Thursday, August 30, 2012

When an adustable-rate mortgage makes sense - The Term Sheet: Fortune's deals blog Term Sheet

FORTUNE -- During the housing meltdown, adjustable-rate mortgages were vilified as a hallmark of irresponsible borrowing. Recently, though, they've been making a comeback, especially among affluent borrowers. This summer, for instance, Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly financed his home using an ARM with a rate of just 1.05%. Most borrowers can't snag a rate remotely close to that. But many would still do well to consider an ARM right now ----------When an adustable-rate mortgage makes sense - The Term Sheet: Fortune's deals blog Term Sheet

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Home prices signal recovery is here

A sharp boost in home prices during the spring could signal a recovery in the long-suffering U.S. housing market, according to an industry report issued Tuesday.
The S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index, which covers more than 80% of the housing market in the United States, climbed 6.9% in the three months ended June 30 compared to the first three months of 2012.......Home prices signal recovery is here:

CFPB’s Mortgage Loan Originator Compensation Proposed Rule

CFPB’s Mortgage Loan Originator Compensation Proposed Rule:
Written by Michael Coleman, Regulatory Compliance Counsel
The CFPB recently issued a proposed
concerning loan originator compensation. The Federal Reserve finalized
a rule
(which was proposed prior to Dodd-Frank) on September 24, 2010, concerning loan originator
compensation.  The CFPB’s proposed rule would implement additional
provisions required by Dodd-Frank.

The CFPB issued a press
which gives an overview of the proposed rule. The CFPB also issued
a 6 page summary
of the proposed rule which discusses some of the major elements contained in
the proposed rule. Here are several important requirements from the CFPB's
proposed rule we would like to draw your attention to:

  • Restriction on upfront points or fees. Under the proposed rule,
    the creditor or mortgage broker would be prohibited from imposing upfront
    points or fees on a consumer in a closed-end mortgage transaction “unless the
    creditor makes available to the consumer a comparable, alternative loan that
    does not include discount points and origination points or fees, unless the
    consumer is unlikely to qualify for such a loan.” See proposed Section
  • Restrictions on loan originator
    The proposed rule retains the general ban on paying or receiving
    commissions or other loan originator compensation based on the terms of the
    transaction (other than loan amount), and the general ban on loan originators
    being compensated by both consumers and other parties, with some additional
    revisions. The proposed rule also clarifies and revises restrictions on pooled
    compensation, profit-sharing, and bonus plans for loan originators, depending
    on the potential incentives to steer consumers to different transaction terms.
  • Qualification requirements for loan
    For loan originators who are not already required to be licensed
    under the SAFE Act (for example loan originators employed by credit unions, who
    are only registered pursuant to 12
    CFR § 1007.103
    ) the proposed rule requires the employer ensure that the
    loan originator meets character, fitness, and criminal background check
    standards that are equivalent to SAFE Act requirements and receives training
    commensurate with the loan originator’s duties. (Note, we will talk about this
    in more detail in a future blog post.)
  • Use of the loan originator’s unique
    The CFPB proposes that the loan originator include their
    Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLSR) ID on certain loan
    documents, including: the credit application; the GFE and settlement statement
    required by RESPA; disclosures required by section 128 of the Truth in Lending
    Act (15 U.S.C. 1638); the note or loan contract; and the security instrument.
  • Anti-steering rules. The
    proposed rule retains the anti-steering rules from the Federal Reserve’s final
    rule and adds a requirement that where two or more loans have the same dollar
    amount of discount points and origination points or fees, the creditor must
    present the loan with the lowest interest rate and lowest total dollar amount
    of discount points and origination points and fees.
  • Arbitration agreements. The
    proposed rule would ban general agreements requiring consumers to submit any
    disputes that may arise to mandatory arbitration rather than filing suit in
  • Credit insurance. The
    proposed rule would generally ban the financing of premiums for credit

are the broad strokes of the proposed rule, we will focus on one or two of the
specific requirements in more detail in a future blog post. Note, the comment
period for this proposed rule ends on October 16, 2012.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Email Action! | Achieving Skills

Email Action!

Have you ever sent an email to a staff member or a client which required some action on their part and nothing happened? If that’s happened to you, I’ve got a great tool that might help you with your future communications. You can apply this in many situations.

