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CURRENT Newsletter

October 16, 2014

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL CREDIT UNION DAY!!!

Headline News

Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

Governmental Affairs News

Financial Services/Marketplace News

News From Credit Unions

Chapter News

Community Involvement

Security/Fraud Prevention

Headline News

Free Webinar Details Foundation's New Smart Credit Check Campaign

Join us Oct. 29 for a FREE informational webinar that introduces you to Smart Credit Check, a new Virginia-wide Cooperative Campaign that puts the Credit Union Difference into action! Developed by our Foundation’s Financial Education Committee, Smart Credit Check is a FREE, instantly-implementable campaign that you can co-brand with your credit union’s logo. The message? Ask members and potential members to pull their credit reports and talk with your credit union about it!

The campaign has three downloadable toolkits that contain everything you need for successful implementation:

1) Marketing Toolkit, which contains web banners, newsletter articles, press releases, posters, brochures, flyers, social media tweets and more! This toolkit offers all the customizable collateral you need for getting the word out to your members, your SEGs, and your community.

2) Member Education Toolkit, which contains a robust off-the-shelf training package for presenting a seminar or workshop to your members on how to get the most out of their credit report. This toolkit contains a customizable PowerPoint Presentation and more than a dozen supporting handouts you can use to support your education efforts.  

3) Credit Union Enrichment Toolkit, which consists of everything your staff needs to learn about how to create teachable moments for your members and prospective members. This toolkit is all about making your credit union the expert when it comes to reading and interpreting a credit report once you get your member in the door. Find out how to use this campaign to your credit union’s advantage. 

As a League-affiliated credit union, you are entitled to take a look at everything the campaign has to offer by logging in at www.vacul.org/smart. The pilot launch of the campaign is going to be in January 2015, when people have New Year’s resolutions on their minds. 

Want to find out more and be part of this exciting effort? Join us for the FREE informational webinar on Wednesday, October 29 at 2 p.m. Click here to sign up.

[See the toolkits]
[Learn more about Smart Credit Check

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We Need Your Help in Battle Against Merchant Data Breaches

Add Kmart and Dairy Queen to the growing list of merchants with confirmed data breaches. In September,Kmart was hacked by a new form of malware that infected the company’s payment card systems. The breach was detected on Oct. 9. Dairy Queen encountered a breach that ran from August to October involving the theft of customer data at various store locations, including a handful in Virginia. These locations were infected with Backoff malware that has targeted other retailers across the country.

Merchant data breaches continue to be a thorny issue for credit unions, totaling millions of dollars in costs each year. Your League and CUNA are asking credit unions to send a simple and clear message to our congressional delegation: “Stop the Merchant Data Breaches.”

There are three ways to participate:

  • Contact your Member of Congress by visiting StoptheDataBreaches.com and click on the “Take Action” link.
  • Activate and mobilize your volunteers and members. Tools and resources are available atCUNA’s Data Breach Toolkit.
  • Assist League advocacy efforts by sharing costs and other concerns your credit union may have experienced from data breaches. Information will be anonymously compiled to share with Virginia’s Congressional delegation. Numbers are very important for this effort. Please forward information to your League’s Lewis Wood at lwood@vacul.org.

It's past time merchants were held accountable for breaches!
[RELATED: Data Breaches Still A Growing Risk Within Credit Union System]

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Chapters Host Legislative Events in Honor of ICU Day

A number of Chapters organized their annual legislative events this month, saluting lawmakers for their work on behalf of the Commonwealth and educating our elected officials about the “Credit Union Difference!”

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Long-Anticipated QRM Expected to be Voted on Oct. 22

Financial regulators are prepared to finalize a qualified residential mortgage (QRM) regulation Oct. 22, according to an agenda for an open board meeting posted by the Federal Reserve Wednesday. 
The Wall Street Journal reports the standards for mortgages packaged into securities and sold to investors will be loosened, with the intent of making credit more readily available.

[READ MORE]

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Compliance/Regulatory Affairs News

FI Compliance Concerns, Costs Skyrocket, Reports Confirm

New regulations are raising compliance costs and concerns, according to several surveys of financial institutions released Wednesday. 
Mortgage lenders have reported compliance costs are up nearly 30% over the past year, and compliance concerns at U.S. financial institutions are also up nearly 30% from January 2013.

[READ MORE]

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CFPB Proposes Changes to TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule

The CFPB has issued two proposed changes to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule (Final Rule) that will be effective for applications received on or after August 1, 2015: (1) an adjustment to the timing requirement for revised Loan Estimate disclosures when the consumer locks a rate or extends a rate lock after the initial Loan Estimate is provided, and (2) an amendment to permit language related to new construction loans to be included on the Loan Estimate form.

