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Bankrupt developer owes CU 112000

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DES MOINES, Iowa (5/29/09)--A credit union creditor in a bankruptcy case involving Iowa developer John Kline has asked the Dallas County, Iowa, court to continue the case so creditors can figure out what happened to the money they loaned Kline. Community Choice CU, based in Johnston, Iowa, has asked that the case be continued until at least Aug. 20. According to court documents filed by First Bank of West Des Moines, another creditor, Kline borrowed $108,000 from the $229.8 million asset credit union and used as collateral four automobiles (The Des Moines Register May 27). He was supposed to pay $112,105.85 to the credit union on March 12. The bank says the businessman owes it more than $4 million from a mortgage issued in 2004 for a condominium development. Kline filed a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy petition Feb. 16 but claimed the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when asked about his assets and debts. The petition listed 47 creditors, including 22 financial institutions, but no amounts. The document estimated he had between $1 million and $10 million in assets, and an equivalent amount in debt. Earlier this year, a Dallas County judge entered a $4.5 million civil fraud judgment against Kline on behalf of a contractor.

Its Hurricane Preparedness Week in Louisiana

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HARAHAN, La. (5/29/09)--The official start of the hurricane season is Monday, June 1. Louisiana Gov. Bob Jindal has proclaimed this week as Hurricane Preparedness Week, according to the Louisiana Credit Union League. The aim of the week is to remind people to prepare for emergencies and have a plan if a hurricane should hit the state. The league said it also is taking steps to prepare credit unions for the upcoming hurricane season. It was mailing to credit unions packets containing information such as financial checklist, an emergency contact list for the credit union, a hurricane tracking map, and other tools for disasters (eNews May 27). The National Hurricane Center has dedicated a website for Hurricane Preparedness Week. Credit unions along the coasts should have their business continuity plans up to date. The center says that during an average three-year period, roughly five hurricanes will strike the U.S. coastline anywhere from Texas to Maine and will kill from 50 to 100 people. Two of these likely will be major or intense storms of category three or higher.

Fed legislation wont boost ATM purchases

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CHICAGO and NEW YORK (5/29/09)--The recent federal legislation allowing the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) to borrow funds from the U.S. Treasury to help stabilize the system won't likely boost ATM purchases by credit unions and banks, say several ATM companies. One analyst, Gil Luria of Wedbush Morgan Securities, had suggested that the threat of huge assessments to boost the insurance funds had been a key factor that prevented credit unions and regional and community banks from buying ATMs (ATM&Debit News May 21). The legislation gives NCUA the authority to borrow $6 billion, up from $100 million originally authorized, and provides emergency borrowing authority for up to $30 billion. Because credit unions and banks were facing huge assessments, they essentially froze their budgets, said Luria. However, ATM manufacturers such as Diebold Inc. and NCR Corp. said they expect the economy to reduce sales significantly this year. They and several banks did not agree that the law would free up financial institutions' capital to buy ATMs. One banker noted reduced earnings can affect plans for equipment expansion, but another said he didn't believe that special assessments could be categorically linked to decisions not to buy ATMs. Instead, the assessments will cause financial institutions to prioritize their capital expenditures.

Harley dealers CUs capturing financing

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MILWAUKEE (5/29/09)--Harley-Davidson dealers, who say motorcycles sales are down this year, are complaining about losing financing business to credit unions. The survey of 75 Harley dealerships, conducted in late April and May by Robert W. Baird and Co., noted that new-bike sales dropped between 20% and 25% from a year ago. Used-motorcycle sales declined between 5% and 10% (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel May 27). Of the respondents, 63% indicated they were selling bikes below the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Last year for the same period, 36% of the dealers said they were doing so. One dealer criticized the drop in prices, saying it makes things worse. Dealers are also dealing with tighter consumer credit. Some of those surveyed said their consumer financing arm, Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS), is charging too much in interest rates for people with good credit scores. They complained about losing motorcycle financing business to credit unions. "All we are getting are the marginal-credit customers, which makes our portfolio with HDFS look bad," one dealer said. Some credit unions have coped with the economy's downturn and its effect on the auto industry by offering leading edge rates for motorcycles (News Now May 13, 2008 and June 9, 2008). Last year's increase in gasoline prices prompted some credit unions to offer deals on cycles. One credit union said it would be more aggressive in expanding membership lending for autos, Harley Davidson motorcycles and recreational vehicles (News Now May 23, 2008).

