Articles

Not too Late to Submit Your Comment Letters

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has two proposals pending in July.  It’s not too late to submit your comment letters.  It is important that your voice is heard on new and proposed regulatory changes that affect credit unions and their members.

ComplySight Exciting Changes on the Way!

ComplySight has a big enhancement coming your way! The New Jersey Credit Union League partners with CU Solutions Group and League InfoSight to bring you ComplySight, a compliance solution that makes it possible to track, measure, and report compliance activities in a single application, assisting in the organization’s overall communication, supporting a state of continual readiness for audits, and providing regulatory updates essential to maintaining credit union compliance.

IRS to Allow SSN Truncation on W-2 Forms

The IRS has issued final regulations [84 FR 31717] amending applicable sections of the Internal Revenue Code to permit employers to voluntarily truncate employees' social security numbers (SSNs) on copies of Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, that are furnished to employees so that the truncated SSNs appear in the form of IRS truncated taxpayer identification numbers (TTINs). The amendments are effective upon publication, but will apply to returns, statements, and other documents required to be filed or furnished after December 31, 2020.

CU Alert! Currency with Stamped Image of Harriet Tubman Appearing in Circulation

As a political protest to the delay of the new Harriet Tubman $20 bill until 2028, people are using a 3-D stamp to superimpose a portrait of Tubman over Andrew Jackson’s portrait. These bills are appearing in circulation and are even being presented to credit unions.  The 3-D stamps are available for purchase online at ETSY, or plans can be downloaded for printing out the stamp using a 3-D printer.

NJCUL Awards Scholarships

NJCUL awarded its annual College Scholarships. The League awarded five $500 scholarships and one $1,000 scholarship.

Stress Tests Need to Evolve, Fed Leaders Tell Conference

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles this week acknowledged the benefits of stress testing following the 2008 financial crisis and offered ways to improve the tests as the financial services landscape changes. The Fed leaders were addressing a Tuesday conference on stress testing held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

CMG Risk Alert: California Consumer Privacy Act Deadline Less Than Six Months Away

CUNA Mutual Group published a Risk Alert Wednesday on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), effective January 1, 2020.  The CCPA provides broader rights to consumers and stricter compliance requirements for businesses, including credit unions, than any other current state or federal privacy law. You need to understand your compliance and operational obligations under the current state of CCPA, as well as monitor similar and evolving federal and state privacy proposals.

Full House Consideration of NDAA Begins Today

The House is set today to begin its consideration of its FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Although more than 650 amendments were filed with the House Rules Committee, none of them would add credit union-opposed language extending to banks the rent-free access to military bases for which credit unions are eligible. The Rules Committee ultimately decides which amendments proceed to floor consideration.

CFPB Settles Lawsuit Against Freedom Debt Relief

Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) settled its lawsuit against Freedom Debt Relief, LLC, the nation’s largest debt-settlement services provider. The company agreed to pay $20 million in restitution to affected consumers and a $5 million civil money penalty.

CFPB and FRB Issue Amendments to Regulation CC

On July 3, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System issued a final rule  amending parts of Regulation CC, which implements the Expedited Funds Availability Act.1 The final rule makes changes required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the 2018 Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA).

NJ CPAs Say Student Loan Debt is a Financial Crisis

The NJ Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) Monday released the results of its June member survey which found that more than 80 percent of 623 certified public accountants surveyed said they either “strongly agreed” or “somewhat agreed” that student loan debt at $1.6 trillion in the United States is a financial crisis. More than 75 percent of respondents considered student loan debt in New Jersey to be a “major problem.”

Former CU VP Pleads Guilty to $3 Million Theft

 

The Credit Union Times (CUT) reported that a former credit union executive Josephine M. Crowe pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Kentucky federal court for stealing more than $3 million from the Louisville Metro Police Officer’s Credit Union that led to its liquidation last year.

Reminder: CDRLF Grant Round Closes, Jul. 20

Low-income credit unions have until July 20 to submit their applications for Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grants. The NCUA will administer approximately $2 million in CDRLF grants to the most qualified applicants, subject to the availability of funds, in four categories: underserved outreach; digital services and security; counselor certification; and training helping credit unions develop staff talents and skills.

Congress Returns After July 4th Recess

Both Houses of Congress will be back in session this week following last week’s July 4th recess. CUNA and the state leagues will be active on a number of credit union issues including the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

NJ Governor Murphy Names Evan Weiss Senior Advisor for Public Finance

Tuesday, Governor Phil Murphy named Evan Weiss Senior Advisor for Public Finance. Weiss, an expert in public finance and economic development, has been hired by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Weiss is on mobility from the EDA to the Governor’s Office, where he will report to Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Growth Joe Kelley and Chief Policy Advisor Kathleen Frangione.

Website allows filing of claims by those affected by Wendy’s data breach

Financial institutions affected by the data breach at Wendy’s restaurants can now file their claims and find additional information at a website established as part of the settlement of that case, wendysfidatabreachsettlement.com. It contains a mechanism for filing claims, as well as additional information, frequently asked questions, a list of important deadlines and court documents.

FRB, CFPB Issues Reg CC Final Rule, Jun. 24

On June 24, 2019, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau jointly issued a final rule amending Regulation CC, which implements the Expedited Funds Availability Act (EFA Act), to implement a statutory requirement in the EFA Act to adjust the dollar amounts under the EFA Act for inflation.

Learn How the New NJ Minimum Wage Law Will Affect Credit Unions

In February, Governor Phil Murphy made good on a campaign promise to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, with the first increase kicking in today, July 1. Some credit unions have already reported losing front-line staff to other employers. We’ve gotten two types of questions about the new law – what are the requirements and the exceptions, and then how are other credit unions dealing with the newly competitive market for talent.

MLA website changes scheduled this week

On June 21, 2019, the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) announced that on June 27, 2019, it would make significant changes to the Military Lending Act (MLA) website to enhance security of the site and better protect the personal information of servicemembers. All users of the site will be required to create user accounts, which will be required to access both the Single Record Request and the Multiple Record Request capabilities of the site.

IRS warning - 2 million ITINs to expire

The IRS has posted a warning that nearly two million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) are set to expire at the end of 2019 as the Internal Revenue Service continues to urge affected taxpayers to submit their renewal applications early to avoid refund delays next year. Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, ITINs that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three consecutive years will expire December 31, 2019.

CUT: House Bill Could Block Essential Phone Calls

The Credit Union Times reported today that Bipartisan House legislation that would block robocalls also could keep credit unions from being able to contact their members, trade groups said. The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Telecommunications last week approved H.R 3375, which now goes to the full committee.

CFPB Compliance and Guidance Resources Updated

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently updated the small entity compliance guide that summarizes the payment-related provisions of the Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans Rule (Payday Lending Rule). The updated guide is available on the Bureau’s website.

Senate Passes NDAA with CUNA-Opposed Language

The Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 Thursday with CUNA-opposed language expanding certain waivers for rent and other facilities costs for financial institutions on military installations currently granted to credit unions.

Governor Murphy to Sign Budget, No Government Shutdown

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Thursday that he will sign the budget passed by the Legislature to avoid a government shutdown on Sunday, June 30th despite the absence of the millionaire’s tax he insisted be included. Speaking at an event in Secaucus to publicize the extra $50M in NJ Transit funding it includes, Murphy said he “can’t play politics with innocent lives” and he “will meet our constitutional deadline” to sign the budget, though whether he makes line-item vetoes remains to be seen.

Don’t Miss Out! CDRLF Grant Round Closes July 20

Low-income credit unions have until July 20 to submit their applications for Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF) grants. The NCUA will administer approximately $2 million in CDRLF grants to the most qualified applicants, subject to the availability of funds, in four categories: underserved outreach; digital services and security; counselor certification; and training helping credit unions develop staff talents and skills.

CFPB Extends Comment Period for ANPR on HMDA Data Points

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) announced Thursday that it is extending the comment period on its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) relating to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The extension will give interested parties an opportunity to review the Bureau’s annual overview of residential mortgage lending based on the HMDA data financial institutions collected in 2018, as requested by a variety of stakeholders. In late summer, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council will release the national loan level dataset and the Bureau will release an overview of that dataset. The ANPR, issued on May 2, 2019, solicits comment on certain data points in the Bureau’s October 2015 final rule that were added to Regulation C or revised to require additional information, and on coverage of certain business- or commercial-purpose loans.

FSGG Appropriations Bill with CU-supported Funding Levels Passes House

The House passed the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (H.R. 3351 Wednesday. CUNA wrote in support of the bill earlier this week due to the appropriations amounts for several credit union funds, including the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF).

CFPB Delays Compliance Date for Underwriting Requirements of the Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans Rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a final rule delaying the compliance date for the underwriting provisions of the Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans Rule (Payday Lending Rule). The final rule delays the effective date of those provisions from August 19, 2019, until November 19, 2020.

Agencies Issue Final Amendments to Regulation CC Regarding Funds Availability

WASHINGTON, DC — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board jointly published amendments to Regulation CC that implement a statutory requirement to adjust for inflation the amount of funds depository institutions must make available to their customers. The amendments apply in circumstances ranging from next business day withdrawal of certain check deposits to setting the threshold amount for determining whether an account has been repeatedly withdrawn.

