The MBA is the primary public voice of the banking industry in Michigan. We represent the industry’s interests in the state legislature, federal legislature, courts, regulatory arena, media and the general public. We work closely with our volunteer committee members and the general membership to pursue policies that create a positive business environment for our banks and promote strong communities in Michigan.
BASEL III DEBATE: Community bankers don’t like it
Industry wins more time to comment on proposals
By Steve Cocheo, executive editor and digital content manager. This article is based on the Community Banking department in the August ABA Banking Journal magazine.
Art Johnson doesn't like surprises--at least not the kind that Washington sent him and other community banks this summer: proposed regulations implementing the international Basel III accords that would apply to smaller banks in many important regards.
"It's a lot more than what I expected, for us, and I'm a little confused," says Johnson, chairman and CEO at $451.3 million-assets United Bank of Michigan, Grand Rapids. Johnson says he can understand coming down hard on megabanks with restrictive and complex capital rules. But he can't figure out how community banks came to get a very challenging series of proposed capital-rules changes themselves.
"I'm not convinced that the proposal will solve the problems it is purported to solve," Johnson says.
Winning extension, bankers have until Oct. 22 to comment on risk-based proposals Read the full article.
New Guidelines Issued to Expedite Short Sales
The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are issuing new standardized guidelines to mortgage servicers that will make short sales of homes easier for troubled borrowers. Under new guidelines, which will become effective on Nov. 1, homeowners with missed mortgage payments and serious financial problems will require reduced or no documentation to qualify for short sales.
The guidelines also will enable borrowers who are current on their mortgages to qualify for short sales -- without additional approval from Fannie or Freddie -- if they are under serious financial hardship caused by death, divorce, disability or the need to relocate more than 50 miles for work.
The agency added that all military members with permanent-change-of-station orders will be automatically eligible for short sales, and they won’t be obligated to cover the shortfall between the outstanding loan balance and the sale price of their home.
The new guidelines also will clarify when borrowers must submit their application and a sales offer to be considered for a short sale to ensure that last-minute communications and negotiations are handled in a uniform, fair manner.
Fannie and Freddie also will offer up to $6,000 to second lien holders to expedite a short sale to prevent them from slowing down the process by negotiating for higher amounts, the FHFA said. Read more.
Changes to Power of Attorney Act and Bank Record Keeping Requirements
There have been raised concerns about the potential use of durable powers of attorney for purposes of financial exploitation, particularly involving the elderly. To combat fraud, misrepresentation, and error, as well as to grant a POA more clarity in the case of managing the affairs of the declining competency of elders each attorney or agent shall execute an acknowledgment of legal responsibilities before exercising authority under each individual durable power of attorney in the following form:
I, ____________________, have been appointed as attorney-in-fact for ________________________, the principal,
under a durable power of attorney dated __________. By signing this document, I acknowledge that if and when I act
as attorney-in-fact, all of the following apply:
(a) Except as provided in the durable power of attorney, I must act in accordance with the standards of care applicable to fiduciaries acting under durable powers of attorney.
(b) I must take reasonable steps to follow the instructions of the principal.
(c) Upon request of the principal, I must keep the principal informed of my actions. I must provide an accounting to the principal upon request of the principal, to a guardian or conservator appointed on behalf of the principal upon the request of that guardian or conservator, or pursuant to judicial order.
(d) I cannot make a gift from the principal’s property, unless provided for in the durable power of attorney or by judicial order.
(e) Unless provided in the durable power of attorney or by judicial order, I, while acting as attorney-in-fact, shall not create an account or other asset in joint tenancy between the principal and me.
(f) I must maintain records of my transactions as attorney-in-fact, including receipts, disbursements, and investments.
(g) I may be liable for any damage or loss to the principal, and may be subject to any other available remedy, for breach of fiduciary duty owed to the principal. In the durable power of attorney, the principal may exonerate me of any liability to the principal for breach of fiduciary duty except for actions committed by me in bad faith or with reckless indifference. An exoneration clause is not enforceable if inserted as the result of my abuse of a fiduciary or confidential relationship to the principal.
(h) I may be subject to civil or criminal penalties if I violate my duties to the principal.
Signature: _______________________ Date: ______________________
(5) A third party is not liable to the principal or any other person because the third party has complied in good faith with instructions from an attorney-in-fact named in a durable power of attorney whether or not the attorney-in-fact has executed an acknowledgment. This acknowledgement must be on record with the each financial institution transaction account accessed by POA.
The public act takes effect 10/1/12. The acknowledgement requirement that an attorney in fact must sign is for only those POA’s that were drafted after 10/1/12.
95% of MiBankPAC Supported Candidates Win in Primary
MiBankPAC successfully forecasted 95% of Michigan House of Representatives winners in the August Michigan Primary Election. The PAC provided funds to candidates in 87 different races, 83 of whom won their elections. This is significant. While the winners now go on to the November General Election, many of the general election races are determined by the August primary.
MiBankPAC support goes to those for public office who represent ideals for positive Michigan economic growth. Supporting candidates that will strengthen the overall business climate is crucial to the continued growth of the banking industry as well as the financial interests of the citizens of Michigan.
Your Michigan Bankers Association MiBankPAC generally meets with candidates for elected office and reviews their actions in support of issues important to business and banking. For the primary elections the committee distributes the MiBankPAC 2012 Candidate survey to all candidates who filed to run for nomination to state office in the August Primary Election. Based on those surveys, as well as additional political information obtained, a list of candidates is compiled that the committee believes are candidates who are supportive of Michigan banks. MiBankPAC committee members encourage participation in the PAC and welcome input from MBA members on their local candidate.