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Disaster relief activated by NCUA in Isaacs wake
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (8/30/12)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has activated its disaster relief policy to help credit unions, members and others in affected areas of the Gulf Coast cope in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, which is now a tropical storm.

The disaster relief policy helps to ensure the continuity of credit union services in storm-impacted areas.

The agency in a release reminded credit unions and members that the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) is always backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, and said member share accounts are insured up to $250,000.

The NCUA said credit unions in impacted areas should do what they prudently can to recognize financial disruptions for both individuals and businesses, and can take actions to ensure credit is available to those in need.

Those actions can include:

  • Extending the terms of loan repayments;
  • Making loans with special terms or reduced documentation standards available to members;
  • Restructuring a borrowers debt obligations; and
  • Easing credit terms for new loans to certain borrowers, consistent with prudent practices.
NCUA examiners will soon survey credit unions in storm-impacted areas, and may reschedule examinations for impacted credit unions, if needed.

The agency alert also reminds federal credit unions that they may also provide assistance to other credit unions, their members and non-members in areas affected by the disaster, under certain conditions. They include:

  • Emergency financial services for non-members, including check cashing, access to ATM networks, or other services to meet short-term emergency needs of individuals. These services can be provided under the authority to engage in charitable activities. Federal credit unions providing services on this charitable basis may not impose charges for services that exceed their direct costs; and
  • Services to other credit unions that a credit union is authorized to perform for its own members or as part of its operations. This activity is part of a federal credit union's incidental powers, so it may impose charges for these services.
Isaac made landfall as a hurricane at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday but was downgraded back to tropical storm status on Wednesday afternoon. The weakening storm continued to rake Louisiana and Mississippi with heavy rains and high winds as it slowly moved through those states Wednesday. Storm surges and flooding have posed the greatest threats so far, with intense flooding reported in many areas. (See related News Now story: Isaac stalls, while CUs wait it out)

For the full NCUA release, use the resource link.
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