WASHINGTON – April 16, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Steve Stivers’ (R – OH) legislation, H.R. 299 – the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act of 2015 – unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday. This bill would provide regulatory relief for small, community-based enterprises in an effort to boost the housing market.
“Purchasing a home is an important part of the American dream,” said Stivers. “With the continued stagnation in the housing market, I believe it is important to ensure all credit unions have the liquidity and ability to make home loans to their members. I am excited to see this bill unanimously pass the House and I hope the Senate will pass this common sense legislation”
The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) System, established in 1932, has been an important source of credit and liquidity for mortgage lending over the past 80 years, particularly for main street institutions. Although thousands of large and small institutions are members of the FHLB, there are still a small number of privately-insured credit unions, representing firefighters, teachers, churches, and small business which have been blocked from membership for over 20 years, due to a legislative oversight.
Stivers’ legislation corrects this oversight and provides these institutions the ability to apply for membership in the Home Loan Bank System. Currently, there are a select number of small credit unions in nine states, approximately 132, that are not insured by the federal government, but by a mutual insurance company, governed by credit unions.
Credit unions did not have federal insurance until 1970, and many small institutions decided to remain privately insured and state regulated. All of these institutions would qualify as a small community institution. Private insurance is governed under federal law, and consumer disclosures are regulated by the CFPB.
Representatives Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Andre Carson (D-IN) were the bill’s lead co-sponsors.