Each day we’re hit with messages competing for our attention. Every message has to work very hard to get noticed. This isn’t exclusive to advertising alone; your reports, presentations and emails are trying to get your audience’s attention. Use basic advertising principles to make sure your message gets across.
The acronym AIDA is a great tool to make sure your communication is on target. It stands for: Attention-Interest-Desire-Action
1. Attention/Attract – You need to be quick .......Email Action! | Achieving Skills

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Boston Firefighter’s Credit Union Chooses ARCA | ARCA

Cathy Boucher, V.P. Operations for the credit union commented; “Our ARCA cash recycler has been a great addition to the retail branch. Our tellers appreciate the ability to process vault buys and sells without having to find a supervisor. Our manager’s appreciate the efficiencies gained by not being interrupted to assist with vault transactions. The daily machine balancing is easy, accurate and efficient. ”......Boston Firefighter’s Credit Union Chooses ARCA | ARCA

Saturday, August 25, 2012

As Isaac Bears Down on Gulf, NCUA Issues Bulletin to CUs and Members

“Credit unions operating and people living in the Gulf Coast region know they need to prepare for serious storms,” said NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz. “We’re reminding them today to take prudent precautions and that NCUA continues to protect deposits at federally insured credit unions during sunny days and after bad storms.”Agency reiterates protection of assets, offers help if needed after storm......As Isaac Bears Down on Gulf, NCUA Issues Bulletin to CUs and Members:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Recap of Recent Mortgage Servicing Blog Posts

A Recap of Recent Mortgage Servicing Blog Posts:
Written by Steve Van Beek
We've been blogging on the CFPB's mortgage servicing proposals quite a bit recently.  And, naturally, quite a few of those blog posts have been lengthy.  I wanted to take a bit to consolidate some of those blog posts in a central location (with links) to help keep everyone organized.
CFPB Issues Mortgage Servicing Proposal.  This blog post announces the CFPB's mortgage servicing proposals, links to the actual proposals, summaries and additional resources.  
Summaries of Three TILA Proposed Changes.  This blog post includes the summaries of the CFPB's three main proposed changes to Regulation Z (TILA).  The post includes links to the preambles, regulatory text, official staff commentary and any model forms.  
Summaries of the First Three RESPA Proposed Changes.  This blog post includes the summaries of the CFPB's first three main proposed changes to Regulation X (RESPA).  The post also includes links to the preambles, regulatory text, official staff commentary and any model forms.
Summaries of the Last Three RESPA Proposed Changes.  This blog post includes the summaries of the CFPB's last three main proposed changes to Regulation X (RESPA).  The post also includes links to the preambles, regulatory text, official staff commentary and any model forms.
Proposed Exemption for Credit Unions that Service 1000 of Fewer Mortgages.  This blog post reviews the CFPB's proposal to exempt - from the mortgage periodic statement requirement - credit unions that service 1000 or fewer mortgage loans.  
Proposed Coupon Book Exemption.  This blog post reviews the CFPB's proposed implementation of the "coupon book exemption" which would allow credit unions to send coupon books in lieu of periodic statements for their fixed-rate mortgage loans if they followed the proposed requirements.      
Just the Beginning.  Don't worry - there will be plenty of additional issues that come out of the CFPB's proposed mortgage rules.  We'll do our best to keep everyone up to date on these issues.  If you are interested, we'll be covering the CFPB's proposed mortgage rules in depth during our September 5th webcast as well as our Regulatory Compliance Seminar in Seattle, Washington (October 23-26).  
Note:  The early-bird pricing for both of these events is rapidly approaching (Wednesday, August 29th for the webcast and Friday, August 31st for Seminar).  Additionally, the main hotel for Seminar is completely booked - although there are numerous other hotels within short walking distance.  

Banks View CU Loans as Tasty Chum: Print Preview

When is the last time you saw a BANK advertising for car loans? Well it's coming!
They are going after your bread & butter!
The sharks are circling as banks eye boosting their share of car loans. Get the story in this preview from next week's print edition.......Banks View CU Loans as Tasty Chum: Print Preview:

CU CEO Reacts to CUMIS Ruling

I know you never think it can happen to you but here is an example of not having your RedFlag polices in place and being followed!

Credit union's loss in $243,000 fraudulent transfer case called an example of difficulty dealing with identity theft. 
UCSCU said it was not able to recover the $243,000 and submitted a claim to CUMIS. The insurance firm said there was no coverage between the bonding period of February 2007 to February 2008 because new security measures in place during that time required wire transfers to be made through a secure phone number in place for at least 30 days prior to a transfer request.
In its suit against CUMIS, the credit union cited breach of contract. However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry A. Green ruled for CUMIS saying that UCSCU failed to comply with security measures during the bonding period.....Universal City Studios CU CEO Reacts to CUMIS Ruling:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Firefighter Insurance Services LLC

Preservation of life and property is the objective of the fire profession. At Firefighter Insurance Services, we encompass the same values of safeguarding your future and protecting your property.
FIS understands the unique lifestyles of firefighters and their families and offer competitive pricing from dependable insurance providers, such as, Allied, CIG, Travelers, Hartford, Safeco, Mercury, and Civil Service Employees Insurance Group...
Read More

