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New Legislation to Provide Main Street Bank Relief and Consumer Protection

piggybank-cashDemocratic Members on the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees announced in a press release that new legislation will provide targeted relief to small financial institutions and protection for consumers. This legislation was introduced in both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate and has the unanimous support of Democratic Members of the respective committees.

Ranking Members Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Maxine Waters (D-California) joined Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) and Rep. John Carney (D-Delaware) announced the introduction of this new legislation.

“There is no reason why Democrats and Republicans can’t pass targeted legislation today that would give community lenders relief and be signed into law,” said Brown. “Main Street financial institutions shouldn’t be held hostage to an ideological attack on the Wall Street reform law.”

This new measure titled “Community Lender Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act of 2015,” will provide community banks and credit unions with relief without putting consumers and the economy in harm’s way, the financial committee reported.

The House of Representatives have already passed the many provisions of this new rule with bipartisan support, the Democrats noted. In addition to relief for Main Street financial institutions, the measure also includes a number of key provisions to increase consumer protections for service members and renters.

“Our unity behind this legislation is an unequivocal statement of Democratic support for small banks and credit unions, which are on the front lines of lending in our communities,” said Waters. “This measure represents a compromise that takes all perspectives into account, by providing targeted relief to real Main Street institutions while increasing protections for servicemembers and vulnerable communities. Our approach is in stark contrast to House and Senate Republicans, who have used the concerns of community banks to push dramatic changes to Dodd-Frank.”

New legislation will also allow banks and credit unions that have less than $10 billion in assets relief from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Qualified Mortgage rule, the committee members said. This will exempt certain loans from its requirements as long as these intuitions do not sell or securitize those loans.

“We’re introducing a common sense bill that can actually pass the Senate, House, and be signed into law,” said Sen. Heitkamp. “We need solid, realistic reforms that support community banks and credit unions so they can help families, businesses, and farmers gets access to loans and capital, and that’s what this bill accomplishes. It’s telling that every Democrat on both committees supports this bill–we come from varying degrees of the political spectrum—as it was through compromise and open dialogue that we were able to reach an agreement.”

In addition, the new rule would also protect consumers with a new method by giving the CFPB supervision and enforcement authority over a number of consumer protection provisions of the Service Member Civil Relief Act, according to the new legislation. The measure would also make permanent expired provisions to protect tenants from eviction when their landlord or property owner has entered foreclosure.

“This bill will go a long way toward ensuring access to credit and enabling community banks to better serve their customers while retaining and strengthening core consumer protections,” said Rep. Carney. “Dodd Frank made a lot of important changes to our banking system, but there’s more work to do. Our legislation fine-tunes Dodd Frank so it works as intended.”

Click here to view the Community Lender Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act of 2015


About Author: Xhevrije West

Xhevrije West is a writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas. She has worked for a number of publications including The Syracuse New Times, Dallas Flow Magazine, and Bellwethr Magazine. She completed her Bachelors at Alcorn State University and went on to complete her Masters at Syracuse University.

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