Articles

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.

Vice President Pence Delivers Message to Credit Unions

WASHINGTON – At the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (CUNA GAC) Tuesday, credit union professionals from around the country gathered to hear Vice President of the United States Mike Pence recognize credit unions for the vital role they play in the American economy.  

Brett Martinez named 2019 CUNA board chairman

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) announced election results for its Board of Directors Executive Committee Members. Brett Martinez, President & CEO of Redwood Credit Union (RCU), was elected as the CUNA Board Chair. Martinez addressed the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) yesterday for the first time as Board Chair.  

Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill Visits With NJ CU Advocates at League’s GAC Dinner

WASHINGTON – Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11), one of the newest members of the state’s congressional delegation, joined New Jersey credit union advocates at a New Jersey Credit Union League dinner in Washington, D.C. Tuesday evening. The dinner was held for NJCUL-member credit unions that are in Washington this week for CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).

CFPB Issues Guide for Its Payday Lending Rule

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On February 20, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Small Entity Compliance Guide on the payment-related provisions of its Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans Rule. The Guide covers aspects of the rule that go into effect on August 19, 2019.

CUNA Backs SAFE Banking Act to Allow Financial Services to Legal Cannabis Businesses

The absence of access to financial services for legal cannabis-based businesses is a significant public safety issue, CUNA wrote to Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Denny Heck (D-Wash.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Warren Davidson (R-Ohio). The legislators introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would offer protections to credit unions and other financial institutions to offer services to cannabis-based businesses.

Record-Breaking 100 Young Professionals 'Crash the GAC,' Take Part in CU Advocacy Efforts in Nation’s Capital

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle welcomed a record-breaking class of “crashers” Sunday at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), including our New Jersey representative Amanda Meeker from Jersey Shore FCU. Meeker is sharing photos in the NJ CU Emerging Leaders Facebook group and will be sharing her experience in an upcoming blog post.

CFPB Issues Resources for Prepaid Product Agreements

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On February 27, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released technical specifications and related resources for credit unions that issue prepaid products to members. The resources include instructions for submitting prepaid product agreements to Collect, the CFPB’s database of those agreements. Credit unions must use Collect beginning April 1, 2019.

Marijuana Banking Bill Introduced in U.S. House

Legislation to provide a safe harbor for credit unions and other financial services providers that serve marijuana-related businesses in states where the drug has been legalized in one form or another was introduced Thursday by Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Denny Heck (D-WA).

Can’t Make it to CUNA GAC? Here’s How to Follow the Action

For those unable to join the more than 5,000 credit union leaders at this year’s CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), it’s possible to follow along the conference via social media and other channels. CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle’s keynote address will be streamed live online, and attendees will be on social media using the #CUNAGAC hashtag.

Symbionce Financial Solutions Appoints New Chief Operating Officer

EAST HANOVER, N.J. – The Symbionce Board of Directors is pleased to announce MaryAnn Lunetta has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Symbionce Financial Solutions, LLC. MaryAnn brings to Symbionce over 25 years of operations and executive management leadership in the credit union and banking industries.

CFPB Publishes 2019 Lists of Rural and Underserved Counties

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On February 12, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published lists of rural and underserved counties for use in 2019, and a tool to assist credit unions in use of the lists. These help credit unions determine if they will be eligible for a safe harbor and assist in applying certain regulatory provisions related to mortgage loans.

Robust Security Standards Needed for All Data-handling Entities, CUNA Letter for the Record Notes

The cornerstone of any new data privacy requirements should be robust data security requirements for entities that collect consumers’ personal information, CUNA wrote to the House Homeland Security sub-committee on investigations Wednesday. CUNA’s letter was submitted for the record of the sub-committee’s Thursday hearing on private sector data breaches.

FFIEC Members Adopt Policy Statement on the Report of Examination

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) members issued principles to promote consistency, clarity and ease of reference for the presentation of information in examination reports. The FFIEC Policy Statement on the Report of Examination was developed as part of the FFIEC’s Examination Modernization Project, which is aimed at reducing unnecessary regulatory burden on community financial institutions.

Governor Murphy Presents Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Entitled "A Blueprint for the Middle Class”

Governor Phil Murphy Tuesday presented his Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020) budget to a joint session of the state Legislature, a plan he said, “to put New Jersey on a responsible path forward through over $1.1 billion in sustainable savings and support for the middle class through targeted investments in NJ TRANSIT, school funding, social services, and property tax relief.”