Saturday, August 18, 2012

12 Ratios Every Marketing Manager Should Know (Part 2)

NOTE: Callahan's, as their support of NCOFCU, provides us with the Peer to Peer 2. If you would like to receive any free reports please contact me.
As cooperatives, credit unions are not able to measure their market performance via daily changes in stock price as publicly-held companies do. Without this type of market benchmark, credit union performance can be more difficult to gauge. Benchmarking against appropriate measurement standards, therefore, becomes a much more significant aspect of credit union management. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Credit Union 24 Announces More Than $1 Million in Patronage

CU 24 a NCOFCU Exhibitor

Credit Union 24 Announces More Than $1 Million in Patronage
ATM, point-of-sale CUSO to distribute shareholder payback in the third quarter.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mobile Deposits Now Available for Firefighters Through Los Angeles Firemen's Credit Union Mobile App - Fire Engineering

Los Angeles Firemen's Credit Union (LAFCU) recently upgraded its mobile banking app to accept mobile deposits.
The mobile banking app provides access to the most popular convenience tools firefighters have asked for. With LAFCU's mobile banking , users can:
Check account balances and history,Transfer funds, Make bill payments, Find ATMs. Now, the app has been upgraded to accept check deposits.....
Mobile Deposits Now Available for Firefighters Through Los Angeles Firemen's Credit Union Mobile App - Fire Engineering

12 Ratios Every Marketing Manager Should Know (Part 1)

In 2011, published a series of articles on key ratios for board members that continues to be popular with our readers today. In this new four-part series, we explore key ratios specifically for marketing managers.........12 Ratios Every Marketing Manager Should Know (Part 1)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. New Website

We are NEW!

Be one of the first to explore our new website . It is loaded with all kinds of features which will allow you to collaborate with your fellow firefighter credit union staff and volunteers.

Visit the "Members Only section and explore all it has to offer.*

*For the "Members Only" section, if you are a member or not sure, just sign in with your e-mail and ask for your password.   Remember, no firefighter credit union, staff or volunteer, will be refused access to the "Members Only"
Any issues with the site, please contact me directly,
Grant Sheehan

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Five-Year CD Breaks Below 1% for First Time

The national average rate for the five-year certificate of deposit has dropped below 1% for the first time, according to Market Rates Insight...Five-Year CD Breaks Below 1% for First Time: .

Tracking the Mobile Banking Revolution in Credit Unions

 “Your boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more are now all in one place. With Passbook, you can scan your iPhone or iPod touch to check in for a flight, get into a movie, and redeem a coupon. .....Mobility Matters: Tracking the Mobile Banking Revolution in Credit Unions:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Credit Unions vs. Banks - Which is Best for You? | One Smart Dollar

Most people know that storing up money in their mattress, or in a suitcase buried in the back yard, is not a good idea. But with all the different savings institutions out there, the choices can end up being overwhelming. The final decision ultimately boils down to credit unions vs banks.  Credit Unions vs. Banks - Which is Best for You? | One Smart Dollar

Thursday, August 9, 2012

WATERBURY Firefighters FCU Changes It's Name

WATERBURY — The Firefighters Credit Union has been renamed the FD Community Federal Credit Union, according to Michael Kinne, president and CEO of the Waterbury-based Firefighters Credit Union.

“We are very excited about this name change because we believe it will help increase people’s awareness that this credit union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or volunteers in Waterbury and the eight surrounding towns of Cheshire, Middlebury, Naugatuck, Prospect, Plymouth, Thomaston, Watertown and Wolcott,” Mr. Kinne said.

“We believe this new name emphasizes that our credit union is open to all individuals, families and businesses in our area.”

The name change went into effect on Monday, July 30.

This was an on-going project that started in 2001 when the credit union changed from an employee-based credit union to a community-chartered credit union.

“The community charter opened the credit union to individuals other than firefighters, municipal employees and their relatives,” Mr. Kimme said.

The new website address is

The credit union’s main office telephone number remains the same at 203-753-9201.

Vermont ‘B’ Word Clash Draws New Industry Input

Vermont clash over “bank” and “banking” widened Wednesday as CUNA, two state leagues and a New Jersey credit union weighed in....Vermont ‘B’ Word Clash Draws New Industry Input:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Meet Sally

