7 Things You Need To Know On Friday

December 15, 2017 at 9:37 am Leave a comment

Image result for revised ncua sealThere may only be ten days until Christmas but no one bothered telling our regulators this is shaping up as one of the most eventful Decembers since yours truly entered credit union land more than a decade ago. By the way, before I get started, yours truly can now be followed on Twitter @HMeierEsq

Here are some of the highlights:

DFS Fines PHH And Issues Zombie Property Guidance

I like to say that Wells Fargo is the gift that keeps on giving for CFPB supporters but PHH is a close second. Yesterday, New York’s Department of Financial Services fined PHH $119,000 for violating – arguably simply ignoring – New York’s new Zombie Property Regulations which require financial institutions to identify and report vacant and abandoned residential property. I’ll be following up with yet another blog on this subject as the guidance raises compliance issues, but for now let me throw this out there: Even if your credit union is exempt from the maintenance requirements, it is my opinion that you should still follow the procedures for identifying and reporting abandoned property.

Is This Really Necessary?

I don’t know about you but for years I’ve said, “You know what? What NCUA really needs is a new trademark.” So I was ecstatic when I found out earlier this week that Donald Trump became the first President since Richard Nixon – perhaps that should have tipped someone off that this wasn’t necessarily a good idea – to approve a new seal of office for our regulator. The totemic symbol features a shielded eagle with an olive branch in one of its talons and an oak branch in the other. The olive branch we are told represents “peace and prosperity facilitated by the economic growth.” (Perhaps they got this confused with a suggested update to the UN’s look.) The oak branch represents “NCUA’s strength, honor, and longevity in carrying out its mission of promoting confidence in the national system of cooperative credit.” I don’t know about you but I feel more secure already. In all honesty, if I was to see a bird with an oak branch in one talon and olive branch in the other, I would think: Now there’s a bird that can’t make up its mind. Admittedly, I only had one cup of coffee this morning and the cold weather has me in a bad mood but $1.00 spent on this remake is $1.00 too much.

NCUA Approves Amendments To Emergency Merger Regulations

At its last board meeting of the year, NCUA finalized regulations giving itself time to act quicker to preserve the capital of credit unions in danger of insolvency. §208 of the NCUA Act gives the agency broad authority to merge and manage credit unions in danger of insolvency.

Metsger Bluntly Criticizes Medallion CU’s

Earlier this week NCUA Board member Rick Metsger gave the bluntest assessment of the taxi medallion situation and the impact it may have on the Share Insurance Fund I have heard from any NCUA official. “We have known, and warned about, this risk for some time,” Metsger said, “but the bill is about to come due. Unfortunately, a lot of credit unions that followed supervisory guidance and lent prudently will have to pay for losses incurred by a small number of credit unions that gambled on a market that was disrupted and a bubble that burst.”

DOD Issues MLA Guidance

Earlier this week the Department of Defense issued guidance on its regulations implementing the Military Lending Act. I haven’t had a chance to review them yet but anything that makes those regulations easier to understand and implement is a good thing. I have a sneaking suspicion that the application of these regulations remain among the most misunderstood by credit unions.

Does Anyone Want To Take On Fannie and Freddie?

Bloomberg is reporting this morning that Senator Mark Warner of Virginia and retiring Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee are trying to entice potential competitors to Fannie and Freddie into the mortgage securitization market. Remember, the Goldie Locks goal here is to create a system of Fannie and Freddie competitors that don’t make it too expensive for credit unions and small banks to sell to the secondary market. Here’s what the article says about that: “The Corker-Warner plan would attempt to allay that fear by limiting mortgage lenders, including banks, from having more than a minimal stake in any guarantor, according to people familiar with the matter. It would also mandate equal pricing and access to the system for all lenders.”

Death, Taxes, And The Giants

Despite some last minute hurdles, my guess is that by Sunday there will be an agreed upon version of the tax bill. I wonder what will be less painful: watching the Giants’ game or trying to decipher the tax bill?

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., Senior Vice President, General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association. In addition, although Henry strives to give his readers useful and accurate information on a broad range of subjects, many of which involve legal disputes, his views are not a substitute for legal advise from retained counsel.

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