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News Now

Washington
Credit CARD Act a hot topic for CUs back home
WASHINGTON (8/17/09)--Although legislative action has been halted by the congressional district work period, state credit union representatives have continued to respond to the Credit Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act through advocacy and organizational efforts.
Missouri Credit union officials discussed their concerns regarding the CARD Act with district representatives. From left to right, Randy Yeck, Stan Moeckli, Linda Allen, Brian Eyestone, Franz Kohler, Howard Hoemann, Rosie Holub, Lisa Farnen, Brian Bass and State Representative Al Liese. (Photo provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association)
The Missouri Credit Union Association’s (MCUA) newsletter The Missouri difference last week reported that Missouri credit union representatives discussed their concerns regarding the Aug. 20 deadline set forth by the recently passed CARD Act with a representative of Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.). Stan Moeckli, president of St. Louis-based Electro Savings CU, during the meeting said credit unions should ensure that their members and legislators “understand” that credit unions support “the original intent of the CARD Act, to protect consumers against less than ethical practices enacted by some credit card issuers.” However, Moeckli added, it is the unintended impact that some language in the CARD Act would have on some credit union loan products that credit unions are working to change. “Ultimately the act as currently written will hurt consumers that use open-ended loans by making it next to impossible for lenders to comply with the law,” he said. The group of credit union representatives also included MCUA President/CEO Rosie Holub and Vice President of Public/Legislative Affairs Amy McLard, American Eagle FCU’s Charlie Waalkes, Anheuser-Busch Employees’ CU’s Dave Osborn, Arsenal CU’s Linda Allen, Southpointe CU’s Brian Eyestone, and Vantage CU’s Randy Yeck. They also discussed open-end lines of credit, member business lending (MBL), interchange fees and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) during the in-district meeting. MCUA and related credit unions have planned additional meetings with members of Congress and their staffers in the coming weeks. The Association of Vermont Credit Unions has also sought to actively address the CARD Act. Its Newslines Express on Friday reported that over two-thirds of the association’s member credit unions took part in a midweek conference call on the new rules. The conference call, which included representatives from the CUNA Mutual Group, Vermont State Employees CU, and New England FCU, discussed some of the options for complying with the CARD Act, including the use of multi-featured open-end lending. The assembled representatives echoed many of the sentiments expressed by the Missouri leagues and, more generally, by credit union industry participants. According to the Newslines Express, they also agreed that existing loan due dates should be shifted to the end of the month and that any account late fees and reporting of delinquent accounts by credit bureaus should be temporarily suspended. The Credit Union National Association continues to address the 21-day rule through discussions with legislators and the Fed, and has urged policymakers to limit the scope of the 21-day rule to credit cards or, at a minimum, to grant more time for compliance with the 21-day provision for open-end plans other than credit cards.
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