State Banking Issues

The 2018 Session of the Georgia General Assembly began Jan. 8 and GBA is being represented throughout the session by our Senior Vice President for Government Relations, Elizabeth Chandler, 404.420.2027, President and CEO, Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026, and our Government Relations Consultant Steve Bridges, 404.420.2037. Contact any of them with questions about legislation, information about your legislator's stance on a particular issue or to request any other information related to the Georgia General Assembly.

This is the second session of a 2-year legislative cycle which means essentially that legislation not completed in 2017 is carried over to the 2018 session and all bills not passed by the close of the session will need to be reintroduced in a subsequent session if the author chooses to move forward.

Below is a summary of the bills we are tracking in 2018. Check back often as we update this page throughout the session adding new bills of interest to banking.

GBA Priority Bills

Georgia Department of Banking and Finance Housekeeping Bill
This will be GBA’s priority legislation as it continues to tweak some of the major work done by GBA’s three-year public private partnership between the Department and the GBA Bank Counsel Section. Included in the 2018 revision is expected to be slight modifications to the parity between state and nationally chartered institutions and tweaks to the director and officer liability protections banks can grant these individuals. The annual housekeeping bill is designed to ensure the Georgia banking code is among the best in the nation.

Foreclosure – Confirmation Waiver Prohibition 
SB 86 by Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro) adds judgments and levys to the real estate sales subject to a mandatory confirmation process in order to pursue a deficiency. The bill also prohibits contracts from including language to waive the requirement. GBA opposes as introduced.

Bills Being Monitored

Abandoned Mobile Homes
HB 381 by Rep. John Corbett (R-Lake Park) establishes a new procedure for the disposal of abandoned mobile homes. 

Banking Empowerment Zone
SB 213 by Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) would incent financial institutions to operate in underserved areas designated as Banking Empowerment Zones by allowing the local governmental entity to place deposits with such financial institution as long as the rate of interest in at least equal to the institution’s posted two year rate paid on certificates of deposit.

Boat Titling
HB 357
by Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Garden City). The bill creates a process by which boats and other watercraft will be titled. GBA supports.

Civil Proceedings – File Electronically
HB 15 by Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs). The bill creates a new process by which certain civil proceedings will be filed electronically with the courts. Convenience fees for those using credit card or bank drafting service is limited to no more than 3.5 percent of the legislated fees plus $0.30 per transaction. GBA supports.

Credit Checks Employees/Potential Employees
HB 182- by Rep. Winfred Dukes (D-Albany) would prohibit credit checks on certain current and potential employees. Employees of banks and credit unions would be exempt from the prohibition.

Cyber Challenge Study Committee
SR 318 by Sen. Harold Jones (D) Augusta,  creates a study committee to look into the conditions, needs, issues, and problems with cyber-attacks, cyber threats, and the demand for cyber security.

FAST Act: Fairness, Accountability, Simplification and Transparency (Small Business Support)
SB 2 by Sen.Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) sets a process in place for local and state governmental bodies to establish time lines for an application approval process and penalties mostly in the form of reduced fees for not adhering to the timeline. The bill is intended to help businesses navigate a sometimes complex and time consuming maze of state and local permitting, licensing, zoning and other requirements in order to do business. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is among those behind the legislation. GBA supports.

Fee collection requirement for wire transfers
HB 66 by Rep. Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) would require a new state fee to be collected when certain wire transfers are initiated. An early draft of the legislation included banks among the entities that would have been subject to the collection requirement, and our thanks to Rep. Jones for exempting banks as long as the wires are initiated in the normal course of doing business with, or on behalf of, customers

Foreclosure – Cure Before a Sale
HB 27 by Rep. Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain) creates a process allowing a defaulting borrower to cure the default prior to a sale of the property.

Fradulent Titles
SB 299 by Sen. Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville) requires that an attorney in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia must sign any documents related to the title of a property and affirm that the document being recorded is both properly prepared and not fraudulent; a notary that has knowingly notarized fraudulent documents shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, subject to imprisonment of up to 5 years and/or pay a fine of $25,000.

Funeral and Cemetery Services
HR 339 by Rep. Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville) would create a House committee to review of the current code provisions relating to funeral, cemetery, and related services and issue a report of their findings and recommendations.

SB 194 by Sen. Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro) makes several changes to the garnishment code among which are the earnings subject to garnishment, service of garnishments, the time a garnishment may be outstanding and the evidence that may be presented to the court.

