Friday, May 1, 2015

Myra Toeppe NCUA Director, Region 3 National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. - 2015 Conference


ToeppeMyra Toeppe  NCUA Director, Region 3
As Regional Director, Ms. Toeppe is responsible for oversight of the chartering program for federal credit unions and the examination and supervision programs for all federally insured credit unions in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee and the Virgin Islands.
Ms. Toeppe joined NCUA in April 2011 as an Associate Regional Director, Operations after an almost 25 year banking regulatory career at the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) and its predecessor agency. Ms. Toeppe began her financial institution regulatory career in 1986 as an examiner with the FHLB–Atlanta and later became an examiner/commercial loan specialist for OTS.
In 2005, Ms. Toeppe was promoted to Field Manager responsible for the examination of thrift institutions primarily located in Georgia and Alabama. In 2008, Ms. Toeppe was promoted to Assistant Regional Director for Operations responsible for the examination and supervision of thrift institutions in Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Carolinas.
Ms. Toeppe earned her B.S.B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Central Florida. She also is a 2011 graduate of the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. - 2015 Conference

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. - Donate


Invest in a Charitable Donation Account (CDA)

In December of 2013, the NCUA Board approved a final rule amending the incidental powers rule (Part 721) to clarify that a federal credit union is authorized to fund a CDA, a hybrid charitable and investment vehicle, as an activity  incidental to the business for which a FCU is chartered, provided the account is primarily charitable in nature and meets  other regulatory requirements.
A Charitable Donation Account (“CDA”) investment allows a credit union to make a charitable contribution while allowing the contribution to pay for itself.  Over the last 3-5 years, an investment in the CDA would have allowed a CU  to increase its charitable contributions while retaining a net return significant higher than generated on  its traditional  investments. Please see below the Investment Return Chart.

Learn More:         What Is A Charitable Donation Account? ALM Advantage of a Charitable Donation Account

Who do credit unions contact to make an investment?
Jason Ritzenthaler, CFA, CTFA
Co-Chief Investment Officer MEMBERS Trust

National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. - Donate

Saturday, April 18, 2015

NAFCU: We've Always Opposed CFPB Rulemaking


First and foremost, let’s be clear: NAFCU listened to its members in 2009, and we listen to them now. We fight every day to make our members and the credit union movement stronger. As noted correctly in Ms. Anderson’s column, NAFCU has always been steadfast in strongly opposing the CFPB’s rulemaking authority over credit unions. At every possible opportunity, in hearings and in myriad letters to Congress, NAFCU has been unequivocal in its conviction.

Throughout the legislative negotiations in 2009, NAFCU strongly challenged the CFPB’s authority over credit unions.  Specifically, it was at the hearing before the House Committee on Small Business on Sep. 23, 2009, where Price Choppers Employees Federal Credit Union President and CEO Dawn Donovan, testifying on behalf of NAFCU, clearly stated our position. Notably, this was the only official hearing where credit union trade groups testified before Congress on financial reform, including the creation of the CFPB (earlier proposed as the CFPA). As Donovan pointed out:

“NAFCU does not believe such an agency should be given authority over regulated federally insured depository institutions, and opposes extending this authority to credit unions.

“As the only not-for-profit institutions that would be subject to the CFPA, credit unions would stand to get lost in the enormity of the proposed agency. Giving the CFPA the authority to regulate, examine and supervise credit unions, already regulated by the NCUA, would add an additional regulatory burden and cost to credit unions.

Over time in subsequent testimony, we have been unwavering about the CFPB and the dangers of overregulation on credit unions. 

As SRP Federal Credit Union President and CEO Ed Templeton, who is also NAFCU’s board chair, testified just this year:

“As expected, the breadth and pace of CFPB rulemaking is troublesome, and the unprecedented new compliance burden placed on credit unions has been immense.

“The impact of this growing compliance burden is evident as the number of credit unions continues to decline, dropping by 22% (more than 1,700) in institutions since 2007. A main reason for the decline is the increasing cost and complexity of complying with the ever-increasing onslaught of regulations. Since the second quarter of 2010, we have lost 1,100 federally insured credit unions, 96% of which were smaller institutions below $100 million in assets. Many smaller institutions simply cannot keep up with the new regulatory tide and have had to merge out of business or be taken over. Credit unions need regulatory relief, both from Congress and their regulators.”

Our position was not a politically popular one, nor was it an easy one to take. NAFCU’s board of directors and our lobbying team stood strong under unbelievable political pressure throughout the Dodd-Frank Act negotiations. But then again, NAFCU has never shied away from difficult positions. Over the years, NAFCU has always taken positions that are in the best interests of NAFCU members and the credit union industry. And that will never change.  

