WASHINGTON — ACUMA's launched its regional workshop series in Washington today with a meeting that has been scheduled to focus heavily on mortgage lending regulation and how CUs can not only survive in the current regulatory environment, but thrive.
About 40 executives from 24 credit unions from as far away as Maine attended the DC meeting, which addressed different facets of mortgage regulation and how to negotiate through them.
For example, rules implementing the SAFE Act exempted credit unions from having to license their mortgage originators (the higher standard) and let them register loan originators instead. This exempted credit unions from the significant regulatory burden of licensing their employees that take mortgage applications, but it also left them vulnerable to competition from other firms whose employees do have to be licensed.
This distinction has begun to pop up in some CUs’ markets where competitors of banks and credit unions have advertised that their employees have licenses while credit unions do not.
“I have people asking about these ads–‘Can they do that? Can they say that?’” Costas Avrakotos, a partner with the K&L Gates law firm, told meeting attendees. “What I have to say is yeah, they can, and perhaps your marketing and promotion materials will need to reflect that.”