Tennessee Bankers

This Week Newsletter

November 28, 2016 - Issue No. 1647

Judge Blocks Overtime Rule from Taking Effect Dec. 1

A federal judge in Texas Nov. 22 blocked the Department of Labor's final overtime rule which was set to take effect December 1. The rule would have doubled the salary level (raised to $47,476) used to determine whether employees are classified as exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The preliminary injunction in a lawsuit brought by 21 states and several business groups prevents the rule from taking effect nationwide pending the court's decision on the merits of the case against DOL.

TN GOP Elects New Leadership

State Senate and House Republican caucus members met on November 17 to elect leadership for the 110th General Assembly, which convenes January 10, 2017.


Senate Republicans unanimously elected Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) to be the next speaker and lieutenant governor.  McNally, the longest serving member in the Senate, will succeed Ron Ramsey (R-Bristol) for the position, who did not seek reelection to the Senate. Senate Republicans reelected Mark Norris (R-Collierville) as majority leader and Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) as caucus chairman.


In a closely watched contest, House Republicans elected Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) as nominee for speaker. Harwell defeated Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City), current chairman of the Transportation Committee, for the position by a vote of 40-30. House Speaker Pro Tempore Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) defeated David Alexander (R-Winchester) and John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) to retain the nomination for his position.


The caucus elected a new Majority Leader, Glen Casada (R-Franklin), who defeated Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) by a vote of 42-29.  Current Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) chose not to run for the position again. David Hawk (R-Greeneville) was elected Assistant Majority Leader, defeating Matthew Hill (R-Johnson City) by a vote of 43-25. Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) will take over as Caucus Chairman.  He defeated Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland) by a vote of 49-23.


Sen. McNally and Rep. Harwell will be formally elected by the full membership of the Senate and House on Jan. 10, but with super-majority Republican control in the Senate 28-5 and House 74-25, GOP caucus nominations are essentially a done deal. 


Registration is open now for TBA's Legislative Reception.  Join us on the hill February 6 before Credit Conference!

Nov/Dec Tennessee Banker Available Online

The November/December issue of The Tennessee Banker is now available.  Pass it around the breakroom or check it out online where the easy-to-read format is compatible with desktops, tablets and mobile devices.  In this issue: read about TDFI's goals in Commissioner Gonzales' guest column; get to know TBA's newest endorsed partner SIGNiX for e-signature products; meet Regions Bank's Ronnie Smith through the member feature; learn the story behind how a Memphis Bank turned a Parakeet into a movie star. 

McConnell, Schumer Senate Leaders in Next Congress

The Senate Republican caucus on Nov. 16 re-elected Mitch McConnell of Kentucky as majority leader and retained other top Senate leaders for the 115th Congress, including John Cornyn (R-Texas) as majority whip. Meanwhile, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was elected Senate minority leader. Dick Durbin (Ill.) will be minority whip, while Patty Murray (Wash.) becomes assistant minority leader. Sens. Mark Warner (Va.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), both members of the Senate Banking Committee in the current Congress, will hold vice chairs in the Democratic conference.
Save the date for TBA's annual Washington Conference May 8-10, at the Marriott Marquis. Contact Penny Powlas for details.

CFPB Releases 2017 Lists of Rural, Underserved Counties

The CFPB on Nov. 17 released lists of rural counties and rural or underserved counties to use in 2017 in conjunction with the bureau's Ability-to-Repay, escrow, HOEPA and appraisal rules. Rural counties were generally defined by using a U.S. Department of Agriculture classification system and underserved counties were defined by data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the CFPB said. Download the lists as Excel, CSV or PDF files.

DOE Releases Updated PACE Loan Guidelines

The Department of Energy on Nov. 18 released new best practices guidelines for residential Property-Assessed Clean Energy mortgages, which provide homeowners a way to have their homes undergo energy-efficient retrofitting financed through property tax assessments. The new guidelines are intended to help state and local governments as they expand their PACE programs, and address the various problems and abuses in the market since the PACE framework was first established in 2009.

Among other things, the guidelines suggest that PACE programs confirm property owners' ability to repay their assessments, and that state and local governments work with program administrators to establish underwriting guidelines and criteria for PACE programs.

PACE programs are currently authorized in more than 30 states, but not in Tennessee.  TBA has defeated legislation at the state level the past two years that would have allowed municipalities to approve PACE programs.  TBA expects similar legislation in 2017 and remains opposed.
TBA as well as national trade groups and the FHFA have concerns with PACE programs, including that a PACE lien is allowed priority over the first mortgage lien.  FHFA has prohibited Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from purchasing loans with PACE liens, citing concerns about taxpayer risk. View the DOE guidelines.

Agencies Host Free MLA Webinar Dec. 1

The federal banking agencies will host a free compliance webinar on changes to the Military Lending Act rules that recently took effect. The webinar, to be held on Dec. 1 at 3 p.m. EST, will focus on the amended regulation's scope, its optional safe harbor processes, the cost-of-credit limitations and required disclosures. Register now.

Lights, Camera, Save! Judging Ends Dec. 1

There is still time for banks to register to host the ABA Foundation's Lights, Camera, Save! video contest.  It is a national contest that encourages teens to use video to communicate the value of sound money management. Teen participants create a 90-second video that demonstrates the importance of using money wisely and submit the video to your bank.  The first round of judging ends December 1! Visit aba.com/FinEd for more information, to register your participation, and to access free resources to promote the contest.  Contact TBA's T'Lanie Luu with questions.

Simmons Bank to Acquire First South Bank, Jackson

Simmons First National Corp., parent company of Simmons Bank, Pine Bluff, Ark., has entered into an agreement to acquire Hardeman County Investment Company, Inc., the Jackson, Tenn. financial firm that owns First South Bank. The transaction is valued at $72.2 million and expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

TBA On the Road

  • Senior Compliance Officers and Senior Human Resources Directors hold their first peer forum sessions of the 2016-2017 education calendar year in Nashville.
  • Stacey Langford visits members in East Tennessee.

See where TBA goes while "on the road" by following @TNBankers.