Ms. Anderson is also correct in noting that the CFPB represents a significant hazard for credit unions – especially when you consider that not all the Dodd-Frank rules have been implemented yet. According to the Davis Polk report, in the first quarter of 2015, 235 (60.3%) of the 390 total required rulemakings have been finalized, while 84 (21.5%) rulemaking requirements have not yet been proposed. With still so many rules outstanding, it is a rather ominous outlook for credit unions and all the more reason for us to stand fast by our position.

NAFCU continues to believe credit unions should be exempt from CFPB rulemaking, and we will continue to advance that with full vigor at every juncture possible because it is the right thing to do. For us, there is little comfort in being right and seeing our worst predictions regarding the burden of overregulation come to fruition while our industry erodes. 

B. Dan Berger is president/CEO of NAFCU. He can be reached at 703-522-4770 or

NAFCU: We've Always Opposed CFPB Rulemaking

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Follow-up to Operation Choke Point - NCUA Doesn’t Dictate Businesses CUs Can Serve


In response to a letter from House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz wrote that the NCUA has not and will not participate in Operation Choke point.

“NCUA does not dictate which businesses credit unions can serve as long as these businesses are legal and within the credit union’s field of membership, and the credit union can serve them safely and soundly,” she wrote in the letter dated April 15. “Going forward, the NCUA will continue to ensure that all our material and guidance clearly outline these policies.”

Matz explained that the NCUA issued a memorandum to all field staff in August of 2014, which stated the agency’s policy for opening and closing accounts is a decision generally left to the credit union.

“The decision may be based on a credit union’s particular business objectives, its evaluations of the risks associated with offering particular products or services and its capacity and systems to effectively manage those risks,” she wrote.

Mike Schuetz, owner of Hawkins Guns LLC in Wisconsin, has claimed the $272 million Heritage Credit Union in Madison, Wis. closed his account due to Operation Choke Point. Schuetz recorded a conversation with a branch manager who said the credit union was being pressured by regulators.

“They came in, looked at our books, looked at everything and said, ‘Here's some accounts we feel like we’re going to regulate you on,’ and they kind of put the screws to us on what we could and couldn't do type thing,” a manager stated in the recording. “We’re not anti-gun as a company but our hands are tied.”

Heritage’s CEO Anita Rauch told CU Times the account was closed for other reasons.

“Our position all along has been our inability to serve Mike at Hawkins Guns was simply a temporary situation,” she said. “It's not reasonable to think you can buy the software, plug it in and it just works. It takes a little bit of programming.”

Rauch said the credit union’s assets grew to $100 million in three years so the amount of monitoring for cash intense businesses increased.

“We began working on accommodating cash intense businesses no matter what the type of business. It wasn't strictly directed at guns or gun shop owners,” she said.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Compliance and How Much It Cost You!

Do you believe someone is actually measuring how much it costs to comply with all the new regulations.

BCI stands for Bank Compliance Index, a quarterly evaluation system created by financial experts at Continuity (formerly Continuity Control), a New Haven, Conn.-based provider of automated compliance solutions, to track the incremental burden on financial institutions of keeping up with regulatory changes. The number 1.35 represents the number of employees needed to address just the new regulations issued during the first three months of 2015.

“In real terms, Perdue said the BCI was calculated by measuring specific variables within the financial compliance realm. In this case, the 1.35 ranking is drawn from the efforts it would take to respond to the 61 new regulatory items issued during first quarter that comprised an aggregate 1,605 pages. At an estimated 331 hours necessary to address the regulations, multiplied by an average salary-and-benefits rate of $44.22 per hour for employees involved throughout the entire process, the financial cost of responding to new regulations would be $30,998 per institution for first-quarter activity.”

Read the complete report at; Webinar Discusses Hot Compliance Climate

Friday, April 10, 2015

Operation Choke Point Accuser Speaks Out

Is your credit union being pressured by auditors to close or not open certain accounts because they feel they are too risky.

Not sure if you know about Operation Choke Point so I have included these 2 article's,

When Mike Schuetz, owner of Hawkins Guns LLC in Hawkins, Wis., asked the branch manager for an explanation, he was told the credit union had received pressure from regulators. He recorded his conversation with the manager, who also explained the credit union did not serve businesses associated with guns and ammunition.

Schuetz is convinced the situation occurred as a result of Operation Choke Point, which the U.S. Department of Justice established to reduce fraud and reputational risk to financial institutions by pressuring them to refuse business from risky sectors.