CFPB issues ANPR on S. 2155-required changes to PACE financing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an advance notice of proposed rule-making (ANPR) Monday on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) directs the CFPB to prescribe certain PACE consumer disclosures, and CUNA and leagues have urged the Bureau to quickly implement the statute.

Senator Menendez Names New Legislative Director

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has named Rebecca Schatz as his new Legislative Director. Schatz has been serving as his legislative counsel and has covered the senator’s financial services and housing portfolios on the Senate Banking Committee. She has been the primary contact for the New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) in the Senator’s office.

Court Grants Preliminary Approval of Wendy’s Lawsuit Settlement

On February 26th, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania granted preliminary approval of a proposed settlement in First Choice Federal Credit Union v. The Wendy's Company, a data breach lawsuit brought by CUNA, leagues and credit unions affected by a data breach. The parties submitted their proposed settlement to the court February 13, which would conclude the lawsuit stemming from a 2016 data breach at certain Wendy’s franchise locations.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Releases Report on First-Time Homebuying Service members

WASHINGTON – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report focusing on mortgages made to first-time homebuyers, who are serving in the armed forces or are veterans. The Bureau’s report is the first time researchers have been able to provide a description and analysis of service members’ mortgage choices and mortgage performance, both during and after the housing crisis of the last decade.

National Consumer Protection Week 2019 Kicked off Sunday, March 3

FTC, partners promote efforts to protect consumers from fraud, identity theft, and other consumer issues

The Federal Trade Commission and its federal, state and local partners, together with consumer groups and national advocacy organizations, will participate in the 21st annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) from March 3-9, 2019. NCPW is a nationally coordinated campaign to help consumers understand their rights while giving them access to free educational materials.

Push for Data Security Continues with CUNA Letter to All 535 Congressional Offices

CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote to 535 Congressional offices Thursday continuing CUNA’s call for data privacy and security legislation. Thursday’s outreach is part of several efforts for CUNA on the topic of data privacy this week, CUNA also wrote to the House and Senate Commerce Committees for the record of their data privacy hearings.

Elder Financial Abuse on the Rise, According to CFPB Report

The number of elder financial exploitation (EFE) suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by financial institutions quadrupled between 2013 and 2017, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In addition, nearly 80% of these filings involved monetary loss to individual or financial institution.

CUNA Mutual Group Risk Alert: Counterfeit Corporate Checks Reported

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.

CUs' Diversity and Inclusion Commitment Outlined for Financial Services Subcommittee

CUNA and its members are committed to ensuring diversity and inclusion continue to play a meaningful role in every aspect of the credit union system, CUNA wrote for the record of a subcommittee hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. The hearing, titled “An Overview of Diversity Trends in the Financial Services Industry,” will be the first conducted by the House Financial Services subcommittee on diversity and inclusion, newly formed for the 116th Congress.

CU Journal Outlines What to Expect from a New NCUA Board

Following today's vote from the Senate Banking Committee, Todd Harper and Rodney Hood's nominations to the National Credit Union Administration board are headed to a vote in the full Senate. The pair's confirmation hearing earlier this month gave the industry a glimpse at what it could expect should both nominees be confirmed. It would be the first time in nearly three years the board was at full capacity. CU Journal outlines eight takeaways industry experts gleaned from the pair's nomination and hearing.

Small Business Disclosure Bill Passes State Senate with League Requested Amendments

State legislation (S2262) that supplements New Jersey’s “Small Business Loan Act” by applying some disclosure provisions of the federal “Truth in Lending Act” (TILA) to certain loans made to small businesses in the state passed the Senate last week 35-0. The measure was amended in at the NJCUL’s request to exempt credit unions and Credit Union Service Organizations (CUSOs).

Registration Open for CU FINHEALTH19

MADISON, Wis. – Registration is now open for the Credit Union FINHEALTH19 Conference taking place April 24-26, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nev., with the opportunity for scholarship assistance through the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation).

CUNA Engaged with Data Privacy, CDFI, Diversity Hearings this Week

CUNA wwas engaged with a variety of hearings in both chambers of Congress this week, including ones on data privacy and diversity in financial services. The Senate Banking Committee met in executive session to vote on NCUA board nominees Rodney Hood and Todd Harper, and nominee for director of the Federal Housing Finance Administration Mark Calabria (see related story).