CUNA Pushes Against Increased Bank Access to Military Bases as Senate Considers Defense Authorization Act

CUNA called on Senate leadership Monday to reject inclusion of any language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 that would expand the Department of Defense’s (DoD) authority to exempt financial institutions from certain costs on military installations. The current Senate version contains such language, while CUNA, leagues and the Defense Credit Union Council successfully blocked language in the House NDAA that would have broadened the exemption.

CUNA Engaged w/ Appropriations Markups, Robocall Hearing

CUNA will be engaged with Congressional activities in both chambers this week, including committee and floor consideration of legislation and hearings covering credit union priorities. Among other bills, the House is expected to consider the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2020 (H.R. 3351).

CUNA Engaged w/ Appropriations Markups, Robocall Hearing

CUNA will be engaged with Congressional activities in both chambers this week, including committee and floor consideration of legislation and hearings covering credit union priorities. Among other bills, the House is expected to consider the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2020 (H.R. 3351).

The bill contains appropriations for several credit union funds, including the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at $300 million and NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF) at $2 million. CUNA wrote (please post and add link) to House leadership to express credit unions’ support continued funding of the programs.

The bill’s report language also contains credit union-supported language on the current expected credit loss (CECL) standard, NCUA’s support for community development credit unions in low-income communities and others.

H.R. 3351 passed the House Appropriations Committee June 11.

The Senate is expected to consider its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020. The bill contains CUNA-opposed language regarding bank access to military installations, and CUNA wrote to Senate leadership Monday with its concerns.

Bipartisan Measure to Restore SALT Workaround Introduced by Reps Gottheimer and King

Following the finalization of the U.S. Treasury Department’s rule on charitable contributions, U.S. Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Peter King (NY-2) introduced a bipartisan Joint Resolution to fully repeal the Treasury Department’s ruling. This new rule effectively prohibits states like New Jersey and New York from allowing towns and municipalities to use charitable funds to offer real tax relief to their communities.

Robocall Prohibition Mark-Up This Week

On Tuesday the House Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to begin mark-up of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act which has been reintroduce as H.R. 3375. The NJCUL reached out to the committee chairman Rep. Frank Pallone’s (D-6) office last week to express concerns that any legislative solution to the growing problem of unwanted robocalls not impede a credit union’s ability to contact members for legitimate purposes.

OFAC Adjusts Penalties for Inflation

OFAC has published an amendment [84 FR 27714] to its regulations to implement the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended . This regulatory amendment, which is effective on publication, adjusts for inflation the maximum amount of the civil monetary penalties that may be assessed under relevant OFAC regulations.

HRA Coverage Expanded

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury have announced regulatory amendments to be published June 20 that will expand the use of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). When employers have fully adjusted to the revised rules, it is estimated these changes will benefit approximately 800,000 employers, including small businesses, and more than 11 million employees and family members, including an estimated 800,000 Americans who were previously uninsured. FAQs regarding the changes were also released.

Greater Appraisal Consistency Benefits Consumers, Mortgage Lenders

Appraisals play a critical role in the home purchase process and a credit union’s assessment of the safety and soundness of providing a home loan, CUNA wrote to a House Financial Services subcommittee Wednesday. The House Financial Services subcommittee on housing, community development and insurance conducted a hearing on appraisals, which included a discussion of the Homebuyer Assistance Act of 2019 (H.R. 2852).

Salary Inquiry Ban Gets Final Legislative Approval, Sent to Governor

Legislation (A1094) that would prohibit an employer from asking about or considering an applicant’s wage or salary history when considering them for employment, or negotiating an offer of employment, received final legislative approval Thursday. The measure passed the Senate (25-9) yesterday and the Assembly (53-24-2) in March, largely along partisan lines in both chambers. It now heads to the governor who is expected to sign it into law.

Comments on NCUA’s Proposed Compensation in Connection with Loans to Members and Lines of Credit to Members Due Jun 24

Comments on the NCUA’s proposed rule on compensation connected with loans and lines of credit to members are due by the close of business on June 24. The NCUA Board issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit comments on ways to improve the agency’s regulations limiting a credit union official’s and employee’s compensation in connection with loans and lines of credit to members. (An ANPR helps inform the agency before they begin drafting a proposed rule.)

Draft ILLICIT CASH Act Addresses BSA/AML Burdens

Credit unions support efforts to track money laundering and terrorist financing, but also believe it is important to strike the right balance between the compliance costs and benefits to the federal government, CUNA wrote to Senate Banking Committee leadership Wednesday before a hearing in which it will discuss draft legislation.

Commit to Being ‘Fiercely Cooperative,’ Nussle Tells ACUC

Putting credit union advocacy on the offense led to a successful 2018, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said at America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC) Tuesday, so how do credit unions stay on the offense in 2019? The continued use of credit unions’ “cooperative superpowers,” Nussle said, will continue to make the credit union difference stand out.

Legislature Honors NJ Credit Union Foundation on 100th Financial Reality Fair

The New Jersey Legislature adopted a Joint Legislative Resolution commemorating the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation (Foundation) on its 100 Financial Reality Fair. The Resolution was sponsored by Sen. Nellie Pou (D-35) and Asm. John McKeon (D-27), the chairs of their respective chamber’s committee with jurisdiction over financial services-related matters.

CFPB Symposium June 25 will Discuss Abusive Acts or Practices, Livestream Available

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will host the first of its recently announced symposia series on June 25, 2019 at 9 am, EST, at the Bureau's headquarters, 1700 G St. NW Washington, DC. Featuring remarks from CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger and Deputy Director Brian Johnson as well as testimony from legal and policy experts on the topic of the abusiveness standard in consumer financial products and services.

Salary Inquiry Ban Advances

Legislation (A1094) that would prohibit an employer from asking about or considering an applicant’s wage or salary history when considering them for employment, or negotiating an offer of employment, was reported from the Senate Labor Committee Monday. The measure passed the Assembly in March. The Senate companion (S559) passed the upper chamber last year and is currently pending Assembly Labor Committee action.

CUNA Engaged with Cannabis, Beneficial-Owner Hearings

Both the House and Senate are in session this week and will be conducting several hearings of note to credit unions. The House Small Business Committee will conduct a hearing Wednesday about small businesses in the legal cannabis industry. While CUNA and the state leagues have not taken a position on the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana, they support legislation that would allow credit unions to offer services to cannabis-based businesses in places where it is legal. 

Over 4,000 Students Receive Hands-On Financial Literacy from Credit Unions During 2018/2019 School Year

Financial Reality Fair Program Reaches Second Major Milestone 

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. – New Jersey credit unions reached a record 4,075 students through the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation’s Financial Reality Fair program during the 2018/2019 school year, a new milestone for the hands-on financial literacy program. Nine credit unions and the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation sponsored and hosted 25 Reality Fair events at middle schools, high schools, and college campuses across the state from October 2018 through June 2019. 

This is the second major milestone the program is celebrating this school year. In March, the program celebrated sponsoring its 100th Reality Fair.

SBA and SCORE Hosted 2-Day Virtual Conference; 7 FREE Educational Webinars Available

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and SCORE co-hosted a two-day Virtual Conference during National Small Business Week, Tuesday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 8, 2019.  They have made the educational presentations available to the public. For over 50 years, SCORE has served as America’s premier source of free business mentoring and education. As a resource partner of the SBA, SCORE has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964.  SBA and SCORE are helpful resources to small asset credit unions.

Fannie, Freddie Postpone Redesigned URLA Dates

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last week announced that the optional use period for the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) will not begin July 1 as previously scheduled. The redesigned application includes the addition of a preferred language question.

Twenty Governors Pen Cannabis Banking Letter to Congress

Eighteen state and two territorial governors added their names to a letter sent last week urging Congress to pass legislation to enable financial institutions to provide banking services to state-licensed cannabis businesses. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) were among the 20 signatories to the letter sent Thursday to U.S. Senate and U.S. House leadership, and the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Banking and House Financial Service committees. 

NCUA Chair Hood Responds to Schumer Allegations on Taxi Lending, Oversight

A June 12th Credit Union Times article reports that the NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood responded to allegations made by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a May 21, 2019 letter. The CUTimes article referenced a letter that Hood sent Schumer, in which Hood placed the blame for the plunge in value of taxi medallions that backed the loans squarely on “ridesharing services, a technological disruption whose impact was as severe as it was uncontrolled”.  Hood was also quoted as saying that an “asset bubble,” not lackluster oversight by the NCUA, led to the crisis facing New York City taxi drivers and the now-closed credit unions that loaned them money. 

Highlights of CFPB Director Kraninger’s First Six Months

June 11th marked the first six months of Director Kathleen L. Kraninger leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau). “It is an honor and privilege to serve American consumers. As Director, my focus is to prevent harm to consumers by using all the tools Congress gave us, including education, regulation, supervision and enforcement. I look forward to building on the efforts and progress of these first six months,” said Director Kraninger.

