On July 24, 2013, Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), introduced a bill, the Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief Act of 2013 (the “CLEAR Relief Act of 2013”), S. 1349, which is similar to House bill H.R. 1750, a bill that was introduced in April 2013. If passed, the CLEAR Relief Act of 2013 would provide substantial regulatory relief for community banks by:
- Exempting banks with consolidated assets of $1 billion or less from the Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404(b) internal-controls assessment requirement.
- Requiring the FRB to revise its Small Bank Holding Company Policy Statement by increasing the qualifying consolidated asset threshold from $500 million to $5 billion.
- Exempting from any escrow requirements any first lien mortgage on the principal dwelling of a consumer held by a lender with $10 billion or less in total assets; and
- Providing “qualified mortgage” status under the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rules for any mortgage originated and held in portfolio for at least three years by a lender with less than $10 billion in total consolidated assets.
The Alert will follow developments concerning this proposed legislation.