JULY 24, 2015
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Red tape Opposing Mortgage Lending Red Tape Bills in Congress (Issue 1 of 6)
Two bills currently being considered by Congress would place additional regulatory burdens on credit unions, in the form of new reporting requirements involving mortgage lending.

 
     
  U.S. House Hearing with NCUA Chair (Issue 2 of 6)
NCUA Chair Debbie Matz, in a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing, discussed NCUA's budget and operations and faced questions about NCUA's risk-based capital proposal and about accountability at the agency.

 
  New Bill in Congress Would Exempt FIs Under $10B from CFPB (Issue 3 of 6)
A bill recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would exempt financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules.

 
  Educating the GA Senate President Pro Tem's Office on CUs (Issue 4 of 6)
GCUA staff used a recent meeting with the chief of staff for the president pro tem of the Georgia Senate to further his understanding of credit union and the issues they face in the Legislature.

 
  GA Special Elections Synopsis (Issue 5 of 6)
Of the six special elections that were held recently to fill vacant Georgia House seats, three resulted in the election of new Representatives and three produced no winners, making runoffs necessary.

 
  Credit Unions in the News (Issue 6 of 6)
The credit union message is getting out, as evidenced by coverage of the industry in a wide range of media outlets, from newspapers to magazines to the broadcast media.

 
 
 
U.S. Capitol domeOpposing Mortgage Lending Red Tape Bills
in Congress (Issue 1 of 6)

There are two bills that as drafted, would add compliance burdens in mortgage lending. CUNA and other financial services organizations have written the Senate Environment and Public Committee to strongly oppose any provisions in the Highway Transportation Funding Act of 2015 that would create new reporting mandates for mortgage lenders. The House passed its version of the bill (H.R. 3038) on July 14th. Also, the Senate Finance Committee passed the Senate Tax Extenders legislation on July 21st, which included the same mortgage reporting amendment. The legislation contains new reporting requirements for all mortgage lenders to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including the origination date of each mortgage, amount of outstanding principal balance on the loan at the beginning of the year, and the property address.

In opposition of these moves to add compliance burdens, credit unions and others shared that “Mortgage lenders already report to the IRS on interest paid annually by the borrower, which helps ensure tax compliance. Mortgage lenders also report the data specified in Section 2003 to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in compliance with the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act,” per the joint letter. “We strongly oppose duplication of this reporting for the IRS.” Along with CUNA, the letter was signed by the Independent Community Bankers of America and National Association of Federal Credit Unions.

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MatzU.S. House Hearing with NCUA Chair (Issue 2 of 6)

For the first time since 2011, Chair Debbie Matz testified before Congress when she sat down with the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit on Thursday, July 23rd. Matz discussed NCUA’s budget and operations, as well as the performance of the credit union system, at the hearing. The subcommittee is chaired by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), who, at an earlier hearing this year, questioned Larry Fazio, director of NCUA’s Office of Examination and Insurance, about the agency's revised risk-based capital (RBC) proposal. In addition, a number of legislators have shown interest in NCUA’s RBC proposal in recent months, asking the agency for specifics and information on how it would affect their constituents.

In the hearing Chairman Matz pushed for expanded member business lending for credit unions. However, there was much interest and concern expressed by committee members over the need for transparency and accountability of NCUA, as well as multiple questions on the NCUA’s budget and budget process of NCUA. Georgia’s U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-13) questioned Chairman Matz on this, or rather if the absence of public hearings held by NCUA was in the best interest of the members. Our thanks to Rep. Scott for not only understanding precisely who credit unions are there to serve, but posing the question!

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CFPB logoNew Bill in Congress Would Exempt FIs Under $10B from CFPB (Issue 3 of 6)

A bill has been introduced that would exempt financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules. Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) introduced the Community Financial Institution Exemption Act (H.R. 3048) on July 14th. The bill would exempt credit unions and community banks with less than $10 billion in assets from all rules and regulations put forth by the CFPB. Per the Dodd-Frank Act, the Bureau is authorized to provide exemptions from the requirements of statutes or implementing regulations generally, or from specific provisions. Credit unions, Leagues and CUNA continue to push that the Bureau to do so, and to go much further than it has to exempt credit unions from its rulemaking.

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Senate buildingEducating the GA Senate President Pro Tem's Office on CUs
(Issue 4 of 6)

On Wednesday, July 15th GCUA sat down with Jeremy Collins, Chief of Staff for Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer (R-Duluth). This strategically different meeting was targeted to grow Collins' understanding of credit unions, the positive impact they have on the state, and the wide variety of issues that the industry faces in the state Legislature each year. He and the general counsel for the office were shocked to learn that there were more than 200 bills that had to be monitored to protect the credit union interests in the state Legislature.

Why meet with staff? While Sen. Shafer has a strong understanding of credit unions, Collins did not, until now. He is a key individual in helping not just his office, but the entire Senate shape legislative initiatives in the state. The discussion centered on insight into legislative issues, industry issues, and the credit union difference - something that is of value to all Georgians. The time with Collins was of benefit, as he asked the industry to reach out prior to the start of the 2016 state session to discuss any legislation on the radar.


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GA Special Elections Synopsis (Issue 5 of 6)

There have been six special elections to date this year for open state representative seats. On July 14th two runoffs from previous special elections were decided, and four other special elections were held, three of which will go to a subsequent runoff on August 11th. The outcomes:

Voting stickersAtlanta election for District 55:
Marie Metze (D) won the runoff and will now serve as the Representative for the area, replacing Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D), who had resigned.

Atlanta election for District 80:
None of the four candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote, so a runoff will be held. The top two candidates who advance to the runoff are Taylor Bennet (D) and J. Max Davis (R). The seat was previously held by Rep. Mike Jacobs (R), and, as reported in the last edition of Creating Influence, trends Republican but is one of the few that has the propensity to swing in a normal election.

Bonaire election for District 146:
None of the three candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote, so a runoff will be held. The top two candidates who will advance are Shaw Blackmon (R) and Larry Walker (R). The seat was previously held by Rep. Larry O’Neal (R), who had resigned.

Cumming election for District 24:
Sheri Gilligan (R) won the runoff and now will serve as Representative for the area, replacing Rep. Mark Hamilton (R) who had resigned.

Ocilla election for District 155:
None of the four candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote, so a runoff will be held. The top two candidates who will advance are Clay Pirkle (R) and Horace Hudgins (R). This seat was vacated by Rep. Jay Roberts (R), who resigned.

Roswell election for District 48:
Betty Price (R) won the special election for the House seat was previously held by the late Harry Geisinger (R). She is the wife of U.S. Congressman Tom Price (R-6).

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NewsCredit Unions in the News (Issue 6 of 6)

Credit unions continue to earn media coverage statewide and beyond. Whether it’s in a local newspaper, niche magazine or radio show, the credit union message is shared through a multitude of outlets across Georgia. Click here to see recent coverage of Georgia’s credit unions "In the News."

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