Georgia Personal Data Security Act
HB 499 by Rep. Sheri Gilligan (R-Cumming) would require certain entities after having experienced a data breach to notify individuals whose personally identifying information has been compromised. Entities such as banks with notification procedures in place would be exempt

Higher Education Savings Accounts
HB 664 by Rep. Sam Teasley (R-Marietta) doubles the income tax deduction for contributions to higher education savings trust accounts for individual filers to $4,000 per beneficiary and to $8,000 per beneficiary for joint filers.

Homeowner Association – Fees
HB 410 by Rep. Sam Teasley (R-Marietta) restricts the initial assessments of new purchasers of lots within a homeowner association to one month of dues and limits the fees that an HOA can charge to provide documentation related to amounts owed to the HOA.

Home Owners Association Governance
HB 203 
by Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough) establishes new procedures for how home owners associations may expand their scope and changes certain related governance restrictions.

Homeowner Association Lien Rights
SB 187 by Sen. Donzella James (D-Atlanta) changes procedures by which homeowner associations foreclosure their lien rights for certain outstanding debts.

Industrial Loan Act – Contracts
SB 198 by Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) prohibits Georgia Industrial Loan Act licensees from using instruments like checks to create contracts under certain circumstances.

Industrial Loan Licensees – Military Installations
HB 523
 by Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough) would prohibit Industrial Loan Act licensees from having a location within certain distances of a military installation.

Installment Loan Pawn Transactions
HB 353 by Rep. Brett Harrell (R-Snellville) creates a new opportunity for pawn transactions to be handled as installment loans.

Loans Near Military Installations
HB 620 by Rep. Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs) limits industrial loan licensee locations near military installations, requires insurance disclosures and prohibits licensees from selling an insurance product in which they have an interest.

Motor Vehicle Fair Market Value
HB 327 by Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) changes the method by which the fair market value of certain motor vehicles is determined.

Motor Vehicles - Abandoned
HB 417 by Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs) adds provisions related to motorized and non-motorized trailers to the current abandoned motor vehicle statute.

Notaries Public
HB 120 by Rep. Andy Welch (R-McDonough) makes substantial revisions to the Georgia Notary Public code similar to legislation introduced in prior sessions.

Property Tax Bills
HB 204 
by Rep. Brett Harrell (R-Snellville) would prohibit any non-tax fees to be included on an ad valorem tax bill.

Recording of Deeds – Constructive Notice
SB 120
by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) establishes a procedure for the correction of defects in attestations and acknowledgments to certain filings. 

Save, Earn, Win Act
SB 134 by Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth) authorizes banks and credit unions to offer a deposit account with a raffle component to encourage savings. GBA participated in a press conference with Sen. Shafer in announcing the introduction of the legislation. GBA supports.

Self-settled Trusts
HB 441 by Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem) creates a new trust instrument in Georgia that allows the creator of the trust to also be the beneficiary of the trust.

Statewide Lien Registry
HB 661 by Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe) reworks the statewide tax lien registry passed last year to correct some unintended consequences. 

Trust Code Revisions
HB 121 and HB 122 by Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula) are the result of the work of the Trust Code Revision Committee of the State Bar’s Fiduciary Law Section and we appreciate David Miraldi of SunTrust Bank who represented GBA in their deliberations. H.B. 121 deals with minor or unborn beneficiaries; changes provisions relating to nonjudicial settlement agreements, the modification and termination of noncharitable trusts, and distribution to another trust; and changes provisions relating to modification or termination of uneconomic trusts. H.B. 122 deals with the Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities, so as to change provisions relating to the validity of nonvested property interest or power of appointment; and changes provisions relating to reform of disposition by court to approximate transferor's plan of distribution among other things.

Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets
SB 301 by Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon) is a bill recommended by the Uniform Law Commissioners and relates to the fiduciary access to digital assets. The bill is the result of several years of work by the Commissioners and has been adopted by most other states including all those that surround Georgia.

Wire Transfer Fee 
HB 66 by Rep. Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick) would mandate a $10 fee for certain wire transfers and allow those paying the fee to recoup the fee when filing their next annual tax return. GBA has serious concerns with the bill and we appreciate Rep. Jones listening and making changes to the bill.

GBA's Georgia General Assembly Legislation Tracker

Below are the banking and financial services bills we are tracking for the Georgia General Assembly's 2017 session. We've categorized the legislation as follows: