The Point: Jan. 16, 2013

Mellin focuses on industry opportunities, challenges during town hall meeting

Nearly 40 credit unionists from the Catskill-Hudson Chapter gathered yesterday for a town hall meeting with Credit Union Association of New York President/CEO William J. Mellin. Together, the group discussed legislative and regulatory priorities, advocacy opportunities and industry trends.

Mellin highlighted the Association's top goals for 2013, including: protecting and defending the credit union tax exemption; reducing credit union regulatory burden; ensuring comprehensive compliance support; enhancing the credit union charter; expanding credit union advocacy in Congress; and enhancing the value of Association membership.

He also reviewed both the federal and state legislative agendas, noting that municipal deposit access and robbery penalty reform remain priorities in Albany. After providing updates on member business lending (MBL) relief and supplemental capital in Washington, he encouraged the group to attend CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) Feb. 24-28 and the State GAC April 16-17.

Mellin also discussed membership growth among credit unions and answered several questions about the current credit union environment and industry trends.

NCUA approves high-risk mortgage appraisal rules

NCUA and federal bank regulators have approved rules that will require lenders offering higher-risk mortgages to use licensed or certified appraisers. The appraisers will need to prepare written reports, based on physical inspections of a home's interior, when they determine the value of a given home.

Mortgage lenders will also be required to provide homebuyers with a free copy of the resulting home appraisal report. If the seller of a given home has purchased the home for less than the current sale price within the last six months, an additional appraisal document must be provided to the homebuyer. The document must detail: the difference in sale prices; any changes in market conditions; and any improvements that have been made to the property since it was purchased by the current owner. This requirement is an attempt to address fraudulent property flipping.

High-priced mortgages will be considered non-qualified residential mortgages that are secured by a principal dwelling with annual percentage rates that exceed the average prime offer rate by 1.5 percent for first-lien loans, 2.5 percent for first-lien jumbo loans and 3.5 percent for junior lien loans.

The higher-risk mortgage appraisal requirements will go into effect Jan. 18, 2014. They are mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and are a joint rulemaking effort between NCUA, the CFPB, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and other federal financial agencies.

The requirements can be viewed online.

The CFPB's version of these regulations will likely be released tomorrow when the CFPB holds an Atlanta, Ga., mortgage issues hearing.

National Credit Union Youth Week is April 21-27; materials available

Credit unions are encouraged to participate in National Credit Union Youth Week, which will be held April 21-27 this year. Created by CUNA, National Credit Union Youth Week promotes the benefits of youth saving and goal-setting by inviting youth to open savings accounts at their credit union and make deposits throughout the year.

This year's theme is "Savings Sleuth: Solve the Mystery," and promotional materials are now available on CUNA's website.

Because National Credit Union Youth Week occurs during Financial Literacy Month, credit unions can extend their youth activities throughout April. CUNA will once again conduct the National Youth Saving Challenge during the entire month of April, rewarding 10 savers with $100 cash prizes. Last April, 241 credit unions joined the Saving Challenge and engaged 125,867 youth, who opened 7,300 new accounts and deposited a collective $21.3 million in their credit union savings accounts.

Invest in America offering tax prep discounts, marketing materials

As the 2012 tax season ramps up, credit unions are encouraged to promote the exclusive tax preparation discounts offered through Invest in America. Participating credit unions can offer their members discounted income tax preparation products/services through Jackson Hewitt and/or TurboTax.

Updated marketing materials can be accessed by logging in to the Marketing Materials webpage. Credit unions not yet enrolled in the program can learn more by visiting the Invest in America website.

National industry news & CUNA reports

To view today's issue of CUNA News Now, click here.

To view the most recent CUNA Regulatory Advocacy Report, click here. (CUNA member log-in/registration required.)

To view the most recent CUNA Legislative Update, click here. (CUNA member log-in/registration required.)