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Michigan Credit Union League

Congress Primed to Deliver Regulatory Relief and Legislative Victory to Credit Unions

Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. The bipartisan bill passed the U.S. Senate on March 14 in a 67–31 vote, which included the support of Michigan Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow.

The vote was comprised of 50 Republicans and 17 Democrats. The House is expected to hold a vote on the bill with no amendments permitted. If passed by the House, the bill will go to the President who has indicated he would sign it into law.

S. 2155 came about only after the House had passed its Financial Choice Act of 2017 (H.R. 10) in June of 2017. The momentum from the passing of H.R. 10 triggered discussions in the Senate between Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) of the Senate Banking Committee about their own bill.

When those discussions broke down, rather than let the issue die, Chairman Crapo began working with rank-and-file Democrats to draft a bill and build the necessary support to clear it in that chamber. Those efforts are reflected in the bill we have today, a rare example of bipartisan success.

If signed into law, the bill will relieve a substantial amount of regulatory burden for credit unions. Beneficial provisions include the following:

  • Section 101 provides relief from some of the requirements of the Qualified Mortgage rule for certain lenders who hold mortgages in portfolio.
  • Section 104 offers changes to HMDA reporting requirements, including raising the threshold for reporting to 500 close-end and open-end loans in a calendar year.
  • Section 105 allows credit unions to classify loans for one-to-four unit, non-owner-occupied real estate properties as residential loans, instead of business loans, as currently required. As such, these loans will not count toward the 12.25% MBL cap. Banks are currently permitted to classify such loans as residential loans so the provision offers credit unions parity with banks.
  • Section 109 removes the three-day waiting period required for the combined TILA/RESPA mortgage disclosure if a creditor extends a consumer a second offer of credit with a lower annual percentage rate.
  • Section 216 requires the U.S. Treasury to study the risks that cyber threats pose on financial institutions.
  • Section 303 provides legal immunity to properly trained financial service employees who disclose concerns about financial exploitation of senior citizens.
  • Section 307 addresses long-held concerns about Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans, primarily, that the same consumer protections in place with respect to mortgage lending are nonexistent for PACE loans.

While we’re close to the finish line on S. 2155, we haven’t crossed it yet. Please, if you haven’t contacted your Representative yet to ask them to vote “yes” on S. 2155, do so today via our Voter Voice system.

Should you have any questions about the bill or wish to discuss how you can become more engaged in MCUL’s federal advocacy efforts please contact Todd Jorns, Federal Legislative Affairs Manager at: 734-793-3445 or todd.jorns@mcul.org.

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2018-05-18 00:00:00