Meet Sally:
From Guest Blogger
Written by Steve Van Beek
Yesterday, we looked at the CFPB's consumer stories - especially Greg from Michigan - and how it is very difficult to get a firm grasp on a particular consumer's story when only part of the story is told.
One story that the CFPB hasn't focused on is how their actions impact credit unions - and especially compliance officers.  The CFPB hasn't reached out to compliance officers to learn their story.  The CFPB hasn't made it easy for compliance officers to find the latest information from the CFPB (we are still waiting for that search bar on the CFPB's website).  Additionally, the CFPB's announcements come in the form of press releases, blog posts, or speeches.
Meet Sally.  If the CFPB is serious about protecting members it needs to "Meet Sally."  Here is an outstanding comment from Anthony Demangone on the "Meet Greg" blog post:
"CFPB - I'd like you to meet Sally, from one of my favorite credit unions.  She's a compliance officer, and she does her best to keep her credit union in compliance with the astounding amount of rules and guidance documents that credit unions face.  She cares about her credit union, and she cares about the credit union's members.  She's a bit busy now, seeing as she has to sift through 1,400 pages of mortgage proposals that recently arrived at her doorstep.
Sally will tell you that even at her credit union, they'll only reach out to the address or phone number on file.  So if an account is in arrears, they'll do their best to contact the member.  But Sally will also tell you how maddening it can be to find out how many members don't keep their account information up to date.   There's only so much Sally can do.  Especially with those 1,400 pages on her desk.  Oh, and she's also responsible for BSA compliance as well.  But that's probably not your concern, as it flows from a different agency. 
I wonder how hard you are working to get to know Sally, and why you never write about her, or her peers, on this blog?- Anthony Demangone, COO, The National Association of Federal Credit Unions"
Bravo Anthony!  Well said.  If the CFPB reached out and met Sally, it would realize that Sally is in charge of compliance for almost every product or service her credit union offers.  So, when the CFPB is simultaneously changing mortgage disclosures, overdraft protection practices, remittances disclosures, protections for prepaid cards, and the list goes on - is the CFPB talking to Sally and other compliance officers?    

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Medicare: Cost of rehab for seniors - Aug. 7, 2012

Medicare fully covers 20 days in a skilled nursing facility as long as you've spent three days in the hospital as an inpatient (among other criteria). Sickels, though, didn't meet that standard.
For four nights and five days, she had slept in a hospital bed and donned a hospital bracelet while doctors ran tests and prescribed medications. Yet she'd been held under observation, a designation intended for patients who aren't ready to go home but don't need as intensive care as a fully admitted patient does. And with Medicare, observation services don't count toward rehab coverage.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Corporate Assessment Assailed by Industry Trades

Using the NCUA’s midpoint estimates of remaining corporate stabilization costs, CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel estimates it would take four more years of assessments similar to the 2012 rate of 9.5 basis points to pay off corporate losses...........Corporate Assessment Assailed by Industry Trades

2012 Corporate Stabilization Fund Assessment Letter to Credit Unions

Dear Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer:
At an open meeting on July 24, 2012, the NCUA Board approved an assessment for the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund of 0.095 percent (9.5 basis points) of your credit union’s insured shares as of June 30, 2012.

This assessment is right in the middle of the estimated range of 8-11 basis points announced at the NCUA Board’s open meeting in November 2011.  It represents a significant improvement from last year’s assessment of 25 basis points.

Each credit union will receive an invoice in September for the 2012 assessment, which will be due on October 9, 2012. 
The rest of this letter provides answers to key questions about this assessment.

Why is the assessment set at 9.5 basis points?..... Read More  Pages - 2012 Corporate Stabilization Fund Assessment

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Dangerous Side Of Apple's iCloud

Apple's iCloud service brings a whole raft of services -- email, calendar, contacts, 'Find My iPhone" and cloud storage -- and stores them behind a single username and password. This is very convenient, but if that username and password falls into the wrong hands, you can find [...]...The Dangerous Side Of Apple's iCloud:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Credit unions banking on bills to lift small business lending

 "I tried all of the big banks, literally all of them, and was shocked and surprised that I got turned down," said McCarthy, who purchased four Baskin Robbins stores in his area this spring with a $300000 loan from Mountain America Credit Union in Salt ...<b>Credit unions</b> banking on bills to lift small business lending:

Fed to keep interest rates low through 2014

FOMC members continue to worry about slow economic and employment growth over the coming quarters, but aside from keeping rates low through 2014, members still avoid any new more

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Credit Unions See More Signs of a New Auto Loan Revival

Credit Unions See More Signs of a New Auto Loan Revival
During the first half of 2012, loans for new cars at credit unions experienced their first annualized increase in more than two years.
That’s according to industry analysis from Catalyst Strategic Solutions, a subsidiary of Catalyst Corporate Credit Union in Plano, Texas. Auto loans increased 4.5% from January to June. First-lien mortgages were also up 5.3%.
Brian Turner, director and chief strategist for Catalyst, said the increases in lending activity has loan growth averaging 2.3% for the first six months of 2012 compared to a negative 1.6% contraction this time last year.
“The unfortunate news is most of the loan growth seems to be limited to larger credit unions who have a bigger appetite, and capacity, to retain its current originations,” Turner wrote in his analysis. “Moreover, tighter net margins tend to increase minimum rate requirements perceived by smaller credit unions which in turn directly limit their growth capacity.”