Community Bankers Association of Illinois
Community Bankers Association of Illinois Community Bankers Association of Illinois Community Bankers Association of Illinois
 
      A Bi-Weekly News Bulletin for CBAI Members                 March 12, 2008 Graphic
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Community Bankers Association of Illinois
Community Bankers Association of Illinois Community Bankers Association of Illinois


  • CBAI Works To Stymie Bad Bills
  • CBAI’s Annual Capital Conference Highlights
  • Baker Market Update
  • ICBA Chairman Ghiglieri's Parting Remarks
  • Free Consumer Tips Columns Available
  • CBAI Private Reception at Lincoln Presidential Museum
  • HUD Raises FHA Limits
  • AG Madigan Issues Subpoenas to Countrywide and Wells Fargo
  • OTS Director Reich Addresses Community Bankers
  • Banner Year for Illinois Finance Authority Beginning Farmer Bonds
  • Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Jumped in February
  • FDIC Chairman Bair: Banking Renaissance on the Horizon
  • Freddie Mac Increasing Fees for Risk-Based Loans




  • CBAI Works To Stymie Bad Bills
    Each year, the CBAI Governmental Relations team devotes substantial resources toward identifying, tracking, and working against legislation that, if enacted, would be harmful to community banking. In some cases, bill sponsors agree to "hold" bills after learning of their negative impact. Often, CBAI works with sponsors to amend the bills in an effort to accomplish all or part of the underlying public policy goal while removing the harmful effects that the bill would impose on banks. If these efforts fail, CBAI works against the bills to kill them outright. A list of these bad bills can be found here.

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    CBAI’s Annual Capital Conference Highlights
    Eighty community bankers from across Illinois visited Springfield on February 20 for CBAI’s Annual Capital Conference. The group had a full day visiting with state officials and their local legislators discussing current banking issues.
    Click here to review highlights of the day!

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    Baker Market Update
    The Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy lost 63,000 jobs in February, missing economists' job-growth expectations. Looking forward, January's trade balance should widen as oil prices and demand remain high. For a look at the complete Baker Market Update,
    click here.

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    ICBA Chairman Ghiglieri's Parting Remarks
    Outgoing ICBA Chairman James P. Ghiglieri Jr. addressed the ICBA Convention & Tech World March 4 as he prepared to hand over the gavel. Read his remarks
    here.

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    Free Consumer Tips Columns Available
    Since 2002, CBAI has made free Consumer Tips Columns available to members. Consumer Tips Columns is presented annually in a series of 10 columns covering numerous topics of interest to consumers. These columns are written to provide consumers with financial information to help them in their everyday lives. The columns can be customized with your bank logo and used as statement stuffers, informational marketing pieces for customers, and articles in newsletters. They can also be released to local print media for publication.

    2008 Columns will include:
    February - What the Subprime Housing Crisis Means to You
    March - Increasing Your Financial Vocabulary
    April - What You Should Know About Your Checking Account
    May - Are Extra Mortgage Payments Right for You?
    June - Improving Your Credit Score
    July - What Is a HELOC and Do You Need One?
    August - Good Investments for Seniors
    September - A Financial Tips Checklist to Fall Back On
    October - Don't Be Taken In By Phony Charities
    November - Be a Smart Holiday Shopper

    The February and March columns are currently available for downloading from the Members Only section of the CBAI web site:
    www.cbai.com. Future columns will be added as they become available.

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    CBAI Private Reception at Lincoln Presidential Museum
    The optional Friday night activity for CBAI's 34th Annual Convention & Exposition is destined to be special indeed. It will be held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in downtown Springfield. This unique event, scheduled for September 12, includes access to most museum attractions, cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres, as well as Civil War-era music by The New Century Orchestra. For more information,
    click here.

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    HUD Raises FHA Limits
    Effective March 6, the Department of Housing and Urban Development temporarily lifted Federal Housing Administration loan limits in a range of $271,050 to $729,750. The maximum amount applies to extremely high-cost metropolitan areas and is up from the previous cap of $362,790. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 permitted FHA to insure loans on amounts up to 125 percent of the area median house price when that amount is within the range. The new minimum and maximum loan limits are based on 65 percent and 175 percent of the conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008, which is $417,000. In January of 2009, FHA's maximum loan limit will return to $362,790.
    More Information.

