Home Local News U.S. House Unanimously Approves Robert Pittenger’s Legislation on Complex Banking Regulations

U.S. House Unanimously Approves Robert Pittenger’s Legislation on Complex Banking Regulations

Robert Pittenger's bipartisan financial reform legislation was unanimously passed Tuesday.
Photo courtesy of Robert Pittenger.

WASHINGTON – Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved Congressman Robert Pittenger’s (NC-09) bipartisan financial reform legislation.

Congressman Pittenger’s Clarifying Commercial Real Estate Loans Act (H.R. 2148) clarifies and improves Obama-era regulations which have created confusion in commercial real estate lending, leading to fewer jobs and slower economic growth.  

This bipartisan legislation was introduced in partnership with Congressman David Scott (D-GA), included an amendment from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and was supported by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA). 

Click here to watch Congressman Pittenger’s speech in support of bipartisan legislation to clarify complex banking regulations.

“This bipartisan legislation makes common sense reforms to the High Volatility Commercial Real Estate loan process and it clarifies existing regulations to help simplify real estate financing in high-volatility markets, including economically-depressed urban communities,” explained Congressman Pittenger during formal House debate.  “The complexity of the current HVCRE definition, combined with the failure of federal regulators to clarify and define HVCRE rules and how and where they are to be applied, has made certain that these development loans have become way too expensive.  

“These failures directly impact local communities.  We’ve seen fewer jobs, less economic growth, and increased costs for community projects, in addition to setbacks for local banks and developers.  My bipartisan legislation addresses many of these concerns.”

In January 2015, the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency adopted regulatory capital rules related to “high volatility commercial real estate” (HVCRE).  Despite repeated requests from community banks, other financial institutions, and real estate developers, federal regulators failed to clearly define the types of loans and projects to which the rules are meant to apply.  As a result, many banks pulled back from commercial real estate lending, leading to fewer jobs and slower economic growth.

Congressman Pittenger’s bipartisan legislation (H.R. 2148) better defines which types of loans must comply with the HVCRE regulations.

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· Provides a specific, legal definition for “high volatility commercial real estate acquisition, development, or construction loan” (HVCRE ADC loan), correcting an overly broad definition which forces many stable loans to remain in the HVCRE category and unnecessarily increases costs.

· Restores common sense standards for the amount and type of equity required to include the appraised value of the land and not just the purchase price.

· Broadens the type of equity a developer may place toward the heightened risk requirements of an HVCRE project.

· Clarifies when the loan on a completed development may exit the HVCRE requirements.

· Adds an exemption from HVCRE requirements for refinancing or acquiring an existing, income-producing development.

H.R. 2148 is supported by more than one dozen trade associations, including the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Real Estate Roundtable, and the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council.  

H.R. 2148 was unanimously approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday and now advances to the U.S. Senate.

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