Deadline to Purchase Tickets & Sponsorships Approaching for National CU Foundation’s Wegner Awards Dinner

Celebrate a Night with the Stars at the Annual Fundraising Gala

The deadline is approaching to purchase tickets and sponsorships for the 31st annual National Credit Union Foundation Dinner Presenting the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards on March 11, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis in conjunction with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C.
National Consumer Protection Week Starts Next Week!

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is excited that National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is just around the corner and they hope you’ll check out the events they have planned. During NCPW, they join their partners to bring you information and advice on scams, identity theft, and other consumer protection issues.

National Credit Union Foundation Honored with President’s Volunteer Service Award on Behalf of America’s CUs

CUs Awarded for Support of Junior Achievement USA

MADISON, Wis. – Junior Achievement (JA) announced that it will honor the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) with the 2017-2018 U.S. Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award on behalf of America’s Credit Unions for providing over 15,000 volunteer hours to Junior Achievement USA.

CFPB Issues Reference Tool for 2019 HMDA Data Collection

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued the 2019 edition of the Reportable HMDA Data: A Regulatory and Reporting Overview Reference Chart. The chart is a reference tool for credit unions and includes information on data points required to be collected and recorded in 2019, and reported to the CFPB in 2020 under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, as implemented by Regulation C.

SSA Amends Rules on Representative Payee Approval

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has published 84 FR 4323 in the Federal Register last week, a final rule on conducting background checks to prohibit persons convicted of certain crimes from serving as representative payees under the Social Security Act, as required by the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018. The rule will be effective March 18, 2019.

CU Reality Check Coverage: Dave Crenshaw, the MythBuster of Multitasking​, Reveals Time We Could Be Using More Wisely and the Lies We Tell Ourselves About Being ‘Busy’
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - If you had an extra 40 hours per month, what would do with that time? That time is right under our noses, according to best-selling author and entrepreneur Dave Crenshaw who took to the Reality Check stage as the last speaker to break down the myths of multitasking.
CU Reality Check Coverage: Disrupting for Good: Chris Field Challenges CUs to Keep Disrupting and Making a Difference
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - From running for mayor as a teenager to breaking multiple Guinness World Records to helping save over a hundred children from slavery, Chris Field has been disrupting most of his life. He’s a natural born disruptor, but he believes anyone, anywhere can choose to disrupt for good. Including credit unions! During his Wednesday morning presentation titled “Disruption for Good:  Using Passion and Persistence to Create Lasting Change,” Field layed out a “Disruption MAP” for the leaders in the room to follow to be both prepared and inspired to disrupt for good. 
Governor Signs Paid Family Leave Expansion

Governor Phil Murphy yesterday signed into law legislation to expand the state’s paid family leave program. The legislation (A3975) extends leave time limits, provides higher compensation to those taking leave, covers more family members, broadens job protections and boosts awareness of the program.

CUNA Stresses Need for ADA Lawsuit Solution to New Attorney General

CUNA wrote to newly-confirmed U.S. Attorney General William Barr Tuesday to call attention to the legal threats facing credit unions due to uncertainty with how the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to Web sites. Due to a lack of specific guidance, credit unions around the country have been hit with frivolous lawsuits claiming non-compliance with the ADA.

CU Reality Check Coverage: Dr. Troy Hall Outlines an Effective Success Model to Grow from Apprentice to Expert

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -  A world traveler that inspires and teaches others how to create cultures of cohesion to retain talent, Dr. Troy Hall’s mission is to advise executives on how to build a Cohesion Culture™ with the intent of retaining top talent. During his Tuesday afternoon Reality Check presentation titled “From Apprentice to Expert – The Success Model that Works​,” Dr. Troy broke down the elements of influence thinking, building behaviors, and the art of cohesion and collaboration.

CU Reality Check Coverage: Identifying Your “Wow” and Using it to Make an Impact

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - You have only eight seconds to make an impactful first impression. So what’s your “wow?” Author and radio show host Kate Delaney passed the mic to speaker Brian Jones from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York; Bill Mellin, president/CEO of the New York Credit Union Association; Trish Shermot from Visions FCU and others allowing them to tell their stories and their “wow.”

NCUA Review Finds No Bank Secrecy Act Data Breach

Upon learning of the recent spear phishing campaign targeting Bank Secrecy Act officers at credit unions, the NCUA conducted a comprehensive review of its security logs and alerts. This review is completed, and it did not find any indication that information was compromised. The most recent information available indicates the campaign extends beyond credit unions to other parts of the financial sector.

