On December 1, 2017, NAR submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs on S. 2155, the " Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act." The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs passed the bipartisan legislation the following day.
S. 2155 contains some favorable provisions such as holding Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans more accountable, providing one free credit freeze and unfreeze for consumers and fraud alerts for certain circumstances, and improving access to manufactured housing.
A large portion of the bill focuses on raising the Systematically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs) threshold from $50 billion to eventually $250 billion, which would exempt these institutions from enhanced standards that were put in place after the financial crisis. Another key section of the legislation provides capital simplification, removal of the Volker rule, and less reporting for community banks under $10 billion. NAR currently does not have policy in this area.
Last year, the NAR Conventional Financing and Policy Committee took a look at the issue of providing community banks and credit unions regulatory relief, but it was unable to agree on what size and type of financial institution should receive relief. However, the Committee's primary goal this year is to revisit the issue in hopes of developing policy and ultimately being able to support legislation/regulation that balances regulatory relief with appropriate consumer protections.