June is National Safety Month Week 2 Highlights OSHA Violations…Slips, Trips and Falls

Week 2 of the National Safety Council’s (NSC) annual National Safety Month highlights slips, trips, and falls, and with good reason. Credit unions and other businesses should be aware that violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) general requirements for fall protection continually top the list of most frequently cited standards, and falls remain one of the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths in both general industry and construction. In 2017 alone, there were more than 8 million preventable fall injuries. Though most people assume that falls are primarily a concern for those working at elevated heights, there are plenty of slip, trip, and fall hazards in every work setting.

Sheltered Harbor Cyber-Defense Webinar Set for June 19

Sheltered Harbor, a voluntary initiative designed to help protect against cyberattacks, will conduct a free informational webinar June 19. CUNA is a founding board member of Sheltered Harbor and last month joined other financial trade associations to call on all financial institution CEOs to join the initiative.

Draft Bipartisan BSA/AML Reform Released

A bipartisan group of senators has released draft legislation to reform aspects of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), specifically targeted at anti-money laundering (AML)-combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) requirements. The draft comes as the House Financial Services Committee marks-up a bill related to beneficial ownership disclosure.

Congress Should Seek Additional Information from FCC on Call-blocking Order, CUNA Writes Senate Commerce Committee

The Senate Commerce Committee should press the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on what actions and rulemakings, if any, the agency will undertake to ensure legally permissible calls aren’t impacted by last week’s call-blocking ruling. The committee conducted its oversight hearing of the FCC Wednesday, and CUNA submitted its letter in response to last week’s FCC vote on call blocking.

FY20 Defense Authorization Passes Committee without Credit Union-Opposed Language

The House Armed Services Committee passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 early ThursdayWhile an amendment was offered that would have extended to banks the same rent-free access to land and facilities that credit unions have been granted due to their not-for-profit, member-owned mission and structure, CUNA, selected leagues, and the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC) were successful in working with committee members to ensure such language was kept out of the final bill. 

CECL Delay & Study Bill Introduced, CUNA Offers Support

It is essential to delay the current expected credit loss (CECL) accounting standard to study its potential impact and allow consideration of other methods, CUNA wrote Tuesday in support of the CECL Consumer Impact and Study Bill of 2019, introduced by Reps. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) and Ted Budd (R-NC). Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) is one of seven cosponsors of the bipartisan measure.

House Appropriations Committee Passes Bill with $300M for CDFI Fund, $2M for CDRLF

CUNA supported appropriations levels for two credit union-related funds in the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Act for Fiscal Year 2020 in a letter to House Appropriations Committee leadership Tuesday. The NJCUL also contacted committee member Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) and in March asked members of the state’s delegation to add their names to a “Dear Colleague Letter” encouraging appropriations for both funds.

CFPB to Hold First Symposium on June 25

WASHINGTON, DC – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that its first symposium will be held on June 25 at 9 a.m. The symposium, part of a series announced earlier this year, will focus on the Dodd-Frank Act’s prohibition on abusive acts or practices. The symposium will be Webcast on the Bureau’s Web site.

School’s Out: Final Reality Fair of the Season Held at Wallace School in Vineland

VINELAND, N.J. – Area credit union teamed up to host the final Reality Fair of the 2018/2019 school year Tuesday at the Thomas W. Wallace Junior Middle School for about 225 8th graders. Volunteers from Members 1st of NJ FCU, Bay Atlantic FCU, Thunderbolt Area FCU, Deepwater Industries FCU, Campbell EFCU, the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation, and Vizo Financial Corporate manned the tables along with Wallace School staff and helped the students through the experience. This is the seventh Reality Fair area credit union have collaborated on at the Wallace School.

Review of RESPA’s Anti-Kickback Provision

Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) prohibits anyone from giving or accepting a fee, kickback, or anything of value in exchange for referrals of settlement services in connection with any loan covered by RESPA. The Act also prohibits fee splitting and receiving unearned fees for services not actually performed. These restrictions apply in any situation where settlement services are related to a federally related loan. The rendering of services by a mortgage broker is a “settlement service” for purposes of the rule. 

CUAC Meeting Features Remittance, Debt Collection Talks

CUNA attended the two-day meeting of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Credit Union Advisory Council last week. The CUAC advises the bureau on regulating consumer financial products or services, from the perspectives of credit unions and is comprised solely of CUNA member credit unions.

CU Membership Surpasses 117M, $1.5T in Assets

According to NCUA’s 2019 first-quarter call report data, membership at federally insured credit unions surpassed 117 million, adding 1.1 million members so far this year. In addition, assets grew $90 billion over the year resulting in $1.51 trillion in total assets.

CUNA Mutual Group Risk Alert: Counterfeit Checks

Counterfeit cashier's checks and/or corporate checks that closely resemble credit union authentic checks have been presented for payment at financial institutions in connection with scams. Slight alterations in check color, check stock, logo, or location of key credit union check branding elements have been reported. In many cases, Routing & Transit Number (RTN) and MICR information is accurate.

CFPB Issues Final Rule on Payday Lending

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) has issued a final rule delaying the August 19, 2019 compliance date for the mandatory underwriting provisions of the 2017 Payday Lending Rule to November 19, 2020. The Bureau issued this final rule to create consumer protections for certain consumer credit products. 

Data Breaches Compromise Records of Nearly 20 Million

Medical testing company LabCorp. said Tuesday that personal and financial data on some 7.7 million consumers were exposed by a breach at a third-party billing collections firm. That company, the American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA), also recently notified another medical testing giant, Quest Diagnostics, that an intrusion in its payments Web site exposed personal, financial and medical data on nearly 12 million Quest patients.

CFPB Announces New Mortgage Closing Scams Prevention Resources

The FBI has reported that scammers are increasingly taking advantage of homebuyers during the closing process. Through a sophisticated phishing scam, they attempt to divert your closing costs and down payment into a fraudulent account by confirming or suggesting last-minute changes to your wiring instructions. In fact, reports of these attempts have risen 1,100 percent between 2015 and 2017, and in 2017 alone, there was an estimated loss of nearly $1 billion in real estate transaction costs. 

CUNA Mutual Group Risk Alert: Lack of Security Procedures Can Drive Physical Security Concerns

CUNA Mutual Group reported that two recent risks – armored car attacks and suspicious packages found – have been making their way back into the financial institution workplace. In some instances, the lack of or misunderstanding of written security procedures to follow has exacerbated the concern for staff. CUNA Mutual Group lays out how credit unions can take steps to put security procedures in place to keep from being a victim to physical security attacks.

NCUA: Public Unit and Nonmember Shares; Comments Due Jul. 29

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board issued a proposal May 31, 2019 that would amend the NCUA’s Public Unit and Nonmember Shares rule to allow federally insured credit unions to receive public unit and nonmember shares up to 50 percent of the credit union’s paid-in and unimpaired capital and surplus less any exiting public unit and nonmember shares. The agency is calling for the public to comment. Comment letters are due July 29, 2019.

Chartering, FOM, Bylaws Highlight NCUA’s Annual Regulatory Review

NCUA should only promulgate new or expand existing rules only if they are warranted based on “a compelling need,” CUNA wrote to NCUA Thursday. NCUA conducts an annual review each year of one-third of the agency’s regulations in an effort to determine those that need to be updated, clarified, simplified or eliminated, and CUNA sent its comments on this year’s review.

Comments on HMDA Reporting Thresholds Due to CFPB By June 12

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is proposing two alternatives to amend Regulation C to increase the threshold for reporting data about closed-end mortgage loans. The proposed rule would permanently raise the closed-end institutional and transactional coverage threshold from 25 to either 50 or 100 closed-end mortgage loans in each of the preceding two calendar years. The increased threshold would be effective January 1, 2020.

CDRLF Grant Round Now Open

Low-income credit unions interested in Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grants can submit applications between June 2 and July 20. The NCUA will administer approximately $2 million in CDRLF grants to the most qualified applicants, subject to the availability of funds, in four categories: underserved outreach; digital services and security; counselor certification; and training helping credit unions develop staff talents and skills. 

CFPB Publishes TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure FAQs

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published the first set of Frequently Asked Questions on the TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) Rule as it applies to construction loans. The questions and answers in the CFPB’s TRID FAQs pertain to compliance with the TRID or TRID Rule. Reviewing these questions and answers is not a substitute for reviewing TILA, RESPA, Regulation Z, or its official interpretations (also known as the commentary). The statutes, Regulation Z, and its official interpretations are the definitive sources of information regarding the requirements.

Jersey Shore FCU Awarded CardRates.com’s Editor’s Choice™ Award for Community Commitment

A recent article on CardRates.com spotlights Jersey Shore FCU’s humble beginnings involving a group of air traffic controllers approaching the New Jersey Credit Union League in 1962 to start an employee credit union at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center and how much the credit union has grown since then. A big part of its growth is its managers’ and individual staff’s support of local charities and promote awareness about the needs in the Shore, which earned the credit union CardRates.com’s Editor’s Choice™ Award for Community Commitment.