FTC works to get your money back

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brings lawsuits to stop unfair and deceptive business practices. One way it helps right those wrongs is by getting refunds to people who lost money. And from July 2017 to June 2018, people got more than $2.3 billion in refunds from FTC cases.

Governor to Sign Paid Family Leave Expansion Today

Governor Phil Murphy will be at the JFK Library in Piscataway this morning where he will sign into law legislation to expand the state’s paid family leave law. The legislation (A3975) expands leave times, provides higher compensation to those taking leave, covers more family members, expands job protections and boosts awareness of the program.

Credit Union Times Highlights NJCUL’s Partnership with Redstone Consulting Group on ACET Portal

Last week, Credit Union Times correspondent, Tina Orem, sat down with New Jersey Credit Union League President/CEO David Frankil to discuss how the New Jersey Credit Union League (NJCUL) has partnered with Huntsville, Ala.-based Redstone Consulting Group on a subscription-based portal aimed at helping credit unions prepare for examinations involving the NCUA’s new Automated Cybersecurity Examination Tool (ACET).

FHFA Should Continue Partnerships Between CUs, FHLBs, GSEs

Credit unions play an important role in the housing finance market, and have a vested interest in the ongoing stability of the secondary mortgage market that the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will help oversee, CUNA wrote to the Senate Banking Committee Thursday. The committee heard testimony from several presidential nominees Thursday, including from Mark Calabria, current chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence and nominee to serve as director of the FHFA.

Supervisory Committee Audit Changes Will Simplify Compliance

Thursday, the NCUA Board held its second open meeting of 2019 at the agency’s headquarters today and unanimously approved one item: A proposed rule to clarify and provide additional flexibility in the agency’s regulation covering required credit union supervisory committee audits. The Office of the General Counsel also attended the meeting and briefed the Board on a final interagency rule covering loans in special flood hazard areas.

National CU Foundation and MDC Collaboration Designed to Help Credit Unions Advance Consumer Financial Health

MADISON, Wis. – The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) and Members Development Company (MDC) are collaborating to bring credit unions additional value and resources on consumer financial health. The Foundation and MDC have a joint membership in the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s (CFSI) Financial Health Network.

Settlement Proposed in Wendy’s Data Breach Lawsuit

A proposed settlement was submitted to the court in First Choice Federal Credit Union v. The Wendy's Company for approval Wednesday, which would conclude the data breach lawsuit from a 2016 data breach at certain Wendy’s franchise locations. CUNA, state leagues, and a number of credit unions are among the plaintiffs.

Access to Financial Services is Vital for Cannabusinesses, CUNA Witness Testifies

Allowing legal, cannabis-based businesses to receive mainstream financial services comes with challenges, but also community benefits, CUNA witness Rachel Pross told a House subcommittee Wednesday. Pross, chief risk officer at Maps CU, Salem, Ore., testified before the House Financial Services subcommittee on consumer protection and financial institutions on access to financial services in places where cannabis is legal.

Votes on Government-Funding Package Imminent as Deadline Approaches

The U.S. Senate and House could vote as soon as today on a package to fund nine federal departments and avoid another partial government shutdown. Leaders from the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate announced the bipartisan deal earlier this week. While President Trump has given no indication one way or another, he is expected to sign it.

Congressman Kim to Hold Town Hall Meeting Saturday

Congressman Andy Kim (D-3) will hold a town hall meeting Saturday in Toms River to report on his first month in Congress. He will discuss efforts to lower prescription drug prices, protect Social Security and Medicare, and establish constituent service programs in both Washington and in New Jersey.

Sen. Booker Announces Leadership Changes in Senate Office

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced Tuesday leadership changes in his Senate office. Tricia Russell will be chief of staff, Nicole Morse will be deputy chief of staff for administration, Kristin Lynch will be communications director, and Jane Wiesenberg will be director of scheduling. The changes are effective immediately.

CUNA Witness to Appear Before HFSC Subcommittee Today

CUNA witness Rachel Pross will talk about the challenges facing legal cannabis-based businesses and financial institutions in those communities Wednesday before the House Financial Services subcommittee (HFSC) on consumer protection and financial institutions. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., and live video will be streamed on the committee’s Web site.