Comments must be received by the CFPB on or before November 10, 2014.

[READ MORE]

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Governmental Affairs News

CUNA, Leagues Setting Records in Candidate Support

Credit union support of credit union-friendly candidates is at an all-time high this election cycle.

Trey Hawkins, CUNA's vice president of political affairs, estimated that CUNA and its political action committee, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), are on pace for $5.5 million to $6 million in total expenditures, the most for any election season. CULAC has contributed roughly $3 million directly to more than 400 pro-credit union candidates.

[READ MORE]

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CFPB Wants Changes to Bankruptcy Code

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is urging policymakers to reconsider how student loan debt is treated under the bankruptcy code.

In the agency's annual report on student loans, released Thursday, it said there are severe roadblocks for struggling student borrowers in getting modifications or other flexible options to help them pay off their debt.

As a result, the CFPB said Congress should revisit a 2005 change to the bankruptcy code that made most private student loan debt and other "qualified loans" exempt from discharge. The agency is also recommending more favorable tax treatment on any debt that is forgiven. (American Banker Online, Oct. 15)

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Financial Services/Marketplace News

The Reason Americans are Spending Less

Months before the start of the holiday season, Americans are keeping their wallets shut, a new survey finds.

Two-thirds of Americans say they aren’t spending as much as they could each month, according to the poll released Tuesday by Bankrate.com. And they may keep spending down even as they enter the holiday season, says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com. “People just don’t have a lot of extra money to throw around,” he says.

The most common reason people gave for keeping their wallets closed: They’re waiting for a raise.

[READ MORE]

[RELATED: Why Are So Many People Limiting Their Spending?]

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Refinancing Picking Up, But No Refi Boom: Expert

Mortgage rates are falling and that means refinancing is picking up, mortgage industry professional Melissa Cohn told CNBC. However, it is certainly no refinance boom, she noted.

"Since the refi boom, we've had Dodd-Frank come in and there are many more restrictions in terms of getting approved for financing, so people that perhaps attempted to get refinanced during the boom are a little bit more afraid to come in today's marketplace," Cohn, president of Guardhill Financial, said in an interview with "Street Signs." The good news, she said, is that more financial institutions are making it a little easier to refinance. 
[READ MORE]

[RELATED: Mortgage Rates Hit High 3s]

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HELOC Lending Rebounds as Consumer Confidence, Equity Expand

Home equity lines of credit or HELOCs accounted for over 15 percent of all 2014 home loan originations through the end of August.  RealtyTrac, which released its first U.S. Home Equity Line of Credit Trends Report on Thursday said that this is the highest market share for these loans since 2008. 

Lending for these loans increased nationwide by 20.8 percent for the 12 months ended in June 2014 compared to the 12 months that ended in June 2013. Despite the increase, HELOC originations in most areas were well below their peaks from the previous housing boom.

[READ MORE]

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Used Cars Out of Range Financially for Many Americans: Study

Most people bought their first used car by scraping together some cash and buying whatever they could afford. While that's still the case for millions of people, a new study says millions of other consumers cannot afford to buy the average used vehicle in their city. "The fact is, buying a used car or truck is just not realistic financially for millions of Americans," said iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly.

Ly crunched the numbers for used vehicle sales following the "20/4/10" standard where used car buyers put down 20 percent, take out a loan no longer than four years and spend no more ten percent of their monthly income on a car payment. Using that formula, iSeeCars.com found people in some cities like New Orleans will spend 140 percent more than what's ideal over the course of that vehicle's life.

[READ MORE]

[RELATED: Declining Auto Sales Push Retail Sales Down]
[RELATED: Vehicle Sales Boost Gives CUs Opportunity to Shine]

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News From Credit Unions

URW Community FCU Among Honorees at CUNA Council Conference

Six credit unions, including our own URW Community Federal Credit Union, were among the winners in the 10th annual CUNA Operations, Sales & Service (OpSS) Council’s Excellence Awards, which recognize innovative solutions optimizing credit union performance. The award winners were recognized during the council’s 17th annual conference, which took place Sept. 21-24 in Las Vegas.

[READ MORE]

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Longtime Credit Union Volunteer, Official Katy Stillman Passes Away

NAE Federal Credit Union is saddened to announce that after a long battle with ALS, the passing of our Vice President Mrs. Katy Stillman on Oct. 3.  Mrs. Stillman started work for NAE in January 1966 and was influential in developing N.A.E. Federal Credit Union that served the employees of the Norfolk Ford Assembly Plant. 

