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REGular Blog: Weekly Roundup: April 11th

Authored By: JT Blau on 4/11/2024

Happy Thursday everyone! This week kicked off with the eclipse, and I hope you were able to step outside and take a look through some glasses. I was fortunate enough to be in Cleveland, which was in the path of totality. It was truly an amazing experience, and I would highly recommend experiencing the totality if you have the chance in the future!

Let's take a look at some of the regulatory compliance highlights of the week.


FinCEN Accepting Comments on CTR, SAR Burdens

As part of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has published estimates on how long it takes to complete SARs and CTRs, and is accepting comments from the public. Their official estimates are 8 minutes per CTR and 2 hours per SAR. Last week the League submitted a comment letter on the CTR estimates. In the letter, we encouraged FinCEN to consider the time burden of all elements of the CTR filing process, not just the time it takes to fill out the form. We also urged FinCEN to re-evaluate and raise the $10,000 CTR threshold, highlighting how it can reduce regulatory burden on credit unions through both SARs and CTRs. Finally, we highlighted how little feedback credit unions get from law enforcement on CTRs and SARs, despite the hours they spend preparing and filing them. We also plan to submit a comment letter on the SAR estimate, for which the comment window closes this Friday.


Credit Card Late Fee Rule: Venue Change and Congressional Scrutiny

The saga surrounding the CFPB's Credit Card Late Fee rule continued to develop this week. Last week we wrote about how the Fifth Circuit Judge was skeptical about the case's connection to his Court and granted the CFPB's motion to transfer the case to the D.C. Circuit. On Friday of last week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Judge erred in approving the transfer before deciding whether an injunction blocking implementation of the rule should be issued. So for now, the case stays in Texas.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Republican Congressmen in the House and the Senate have recently introduced resolutions to nullify the rule. H.J. Res. 122 was introduced by Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., who serves as the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee's Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy Subcommittee. S.J. Res. 70 was introduced by Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, who is the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. Both resolutions have been co-sponsored by other Republican Representatives and Senators. America's Credit Unions joined other banking trade groups in joint letters to Senator Scott and Rep. Barr expressing their support for the resolutions.


CFPB's Next Target: Closing Costs and Title Insurance?

This week Bloomberg reported that the CFPB is preparing a broad request for information on mortgage closing costs, including lender's title insurance, to be released as soon as late April. This was signaled by the Bureau back in March, with a blog post titled "Junk fees are driving up housing costs. The CFPB wants to hear from you." In the post, the Bureau noted rising closing costs and their impact on home affordability. They specifically touched on lender's title insurance as one example of "a fee borrowers face at closing where the borrower has no control over the cost" and that "the amount that borrowers pay for lender's title insurance is often much greater than the risk."

We discussed the prospect of this rulemaking during our virtual Q1 Compliance Roundtable in March. We host these quarterly and encourage all of our credit unions to attend. Our next roundtable will be held on Wednesday, June 5th. You can register here.

I hope you have a great rest of the week, and as always, if you have any compliance questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at jblau@vacul.org.

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