“They told me I had to close it because I was a high-risk industry and they were not able to service me,” Schuetz told CU Times. “The local manager had a clip board from which she read off of with certain industries listed.”  Operation Choke Point Accuser Speaks Out


House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling and other committee leaders have asked the NCUA and the CFPB to cease any enforcement of Operation Choke Point.

The lawmakers requested that the agencies publicly disclaim their past, present and future involvement in Operation Choke Point or any similar operation. The agencies were asked to clarify their policy for documenting and reporting orders to financial institutions regarding the termination of deposit account relationships. Lawmakers also requested a notice in writing from each agency to confirm that employees have been notified about the policy.  Lawmakers to NCUA: Abandon Operation Choke Point

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


NCOFCU Home Page

Welcome to NCOFCU's new look and feel!

Without signing in you can navigate the complete website, register for conferences and join (some sections limited to Standard Credit Union Membership and above) With a single sign in you can enter the member’s only portal. Associate Credit Union Membership is FREE. Standard Credit Union Membership is $250

We know your time is valuable and you don’t want to spend time trying to navigate trough a website to get what you want so we have tried to make it sweet and simple.

  • Home Our Home page is our main advertising portal and should give you all the links that you will need to navigate through the site.
  • Donate Here you find what you need to directly donate yourself or through your credit union.
  • Newsroom This page takes you directly to our Firefighters Credit Union BLOG
  • About Us Tells you who we are our mission and purpose, our leadership, scholarships, store and how to contact us.
  • Join Us Memberships are listed and simple to use
  • Events Here you will find information on all our upcoming events such as our 2015 Nashville conference with easy registration.
  • Members Only Here you will find information proprietary to NCOFCU members (sign in required)

Staff / Volunteers & Vendors

  • First time login will require you to request your password. Please use your e-mail that you provided NCOFCU when signing in. Remember this is a membership database and your information will be uploaded into any forms that you use. You can change your password or personal information within your profile once you are logged in.

Credit Unions
Each credit has been assigned an administrator, in most cases it is the CEO.
The administrator can:

  • Join / Pay Dues
  • Add, delete members
  • Register credit union for conferences

If you would rather have a staff member be the administrator, please contact NCOFCU administration at 305-951-3306 with any issues or e-mail

We have tried to work out all the bugs, but if you find any please let us know.


Grant Sheehan CEO
National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions

Friday, March 13, 2015

The 10-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Worth Bragging About

Sound like anyone we know?

“Approximately half of its membership is 50 years old or older, says Star One marketing manager Susanna Fong. The 10-year mortgage is meant to entice those members close to retirement to bring their loans — including the remainder of a 30-year-mortgage — to the credit union.”

How Star One’s 14-month-old mortgage product attracts both young professionals and soon-to-be retirees.

By Erik Payne

For borrowers nearing retirement, desirable mortgage options are limited. Long-term loans can extend into retirement years and cut into savings earmarked for food, travel, and other expenses. Short-term loans can make budgeting difficult for the remaining working years.

Star One Credit Union ($7.2B, Sunnyvale, CA) understands that borrowers want to be free of loan obligations before they leave the workforce without breaking the bank to do so. So in January of 2014, the credit union introduced a promotional 10-year fixed-rate mortgage that charges no closing costs and models its rate after Fannie Mae.

Approximately half of its membership is 50 years old or older, says Star One marketing manager Susanna Fong. The 10-year mortgage is meant to entice those members close to retirement to bring their loans — including the remainder of a 30-year-mortgage — to the credit union.

“We thought lowering the term and eliminating closing costs would allow us to get those balances from other financial institutions,” says Victoria Tabler, real estate loan services manager at the credit union. “Someone with lower outstanding loan balance might not move to a different lender if they have to pay closing costs.”

A Low-Cost Loan

Star One removed all closing costs, such as credit reporting fees, appraisal fees, and escrow and title fees. And unlike rates on other 10-year fixed-rate mortgages — which can be as high as 3.3% — there is no gimmick to this refinance program.

“We do not increase the rate to compensate for the loss of the closing costs,” Tabler says. “In fact, we lower the rate to [meet] the market. It’s a true low-cost loan.”

Star One’s asset and liability committee (ALCO) reviews the product every quarter. The credit union initially designed the loan as a three-month promotion more than one year ago and is set to evaluate for the 5th time at the end of March, and Tabler is optimistic Star One will extend it.

The ALCO also reviews the rate every week and considers how current rates affect the profit margins. And depending on the loan amount — which can range from $50,000 to $500,000 — the credit union foregoes $1,500 to $2,000 in fees per loan. That’s not an insignificant amount to leave on the table, but the shorter term helps offset the interest rate risk of long-term loans.

