In a significant victory for credit unions, the U.S. Senate yesterday passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) after months of advocacy efforts from the credit union movement.
The New York Credit Union Association, CUNA, state leagues and credit unions across the country advocated in support of the legislation, which will now make its way to the House.
“The Senate’s passage of this common-sense bill marks an important step on the road to real regulatory relief for credit unions,” said Association President/CEO William J. Mellin. “It was encouraging to see the Senate work in a bipartisan fashion to pass this legislation, and it’s critical that we continue to build on this momentum as the bill makes its way through the House.”
As noted by CUNA, S. 2155 would:
- Establish a safe harbor from certain requirements for a loan to be considered a Qualified Mortgage;
- Rescind the additional data points required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for insured credit unions that originate fewer than 500 closed-end and/or 500 open-end lines of credit;
- Reclassify one-to-four unit, non-owner occupied residential loans as real estate loans, so the loan would not count against the member business lending cap;
- Clarify that that the same consumer protections in place with respect to mortgage lending are nonexistent for Property Assessed Clean Energy loans;
- Remove the three-day wait period required for the combined TRID mortgage disclosure if a creditor extends to a consumer a second offer of credit with a lower annual percentage rate;
- Require NCUA to make publicly available a draft of their proposed budget, hold a hearing with public notice during which this draft would be discussed and solicit and consider public comment about the draft budget;
- Provide a safe harbor for properly trained financial employees who report alleged elder financial abuse; and
- Require the U.S. Department of Treasury to conduct a study on the risks that cyber threats may pose to financial institutions.
The passage of the bill came just weeks after thousands of credit union advocates, including more than 130 New Yorkers, descended on Washington, D.C., for the 2018 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference and advocated for the legislation.