WASHINGTON (8/5/13)--The U.S. Department of Defense must recognize the unique nature of credit unions, including the 85 years of direct support provided by on-base credit unions, as it develops enhancements to some of the consumer credit protections offered to servicemembers and their families, the Credit Union National Association and the Defense Credit Union Council said in a joint comment letter.
Credit unions' support of servicemembers and their families is "a support built on trust and confidence; a support that has never waned...either in peace or war; in good economic times or not," CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn and DCUC President/CEO Roland Arteaga emphasized in the letter.
Dunn and Arteaga in the letter noted that both CUNA and DCUC, and their member credit unions, have supported existing DoD consumer credit rules since they were issued in 2007. The current rule "has been an effective tool in protecting military consumers and curbing predatory lending," they said, and should not be altered. Doing so "will likely create unintended consequences and could jeopardize the extension of consumer credit to our troops and their families," they wrote.
Overall, CUNA and DCUC said any regulatory changes that are made should only address those lenders that seek to take unfair advantage of military members and their families.
"We strongly support the imposition of firm enforcement actions on predatory and abusive entities, but urge DoD to ensure regulated financial institutions, including credit unions, are not negatively impacted by future changes," the letter added.
The DoD is considering consumer protection changes as it prepares its report to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and House. CUNA and DCUC said they would work with the DoD as it prepares this report, which is due by Jan. 2.
For the full comment letter, use the resource link.