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Elliott named to NCCUL board of directors

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. (7/8/08)--Fort Bragg FCU President/CEO David Elliott was named to the board of directors of the North Carolina Credit Union League during the league's 73rd Annual Meeting June 11. He will represent the Southeast Chapter of Credit Unions and serve the remainder of Richard Jefferson's term, which ends in 2009. Jefferson left the board in June to help start a new financial institution in Jacksonville, said the league (Weekly Update July 3). Elliott will be eligible to run for re-election to a full three-year term in 2009. A 30-year veteran of credit unions, Elliott began his credit union career at Members CU, Winston-Salem, and joined Fort Bragg FCU in 1989. He has served as CEO since 1996.

Southeast Corporate phone numbers change next week

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (7/8/08)--Southeast Corporate FCU will be installing a new phone system, which means its extensions and direct dial numbers will change, effective July 14. The Tallahassee-based corporate said it will have one main toll free number: 800-342-0203. Although all extensions and direct dial numbers will change, phone options in the system will remain the same.

Louisiana league reports temporary fax outage

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HARAHAN, La. (7/8/08)--The Louisiana Credit Union League is experiencing a temporary interruption with its fax system, the league said yesterday. Faxes sent within the last week have not been received. The league is working to resolve the issue. To contact the league, please call 800-452-7221. E-mails also can be sent to individual staff members.

TraceSecurity Improve server networks to avoid hackers

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SAN DIEGO (7/8/08)--Credit unions need to place their ATM servers onto secured private segments on their networks to avoid hackers, said TraceSecurity Chief Technology Officer Jim Stickley. Placing the servers on different networks is “not expensive,” Stickley told News Now. “It’s easy to do. But people ignore it and it comes back to bite them.” Credit unions are more likely than other financial institutions to keep their information on the same networks. About 90% of credit unions that Stickley has worked with are set up that way, he said. “Financial institutions need to do a much better job setting up their network infrastructure,” Stickley said. “Many organizations make the assumption that as long as the servers are behind a firewall they are safe. That is simply not the case.” Credit unions also should monitor their logs “for anything that falls out of the norm.” TraceSecurity disclosed last week that Citibank customers whose funds were hacked through a connection between ATMs and third parties processing their personal identification number codes are just “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the overall security and compliance of the networks that process ATM transactions. “Most peoples’ home personal computers are better protected from malicious hackers than many ATM servers,” he added. “Financial institutions are failing to perform patch updates to ATM servers because third-party vendors aren’t approving the patches to be applied to the systems running their ATM software. As a result, hackers could easily exploit known security holes in operating systems.” Vendors can’t always push patches right away because they change the way the codes work with ATMs’ software. In some cases, the changes could break the machines. Credit unions and banks also often forget to patch vulnerabilities because of the delayed approval from the vendor. But a month with an unpatched vulnerability is “an eternity. It’s like dog years. I’ve seen some [patches] that have taken up to a year.” Vendors must check vulnerabilities faster, Stickley said. “It’s critical. It should take a couple of days at the most.”

Indiana league names new board treasurer

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INDIANAPOLIS (7/8/08)--Chiphone FCU CEO Ron Mazur was elected board treasurer of the Indiana Credit Union League during its meeting June 3. He replaces Dave Thieme, who left the board in April to take a new position outside the credit union industry. Mazur has represented credit unions in northern Indiana's District 1 on the league board since 2006. He has been CEO of the Elkhart-based credit union for more than 25 years. He is chairman of the league's Audit and Finance, and League and Servicecorp Products and Services committees, and is board treasurer of Credit Union Centers of Indiana, which manages Indiana's shared-branching activities.

