March 14, 2018

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Senate Reg Relief Debate Resumes 
The Senate is set to resume debate over the S. 2155 this week. The amended legislation retains its focus on community bank regulatory relief. In a new infographic, ICBA spotlights the provisions of the bill that support rural lending and economic growth. It accompanies a previous infographic featuring six facts about how the bill benefits community banks and the communities they serve.

You may continue using the ICBA Be Heard grassroots action center to call and email our senators to urge support for S. 2155. A sustained grassroots effort is needed to push this landmark measure through the Senate. Even if you have previously contacted Senators Boozman and Cotton, please do it again.  It ain't over till it's over.

CFPB Issues Final Rule On Mortgage Servicer Communication With Borrowers Facing Bankruptcy 
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) issued a final rule to help mortgage servicers communicate with certain borrowers facing bankruptcy. The final rule gives mortgage servicers more latitude in providing periodic statements to consumers entering or exiting bankruptcy, as required by the Bureau's 2016 mortgage servicing rule.

The Truth in Lending Act requires mortgage servicers to provide periodic statements to borrowers, and the Bureau has developed sample forms for servicers to use. The 2016 mortgage servicing rule requires that servicers send modified periodic statements or coupon books to certain consumers in bankruptcy starting April 19, 2018. The rule also addressed the timing for servicers to transition to providing or ceasing to provide modified periodic statements to consumers entering or exiting bankruptcy. After issuing the rule, however, the Bureau learned that certain technical aspects of the timing of this transition may create unintended challenges and be subject to different legal interpretations. In October 2017, the Bureau sought public comment on a proposed rule that would provide greater certainty to help servicers comply.  Specifically, the final rule provides a clear single-statement exemption for servicers to make the transition, superseding the single-billing-cycle exemption included in the 2016 rule.

The effective date for the rule is April 19, 2018, the same date that the other sections of the 2016 rule relating to bankruptcy-specific periodic statements and coupon books become effective.

The Final Rule  >>> 
48 AR Counties Make List of Rural, Underserved    
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published the 2018 list of rural and underserved counties and updated its related online tool.

The resources help creditors determine whether a property is located in a rural or underserved area for applying certain regulatory provisions related to mortgage loans.

 The List  >>> 
Fed Proposes Reg J, CC Conformity   
The Federal Reserve Board proposed amendments to harmonize Regulation J (Collection of Checks and Other Items by Federal Reserve Banks and Funds big-bills-money.jpg Transfers through Fedwire) and Regulation CC (Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks).

The proposed amendments are intended to align the rights and obligations of parties and remove obsolete provisions.

More  >>> 
Farmer Mac Dividend Increases 61%

"2017 was a remarkable year for Farmer Mac," said Chairman of the Board and Acting President and Chief Executive Officer Lowell Junkins. "Our success was driven by our team's disciplined execution on our strategy, successful business development efforts, and industry conditions that continue to play to our strengths. Outstanding business volume grew $1.6 billion in 2017 and earnings grew double digits. Our strong capital position and earnings potential has allowed us to increase our first quarter common stock dividend by 61 percent and remain on track with our targeted 30 percent core earnings payout for 2018. The business opportunities in front of Farmer Mac are robust, and we continue to make significant investments in our people, technology, and infrastructure to maintain our leadership position in financing rural America."

The Announcement  >>> 
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