New business also helps counterbalance the loss in fee income. To date, the credit union has processed more than 200, 10-year fixed-rate mortgages and holds a total portfolio of approximately $44 million on its books. That’s 20% higher than its initial projections.

Pricing And Underwriting

As of Dec. 31, 2014, Star One’s efficiency ratio — how much the credit union spends to create $1 of revenue — is 42.69%, well below state and asset-based peer averages. This performance allows the credit union to offer lower rates than competitors on the 10-year loan without sacrificing profit.

Although exact numbers are not available, Tabler says a study by its accounting department indicates these loans are profitable. Taking into consideration the variable interest rates — which have ranged from 2.25% to 2.75% in the past 14 months — and lost fee income, the study found that loans are profitable beginning at $200,000. Currently, the average loan balance is slightly less than $250,000.

Underwriting standards for the product are similar to the credit union’s other mortgage products and follow general Fannie Mae guidelines.

The maximum loan-to-value ratio the credit union will accept for cash-out refinances is 75%, however, it will grant purchase and limited cash-out transactions with ratios as high as 95%. For loans with LTVs that exceed 80%, Star One requires mortgage insurance.

A borrower’s debt-to-income ratio must be in line with the CFPB’s ability-to-repay guidelines and not exceed 43%. Although the credit union does not have specific requirements for credit scores, it diligently evaluates and documents all credit, income, assets, and collateral. Overall, Star One takes a more conservative approach to this shorter-term loan

“We review income, income stability, assets, and loan-to-value,” Tabler says. “Most important is ability to repay. This is a short-term loan and we don’t want members to realize it’s too hard to repay and need to extend it.”

The credit union originates loans through Accenture Mortgage Cadence before applying additional decisioning overlay with an in-house team of 10 underwriters, using Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter guidelines. In January of 2014, Star One received 111 applications. Since then, it has received approximately 16 applications per month. In total, it has received 291 applications and declined 38, Tabler says.

And although the credit union initially instituted this program to refinance borrowers closer to retirement, higher-income young professionals and first-time homebuyers who qualify based on the credit and income standards have also taken advantage of it. These “upscale” members — who are 35-to-55 years old and have household incomes of $125,000 or more — account for 30% of the loan’s borrowers, Fong says. To date, Star One has financed 10 purchase mortgages with the 10-year option.

Read more:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Apple Pay Nearing Triple Digit Milestone


Apple PayFor Apple Pay, it’s 98 and counting. Apple confirmed on Tuesday (March 3) that 17 more financial institutions have gone live with full Apple Pay support in the past two weeks, bringing the total just shy of the century mark, 9to5 Mac reported.
To be clear, that’s not the number of banks and credit unions that have signed contracts to support Apple Pay — just the ones that have completed the transition. At least 500 more Visa card issuers — just Visa, not MasterCard — are in the process of setting up the necessary new technology, including tokenization for Apple Pay, Visa CEO Charlie Scharf told analysts during an earnings call in January.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously said that more than 2,000 financial institutions have signed up for mobile payments system.
The March crop so far includes just one bank — Bank of Hawaii, which says on its website that Apple Pay will be available soon for “select Bank of Hawaii debit cards” — as well as 16 credit unions: Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union; American Airlines Credit Union; Baxter Credit Union; CFE Federal Credit Union; Commonwealth Credit Union; Foothill Credit Union; Founders Federal Credit Union; IBM Southeast Employees Federal Credit Union; Lister Hill Credit Union; PenFed Credit Union; Royal Credit Union; Schools First Federal Credit Union; Spokane Teachers Federal Credit Union; Telhio Credit Union; University First Federal Credit Union; West Community Credit Union.
Credit unions make up more than half of the financial institutions that have gone live with Apple Pay so far.  In the past month, Apple Pay also got the nod as a standard for roughly 9 million Federal payment cards, including debit card accounts used for distributing Social Security and Veterans benefits. A Feb. 13 White House announcement said that both cards used for distributing federal benefits and those used for government employee expenses would support Apple Pay, though no date for those cards to go live was announced. Apple Pay will also be available for many transactions with the federal government, such as at national parks, starting in September.
Apple Pay Nearing Triple Digit Milestone

News & Buzz for Edu CUs: Apple Pay Nearing Triple Digit Milestone

Saturday, February 28, 2015

SBA partners with credit unions to boost Main Street

By Natalia Olson-Urtecho | Feb 27, 2015

Two out of every three new, private sector jobs are created by small businesses, making them unique cornerstones of America and the backbone of our economy. That’s why it’s so important for small businesses to have access to capital to start and grow their businesses.

