A big push by credit union Activists in Wisconsin and nationwide helped common sense regulatory reform legislation pass through Congress, to the benefit of credit unions. It was signed into law by President Trump on Thursday, May 24.
The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act - S. 2155 - improves Wisconsin credit unions' ability to serve Wisconsin's 3 million members and more than 100 million credit union members nationwide.
The bipartisan bill:
- classifies one-to-four unit, non-owner occupied residential property loans as real estate loans instead of business loans. This frees up roughly $55.5 million in capital for Wisconsin credit unions to lend to small businesses - part of $4 billion in new capital to make MBLs.
- treats loans held in portfolio by certain lenders as Qualified Mortgages;
- raises Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reporting thresholds to 500 closed-end and open-end loans in calendar year;
- applies the same consumer protections in place for mortgage lending to Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans;
- removes the three-day wait period required under the Truth in Lending Act Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act integrated disclosure rule’s mortgage disclosure if a creditor extends a second offer of credit unions a lower annual percentage rate to the consumer;
- provides legal immunity for properly trained, good-faith reporters of suspected financial elder abuse; and
- requires the Treasury to conduct a study on the risks that cyberthreats might pose to financial institutions.
Democratic Rep. Ron Kind joined Republican Reps. Paul Ryan, Jim Sensenbrenner, Glenn Grothman, Sean Duffy and Mike Gallagher, as well as Republican Senator Ron Johnson, to support the bill. Use our Grassroots Action Center to send them a pre-written (editable) thank you!
Activists explained the importance of S. 2155 to Wisconsin's Representatives and Senators as part of February's CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. In the following months, The League teamed up with the Wisconsin Bankers Association in letters to the delegation, met with each office in D.C. and facilitated meetings between Activists and legislators in Wisconsin. Earlier this year, an op-ed from Blackhawk Community Credit Union CEO Sherri Stumpf complimented the strong grassroots contacts made by Activists to help pass the bill through the U.S. Senate.
"Congratulations to Wisconsin’s Activists, who helped achieve this tremendous success. Your years of advocacy in meetings, emails and phone calls, resulted in real reform - improving credit unions’ ability to service three million Wisconsin members," said League VP of Government Affairs Sarah Wainscott.
"The passage of S. 2155 is a testament to what we can accomplish together as a credit union Movement in Wisconsin and nationwide," she added.
The League and CUNA engage with credit union Activists in a 360-degree advocacy approach that helps credit unions positively shape their operating environment and remove barriers to serving members. Read more articles in our Unite for Good series.