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    AG Madigan Issues Subpoenas to Countrywide and Wells Fargo
    On March 6, 2008, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued subpoenas to Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., and Wells Fargo Financial Illinois, Inc., to determine whether they unfairly steered African American and Latino borrowers into higher cost or inappropriate home loans in violation of fair lending and civil rights laws.

    The probe follows a Chicago Reporter study finding that the Chicago area led the nation in high-cost home loans for the second consecutive year. For more information,
    click here.

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    OTS Director Reich Addresses Community Bankers
    Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) Director John Reich addressed the delegation of community bankers attending the annual convention of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) on March 5 in Orlando. He discussed the condition of the thrift industry, lessons from current mortgage market challenges, and finding from recent thrift examinations.

    Reich also described details of the recent OTS Foreclosure Prevention Proposal related to homes that have dropped in value so that outstanding balances are greater than the worth of the homes. "The OTS proposal is specifically targeted to help prevent avoidable foreclosures against distressed homeowners who are unable to refinance their underwater mortgages on properties held in securitizations," Reich said. "The proposal would benefit all stakeholders in troubled mortgages, without letting any party off the hook and without a government 'bailout,' or the creation of a new government entity or assistance program." For the full text of his remarks,
    click here.

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    Banner Year for Illinois Finance Authority Beginning Farmer Bonds
    In 2007 the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) approved 65 Beginning Farmer Bonds totaling $11.8 million. From 2004 to 2007, the IFA has approved 93 such bonds totaling $37.1 million. The Program unites beginning farmers, lenders, and the IFA in partnership to spur growth in Illinois agriculture. For more information about the Beginning Farmer Bond Program contact either
    Eric Reed or Cory Mitchell at 618/244-2424.

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    Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Jumped in February
    Consumer bankruptcy filings increased 15 percent in February above the previous month, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. February filings totaled 76,120, which was 37 percent higher than a year ago.

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    FDIC Chairman Bair: Banking Renaissance on the Horizon
    Despite the current economic uncertainty, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair told community bankers at the ICBA convention last week that a silver lining may be down the road for community banks. "Long term, I believe the problems we're having now will lead to new opportunities for community banks and thrifts to regain a bigger share of the mortgage market," Bair stated. "I truly believe this is the path to a renaissance in American banking, and I believe community bankers can lead the way." Bair noted that 99 percent of banks remain well capitalized and 88 percent remain profitable. For her complete speech,
    click here.

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    Freddie Mac Increasing Fees for Risk-Based Loans
    Responding to declining credit quality and home values, Freddie Mac has announced that it will expand the use of
    risk-based pricing and increase post-settlement delivery fee rates for certain high-risk mortgages, effective June 1, 2008.

    Freddie Mac also indicated it will no longer purchase certain higher-risk mortgages, and it will provide guidance for lenders using the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight House Price Index to better identify declining markets to determine whether a reduction in maximum financing is necessary as sellers assess property values.

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    CBAI
    UPCOMING EVENTS   
    CBAI's PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS THROUGH APRIL 4

    › Residential Real Estate Lending Institute

    › How To Run a High Results Sales Meeting for Retail Bankers

    › Analyzing Cash-Flow Statements

    › Bank Directors' Workshop

    › Appraisal Review

    › Auditing the Bank Secrecy Act

    TELEPHONE/WEBCASTS THROUGH APRIL 4

    › SARs and Law Enforcement

    › Blueprint for an Information Security Program

    › Construction to Permanent Residential Lending

    › Supporting Documentation for the ALLL: What Examiners Want

    › Responsibilities of the Board Secretary

    › CDD Annual Spring Conference, Hilton Hotel, Springfield 3/11 - 3/12

    › CBAI 18th Annual Officer Compensation Survey Deadline: 4/2

    › Community Banking Week in Illinois
    4/6 - 4/12


    › CBAI's 26th Annual Washington Visitation: 4/29 - 4/30, Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C.

    › CBAI's 34th Annual Convention:
    "Hometown Heroes", 9/11-13, 2008
    Crowne Plaza Hotel,
    Springfield




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