United States

Promoting economic growth and enhanced consumer protection

COMPLIANCE NEWS  | 

The Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Reform Relief and Consumer Protection Act which provides modifications to the existing regulatory requirements of the financial industry.

In early 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Reform Relief and Consumer Protection Act was passed to provide the financial industry regulatory relief from the existing regulatory requirements as well as promote economic growth and enhance consumer protection.  In doing so, the act includes provisions in the following key areas:

  • Improved consumer access to mortgage credit
  • Regulatory relief and protections for consumer access to credit
  • Protection for veterans, consumers and homeowners
  • Tailored regulations for certain bank holding companies
  • Protections for student borrowers
  • Capital formation encouragement

Each section of the act includes provisions that will affect the financial industry, including financial institutions. The key highlights of the act include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Designates mortgage loans held within the institution’s portfolio as qualified mortgages for institutions with total assets of $10 billion or less if certain requirements are met.
  • Provides relief from the appraisal requirements for real estate transactions less than $400,000 in which the property is located in a rural area and the lender can provide evidence indicating that no later than three days after the date the closing disclosure was provided to the consumer that at least three appraisers could not be retained within five days beyond the reasonable time frame to receive an appraisal.
  • Provides relief from the new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) requirements for institutions in good standing who have originated less than 500 mortgage loan or 500 open-end lines of credit for each of the two preceding years.
  • Provides an exemption to the Truth in Lending Act escrow requirements for institutions with less than $10 billion in total assets and have originated less than 1,000 loans secured by a first lien primary dwelling in the previous calendar year and meets other requirements specified within the new provision.
  • Eliminates the three-day waiting period to close the loan transaction if the creditor extends a second offer of credit with a lower annual percentage rate to the consumer.
  • Raises the eligibility threshold for an 18-month examination cycle from $1 billion to $3 billion in total assets.
  • Simplifies the online account opening process as well as the online banking experience.
  • Reinstates the Protecting Tenants at Foreclose Act

The act was signed into law in May 2018 and many of the provisions within the act are effective immediately.  However, a majority of the provisions have not been made effective since regulations are required to be revised and updated in order to give effect.  While the Act does provide regulatory relief to the financial industry, financial institutions are encouraged to take time in understanding the provisions within the Act and implementing change.  Financial institutions need to be aware of the provisions within the Act and be diligent in understanding how the provisions within the Act will impact their institution.   Furthermore, financial institutions are encouraged to hold off implementing change until regulations have been revised and updated, as applicable.

For more information, see the S. 2155 Act.