Budreau inducted into Indiana CU Hall of Fame

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INDIANAPOLIS (7/8/08)--Jenny Budreau, FORUM CU senior vice president, human resources and administration, will be inducted into the Indiana Credit Union Hall of Fame Sept. 27. Budreau will be honored at the Chairman’s Awards Banquet during the Indiana Credit Union League’s convention. She will complete her term as league director on Sept. 26 and is immediate past chairman of the league. “Her term as chairman included the Political Involvement Task Force and Emerging Leadership Award being established, as well as laying the groundwork that led to the ignite group being formed,” said League President John McKenzie. The ignite group is a forum for the exchange of ideas and discussion for Indiana’s credit union leaders and emerging leaders. Budreau has been on the board of directors since 2001 and has been active on several committees, including Audit and Finance, Awards and Board Recruitment/Election Review. She also is on the Indiana Credit Union Foundation board.

Filene report offers new concept in debt relief

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MADISON, Wis. (7/8/08)--Credit unions seeking information about debt relief for their members can reference a new report from the Filene Research Institute on Responsible Debt Relief (RDR). Robert D. Manning, director, center for consumer financial services at the Rochester Institute of Technology, has released “Responsible Debt Relief: An Algorithmic Assessment of Household Debt Capacity and Repayment Capability.” The key to a successful RDR system is the objective and statistically precise estimate of consumer debt capacity and debt repayment capability, according to Manning. His Responsible Choice program, based on an algorithm that estimates household debt capacity and repayment capability, classifies individual consumers into tested debt management programs. “The RDR algorithm improves the efficiency of the overall system of consumer debt management programs by guiding consumers to the plans that best match their financial situation,” said George Hofheimer, Filene chief research officer. RDR applies to households that do not qualify for an accredited Consumer Credit Counseling Service. Many of those households often enroll in nefarious debt settlement programs or file for consumer bankruptcy, Filene said. Household debt has grown to more than $13 trillion in 2008, from less than $4 trillion in 1990. Current home mortgage debt is $10.5 trillion, compared with $2.5 trillion during the same time period. Credit card debt also has quadrupled to $950 billion.

New Jersey data breach bill reintroduced

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HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. (7/8/08)--A New Jersey data breach bill has been reintroduced this session and the New Jersey Credit Union League is working to move the legislation forward, according to the league. The bill, which remains unchanged this session, would limit retailers’ use and retention of personal consumer information and hold a breaching party financially responsible for losses including the cost of card replacements. Issuers also would be able to disclose to their cardholders the party responsible for the breach (Weekly Exchange June 30). “There’s nothing new,” Candice Areia, league director of marketing and communications, told News Now. The measure was heard in committee during the lame-duck session but was not reported for a floor vote because a retailer and restaurant association strongly opposed it, the league said. The bill is sponsored by Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee Chair Neil Cohen (D-20). The league partnered with the New Jersey Community Bankers Association to develop the legislative strategy.

CU System briefs (07/07/2008)

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* PHOENIX (7/8/08)--The Arizona Credit Union League and Arizona FCU co-hosted U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-2) July 1 at the credit union’s Bell Road branch in Glendale. Franks confirmed his support for credit unions and the positive role they have played in the community. “Franks has been a credit union supporter since serving in the Arizona legislature, and by his conversation today, he simply reinforced his belief in the Credit Union System,” said Austin De Bey, vice president of governmental affairs at the league. Arizona FCU, Phoenix, has $1.8 million in assets ... * HOUSTON (7/8/08)--Francis Kuhn, vice president of facilities and administration for Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp), has been named to the International Facility Management Association’s executive committee. Kuhn will serve as the committee's second vice chair. IFMA is an international association for professional facility managers, supporting more than 19,000 members in 60 countries. WesCorp is located in San Dimas, Calif., and has $31 billion in assets ... * SAN DIMAS, Calif. (7/8/08)--Matt Morris III, former member relationship manager at Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp), died July 3 in Boise, Idaho, after suffering a stroke in his office. Morris, 59, worked at WesCorp for 11 years and served in the financial services industry for more than 30 years. “We have all lost a loyal colleague and true friend,” said Bob Siravo, WesCorp president/CEO ...