Bill to Rescind SALT Deduction Cap, Introduced by Sen. Menendez and Rep. Pascrell

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-9), senior members of the tax-writing Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees, unveiled a bipartisan, bicameral bill to repeal the federal cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions, imposed by the Trump Tax Law of 2017. With the beginning of tax-filing season underway, many taxpayers—especially in higher cost states like New Jersey—are just now realizing that they owe significantly more on their taxes as a result of the SALT cap.

CUNA Witness Testifies this Week, As Do NCUA, FHFA Nominees

CUNA will have a witness testifying on its behalf before a House subcommittee Wednesday and will be closely engaged with NCUA and Federal Housing Finance Administration nominees before a Senate committee Thursday. CUNA also continues to monitor negotiations for funding the federal government past Feb. 15, when it lapses.

Nussle Op-Ed Points Out Hypocrisy of Bank Attacks on Tax Status, Mergers

The latest bank attacks on credit unions have a new level of hypocrisy previously unseen in the financial services sector, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote in Credit Union Journal Friday. Responding to attacks on the tax status and emergency mergers by the big banks, Nussle pointed out the $21 billion windfall banks saw in 2018, and the recently announced merger that would create the sixth largest bank in the country.

Education on ‘The CU Difference’ Lays Foundation for Advocacy Work

By educating credit union members, they can in turn ensure policymakers know about the credit union difference, CUNA Chief Political Officer Richard Gose said Friday during a webinar on CUNA’s Member Activation Program (MAP). MAP allows credit unions to reach out to their members on certain campaigns, and CUNA launched its latest campaign on the credit union difference in January.

New Tools Make Children's Miracle Network Fundraising a Hit with Employees

Employees can drive the success of your charity fundraising for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. They are not only the front line in your member-facing fundraising activities, but they are also a dedicated force for good: Your fundraising success is their success. To ensure that your employee giving campaigns are a hit, Credit Unions for Kids is introducing new tools to make employee-based fundraising easier and more effective.

Congress Wrestles to Avoid Another Government Shutdown, NCUA Nominees under Consideration, CUNA to Testify at Cannabusiness Hearing

The short-term funding bill that ended the recent partial government shutdown is set to expire at midnight Friday. The House and Senate are expected to consider a longer-term funding solution this week to avoid another shutdown, though there are reports that the two parties are still in disagreement over some aspects, which could prevent a compromise from being reached. As Congress considers potential funding compromises, CUNA is working to ensure credit union priorities, such as full funding for the NCUA's Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF), Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and the Small Business Administration's (SBA) 7(a) and 504 loan programs, are included.

Treasury and IRS Issue Interim Guidance on Executive Compensation Excise Tax; Impacts CU Executive Pay

On December 31, 2018, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2019-09 providing comprehensive interim guidance under section 4960 of the Internal Revenue Code to assist tax exempt organizations to comply with the new excise tax that was part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in December 2017.

Sen. Booker Names New State Director

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced Hanna Mori has taken over as his state director, replacing George Helmy who left to become Gov. Phil Murphy’s new chief of staff. A veteran Booker administration staffer, Mori most recently served as the deputy state director. Zachary McCue has been promoted from projects director to replace Mori as deputy state director.

Payday Lender Fined $100K

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Tuesday announced a settlement with payday lender Cash Tyme for Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) violations related to unfair acts and practices. The company, which has retail lending outlets in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, has been ordered to pay a civil money penalty of $100,000.

Credit Union of New Jersey donates $25K to SERV

Credit Union of New Jersey makes first of three $25,000 donations for local technology center.

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

CUs Beware, “Phishing” Emails are Alive and Well!

The USA PATRIOT Act, Section 314(b) permits financial institutions (after certain notice provided to the U.S. Department of Treasury), to share information with one another in order to identify and report to the federal government activities that may involve money laundering or terrorist activities.

HMDA 2018 Data Reporting Deadline March 1

Financial institutions, including credit unions, required to file Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data should begin soon. Beginning with HMDA data collected in or after 2017, financial institutions will use the HMDA Platform to upload their loan/application registers (LARs), review edits, certify the accuracy and completeness of the data, and submit data for the filing year.

Restaurant Chain Hit by 18-Month Data Breach

Restaurant chain Huddle House has notified consumers of a breach to its point-of-sale (POS) system, which likely impacted 341 locations between over an 18-month period from August 2017 to February 1, 2019. The company said that malware was installed on POS systems to collect payment information, including cardholder name, card number and expiration date.

