S. 2155 - Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, & Consumer Protection Act
Friday, March 9, 2018 8:40 AM

The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act– S. 2155 contains several provisions that would significantly reduce regulatory burden for community financial institutions like credit unions. These changes would allow credit unions across the country to more fully serve their members’ needs, from mortgages to small business loans.

Section 101 - provides relief from some of the requirements of the Qualified Mortgage rule for certain lenders who hold mortgage loans in portfolio. Treating loans held on balance sheets in this manner is especially appropriate for credit unions not only because they retain all of the risk involved with these mortgages and are subject to significant safety and soundness supervision from their prudential regulator, but also because they frequently have unique knowledge of their members’ financial circumstances.

Section 104 - includes changes to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reporting requirements, including raising the threshold for reporting to 500 closed-end and open-end loans in a calendar year.

Section 105 - presents a simple fix, based on consistency and fairness that could significantly reduce constraints and free up billions in capital for economic development. Under current law, when a bank makes a loan for the purchase of a 1-4 unit, non-owner-occupied residential property the loan is classified as a residential real estate loan. On the other hand, credit unions that make such loans are forced to classify such loans as business loans.

Section 108 - addresses long-held concerns about Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans; namely, that the same consumer protections in place with respect to mortgage lending are nonexistent for PACE loans.

Section 110 - removes the three-day wait period required for the combined TILA/RESPA mortgage disclosure if a creditor extends to a consumer a second offer of credit with a lower annual percentage rate.

Section 303 - is an important step toward improving protection for seniors by providing legal immunity for properly trained financial services employees who disclose concerns about financial exploitation of senior citizens.

Section 501 - requires Treasury to conduct a study on the risks that cyber threats may pose to financial institutions. This is particularly important due to recent data breaches, which cause tremendous disruption and impose significant costs to credit unions.

If this bill becomes law, credit unions and their members will benefit directly in a variety of ways. Credit unions will be able to make the process of getting a mortgage loan simpler and faster. Local communities will have better access to affordable housing as credit unions are able to provide more loans for rental properties. Finally, and most importantly, with less regulatory burden, smaller financial institutions like credit unions can concentrate more on serving their members, rather than spending hours complying with unnecessary regulatory burdens originally intended for Wall Street.

Make your voices heard.

1. Contact your Senator and ask them to vote YES.

2. If you are a MAP credit union, activate your members.

3Educate your staff about this crucial vote and encourage them to tweetcall, and email their Senators, and here are recommended social media posts.

S.2155 is bipartisan, common-sense reform legislation that will protect seniors from elder abuse, make mortgage processing easier and quicker, increase affordable rental housing in our communities, and help credit unions provide better service to their members.

You've been advocating for common-sense regulation for over a year now and this is the week where we get a crucial vote in the Senate. Your voices helped get this bill to the floor. Now it's time for Congress to fight for the 110 million Americans who depend on credit unions.

Source:  CUNA Advocacy