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Action Alert
Contact U.S. Senators About Financial Reform Bill Regarding Marine Dealers

New Financial Reform Bill Will Hurt Marine Dealers and Consumers Take Action!
Urge Your Senator to Expand and Support Brownback Auto Dealer Amendment

The Senate is poised to take up a series of votes on the massive financial regulatory overhaul bill (S.3217) by Senator Chris Dodd later this week. Although NMMA and SCMA supports commonsense regulatory reforms to the financial services industry due to the impact of the credit crisis on the marine industry, the financial reform bill will have negative consequences on marine dealers and boating consumers. Act now to make a difference!

ISSUE

The Senate financial regulation bill (S. 3217) would create a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP), which would have new and extremely broad authority to regulate almost all "financial products," including dealer-assisted financing.

Marine dealers would be subject to onerous new reporting, accounting and other regulatory requirements as if they were banks, even though the banks originating boat loans will be regulated anyway.

Marine dealers are already regulated under a broad array of federal and state regulations, including the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Credit Report Act, and numerous others. The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Trade Commission, along with state consumer protection agencies, already effective regulate marine retailers and other equipment dealers.

This bill, while well-intended, will negatively impact dealers and consumers by reducing the flow of reasonably-priced credit to qualified borrowers.

Financial reform legislation should focus on what led to the economic crash in 2008, and not be used as a reason to increase unnecessary regulation on small business dealers. Marine dealer loans did not contribute to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Marine finance lenders must look primarily to the borrower for repayment, since vehicle financing is secured by a depreciating asset (the boat). Unlike mortgages, marine finance did not experience a subprime lending crisis and does not pose a systemic risk.

Click here for NMMA's policy brief

CLICK HERE TO WRITE A QUICK LETTER TO YOUR SENATORS

SOLUTION

Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kans.) is prepared to offer an amendment this week to the overall bill that would exempt ONLY auto dealers from the consumer protection bureau. Senator Brownback is open to expanding his amendment to include marine and RV dealers if a Democratic Senator makes this request and co-sponsors the amendment.

An expanded Brownback Amendment is necessary because the broad authority granted to the BCFP seriously threatens to limit dealer-assisted financing and the convenience and competition this financing offers to consumers at all economic levels. Since a substantial portion of boat sales in involved financing, it is essential to preserve dealer-assisted financing and affordable credit for consumers.

There is no evidence and no basis for assuming that marine dealer-assisted financing is abusive in any way, because it is not. Yet, the broad provisions of this bill would subject marine dealers, all very much struggling in this current economic and credit environment, to potentially onerous regulations.

These are small firms-they do not originate loans, but merely assist qualified consumers in securing financing. Banks will still regulate these loans, and lending standards should be high. Mom and Pop marine dealers will not be able to handle the onerous new paperwork and reporting requirements, or the unnecessary intervention of federal regulators into their practices, under this legislation.

Focus on the real culprits of the economic collapse, not the small businesses who are trying to struggle through it.

Contact your Senators TODAY and urge them to request that Senator Brownback expand his amendment to marine and RV dealers, and to co-sponsor this amendment with Senator Brownback. Time is short!!

Click Take Action to write a letter using the form below or call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121 and ask for your Senators. It will only take about three minutes!

For questions contact NMMA Legislative Director Mat Dunn .











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