1st Bergen FCU Hosting Free Small Business Certificate Program Beginning June 5

HACKENSACK, NJ - Current and aspiring small business owners are invited to take part in a free four-part certificate program designed to help entrepreneurs learn about resources they may not otherwise not have access to in order to take their business idea from dream to reality or grow their existing business into a huge success. Hosted by 1st Bergen Federal Credit Union and Greater Bergen Community Action (GBCA) Financial and Housing Counseling Program, in partnership with America’s Small Business Development Center of New Jersey, the program begins on Tuesday, June 5, and will run for four consecutive Tuesdays.

FCC Must Revise Call-Blocking Proposal to Protect Legal Calls

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed blocking-by-default framework will inevitably lead to the blocking and mislabeling of calls, depriving credit union members of important information, CUNA wrote to the FCC Thursday. CUNA sent its comments in response to a proposal from the FCC that would block certain calls to consumers by default, requiring them to specifically opt in to receive certain calls.

United Teletech Financial FCU President/CEO Leo Ardine Featured on Latest CUInsight Experience Podcast

Episode 21 of The CUInsight Experience podcast features a conversation with United Teletech Financial FCU President/CEO, NJCUL Board member, and graduate of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute Leo Ardine. Ardine—also a coach, instructor, speaker, and facilitator—talks with host Randy Smith, co-founder and publisher of CUInsight.com, about meditation, emotional intelligence, and more.

FTC Rescinding Several FCRA Model Forms

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published at 84 FR 23471 in a recent Federal Register a final rule rescinding several Model Forms and Disclosures issued under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) that it has determined are no longer necessary. Given the CFPB's 2018 updates to its model forms and disclosures, the Commission determined that rescinding several of its model forms and disclosures would reduce confusion. The Commission also made conforming amendments to address references to the updated model forms and disclosures in related rules.

FTC: Hurricane Season Begins June 1; Is Your CU’s Disaster Plan Ready?

Weather has played a part in a credit union’s business continuity and disaster planning for decades, but with ever increasing changes in climates areas of the country are seeing increasingly disaster weather they have not seen before. It is prudent to revisit your plan each year to ensure your credit union is ready to react as needed. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to help.The FTC has free information to help people prepare for, deal with, and recover from extreme weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters.

Reminder: Web Site Available to File Wendy’s Data Breach Claims, Deadline is Sept. 30

Financial institutions affected by the data breach at Wendy’s restaurants can file their claims and find additional information at a website established as part of the settlement of that case, wendysfidatabreachsettlement.com. It contains a mechanism for filing claims, as well as additional information, frequently asked questions, a list of important deadlines and court documents.

200+ Hanover Park High School Students Get a Bite of Financial Reality

EAST HANOVER, N.J. – Visions FCU held a Reality Fair at Hanover Park High School for the Financial Literacy classes Wednesday, reaching approximately 210 students. Volunteers from the sponsoring credit union as well as Healthcare Employees FCU, Novartis FCU, and the New Jersey Credit Union League manned the lifestyle tables set-up in the school’s gymnasium.

FinCEN Announces Its Innovation Hours Program

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the FinCEN Innovation Hours Program to better shape and inform its ongoing engagement with Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) innovators. The Innovation Hours Program will provide financial technology (FinTech) and regulatory technology (RegTech) companies and financial institutions the opportunity to present their new and emerging innovative products and services to FinCEN. Technology demonstrations should highlight how these innovations work and how financial institutions might use them. FinCEN expects to hold events in the Washington D.C. metro area, as well as some regional events that focus on financial services-related innovation.

Economic Factors Support Growth, FOMC Says

Members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) – the Federal Reserve's monetary policy-setting arm – viewed factors such as strength in the labor market, improved consumer confidence and diminished downside risks as "likely to support solid growth over the remainder of the year," according to minutes from the committee's April-May meeting released Wednesday.

NCUA Alert - Flood Insurance Alternatives

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) issued Regulatory Alert (19-RA-01) - Flood Insurance Alternatives that becomes effective July 1, 2019. Starting July 1,  credit unions must accept private flood insurance policies for applicable loans.  The policies must meet the definition of private flood insurance as included under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters Act) and incorporated into Part 760 of the NCUA’s regulations. In addition, credit unions may accept private flood insurance policies that do not meet the definition of private flood insurance as explained in this letter, as well as NCUA-approved private flood insurance plans provided by mutual aid societies.

Faster Payments, Debt Collection on CUAC Agenda

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)'s Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC) and other advisory boards will meet June 5-6 to discuss various issues affecting the industry, including faster payments and the bureau's proposed rule-making related to third-party debt collectors.

NCUA to Try to ‘Streamline’ Chartering Process

Attempting to simplify a chartering process that one NCUA board member called “amazingly sluggish,” the NCUA will begin offering a more detailed roadmap for people interested in starting a credit union, Martha Ninichuk, director of the Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion told the agency board Thursday.

CFPB Launches Financial Education Tool for Active-duty Servicemembers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) significantly expanded its Misadventures in Money Management financial education tool to active-duty servicemembers. Misadventures in Money Management (MIMM.gov) was initially developed for future servicemembers who signed a contract to enlist in the armed forces but had not yet shipped off to basic military training.

Community Lenders Must be at Core of Housing Finance Reform

CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan continued CUNA’s direct advocacy to staff from all 535 Congressional offices Thursday with a message highlighting six credit union principles for housing finance reform. CUNA has gone on record numerous times since the start of this Congress with housing finance reform priorities, emphasizing that policymakers must keep credit unions’ role in supporting their communities in mind.

Robocall Bill Passes Senate

The Senate Thursday passed legislation that would enhance the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) enforcement authority over violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and require voice service providers to authenticate and block illegal robocalls.

NCUA Board Meeting Held

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board held its fifth open meeting of 2019 at the agency’s headquarters and unanimously approved one item: A proposed rule allowing a federal credit union to accept nonmember and public unit shares up to 50 percent of its unimpaired capital and surplus.

CU-backed Candidate Elected to Fill Pennsylvania Delegation Vacancy

Credit union supporter Fred Keller (R) won a special election to represent Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District in Congress Tuesday, defeating Democratic challenger Marc Friedenberg with 68.1% of the vote. Keller was supported by CUNA’s political action committee, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association.

CECL Delay Bill Would Ensure Impact is Properly Studied, CUNA Writes

CUNA maintains its longstanding position that the current expected credit loss (CECL) standard is inappropriate for credit unions and backed a bill Wednesday that would require the standard to be delayed and studied by the Securities and Exchange Commission along with the federal financial regulators, including the NCUA. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced the Continued Encouragement for Consumer Lending Act (S. 1564) Tuesday.

Bryn Conway Explains How to Provide a Consistent Member Experience to Drive Growth...

What does chemistry have to do with retail delivery? Chemistry is the ‘bridge science’ meaning it connects all the other natural sciences. By providing what your members want and need, retail delivery is the bridge science for brand and business development as well as growth in your credit union. Daniel Newman explained it best in a recent Forbes article, “If you want to build brand affinity, give the people what they want. What they want, it turns out, is an experience.” Hear from Bryn Conway, who made an appearance on CUBroadcast, on her presentation "The Chemistry of Retail Delivery: How Providing a Consistent Member Experience Drives Growth​" which she will discuss during our June 11th Business Development Roundtable

CUNA, Financial Trades Write Congress Opposing Reinstatement of CFPB’s Arbitration Rule

Reinstating the CFPB’s rule on arbitration agreements would undermine the ability of credit unions and other financial institutions to offer faster, more cost-effective resolutions to potential disputes than class action litigation, CUNA and other financial trades said in a joint letter to members of Congress Tuesday. CUNA joined other financial trade organizations to oppose an amendment to the Consumers First Act (H.R. 1500) that would reinstate the rule.

Disproportionate Compliance Burdens Mean Less Focus on Members, CUNA Tells Senate Banking Leadership

Credit unions take Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) compliance seriously, but when resources are disproportionately spent on compliance, fewer safe and affordable products are available, CUNA wrote to Senate Banking Leadership Tuesday. The committee conducted a hearing Tuesday on combating illicit financing and the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) customer due diligence (CDD) rule.

CULAC, PCUA Back Fred Keller in Tuesday’s Special Election

The Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC), CUNA’s political action committee, and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) are supporting State Rep. Fred Keller (R) Tuesday in the first special election of the 116th Congress. Keller is running for the seat in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, which is open due to former Rep. Tom Marino’s (R) retirement in January.

FCUs Must Be Allowed Access to Federal Courts, Says CUNA Brief

CUNA supports federal credit unions’ access to federal courts via diversity jurisdiction, one of the two methods for a federal court to have jurisdiction, the association indicated in an amicus brief filed Monday. CUNA’s brief was submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth District, in response to a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia that found Section 1332 of the U.S. Code is the sole source of diversity jurisdiction and that Section 1332 does not apply to federally chartered corporations.

In Memoriam: Jersey Central FCU Long-Time Staff Member Pat Schlenger Passes

Jersey Central FCU staff and board members are mourning the loss of their friend and long-time staff member, Pat Schlenger. A fixture in the credit union industry for 50 years, her dedication, compassion, and selflessness may never be equaled, the credit union said. “We will cherish the special moments that we shared and always remember the kindness that she showed to everyone she came in contact with. She will be dearly missed.”

