LEXINGTON – Congressman Andy Barr took on a new role Friday, August 22, serving as a “Teller for a Day” at the Citizens Guaranty Bank in Berea.

“I enjoyed being a ‘Teller for a Day’ and getting a first-hand look at the kind of hard work being done by community bankers here in Berea and across Kentucky,” said Congressman Barr. “Our community banks are a critical resource for Kentuckians looking to responsibly gain access to the credit they need – including credit to purchase a home, pay for higher education, or even invest in their business.”

Barr continued, “That is why I introduced a bill that would fix the flawed Dodd-Frank law and give the discretion and judgment back to local community bankers. Folks like those here at Citizens Guaranty Bank are in a much better position to judge their neighbors’ character and creditworthiness than unaccountable Washington bureaucrats.”

Barr introduced H.R. 2673, the Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act, which expands the Qualified Mortgage (“QM”) safe harbor to ensure that loans held in portfolio are automatically considered QM and comply with the ability-to-repay requirement in Dodd-Frank.  H.R. 2673 passed out of the House Committee on Financial Services, of which Barr is a member, on May 22, 2014.

“This is a commonsense bill, because it recognizes something that is inherent in banking: If a creditor is going to keep a mortgage loan on its balance sheet – thereby, retaining 100% of the risk of default – as a matter of basic logic, they are going to make sure that the borrower has an ability to repay what is owed,” said Barr.

“Portfolio lending is the ultimate risk retention because as the lender, we assume the risk of default,” said Kathy Samples, Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Guaranty Bank. “We appreciate Congressman Barr’s work on this important issue and for fighting to protect our ability to responsibly supply credit to our community.”

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