[READ MORE]

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UVA Community’s Rebecca Cardwell Named CU Rock Star

The credit union movement is recognizing 46 Rock Stars as part of International Credit Union Week, including our own Rebecca Cardwell, of UVA Community Credit Union! She’s a busy lady, including leading the Foundation’s Financial Education Committee and was an integral part of the team that put together the Smart Credit Check program you read about in today’s edition of CURRENT. Here’s the digital edition of Credit Union Magazine featuring all 46 rock stars. (See Rebecca’s feature on Page 14.)

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CommonWealth One’s Shred Days Event Continues to Grow

Compared to its spring Shred Days, CommonWealth One Federal Credit Union saw a 10% increase in attendance at its 2014 Fall Shred Days in Alexandria and Harrisonburg.

[READ MORE]

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1st Advantage FCU Names Szabo Relationship Manager at Two Branches

1st Advantage Federal Credit Union has promoted Paul N. Szabo to Relationship Manager of their Newtown and Sentara Branches. Szabo has more than nine years’ experience in the financial services industry.

[READ MORE]

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Joe Slagell Joins Park View Federal Credit Union as Mortgage Advisor

Joe Slagell has joined the lending staff at Park View Federal Credit Union as a Mortgage Loan Advisor, working primarily at the Dayton branch. Slagell has more than 13 years of experience working with mortgage lending.

[READ MORE]

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Chapter News

CUNA President Jim Nussle to Speak at NoVA Chapter’s Nov. 13 Meeting

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle will be the guest speaker at the NoVA Chapter’s Nov. 13 meeting. New to the post at CUNA, Nussle is a former member of Congress. Location: Clyde’s Restaurant (Tysons Corner, Vienna). Time: 5:30 p.m. networking; 6 p.m. meeting, with dinner to follow.

[LEARN MORE]

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NoVA Chapter Hosting Nov. 13 Financial Education Training Event for School Teachers

The Northern Virginia Chapter of the Virginia Credit Union League is sponsoring the Real Money Experience, a free teacher training event focused on Virginia’s personal finance standards of learning. The purpose of the Real Money Experience is to introduce educators to tools and curricula available for teaching the new Economics and Personal Finance course. To make this event successful, we need YOU!

Date: Nov. 13. Location: Fairfax County Federal Credit Union.

[LEARN MORE]

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Tidewater Chapter Sets Nov. 13 Meeting

Motivational speaker Harold Wood will be the featured guest speaker at the Tidewater Chapter's Nov. 13 meeting. Location: Greenbrier Country Club (Chesapeake). Time: 6 p.m. social. It’s also our annual Toys For Tots night, so please bring along a new, unwrapped toy!

[LEARN MORE]

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Community Involvement

October is ‘Coins for Kids’ Month at CHKD!

Coins for Kids is a fundraiser held in conjunction with the 2014 CHKD Radiothon hosted by 94.9 The Point which takes place Nov. 18-21.  All month long, collect spare change and watch your fundraising totals grow!

Here's how:  

Sign up at www.chkd.org/coins4kids to collect change. We will send you a kit with materials you’ll need to be successful: A bag to collect the change, a goal poster, "I Love CHKD" stickers, and a remit form.

There are three ways to turn in your money:

  • Convert all of your change to a check or money order and mail it to us, using the remit form and envelope, to 601 Children’s Lane, Attn: Development, Norfolk VA 23507.
  • Deposit that change into your banking account, and give online at www.chkd.org/coins
  • Stop by our annual 94.9 The Point Radiothon Nov.  18-21 in the lobby of CHKD to drop off your collections.

If you have any questions, give CHKD a call at 757.668.7070 or visit www.chkd.org/coins4kids.  

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Security/Fraud Prevention

Credit Union Employees Help Bust Fraud Ring

Employees at a Pennsylvania credit union are earning kudos from federal law enforcement and prosecutors for helping to crack a nationwide fraud ring.

U.S. Secret Service agents launched an investigation into the alleged ring after workers at the $103 million, state-chartered Erie Community Credit Union in Erie, Penn., reported concerns about what appeared to be phony auto loans paid to a shell company, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh.

[READ MORE]

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Seniors Lose Average of $30,000 to Financial Scammers

Senior victims of financial abuse report losing big money to scammers, caregivers and even their family members.

According to a recent survey of 2,000 seniors and other adults by Allianz Life Insurance Co., elderly victims reported losing an average of $30,000, while some suffered losses of more than $100,000.

[READ MORE]

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