FCC’s O’Rielly calls for swift action on CUNA’s TCPA petition

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said Thursday during public remarks that the FCC has an obligation to resolve many of the worthy Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) petitions that are currently pending. He specifically cited CUNA’s petition, submitted in September 2017, that requests that FCC take action to provide credit unions with regulatory relief from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  

FCC automatic robocall blocking could hamper CU-member communications

CUNA is concerned about proposed action from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would block robocalls by default, believing it could result in serious disruptions to vital credit union-member communications. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Wednesday that the commission will vote June 6 on a declaratory ruling that would allow phone carriers to block suspected robocalls unless consumers affirmatively opt-out.

CUNA CECL data, concerns addressed in hearing with NCUA’s Hood

Members of the House Financial Services Committee cited CUNA data on the current expected credit loss (CECL) standard during a hearing Thursday with federal financial regulators including NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood. CECL is a new accounting standard that standard that recognizes lifetime expected credit losses, issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

Jersey Shore Federal Credit Union Makes a $500 Donation to FACES 4 Autism

Jersey Shore Federal Credit Union’s Social Action Committee coordinated a candy sale that took place January, February, and March of 2019  to raise money for FACES 4 Autism in Northfield. All five branches were involved in this great fundraiser, and after it was all said and done, a $500 check was donated to this amazing local organization. FACES 4 Autism supports children, teens and adults on the autism spectrum and those who love them.

FCC Warns Consumers of One-ring Call-back Scam

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has alerted consumers to reported waves of “One Ring” or “Wangiri” scam robocalls targeting specific area codes in bursts, often calling multiple times in the middle of the night. These calls are likely trying to prompt consumers to call the number back, often resulting in per minute toll charges similar to a 900 number. The FCC cautions consumers not call these numbers back.

Senator Menendez Names New State Director

Sen. Robert Menendez has named Raphael Chavez-Fernandez his new State Director to lead the senator’s New Jersey offices and staff in Newark and Barrington.  Chavez-Fernandez, who served as deputy campaign manager during Menendez’s successful 2018 re-election run, returns to Menendez’s Senate office after spending the past three years working in the private sector.

ADA Lawsuit Dismissal Upheld

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has upheld the dismissal of another lawsuit related to unclear Web site accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The lawsuit was against Herndon, Virginia-based Northwest FCU.

Flood Insurance Extender Passes House

Legislation (H.R. 2578) extending the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through September passed the House Tuesday by a voice vote. The program is currently set to expire at the end of the month. The measure now heads to the Senate for consideration after which the president is expected to sign it into law.

CUNA Expresses CU Priorities, Difference Ahead of Hood Testimony

NCUA should take steps toward enhancements to the credit union charter, while improving cybersecurity efforts and reducing regulatory burden, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote in a letter to Senate Banking Committee leadership in advance of NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood’s scheduled appearance before the committee. Hood will appear Wednesday as part of a panel of federal financial regulators.

CFPB Director Kraninger Announces Deputy Director

WASHINGTON — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathleen L. Kraninger announced that Brian Johnson will serve as the Deputy Director. Mr. Johnson first joined the Bureau in December 2017 as Senior Advisor to the Director and was named Principal Policy Director in April 2018. Mr. Johnson has served as Acting Deputy Director since July 2018.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Outlines Plan to Review Rules Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

WASHINGTON – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a notice on how it plans to periodically review regulations under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) and to request public input. Additionally, the Bureau published a notice requesting public input as part of its first RFA review examining the 2009 Overdraft Rule.

Flood Insurance Extension Introduced

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and ranking member Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), late last week announced that they were introducing legislation that would extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through September 30. The current authorization is set to expire on May 30.

Biz Kid$ Business Plan Competition Grants Available from the National CU Foundation

Grants Improve Youth Financial Futures Through Award-winning Series

MADISON, Wis. – Credit union organizations can now apply for a Biz Kid$ Business Plan Competition Grant from the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) to help improve youth financial education through hands-on entrepreneurial experience. The Foundation is looking to distribute up to $25,000 in grant funds with a deadline to apply of June 30, 2019.

CUNA Mutual Group Risk Alert: Phishing Scam Targets Payroll Deposits

Phishing scams are targeting credit union human resources or payroll departments using a form of the C-suite business email compromise. The scam uses a phishing email – appearing to be from the CEO or another executive-level employee - sent to staff that manage HR or payroll functions. The email requests changes to an employee’s payroll direct deposit, which reroutes it to the fraudster’s account.

CUNA Contacts Sen. Sanders, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Highlighting Benefits of CU Difference in Wake of their USPS Banking Proposal

The best option for consumers to access high-quality, affordable financial services are the credit unions in their communities, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) Thursday. The two legislators recently announced a proposal expanding the duties of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to include offering financial services and products.

Treasury tech notice for users of OFAC site

The United States Department of the Treasury has posted an important Technical Notice for users of the OFAC Web site and sanctions lists data files. The existing certificate (expiring June 6, 2019) will be replaced on May 16, 2019 at 9 p.m. Please call this notice to the attention of your IT staff or your vendor if they download OFAC's sanctions list information.

Nominations Open for 2020 Herb Wegner Memorial Awards

Highest Awards in the Credit Union Movement Given by the National CU Foundation

Credit union supporters are encouraged to nominate individuals and organizations for the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards to be presented by the National CU Foundation. Winners will be honored at the Foundation’s annual awards and fundraising gala on February 24, 2020 in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. 
Data security standards must be strong, consistent, apply to all

The best approach on data security and privacy for consumers and business is for Congress to develop a strong privacy law that applies to all businesses and entities that collect, house or otherwise possess information, CUNA wrote to leadership of the Senate Banking and House Energy and Commerce Committees Tuesday. CUNA’s letters state that Congress must address data security in order to provide consumers with data privacy.

CFPB should bolster PACE disclosures, consumer protections

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should quickly promulgate a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing rule that subjects PACE programs to the Truth in Lending Act, plus additional disclosures, CUNA wrote to the CFPB Tuesday. PACE financing permits a property owner to finance the purchase of energy efficiency improvements and pay for the purchase through an assessment on the property.

NJCUL Marketing Conference Packed with Info and Ideas

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. – Is your marketing in a language that consumers understand? Is it engaging? Is it compliant? Is it educational? Speakers at the New Jersey Credit Union League’s annual marketing conference held on Tuesday challenged credit union marketers and leaders with these questions and more, then provided tools, resources, insight, and ideas to help them push their marketing efforts forward.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Proposes Regulations to Implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

WASHINGTON – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Notice of Proposed Rule-making (NPRM) to implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The proposal would provide consumers with clear protections against harassment by debt collectors and straightforward options to address or dispute debts. Among other things, the NPRM would set clear, bright-line limits on the number of calls debt collectors may place to reach consumers on a weekly basis; clarify how collectors may communicate lawfully using newer technologies, such as voicemails, emails and text messages, that have developed since the FDCPA’s passage in 1977; and require collectors to provide additional information to consumers to help them identify debts and respond to collection attempts.

Current TCPA Reflects Failure to Recognize Modern Communications

Mobile phone usage trends suggest that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) existing interpretation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and implementing regulations is both outdated and harmful to consumers and credit unions, CUNA wrote Monday. CUNA sent its letter to the leadership of the Senate Appropriations sub-committee on financial services and general government for the record of its hearing on the FCC and Federal Trade Commission budget.

New Jersey Credit Union League Expands Compliance Solutions Offerings Through Partnership with AffirmX

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. – The New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) is proud to offer our credit unions a full suite of compliance solutions designed to help your credit union reduce workloads, anxieties, and costs associated with compliance. Through a new partnership with AffirmX, the League is expanding its offerings of affordable, top-notch audits and assessments to our credit union members.

NJCFE Hosts Roundtable with Assemblywoman McKnight and NJ DOE Assistant Commissioner Greer on the NJ Financial Literacy Standard for Middle Schools

MANALAPAN, N.J. – “Our kids want to learn; they have a hunger to learn. We just have to do it,” said Assemblywoman Angela McKnight at the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education’s (NJCFE) roundtable on Friday. McKnight is a sponsor of the bill A1414, which requires school districts to incorporate financial literacy instruction in each of the grades six through eight to pupils enrolled in those grades, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

NJ CU Foundation’s 9th Annual Casino Night Fundraiser Was a Sure Bet!

ISELIN, N.J. – The 9th Annual New Jersey Credit Union Foundation Casino Night fundraiser on May 2nd brought together credit union industry leaders, volunteers, partners and friends from around the state for a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament and casino table games, all for a great cause! The final numbers aren’t yet available, but it looks like the 9th Annual Casino Night was a success for the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation and its finanical literacy efforts.

CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU PROPOSES CHANGES TO HMDA RULES

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Notice of Proposed Rule-making (NPRM), which proposes to raise the coverage thresholds for collecting and reporting data about closed-end mortgage loans and open-end lines of credit under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) rules. The NPRM would provide relief to smaller lenders from HMDA’s data reporting requirements, and would clarify partial exemptions from certain HMDA requirements that Congress added in the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA). The Bureau also issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rule-making (ANPR) seeking information on the costs and benefits of reporting certain data points under HMDA.

