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CLEAR Relief Act Includes Provisions Beneficial to Credit Unions

Missouri U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer introduced a bill that would address regulatory burdens facing both credit unions and banks. H.R. 1750, the Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory (CLEAR) Relief Act of 2013 was introduced on April 25.

“There are several provisions in this bill that are valuable to credit unions and their members,” says Missouri Credit Union Association President/CEO Don Cohenour. “We look forward to working with Congressman Luetkemeyer and his fellow members of Congress to make sure those become law.”

Provisions that apply to credit unions include the privacy notice language included in H.R. 749 that already passed the House, but is waiting for Senate action.

The bill also addresses regulatory relief in the mortgage area. The bill:
• Raises the "small servicer" exemption in mortgage servicing to 20,000, from the current 5000.
• Requires the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to perform a cost benefit analysis regarding generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
• Exempts $10 billion and under credit unions and banks from mortgage escrow requirements.
• Exempts $10 billion and under credit unions and banks from qualified mortgage (QM) dictates if the institution keeps a loan on its books for 3+ years.

The Credit Union National Association expressed its support, but stressed a need for more regulatory relief.

“This legislation is a good first step toward providing regulatory relief, but it can only be viewed as a first step,” said Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO. “More will need to be done to address the cumulative effect of regulatory changes that continue to challenge credit unions.”