CBAI is calling on Illinois community bankers to urge their Members of Congress to advance legislation to provide much needed regulatory relief. The Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief (CLEAR) Act of 2013 (H.R. 1750 / S. 1349) offers community bank exemptions from mortgage and auditing regulations and supports additional capital opportunities for small bank holding companies.This CLEAR Act included the following important provisions.
- Provides “qualified mortgage” status under the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rules for any mortgage originated and held in portfolio for at least three years by a lender with less than $10 billion in assets.
- Exempts from any escrow requirements any first lien mortgage held by a lender with less than $10 billion in assets.
- Exempts servicers that service 20,000 or fewer mortgages from certain new servicing rules.
- Provides an exemption from the independent appraisal requirement for mortgages of less than $250,000.
- Provides that a financial institution is not required to provide an annual privacy notice to its customers if it has not changed its privacy policies (House version only).
- Exempts community banks with assets of less than $10 billion ($1 billion in Senate version) from the Sarbanes-Oxley 404(b) internal-controls assessment mandates. The exemption threshold would be adjusted annually to account for any growth in banking assets.
- Requires the SEC to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of new or amended accounting principles (House version only)
- Requires the Federal Reserve to revise the Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement by increasing the qualifying asset threshold from $500 million to $5 billion