National CU Foundation Releases 2018 Annual Impact Report
The National CU Foundation released their 2018 annual Impact Report entitled, “A Catalyst for Change”. This report highlights the impact of the Foundation’s work in 2018 serving as a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. 
House Passes Senior Security Act, Congressman Gottheimer’s Bill to Address Financial Fraud and Scams Targeting Seniors

The U.S. House Tuesday passed the Senior Security Act (H.R. 1876) by a vote of 392 to 20. The bipartisan bill, introduced by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) and Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN-9), creates a Senior Investor Task Force at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to help stop financial predators from targeting seniors. The legislation will help strengthen protections and safeguards for seniors.

Substantial Data Security Legislation Needed for America’s Consumers

Taking a narrow view of data privacy and security aimed at specific companies would be a “grave mistake,” CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote to Senate Commerce Committee leadership Wednesday. The letter follows an email communication sent Tuesday by CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan to Senate Commerce Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee staff on the importance of strong data security legislation.

Rates Unchanged Following FOMC Meeting

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve's monetary policy-setting arm, concluded its regular periodic two-day policy setting meeting Wednesday without changing interest rates. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also indicated that the committee does not plan to cut rates anytime soon.

CUs Must Continue Investment in Diverse Populations to Succeed

Credit unions are committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and have a long history of serving underserved and diverse communities, CUNA wrote to the House Financial Services sub-committee on diversity and inclusion Wednesday. CUNA submitted its letter for the record of the sub-committee’s hearing on diversity and inclusion in the context of business.

Chairman Pallone Notes Need to Distinguish Legitimate Calls from Robocalls

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) noted the need to distinguish legitimate calls, such as those made by credit unions to their members, from illegal robocalls from telemarketers during a Tuesday committee hearing. The New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) has met numerous times with Rep. Pallone and the other members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation to discuss the issue and the need for clarity and protection for legitimate calls made by credit unions to their members. 

CUNA Mutual Group Risk Alert: PINs Caught On Camera at Drive-Up ATMs

ATM skimmers or shimmers alone don’t capture PINs. For that, fraudsters often rely on tiny hidden camera overlays. Unfortunately, ATM tampering continues to plague credit unions and members. Recent reports show that fraudsters have cleverly focused on drive-up ATMs since people are less likely to cover the keypad as they enter their PIN.

Governor Murphy Signs Bi-partisan Package of Nine Foreclosure Bills

Governor Phil Murphy Monday signed a bipartisan legislative package into law that will help New Jerseyans struggling with the state’s highest-in-the-nation foreclosure rate. The new laws will assist homeowners facing the prospect of foreclosure and pave the way for community revival by addressing blight. Many of the measures were recommended in a September 2018 report by the Special Committee on Residential Foreclosures, which was created by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.

CUNA Reiterates Push Against Rent-free Bank Access to Military Bases

CUNA would be concerned with the inclusion of any language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 that would allow banks rent-free access to military installations, CUNA wrote to House and Senate Armed Forces Committee leadership Monday. There is no such language in the FY2020 NDAA, CUNA and the Defense Credit Union Council successfully fought for similar language to be removed from last year’s NDAA, it was included in an early version of the bill.

Elder Financial Exploitation is on the Rise

Scams and fraud aimed at the elderly are increasing as the methods of tricking the elderly are getting more sophisticated. In many cases, the credit union staff will recognize transactions or words used in conversation with an elderly member that may be an indication that something is wrong. 

NCUA Board Seeks Comments on Loan Compensation

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board approved one item at its April 2019 meeting: an advance notice of proposed rule-making (ANPR) on possible changes to the agency’s regulation governing compensation in connection with loans and lines of credit to members  -- Part 701.21(c)(8). The regulation covers direct or indirect commissions, fees, or other compensation by credit union officials, employees, or their family members in connection with loans made by the credit union.

CUNA leaders meet with new NCUA board member Todd Harper

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan, Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer Elizabeth Eurgubian and Senior Director of Advocacy and Counsel Mitria Wilson met with new NCUA board member Todd Harper Wednesday to welcome him to the board and discuss credit union priorities. Harper was nominated by President Donald Trump in January and was confirmed in March, along with NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood.

NCUA’s Supervisory Committee Audit Proposal Would Ease Compliance

CUNA wrote in support of NCUA’s proposed rule on supervisory committee audits, believing the proposed changes would make compliance with the requirements less burdensome. The proposal would amend NCUA’s regulations governing the responsibilities of a federally-insured credit union to obtain an annual supervisory committee audit of the credit union.

New NCUA Chairman Hood outlines areas of focus, ANPR issued

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board issued an advance notice of proposed rule-making (ANPR) Thursday on compensation in connection with loans to members. This was also the first meeting of a full, three-person board since April 2016. Rodney Hood was named chair by President Donald Trump earlier this month, and Todd Harper was sworn in as a board member earlier this month as well.

CDRLF Grant Round Opens June 2

NCUA Will Award $2 Million for Underserved Outreach, Digital Services, Counselor Certification, and Training

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Low-income credit unions interested in Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grants can submit applications between June 2 and July 20.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Announces Symposium Series

WASHINGTON — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathleen L. Kraninger announced a symposia series exploring consumer protections in today’s dynamic financial services marketplace. The series is aimed at stimulating a proactive and transparent dialogue to assist the Bureau in its policy development process, including possible future rule-makings. During each symposium, the Bureau will host a discussion panel of experts with a variety of viewpoints on the topic.

Four Delegation Members Sign-on to House CDFI Dear Colleague Letter

Four members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation added their names to the “dear  colleague” letter to the House Appropriations Committee supporting continued funding of the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions CDFI Fund (CDFI), Reps Bill Pascrell (D-9), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10), Albio Sires (D-8) and Jeff Van Drew (D-2). A member of the committee, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman did not sign the letter, but assured the NJCUL she would support CDFI funding when it came up in committee.

CUNA Attends ‘Opportunity Zone’ Conference at White House

CUNA represented America’s credit unions at Wednesday’s Opportunity Zone Conference at the White House, an event featuring cabinet and other officials, along with state, local, tribal and community leaders. The Opportunity Zone program, created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, encourages individuals and businesses to invest in 8,760 low-income communities designated “Opportunity Zones.”

Check out League InfoSight for the Latest FACT Act Checklist

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act in several important ways. NJCUL members may click here to access League InfoSight and a wealth of compliance information, in addition to the latest FACT Act Checklist. The FACT Act gives consumers the right to one free credit report every year from the credit reporting agencies, added new identity theft protections that allow consumers to place fraud alerts on their credit reports, and requirement of provisions to provide risk based pricing notices and credit scores to consumers in connection with denials or less favorable offers of credit. 

Veteran's Memorial Intermediate School Students Experience Financial Reality Fair

VINELAND, N.J. – Bay Atlantic FCU, Members 1st FCU, and Thunderbolt Area FCU hosted a financial Reality Fair at Veteran’s Memorial Intermediate School on Tuesday, reaching 225 students. Volunteers from the sponsoring credit union as well as Jersey Shore FCU, the New Jersey Credit Union League, Symbionce, and faculty from the school manned the booths set-up in the school’s gymnasium.

NCUA Board Meeting to be Held April 18

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)'s open Board meetings are broadcast live via livestream video. You may access the livestream beginning an hour before the scheduled start of the meeting by going to the agency's homepage and clicking the provided livestream link.

CFPB Releases its Supervisory Highlights Report: Winter 2019

In this 10th issue of Supervisory Highlights, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) shares findings from recent examinations in the areas of student loan servicing, remittances, mortgage origination, debt collection, and consumer reporting. This issue also shares important updates to past fair lending settlements reached by the Bureau.

Robocall Hearing Focuses on TRACED Act

A Senate Commerce sub-committee held a hearing Thursday to examine an FCC report on robocalls and review the steps that Congress is taking to provide relief from illegal calls. Witnesses offered support for the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence, or TRACED Act (S.151), which was introduced by sub-committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and member Ed Markey (D-MA) and discussed suitable definitions of "autodialer."

CECL FAQs Released by Interagencies

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released an updated FAQ document on CECL (current expected credit losses) methodology. This document contains already issued FAQs from 2016 and 2017, as well as those updated and newly added in this April 2019 release. 

Senate Republican Leader Kean to Challenge Rep. Malinowski in 2020

State Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21) is expected to announce that he will challenge freshman Congressman Tom Malinowski (D-7) in 2020. Kean launched an exploratory committee in March and Monday sent an email invitation to supporters for a Tuesday evening event in Clark at which he is expected to formally enter the race for the Republican nomination in the 7th District.

Proposed SBA 7(a) Fee Increases Could Harm CU Business Lending

CUNA is concerned about a proposed increase in fees related to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) program, particularly since it believes it could come with unintended consequences to small business borrowers. CUNA shared those concerns in a letter to the House Small Business sub-committee on economic growth, tax and capital access for its hearing on the proposed 7(a) fee changes.

