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Bipartisan bill would extend loan maturity limits for FCUs

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As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours, and this week has seen a flood of proposed legislation that would reform the Federal Credit Union Act.

Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., are working on a bill that would extend maturity limits on non-mortgage loans for federal credit unions from 15 years to 20 years.

It’s the fourth bill unveiled this week that would reform the Federal Credit Union Act. Lessening the regulatory burden outlined in the Federal Credit Union Act is a top priority for many in the industry.

“By reducing barriers to credit for those borrowers seeking longer term loans, this legislation will help credit unions provide new opportunities for those seeking to write their own financial futures,” Jim Nussle, president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association, said in a press release on Wednesday.

With the exception of mortgages, federally chartered credit unions currently can’t make loans with maturity limits longer than 15 years. Only one state, Oklahoma, has a similar constraint, according to CUNA.

Industry groups, including CUNA and National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, have been promoting the legislation, and a similar bill was introduced in the House last year.

“Extending loan maturity limits has been a top issue for NAFCU ... We thank [Scott and Cortez Masto] for their willingness to help credit unions improve flexibility in offering members credit,”Brad Thaler, vice president of legislative affairs for NAFCU, said in a statement.

Also on Wednesday, Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., introduced legislation that would require credit union boards to meet only six times a year instead of at least once a month.

Earlier this week, other lawmakers unveiled plans that would eliminate the requirement of submitting loan officer names to the National Credit Union Administration and that would make it easier to expel members.

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