Nebraska credit union advocates joined over 5,000 credit union advocates from across the Country for the 2018 CUNA Government Affairs Conference in Washington D.C. There were forty (40) credit union advocates consisting of credit union professionals and Board Members from eleven credit unions who attended.
The four-day conference included speakers such as former President George W. Bush, political analyst Amy Walter, marketer Scott Stratten, several key lawmakers, and CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. The Nebraska Credit Union League hosted several events for Nebraska attendees including a Welcome Reception sponsored by Millennium Corporate Credit Union, a Hill Staff Reception sponsored by Husch Blackwell, Hill Visits with each Congressional Office, and an Advocates Dinner to conclude the conference.
During the face to face Hill Visits with Nebraska’s Congressional Delegation, credit union advocates focused on four key topics. The first was to thank our lawmakers for their continued support of the credit union federal income tax exemption. “Years and years of lobbying efforts proved successful when the credit union tax benefit was protected in last year’s Tax Reform legislation” said Brandon Luetkenhaus, NCUL Chief Advocacy Officer. He said, “Despite the fervent efforts of the banks to see to it that credit unions lose their tax exemption, zero amendments were proposed to tax credit unions.”
The second topic advocates addressed was urging lawmakers to vote yes on S. 2155, a bipartisan bill that would provide regulatory relief to credit unions. Here are several of the key provisions:
–Sec. 101 provides relief from some of the requirements of the Qualified Mortgage rule for certain lenders who hold mortgage loans in portfolio.
–Sec. 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.
–Sec. 105 reclassifies loans made on 1-4 owner non-occupied dwellings from commercial loans (member business loans) to residential loans therefore providing more availability for capital to small businesses.
–Sec. 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.
–Sec. 301 allows consumers to place a fraud alert through a credit reporting agency at no cost.
–Sec. 303 provides legal immunity for properly trained financial services employees who disclose concerns about financial exploitation of senior citizens.
–Sec. 501 requires Treasury to conduct a study on the risks that cyber threats pose to financial institutions.
The third issue was urging lawmakers to hold merchants to the same standard as credit unions when it comes to protecting sensitive financial information of consumers. The fourth topic was the need for clarity and guidance when it comes to website compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. In other states, credit unions are receiving demand letters from trolls who seek a quick payout for what they claim to be violations of the ADA as it pertains to the credit union’s website. We urged Congress to act and/or the DOJ to act by providing guidance. Our message was made clear that credit unions serve members with disabilities and we want to ensure the systems that we currently have in place fulfill any federal requirements but we need to first know what those requirements are.