IRS Reform Bill Passes House

The House Tuesday passed by voice vote The Taxpayer First Act pf 2019 (H.R. 1957) that would make some structural changes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and change the agency's interactions with taxpayers. Some of the provisions could impact certain credit unions. 

One-Size-Fits-All Regulations Hurt CU Services for 115M Americans

Megabanks continue to grow as credit unions work to provide access to affordable financial services to 115 million Americans, CUNA told the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, and a one-size-fits-all approach brings addition burdens to those credit unions. The committee conducted a hearing Wednesday with the executives of seven of those megabanks.

CU Tax Status Toolkit Released by CUNA

CUNA is reaching out to leagues and member credit unions with a toolkit stocked with resources to demonstrate the wide variety of public benefits that exist due to the existence of not-for-profit financial cooperatives. CUNA members are being provided with a collection of resources that help amplify the good work that credit unions do for their communities while defending against attacks from banks on their tax-exempt status.

CU Tax Status One of the Best Investments a Government Can Make

The tax treatment conveyed on credit unions continues to serve the purpose for which it was created and is one of the best investments that the government makes in its citizens, concludes a new white paper from CUNA on the credit union tax status (see related story below). CUNA released the white paper to show the numerous benefits realized by Americans due to credit unions’ presence in the market, and how any change to the credit union tax status would result in a significant loss of those benefits.

League and Foundation Reach Ocean County College First-Year Students Through Reality Fair Program

TOMS RIVER, N.J. – The New Jersey Credit Union Financial Reality Fair program visited Ocean County College Tuesday, reaching 130 first-year students with the award-winning program, which has now been integrated into the college's first-year class curriculum. Volunteers from ABCO FCU, Credit Union of New Jersey, Healthcare Employees FCU, Jersey Shore FCU, Lakehurst Naval FCU, and the New Jersey Credit Union League manned the lifestyle booths and provided financial counseling along with faculty and staff from the school.

FED Accepting Applications for Community Advisory Council

Application are now being accepted for the Federal Reserve Board’s Community Advisory Council (CAC). The CAC was formed in 2015 to offer diverse perspectives on the economic circumstances and financial services needs of consumers and communities, with a particular focus on the concerns of low- and moderate-income populations.

NJCUL and PCUA to Combine Forces, Forming One Organization

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. & HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Boards of Directors of the New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) and Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) announced Monday they have entered into an agreement to create one of the largest regional credit union trade associations in the country.

ComplySight What Is It?

The New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) InfoSight recorded a “live” webinar earlier this year that provides information regarding ComplySight, League InfoSight’s compliance management system and how it can benefit your credit union.

Jersey Shore FCU Hosting NICU Clothing Drive Until May 15th

Jersey Shore Federal Credit Union is collecting baby clothing to help children and families in need at the Special Care Nursery located at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point. Drop off brand new items including: Newborn or preemie clothing, newborn and preemie hats, handmade or store bought blankets, Newborn sleep sacks/swaddles. Monetary donations are also appreciated.

President Announces Choice to Head SBA

President Donald Trump Thursday announced that he plans to nominate Jovita Carranza to replace Linda McMahon as as head of the Small Business Administration (SBA). McMahon is stepping down April 12 to head up the American First Action super PAC.  Carranza currently serves as U.S. treasurer within the Treasury Department, and previously served as deputy SBA administrator under President George W. Bush.

CDFI Funding Round Opens, June 6 Deadline

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program announced Thursday that it will be accepting applications from credit unions and other institutions that qualify as CDFIs for up to $184 million in grants during its fiscal year 2019 funding round. The application deadline is June 6.

STATES Act is ‘Reasonable and Sound’ Approach to Cannabis Banking Issue

CUNA wrote in support of House and Senate companion bills Thursday that would clarify the federal treatment of marijuana where it is legal and permit credit unions in those states to serve members’ related needs. The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act of 2019 was introduced by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) in the Senate and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Dave Joyce (R-Ohio).

New Content Added to NJCUL’s League InfoSight: Prepaid Accounts

A new topic has been added in League InfoSight’s Account Channel - Prepaid Accounts. Effective on April 1, 2019, Regulation E and Regulation Z were both expanded to provide coverage and certain consumer protections to prepaid accounts, which include payroll card accounts, government benefit accounts, and certain other types of prepaid products. This new topic covers the expanded rules. Click here to access the Channel.

Gov. Murphy Signs Executive Order Establishing New Regulatory Principles

Gov. Phil Murphy Tuesday signed an Executive Order establishing new regulatory principles to foster economic growth and government efficiency, as well as protect the environment, health, safety, and welfare of New Jersey’s residents and communities. Executive Order No. 63 rescinds and replaces Governor Christie’s Executive Order No. 2 (2010), which outlined the regulatory principles of the prior administration.

CUNA Weighs-in on TCPA Modernization Need, TRACED Act Passes Senate Committee

As Congress considers the budget for the Federal Communications Commission, it is imperative Congress encourage the agency to modernize implementing regulations for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), CUNA wrote Wednesday. CUNA sent its letter to the House Appropriations sub-committee on financial services and general government for its hearing on the FCC’s budget for the upcoming year.

Wendy’s Data Breach Web Site Allows FIs to File Claims Electronically, Sept. 30 Deadline

Financial institutions affected by the data breach at Wendy’s restaurants can now file their claims and find additional information at a Web site established as part of the settlement of that case, wendysfidatabreachsettlement.com. It contains a mechanism for filing claims, as well as additional information, frequently asked questions, a list of important deadlines and court documents.

CFPB Director Kraninger Named FFIEC Chair, McWatters Named Vice Chair

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) announced Monday that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathleen Kraninger will serve as FFIEC chair for a two-year term running through March 31, 2021. She succeeds FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams. The FFIEC also named NCUA Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters as its new vice chair for the same two-year term.

TRACED Act Needs Exception for Legit Business Communications

While credit unions share concerns about unwanted robocalls to consumers, CUNA believes the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act (S. 151) as presently drafted would negatively impact credit union-member communications. CUNA pledged to work with legislators to improve the TRACED Act in a letter sent Monday to Senate Commerce Committee leadership in advance of the committee’s Wednesday mark-up of S. 151 and other bills.

CU of NJ Foundation donates to SERV technology center

The Credit Union of New Jersey Foundation recently donated $25,000 to SERV Behavioral Health System. The inaugural donation is set to be made again for the next two years, totaling $75,000 to support the construction of the state-of-the-art SERV Technology Center.

Revised 4Q GDP Data Fuels Recession Concerns

The US economy grew at a 2.2 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday in a revised estimate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The figure was revised down from the previously estimated growth rate of 2.6 percent. It also is significantly lower than the strong growth the economy enjoyed earlier in 2018 and suggests that commerce is beginning to slow in 2019.

FSB Watching Fintech Developments

Following an announcement last week from Apple that it will begin offering a credit card, Financial Stability Board (FSB) Chairman Randal Quarles said fintech is among the international body's top priorities this year, along with nonbank financing and evaluating too-big-to-fail reforms.

HMDA Modified Loan Application Registers Released

WASHINGTON — The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Modified Loan Application Registers (LARs) data were recently published for approximately 5,400 financial institutions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This is the first year in which additional data reported by certain institutions under the 2015 HMDA rule will be available. The Modified LARs contains loan level information for 2018 on individual HMDA filers, modified to protect privacy. For guidance as to how submitted data is modified to protect privacy, please click here.

TCPA Clarity Needed for CUs to Communicate with Members

Regulations governing how businesses can interact with consumers are not keeping up with technology, leaving both consumers and businesses at risk, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote to all 535 Congressional offices Thursday. Credit unions are among the businesses that risk legal action when contacting members due to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Thunderbolt Area FCU Hosts 68th Annual Meeting

BUENA, N.J. – Thunderbolt Area Federal Credit Union held its 68th Annual Meeting at Martins Catering on Saturday, March 16th, 2019. Approximately 150 members attended the meeting and were treated to a delicious, complimentary breakfast.​

FHA Issues New DTI Ratios for Lower Credit Scores to Limit Risk

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has announced it has changed its requirements for high debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and low credit score loans. The changes, meant to address the rise in certain higher-risk credit characteristics in the mortgages it insures, could make it more difficult for some homebuyers to obtain a loan.

Millville Senior High School Students Get a Dose of Reality

MILLVILLE, N.J. – Members 1st of NJ FCU, Bay Atlantic FCU, and Thunderbolt Area FCU teamed up for another successful Reality Fair at Millville Senior High School yesterday! Juniors and seniors received an introduction in the school library before heading down to the gym. Around 235 students visited the lifestyle booths with their budget worksheets, testing their budgeting skills. Volunteers from Members 1st of NJ FCU, Bay Atlantic FCU, Thunderbolt Area FCU, Campbell FCU, Jersey Shore FCU, Deepwater Industries FCU, Millville Senior High School Faculty, the New Jersey Credit Union League, and more manned the tables and helped students through the simulation.

Substantive Reform of CFPB Needed, Including Leadership Commission

While CUNA is concerned about several provisions of the Consumers First Act (H.R. 1500), it believes substantive reform at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is needed. CUNA wrote to House Financial Services Committee leadership Tuesday as it marked up several bills, including H.R. 1500 and the CUNA-League backed Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1595) (see related story).

