300 or more. The legislation would allow the city’s administrative hearings bureau to foreclose a lien against property involved in a blight violation. The remaining bills in the package deal specifically with sanctions related to permits, zoning ordinances, delinquencies in paying civil fines, and the appeals process for such. While well intended, as introduced the package would be very harmful to financial institutions. Working closely with Senator Smith and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the MCUL has finalized language for a possible carve-out for financial institutions. As amended, the legislation would focus on the “bad actors” that the legislation was originally intended to impact. Further discussion and possible consideration of the amendment is scheduled for Thursday.

MCUL & Affiliates and Capitol Area Chapter Holds Roundtable Discussion on Foreclosure Issues
Last week, the Capitol Area Chapter, MSUFCU, and the MCUL & Affiliates hosted a roundtable discussion with mid-Michigan area credit unions, state legislative staff, and Senate Banking & Financial Institutions Chair, Sen. Darwin Booher (R-Evart). The conversation focused on the state’s 90-day pre-foreclosure workout law, scheduled once again to sunset on June 30, 2013, and its relationship and overlap with the CFPB’s newly released federal mortgage servicing rules. The afternoon conversation also afforded industry officials the opportunity to discuss their experiences with the foreclosure process, state laws, and the regulatory environment in general. Hearings on the 90-day law sunset are expected to begin in several weeks, in early to mid-March.

State Rep. Mike Callton Selected to Chair House Financial Services Committee
Last Thursday, Speaker of the House Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) announced Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) would chair Michigan’s House Financial Services Committee. Rep. Callton represents the residents of Barry County and part of Ionia County, including the city of Portland. He is the owner of Nashville Chiropractic Center in Nashville and a Chiropractor by trade. This will be Rep. Callton’s first term serving on the committee. He is a long-time member of two credit unions, and understands the importance of community-based financial institutions in the marketplace. The MCUL & Affiliates looks forward to working with Rep. Callton on financial industry issues in the coming months. Click here to learn more about Rep. Mike Callton.

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