Costa Supports Increased Access to Responsible Home and Business Loans in the Valley
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) voted to increase opportunities for San Joaquin Valley residents to access responsible banking and home loans when supporting S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.
The legislation makes changes to law currently regulating credit unions, community banks, and small lenders, including key financial institutions serving the Central Valley. Central Valley Community Bank, United Security Bank, and credit unions like Travis, Educational ECU, Golden 1, and Valley First are just some of the Valley’s financial institutions which would be positively impacted by the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.
These types of smaller, community-based lenders serve as pillars of financial services in rural and less-populated communities like the San Joaquin Valley, and they currently provide over 60 percent of small business loans and 80 percent of agricultural loans throughout the United States. Provisions in the legislation would help these institutions responsibly increase their available loan funds and incentivize lenders to create mortgage agreements that are better for the borrower and the institution alike.
“Our Valley was hit hard and is still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis. In order to continue the economic recovery, consumers and businesses need access to fair and responsible loans from community banks and credit unions – which are the backbone of financial services in the San Joaquin Valley. This legislation maintains the strong consumer protections against predatory lending practices in the Dodd-Frank banking reform. It also relieves community banks and smaller lenders from unnecessary requirements that reduce their ability to finance loans. That’s what this bill is about: using narrow and targeted reforms to increase the ability of small lenders and credit unions to provide loans to our small businesses, farms and dairies, and home owners,” said Rep. Jim Costa, who voted in favor of S. 2155 today.
The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act will also support home ownership in rural communities across the Valley. As Gary Quisenberry, Executive Vice President at Central Valley Community Bank, explains, “The reforms in the bill that address home ownership – for example mortgage loans, escrow accounts, loan data, and appraisals – would be especially beneficial for home ownership, particularly in the rural areas of the Valley.” The changes the legislation makes to real estate loans would generate over $163 million for new residential lending in California alone, while allowing borrowers the ability to adjust or request changes to their mortgage, should another financial crisis hit.
Jeremy Empol, Vice President of Federal Government Affairs for the California Credit Union League, thanked Congressman Costa and other members of Congress who helped pass the legislation through both chambers of Congress with, “The Credit Unions of California thank Congressman Costa and the bipartisan coalition that supported S. 2155. Through this bipartisan process, that was done by the book, Congress has provided common sense regulation for credit unions and other community lenders that will ease regulatory burdens, allowing us to make lending more affordable for rural communities, small businesses, and low-income borrowers. Credit unions appreciate the unity and pragmatism of this bipartisan package for the 160,000 members in California’s 16th Congressional District and the 11.6 million members in California.”
The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act passed in the House of Representatives today by a vote of 258 to 159, and will be sent to the President to sign into law.