GAO Report Calls for Increased Credit Bureau Oversight

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report on the credit reporting agencies (CRAs) that recommends improving federal enforcement of data safeguards and oversight of the companies' security practices. CUNA and the state leagues believe credit bureaus should be examined for compliance with Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) data security standards.

FFIEC Issues Guide for 2019 HMDA Data Collection

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On March 25, 2019, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released the 2019 edition of A Guide to HMDA Reporting: Getting it Right!, which provides detailed instructions and information for credit unions required to collect Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data in 2019 for reporting in 2020.

Jersey Shore FCU Hosts 56th Annual Meeting and Luncheon

NORTHFIELD, N.J. - Jersey Shore FCU held its 56th Annual Meeting and Luncheon on Saturday, March 23 at its Northfield Branch. Over 65 members attended and enjoyed a complimentary lunch. Some members won gift cards ranging in value from $25 to $100. Two board incumbents, Jack Hickey, and, Steve VanNote, were re-elected.

Apple to Offer Credit Card in Latest Fintech Development

In the latest fintech development, Apple announced that beginning this summer it will offer a credit card that will connect to customers' Apple Wallet. In addition to a digital card that can be used anywhere Apple Pay is accepted, there will also be a physical card.

115th Congress: Reps Lance and Gottheimer Most Bipartisan Delegation Members, Rep. Watson Coleman Least Bipartisan

The Lugar Center, led by former senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University named Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) the most bipartisan member of New Jersey’s delegation to the last Congress, and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) the most bipartisan Democratic freshman based on their newly released Bipartisan Index for 2018.

FHFA Credit Score Model Needs Adequate Cost-benefit Analysis, CUNA Tells FHFA

The ability of the housing finance system to accurately assess credit risk while responsibly expanding access to affordable mortgage credit for consumers is a key concern for credit unions and the members they serve, CUNA wrote to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Thursday. The FHFA released a proposal on credit scoring in response to provisions in the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) directing it to establish a “validation and approval process for the use of credit score models” under which they operate.

CFPB Alters CUAC Charter, Extends Terms, Opens Applications

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Thursday amendments to its advisory committee charters, which include the Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC). The CFPB also announced it will begin accepting applications for new council members for 45 days beginning with a notice to be published in the Federal Register.

CUNA Updates SIF Distribution Calculator

CUNA has released an updated version of its share insurance fund distribution calculator tool, designed to help credit unions estimate the amount of their distribution from the $160 million announced by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) earlier this month. This will be the second distribution from NCUA; it issued one in the amount of $735.7 million last year, as a result of the closing of the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund, which officially closed in Fall 2017.

No Rate Hikes Expected in 2019

Citing "global economic and financial developments and muted inflation pressures," the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) left the federal funds target rate unchanged following its March meeting concluded Wednesday. A majority of committee members believe the rate will remain unchanged through year’s end, and many believe that only one adjustment will be made in the next two years.

House Passes Gottheimer-Lucas Bill for Transparency, Accountability at Federal Reserve

The U.S. House last week passed the Federal Reserve Supervision Testimony Clarification Act (H.R. 974) sponsored by Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (D-05) and Frank Lucas (R-OK), both members of the House Committee on Financial Services. The bill mandates that in the absence of a Vice Chair of Supervision on the Federal Reserve Board, someone from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors must appear before Congress to testify on supervisory issues. It also mandates that the Vice Chairman for Supervision must provide written testimony, in addition to verbal testimony.

Staff Changes in Two NJ Delegation Offices Announced

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) announced this week that Kari Osmond and Courtney Cochran have been promoted to the position of deputy chief of staff. Osmond had been Watson Coleman’s district director. Cochran had been the communications director and press secretary in the Washington office.

NJ CU Foundation Hosts its 100th Reality Fair!

Southern Credit Unions Collaborate to Bring Financial Literacy Experience to Millville Memorial High School, Marking a Milestone for the Foundation

MILLVILLE, N.J. – Bay Atlantic FCU, Members 1st of NJ FCU, and Thunderbolt Area FCU teamed up once again to bring the hands-on personal finance experience to Financial Literacy classes at Millville Memorial High School on Wednesday. This marks the 100th Reality Fair the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation (Foundation) has hosted in the state of New Jersey! The program has reached more than 13,600 students throughout the state since the program’s inception in 2010.

FOMC Meeting, No Rate Hike Expected

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve's monetary policy-setting arm, began its monthly two-day meeting Tuesday. The meeting is not expected to end with a rate hike.

Budget Proposal Again Nixes CDFI Funding, Brings CFPB into Appropriations Process

The Trump Administration has released additional details for the president's proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 (FY2020). The proposal shows similarities between previous ones including elimination of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, bringing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under the appropriations process, increasing government-sponsored enterprises' (GSEs) guarantee fees and reforming the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Looking at the Record-breaking 2019 CUNA GAC by the Numbers

The 2019 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) was a historic event for the credit union movement, celebrating a year of unparalleled success and looking ahead to future advocacy goals. This year’s event also set several records, from the number in attendance to the first time a sitting Vice President addressed the CUNA GAC.

Frivolous ADA Lawsuit Against Ohio CU Dismissed

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has dismissed a lawsuit against an Ohio credit union alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). CUNA and the Ohio Credit Union League filed an amicus brief in Mitchell v. BMI Federal Credit Union as part of the CUNA/league defense of credit unions facing frivolous ADA suits.

CUNA Details Effects on CUs of Warren CRA Legislation

CUNA responded to several recent inaccurate reports about its support of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) new housing bill, which CUNA, leagues and credit unions worked with Warren on for months, in a recent Removing Barriers Blog entry. Through these advocacy efforts, Warren’s bill does not place credit unions under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), as the version introduced in the previous Congress would.

Strong, National Data Security/Privacy Standard Only Way to Stop Breaches

Stringent data protection requirements is a hallmark of the financial services industry, but the lack of standards for other entities mean current data security and privacy laws do not work, CUNA wrote Friday. Its letter was sent to Senate Banking Committee leadership in response to an invitation of stakeholder feedback on collection, use, and protection of personal information by financial regulators and private companies.

Warren Bill is Proof CU Difference Resonates, Says Donovan

The credit union mission and structure is a tentpole of credit unions’ advocacy playbook because it resonates with lawmakers, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote in Credit Union Times this week. This is evidenced by successful CUNA, league and credit union engagement with Sen. Elizabeth Warren over the last several months.

NCUA Holds March Board Meeting

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board held its third open meeting of 2019 at the agency’s headquarters and unanimously approved one item: a final rule making regulations regarding loans and lines of credit to members clearer and easier to follow.

South Jersey FCU Celebrates Relocation of Moorestown Branch

DEPTFORD, N.J. – South Jersey Federal Credit Union (SJFCU) announced the relocation of its Moorestown Branch. They are now located in the East Gate Shopping Center 1180A Nixon Drive, Mt. Laurel, N.J. 08054. A ribbon cutting ceremony and reception was held on Wednesday, March 13th.

New CFPB Law Protects Minors Against ID Theft

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced a new federal law (section 301 of EGRRCPA) that went into effect September 21, 2018, which lets parents and child welfare representatives of people under 16, as well as legal guardians, request a security freeze, also called a credit freeze, on their behalf. Taking this step can help protect a young person from identity theft and fraud – and it’s free.  

Senator Warren Releases CRA Bill Reflecting Months of CUNA/League Engagement

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released an updated version of her housing legislation Wednesday, a version of the bill that reflects significant engagement between CUNA, leagues, credit unions, and Warren. Unlike the previous version, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2019 would not require credit unions to comply with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

CU Leaders Visit Capitol Hill on Behalf of Members

Credit unions could be spotted in every single Congressional building on Capitol Hill Wednesday as credit union leaders visited with elected officials to tell stories about the credit union difference, including New Jersey credit union advocates (see related story above). The visits are an annual tradition that is part of the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).

NJ Joins Annual Hike-the-Hike During CUNA’s GAC, Meetings Held with All 14 Delegation Offices

WASHINGTON – After wrapping up at the Wednesday morning session at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference, leaders in attendance headed to Capitol Hill for meetings with their legislators. Fourteen professionals and volunteers from seven New Jersey credit unions joined NJCUL President/CEO David Frankil and Vice President of Corporate & Governmental Affairs Chris Abeel and CUNA Engagement Consultant Sterling Nowka in meetings with the offices of all 14 members of New Jersey’s delegation.

McWatters, Metsger Join Nussle on Stage at CUNA GAC

Jim Nussle, CUNA president/CEO, released a statement after National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman J. Mark McWatters and board member Rick Metsger spoke at the 2019 Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (CUNA GAC).

NCUA Board’s Partnership Transformed Regulatory Structure

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – By working together in a bipartisan manner, the NCUA Board enacted a number of regulatory reforms and modernization initiatives to meet its statutory obligation of ensuring a safe and sound credit union system while providing credit unions with measures of regulatory relief, National Credit Union Administration Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters and Board Member Rick Metsger said.