N.Y. CU Foundation board trustees named

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ALBANY, N.Y. (5/29/09)--The Credit Union Association of New York board appointed two individuals to serve as trustees of the New York Credit Union Foundation, effective immediately. The appointees are Christopher J. Guild, account consultant manager, CUNA Mutual Group, and Michael S. Vadala, president/CEO, The Summit FCU. A third addition, Alfred Frosolone, CEO, Niagara’s Choice FCU, joins the foundation board as the newly elected chair of the association. Together they will work with seated trustees in establishing policies and overseeing the operation of the foundation.
Guild has been with CUNA Mutual since 1996. In October 2006, he was named account consultant manager for the organization’s East Region. Before that, Guild held positions as financial solutions officer, account relationship manager and lending specialist. He spent six years as assistant manager for Syracuse (N.Y.) Fire Department Employees FCU. Vadala is also a past president of the New York State Telephone Credit Union Association and still serves on its board. Frosolone was elected chair of the association’s board during its annual business meeting last week in Albany. Other foundation trustees are:
* Chair--Vicki O’Neill, president/CEO, ACMG FCU, Solvay; * Vice Chair--Bruno Sementilli, president/CEO, Quorum FCU, Purchase; * Secretary/Treasurer--Brian Clarke, chief financial officer, Bethpage (N.Y.) FCU; * Linda Bourgeois, CEO, UFirst FCU, Plattsburgh; * John C. Gibardi, CEO, Entertainment Industries FCU, New York; * Shirley Jenkins, secretary/board of directors, Municipal CU, New York; * Nancy Kasprzak-Whitmore, president/CEO, Niagara County FCU, Lockport; * Michael Lotz, operations manager, British Airways Employees FCU, East Elmhurst; * James L. Mack, business development executive, Sunmark FCU, Latham; * William J. Mellin, president/CEO, Credit Union Association of New York; * Christine Peters, CEO, Family First of New York FCU, Rochester; * John Prumo, president/CEO, GPO FCU, New Hartford; * James Stracuzzi, president/CEO, CCSD FCU, Elmira Heights; and * Dirck C. Van Deusen, senior vice president/corporate relations, Members United Corporate FCU, Warrenville, Ill.

Fox Co-ops critical to solving global crisis

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GUANAJUATO, Mexico (5/29/09)--Cooperatives will play a critical role in creating a stronger economic future, according to Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico and co-president of Centrist Democrat International. Fox will share this message with attendees of the World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) World Credit Union Conference July 26-29 in Barcelona, Spain. He is scheduled to give the keynote address. “It’s time to recompose, re-energize and reshape the global financial system to take on its proper role in serving people,” Fox told WOCCU recently. “We came into the current economic situation after experiencing our best decade in terms of reducing global poverty.” Financial cooperatives, including credit unions, provide the necessary component in serving millions of people, especially the rural poor, and it will be critical to expand those services, he added. “Cooperatives do their best work in helping stabilize communities and creating peaceful environments,” Fox said. “We all have to keep reaching for the best system possible to make sure that every citizen in the world has access to financial services.” Fox helped revitalize Mexico’s “broken” financial system when he became president in 2000. He was inspired by Grameen Bank, which was created by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yunus. He worked to improve Mexico’s credit union system with help from WOCCU and credit union leagues and institutions. “If I could speak to the [Group of 20] nations, my most passionate recommendation would be that, in order to increase growth and prosperity among the poor, cooperative financial systems must be considered at the same levels as the banking system,” Fox said. “But they must be governed with rules and oversight appropriate to their cooperative natures.” For more information, use the link.

