Week ahead: NCUA tackles appraisals as hopes dim for more COVID relief

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With just three weeks left before the House and Senate recess for the election, prospects for additional coronavirus relief legislation aren't looking good.

“With the Senate’s action last week to reject the targeted COVID bill, I think the prospect of getting a substantial COVID recovery bill through Congress and to the president’s desk before the end of the month…are dim,” Ryan Donovan, chief advocacy officer at the Credit Union National Association, said during a Monday morning press call.

While a comprehensive bill may be unlikely, Donovan said it’s possible the House could bring forward some individual bills related to the pandemic, but most of the focus before the October recess will be on a continuing resolution to keep the government funded until sometime after the election.

While the Senate will hold hearings on judicial nominations this week, it is not currently expected to vote on Kyle Hauptman’s confirmation to the National Credit Union Administration board. That means Hauptman is highly unlikely to be a part of this week’s NCUA board meeting, its first since July.

Along with a quarterly report on the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and an update on the MERIT software tool for remote examinations, the agency is scheduled to vote on a final rule on residential mortgage appraisals.

The agency has moved to increase the threshold under which appraisals aren’t required, opting to raise it from $250,000 to $400,000. In April, during the board’s first meeting after the pandemic struck, it issued an interim final rule extending the appraisal deadline, even allowing some buyers to obtain an appraisal as long as 120 days after closing.

The agency has also published the final version of its field-of-membership rule in the Federal Register, with the rule taking effect immediatley. The document marks the final chapter in a four-year saga that saw the regulator narrowly avoid having to defend the regulation before the Supreme Court.

Lastly, Monday marks the start of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions’ annual Congressional Caucus, being held virtually this year due to the coronavirus. Representatives from NCUA, Congress and multiple federal agencies are scheduled to speak.

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Law and regulation Coronavirus Field of membership Appraisals Credit unions NCUA NAFCU CUNA
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