WASHINGTON (2/28/08)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) have been meeting with federal regulators on subjects of growing concern to credit unions, such as mergers, field of membership (FOM), and examination issues. “Our attempt is to begin a dialogue on these issues between credit unions and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) in a cooperative way,” CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn explained Tuesday. CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica and AACUL Chairman Rosie Holub backed up the meetings with a letter to the three members of the NCUA board, which emphasized credit unions’ concerns. In their joint letter, CUNA and AACUL discussed the roles of credit unions and examiners during the current climate of widespread mortgage and economic problems facing the country, as well the other key issues. Regarding the country’s mortgage market problems, the letter said credit unions should be encouraged to develop and participate in lending programs that allow them to work with their members, as they have in the past, and consistent with their purpose and mission, to modify mortgage loans as a means of avoiding the higher cost of foreclosure. “In addition, and in a measured and prudent way, credit unions should also be able to provide loans to others eligible to join the credit union who may have obtained problematic loans elsewhere,” Mica and Holub wrote to the NCUA board. They said examiners play a determinative role in facilitating or limiting such service at any time, but particularly during this economic downturn. The credit union leaders added that credit unions should have reasonable flexibility to develop workout plans for eligible members, as well as others in the field of membership who want to join as long as the credit union’s safety and soundness are not jeopardized in the process. In addition to Holub, of Missouri, and CUNA representatives, five additional state league presidents participated in the meetings with NCUA: John Dill of Colorado, Bill Cheney of California, Dick Ensweiler of Texas, Paul Mercer of Ohio, and Dave Adams of Michigan.