McNaught elected chairman of CUDL

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ONTARIO, Calif. (5/29/09)--Marge McNaught, senior vice president of Premier America CU, was elected as chairman of Credit Union Direct Lending during a May 13 board meeting. She previously served as vice chairman and has been on the board since 2003. CUDL is a point-of-sale and indirect lending network for credit unions. All four board members were re-elected to three-year terms:
* Diana Dykstra, president/CEO, San Francisco Fire CU; * McNaught; * Henry Wirz, president/CEO, SAFE CU, North Highlands, Calif.; and * David Reynolds, president/CEO, Security Service FCU, San Antonio, Texas.
Other board officers elected are:
* Larry Wilson, president/CEO, Coastal FCU, Raleigh, N.C., as vice chairman; * Terry Halleck, The Golden 1 CU, Sacramento, as treasurer; and * Reynolds as secretary.
During the meeting, CUDL President/CEO Tony Boutelle also honored outgoing chair Jim Jordan, CEO, Schools Financial CU, Sacramento.

Illinois youth saved 458401 at 23 CUs

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (5/29/09)--Youth in Illinois joined their counterparts nationwide to more than double the amount of money they previously saved during the annual savings challenge as part of National Credit Union Youth Week. In Illinois, $458,401 was saved at 23 credit unions. More than $26.5 million was saved by youth at their credit unions nationwide in the Credit Union National Association’s 2009 “Magic of Saving” savings challenge campaign. Compared with the 2008 record of $12 million, this year’s figures show that credit unions are capturing the interest of youth and teaching them the “magic of saving,” said the Illinois Credit Union League. In 2009’s challenge, there were 139,699 youth nationwide made deposits, compared with 76,524 in 2008. In Illinois this year, 2,800 youth made deposits. New youth accounts opened nationwide tallied 10,006 in the 2009 challenge, compared with 6,748 in 2008. There were 257 new accounts opened in Illinois in this year’s challenge.

Bank to move into hospital CU evicted

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (5/29/09)--Sioux Falls FCU will lose its space in Sanford USD Medical Center this fall, because of the center's new relationship with a bank. The $124.3 million, Sioux Falls-based credit union had occupied the space at the medical center for 28 years (Argus Leader May 27). Hospital executives notified the credit union that it must leave because First Premier Bank would be using the space. They told the credit union that its service to hospital employees was "superior" but that the nature of the relationship with the bank took precedence. The center's namesake, T. Denny Sanford, owns United National Corp., First Premier Bank's holding company. In 2007, Sanford donated $400 million to the center. He has made other, smaller contributions also. According to a hospital spokesman, the bank approached the medical center with a "very dynamic" and "compelling proposal," which he said would provide "a significant number of service opportunities--banking-related service opportunities for our physicians, employees and guests." He did not say what the opportunities are. The bank will offer expanded hours to include nights and weekends and automated banking stations at the branch Sioux Falls FCU serves more than 1,700 hospital employees and their families. According to President/CEO Fran Sommerfeld, the credit union will serve Sanford employees through its other locations in the city.