CUNA Mutual Group Risk Alert: Remain Vigilant During Tax Season

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lists refund fraud on the 2018 Dirty Dozen list of tax scams. Credit unions should not let their guard down – particularly in light of large-scale data breaches which provided fraudsters with the personally identifiable information needed to file fraudulent tax returns.

Time to Order Materials for National Consumer Protection Week

National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) 2019 is just around the corner. This year, NCPW is March 3 – 9, 2019. That’s just about a month away, so now is the time to jump into planning. During NCPW, government agencies and consumer protection groups band together to help people understand their consumer rights and make well-informed decisions about money. Credit unions are encouraged to participate.

Debt Reduction is a Top Priority for Parents, Survey Finds

Reducing debt is the top financial priority in 2019 for roughly three-quarters of parents, according to a survey recently released by New York Life. While two-thirds of respondents said they plan to save more this year, 30 percent plan to seek expert advice for financial planning.

Sen. Booker Announces Presidential Bid

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) chose today, the first day of Black History Month, to make his long-anticipated announcement that he is running for president. He joins a growing list of candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

CUs Need to be Included in FHFA’s Proposed Small Member Goal

CUNA wrote to the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) Tuesday opposing its proposed Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) affordable housing goals regulations because they specifically exclude credit unions from being eligible to participate in the newly created smaller member participation goal. CUNA sent its comment letter in response to FHFA’s proposed regulation on its affordable housing goals.

HFSC Sub-committees Assignments Approved, Rules Adopted

The House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) yesterday approved rules for the panel and membership to its various sub-committees. Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) in her opening remarks noted that there is a new sub-committee, as well as name changes to some, as the committee hones its focus on initiatives that benefit consumers, small businesses and the economy as a whole, among others.

Senator Singer Visits First Atlantic FCU

EATONTOWN, N.J. – State Sen. Bob Singer (R-30) visited First Atlantic FCU Tuesday. NJCUL President/CEO David Frankil and Vice President of Corporate and Governmental Affairs Chris Abeel were on-hand for the meeting hosted by First Atlantic President/CEO John Culp and Board Chair Dr. Deborah Frank.

House Financial Services Committee to Hold First Meeting Today

The House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) will hold its first meeting of the 116th Congress today to adopt a resolution related to its governing rules and another one to name majority and minority committee members to sub-committees. HFSC member from New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) will serve on the following sub-committees: Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets; National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy, and; Diversity and Inclusion.

House Resolution Encourages FIs to Provide Solutions for Those Affected by Shutdown

The U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday passed H. Res. 77, expressing the sense of Congress that “financial institutions and other companies should work proactively with their customers affected by the shutdown of the Federal Government who may be facing short-term financial hardship and long-term damage to their creditworthiness through no fault of their own.”

Taxi Medallion Lender Progressive CU Posts a 2018 Loss of Almost $103 Million

Progressive Credit Union (New York, NY) reported a loss of $102.99 million for 2018, according to Keith Leggett’s Credit Union Watch. The credit union’s loss for the fourth quarter was $49.7 million. A casualty of the disruption to the taxi industry by ride sharing companies, Progressive Credit Union was acquired by PenFed earlier this month. PenFed ($24.1 billion in assets, 1.7 million members as of Sept. 30) chose to keep all of Progressive’s loans including its taxi medallion loans. 

CFPB Fines Payday Lender $3.2M

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Friday that it has ordered Enova International to pay a $3.2 million civil penalty for unfair practices related to unauthorized debiting of accounts and failure to honor loan extensions.

$15 Minimum Wage Bills on Fast Track

Legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour for all but a few worker categories passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee Monday along partisan lines. The measure was approved last week by the Assembly Labor Committee, also along partisan lines.

Lawmakers Seek Housing Finance Reform Details

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are asking the administration for its housing finance reform plan following comments from Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director Joseph Otting.

$15 Minimum Wage Scheduled for Assembly Committee Action Today

Legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour for all but a few worker categories is scheduled for consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee today where it is expected to pass. The measure was approved Thursday by the Assembly Labor Committee, where the vote (6 to 3) was along partisan lines.

FHFA indicates housing finance reform coming soon

According to a story in Politico, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director Joseph Otting recently told staff to expect a housing finance reform plan from the administration and Treasury Department within the next month. After that, Otting said he expects significant progress to be made within "six to 18 months."