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ALTA President to Testify Before Congress Today

May 21, 2014

By: Jeremy Yohe

ALTA President Rob Chapman will testify on Wednesday (May 21) before the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services during a hearing titled “Legislative Proposals to Improve Transparency and Accountability at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).”

Chapman’s testimony will focus on bipartisan ideas to improve how the CFPB regulates providers of financial services.

“As our members are businesses regulated by the CFPB, ALTA recognizes the Bureau’s role in oversight of businesses providing financial services,” Chapman said. “We also acknowledge that part of our corporate responsibility is to have a productive relationship with our regulators. There is no doubt that the CFPB has increased the complexity of regulatory oversight. This complexity provides Congress with a golden opportunity to work in a bipartisan way to improve the way the Bureau operates.”

Chapman also will explain the primary services ALTA members provide to consumers and financial institutions. He will share with the committee how the industry prepares and writes title insurance policies, protecting both purchasers and mortgagees of real property. Second, he will emphasize that title professionals act as third-party settlement agents in real estate and mortgage transactions.

Other items to be discussed in the testimony will include the Bureau’s third-party service provider bulletin, the integrated mortgage disclosures and ALTA’s enthusiasm for the CFPB’s pilot program for electronic mortgage closings.

Lastly, Chapman will offer recommendations for further action for the committee.

ALTA’s most important recommendation will be for Congress to pass H.R. 4383. This bipartisan legislation sponsored by Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) and Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) would establish a small business advisory board at the CFPB, similar to those already established for outreach to community banks and credit unions. Advisory boards provide clear, formal and open channels of communication between Bureau staff and industry.

The CFPB created an advisory board for community banks and credit unions because it does not have regular contact with these institutions since the Bureau only supervises depository institutions with more than $10 billion in assets. Creating a similar advisory organization for non-banks will allow these smaller institutions to report, advise or consult with the Bureau on a regular basis.

Watch ALTA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for more information on the hearing, including live tweets, questions from the committee and live video links (if available).

For more information on the hearing, or the CFPB in general, please contact ALTA’s vice president of government and regulatory affairs, Justin Ailes or 202-261-2937.

© 2014 American Land Title Association

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