ICU Foundation awards 75675 in grants

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (5/29/09)--The Illinois Credit Union Foundation recently awarded $75,675 in Small Credit Union Development (SCUD), community service, marketing and business development, and Financial Independence and Revitalization Effort (FIRE) grants and scholarships. About $26,775 in SCUD grants were awarded to 11 credit unions. The grants will be used for computer equipment and software, Internet banking, computer upgrades, specialized software, website set-up, strategic planning sessions, office equipment for a new facility and new computers. The recipients are:
* Chicago Fire Officers Association CU; * CT Community CU, East St. Louis; * DeKalb County CU, DeKalb; * District 123 FCU, Oak Lawn; * Effingham (Ill.) Highway CU; * Imperial Employees CU, Lincolnwood; * Maine Township Schools CU, Park Ridge; * Murray Employees CU, Centralia; * MWPH Grand Lodge of IL FCU, Chicago; * Parish Members CU, Metamora; and * Pontiac Dwight Prison Employees CU, Pontiac.
The foundation also awarded $800 in Community Service Grants. The program encourages and rewards chapter or credit union participation in community projects. Credit unions and chapters can qualify for grants by hosting an established event, creating an event, or volunteering at an established event. One chapter and one credit union received a community service grant: the Danville (Ill.) Area Chapter of Credit Unions and CommonWealth CU, Bourbonnais. Four credit unions received marketing and business development grants that totaled $14,000. The recipients were: Alton Route CU, Normal, NICE FCU, St. Charles, Riverside Community CU, Kankakee, and State Employees Community CU, Alton. The grants help credit unions with assets of up to $30 million to start or expand outreach efforts. The maximum grant award is $5,000 per credit union per year. One credit union that received a FIRE grant for $5,000 was Sherwin Williams ECU, South Holland. The FIRE Program provides assistance to credit that provide credit and financial services to residents and businesses in low-income and underserved areas of Illinois. The goal of the FIRE Program is to enhance membership services for credit unions located in economically disadvantaged areas. Sherwin Williams used its FIRE grant to partner with the Center for Economic Progress to help bring the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to more people in the south and southwest suburban Chicago area. Also, $29,100 was awarded in scholarships to 37 organizations, including 34 credit unions. Individuals and groups--as a chapter or group of credit unions--can apply. Scholarships may be used toward the Illinois Credit Union League’s educational opportunities and Credit Union National Association Schools. For more information on grants, use the link.

Members at CU double refinance-savings goal

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RACINE, Wis. (5/29/09)--Educators CU members already have surpassed their yearly Fast Lane Financing savings goal of $2 million--five months into 2009. On May 13, the total savings for refinanced loans tallied $2,251,695. The $1.018 billion asset, Racine, Wis.-based credit union challenged its members to track interest savings on all refinanced loan products obtained through other financial entities. (WISN.com May 27). Educators CU came up with the challenge idea, reasoning that many people did not get as good of a financing deal with other lenders as they may have originally thought, the credit union told the station. With seven months left in the year, the credit union said it will attempt to have its members more than double the original goal--which would save members another $3 million by the end of 2009.

CU System briefs (05/28/2009)

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* SAN FRANCISCO (5/29/09)--Scott Waite, senior vice president and chief financial officer at the San Francisco-based Patelco CU, has accepted an invitation to join the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) and International Accounting Standard Board's (IASB) Financial Instruments Resource Group. The group, comprising 10 individuals from the U.S. and 10 from the international community, will be an informal channel for feedback to staff on ideas related to a project on financial instruments: improvements to recognition and measurement. Waite has worked with FASB and its Small Business Advisory Committee (SBAC) since 2003. "The objective of this new international group is to significantly improve the decision usefulness of financial instrument reporting to users of financial statements. I think it's incredible to have U.S. credit unions represented in this group of 20 individuals," Waite told News Now … *
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HANSCOM AFB, Mass. (5/29/09)--Hanscom FCU contributed to the success of the Massachusetts Credit Union League's 2009 statewide children's book drive. The credit union collected 2,139 books for the drive. This year 41 participating credit unions collected and donated 19,241 books, which the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless will deliver to shelters, hospitals and other nonprofits in the state. The league's project has collected 190,326 books in the past nine years. Hanscom FCU volunteers shown organizing the books included, from left: Jim Potter, senior vice president of operations; Sandy Imbrogna, training specialist; David Sprague, president/CEO; and Paul Marotta, chairman of the board. (Photo provided by Hanscom FCU) … * CHARLOTTE, N.C. (5/29/09)--Roger Shelor, president/CEO of Charlotte, N.C.,-based Carolinas Telco FCU, died Tuesday at the age of 78. Shelor began his career at the $340 million asset credit union in 1965 as manager, then president/CEO. He served on numerous local and national committees and as a board director of the Piedmont Chapter of credit unions and the North Carolina Credit Union League. His career was highlighted when he received the "Mark of Excellence Award" from the league in 1991. He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley. Survivors include three children. Visitation is 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at McEwen Funeral Home, 10500 Park Road, Pineville (South Charlotte), N.C. On Saturday, a celebration of Shelor's life will begin at 11 a.m., followed by services at noon at First United Methodist Church, 501 North Tryon St., Charlotte …