To help bridge credit gaps, we at the U.S. Small Business Administration are partnering with credit unions. Credit unions in the mid-Atlantic region are incredibly important because they are community-based and mission focused. They help their members finance cars, homes, education, and of course, small businesses!

With this partnership we’re engaging 250 credit unions to approve at least 10 loans of $50,000 or less, injecting over $125 million into the small business economy. The economic influence of this partnership cannot be overstated. There are nearly 6,800 federally insured credit unions with over 100 million members and around $1 trillion in assets.

Additionally, this partnership meets our mandate of being “Smart, Bold, and Accessible” since small-dollar loans do not count toward the credit unions’ business loan cap. This provides flexibility to distribute small-dollar loans, which will increase access to capital to communities and fire up local economies.

This partnership is one of the many ways SBA is dedicated to creating jobs and tapping into America’s full entrepreneurial potential. We know that for those who dream big, work hard, and play fair to achieve the American Dream with the SBA, the possibilities are limitless!

Along with President Obama, we’re committed to moving America forward by making it easier for entrepreneurs to access fundamental tools and resources to start and grow new businesses. When we strengthen small businesses, we’re driving the overall economy, and increasing opportunities to small business owners and the middle class.

SBA has taken additional steps to boost small-dollar lending, which will also bolster our credit union partnership. We’ve streamlined credit evaluations by revising credit criteria for SBA 7(a) small dollar loans and we’ve zeroed out fees on small-dollar loans ($150,000 or less), making it easier for entrepreneurs to access capital by cutting costs and time.

So connect with your local credit union, and ask them to stay tuned for further details from SBA. For now, visit to learn more about how you can gain access to capital to jumpstart your business.

Natalia Olson-Urtecho
U.S. Small Business Administration Mid-Atlantic regional administrator

Friday, February 27, 2015

NCOFCU At The GAC Booth #106

GAC Banner
Visit us at booth 106. This is a great opportunity for us to present the National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. to the credit union community. To discuss our vision and purpose to support firefighters credit unions nationwide in their efforts to provide quality services to their membership.
Grant Sheehan
Executive Director/CEO

12 Strategies to Attract Young Members

I thought I would pass on this great article in the CU Times from the World Council of Credit Unions on 12 Strategies to Attract Young Members.

Grant Sheehan

Young members are the future of credit unions.

Yet, in many nations, the average age of credit union members is in the mid-to-to late 40s, according to the World Council of Credit Unions in Madison, Wis.

In the U.S., U.K. and Australia, the median member age is 47, while the median age of credit union members in Canada is 53. Nations with the youngest cooperative members are Afghanistan (25), Malawi and Kenya (30), Jamaica and Cameroon (35), Guatemala (36) and Ghana (38).

Read More 12 Strategies to Attract Young Members

Sunday, February 22, 2015




The Secret List

We regret to pass on to you notice that Houston (Texas) Captain Dwight Bazile, station 46 D shift, died in the Line of Duty today at 1815 Hours at Memorial Herman Hospital.  Captain Bazile collapsed on the fire scene Thursday, February 19th 2015 and has been fighting for his life at Memorial Herman Heart & Vascular Institute.  He is survived by his Wife Pamela Bazile, Son Dwight Bazile II, and Mother Charlotte Felder. We ask that you keep the family, of Captain Bazile, and the members of the HFD in your thoughts and prayers. RIP.

Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.


The Secret List 2/21/2015-2156 Hours

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Worcester Fire Chief Dio to retire - Worcester Telegram & Gazette -

Dieo Worcester  2

WORCESTER — When Fire Chief Gerard A. Dio retires at the end of this year, he will end a 35-year career with the department marked most distinctly by his efforts surrounding the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building fire in 1999.

Chief Dio was an incident commander on Dec. 3, 1999, the day the massive structure fire killed six local firefighters. In the days that followed, the soon-to-be fire chief put back-breaking, physically and emotionally exhausting, work into the site, searching for his colleagues. Then, in the evenings after grueling days, he would head over to the Worcester Fire Department Credit Union to handle administrative work.

At the office, Chief Dio would oversee the processing of thousands of contributions pouring in from around the world for families of the lost firefighters, totaling millions of dollars in the end. When honored with a community leadership award in 2000 for his efforts, he notably downplayed his efforts.

Chief Dio, 61, announced Friday he will step down after 15 years as leader of the department. The Worcester resident joined the ranks in 1980 and moved up quickly from there. He was appointed to a district chief spot in 1992 and then to a deputy position four years later before taking over as chief in 2000.

o retire - Worcester Telegram & Gazette -

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