Friday, December 29, 2017

Insurance Companies turn to private firefighters to cover their policy holders.

By Lyle Adriano Business Insurance
Some insurers, like Chubb, are going the extra mile for select policyholders by sending in private firefighters to deal with wildfire threats before they become a problem.


Insurer-provided wildfire mitigation services, while nothing new, has been making waves lately following the recent California fires. The extra service is getting so popular, that homeowners who had witnessed their neighbors’ homes being protected by private firefighters were inspired to purchase their own policies to enjoy the same benefits, some insurers said.

“The enrolment has taken off dramatically over the years as people have seen us save homes,” Chubb senior executive Paul Krump told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s absolutely growing leaps and bounds.”

Dick Fredericks, founding partner of Main Management Fund Advisors LLC in San Francisco and a former US ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, was one of the fortunate homeowners in Sonoma whose properties were saved by private firefighters.

“The fire was so pervasive,” Fredericks said. “As a homeowner, you want to try everything to save your home, and the first responders can’t be everywhere at once. The fact that Chubb supplemented an unbelievable effort by the first responders is probably what saved our home.”

Fredericks received a phone call from a private firefighting outfit working with Chubb, informing him that his home had been saved from the fire. He also received an email with some two dozen pictures of firefighters extinguishing a bush fire on his property.

Chubb’s Wildfire Defense Services, created in 2008, are offered in 15 states. AIG also has an analogous outfit, the Wildfire Protection Unit, created in 2005 that currently serves 385 ZIP codes. Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) and USAA also have similar private firefighting services.

The Wall Street Journal reported that about tens of thousands of people benefit from the programs. To receive the benefit, policyholders have to pay anywhere from thousands of dollars in annual premiums to over $100,000, depending on the number and types of homes and/or possessions being insured.

Consumer advocates, however, are not too keen on the programs, which seemingly benefit only those with the money to spend.

“Do we like the idea of a two-tier system for wealthy individuals and people with fewer means? No,” commented United Policyholders executive director Amy Bach.

But even consumer advocates have to admit that there is good work being done through private firefighting services.

“But do we want to see their approaches work? Yes,” Bach added.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Existing-home sales surged 5.6% percent in November

ARLINGTON, Va.—Existing-home sales strongest sales pace since December 2006.
NAFCU Research Assistant Yun Cohen noted in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report that strong gains were seen in sales of both single-family homes and condominiums.
The South also reported strong gains as hurricane-related disruptions unwound. However, despite strong demand, "the lack of inventory continues to constrain sales and put upward pressure on prices," Cohen added. 
According to data published by the National Association of Realtors, the number of existing homes on the market dropped to its second-lowest level since 1999. "As the FOMC signals multiple rate hikes in 2018, mortgage rates are expected to increase, which could further affect affordability," she said.
November's existing-home sales were 3.8% higher than a year ago.
Sales rose in three of the four regions during November. The Midwest rose 8.4%, followed by the South (+8.3%) and the Northeast (+6.7%); sales in the West decreased 2.3%.
Based on current sales, there were 3.4 months of supply at the end of November, down from 3.9 months in October. Analysts consider six months of supply to be roughly balanced between supply and demand. Inventory decreased 7.2% in November and was down 9.7% from a year ago. Inventory has declined year-over-year for 30 consecutive months, Cohen said.
The median existing-home price increased from $246,000 in October to $248,000 (not seasonally adjusted) in November. This is 5.8% higher than the median price from a year ago. November marks the 69th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases, Cohen noted.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Seasons Greetings


Happy holidays from everyone at the National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU)

We truly value your relationship and thank you for being an important part of our association.
We wish you a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year in 2018

Sincerely,
NCOFCU Directors and Staff
See you in Seattle, WA 9/19-21/2018

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Membership Growth Remains Strongest in Larger Credit Unions

NCUA data shows third quarter of 2017 saw credit union membership continue to be strongest in larger institutions. At the median, membership growth was unchanged over the year.
Arizona (2.5%) had the highest median membership growth rate over the year ending in the third quarter of 2017, followed by Washington (2.4%). At the median, membership declined the most in the District of Columbia (-1.8%), followed by Pennsylvania (-1.2%).
Overall, 50% of federally insured credit unions had fewer members at the end of the third quarter of 2017 than a year earlier. Median membership growth was negative in 22 states. About 75% of credit unions with declining membership had assets of less than $50 million.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Michael Monds New Chief of Syracuse Fire Department

Mayor-Elect Ben Walsh is wasting no time as he prepares to assume the role as Syracuse’s 54th mayor. He continues to act on his promise to select a staff that reflects the diversity of Syracuse, on Saturday, December 16,  Walsh announced the appointment of Michael J. Monds as the new Chief of the Syracuse Fire Department. Monds is a 17-year veteran of the department and currently serves as a lieutenant at Station 10 on East Genesee Street. He will replace Chief Paul Linnertz, who is retiring.

“Michael Monds has earned the respect of the men and women of the Syracuse Fire Department, who are on the front lines protecting the people of our city,” Walsh said. “He grew up on the southside and has remained deeply involved in his community. I have every confidence that he brings the experience and dedication necessary to lead our Fire Department and serve the people of this city with honor.”

Lt. Monds started as a firefighter at Station 9 on the city’s northeast side and also served at Station 6 in downtown. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2011 and served at Station 18 on Midland and Seneca Turnpike. He also served in the Training Division and as a member of departmental committees formed to promote recruitment and to resolve human resource issues.

This year Lt. Monds created a Junior Fire Cadet Mentoring Program at Dr. King Elementary School to teach students awareness about fire services and community service to promote careers in public safety.

He is on the board of Syracuse Fire Department Federal Credit Union and is a member of Firefighters of Color United in Syracuse. Lt. Monds is the recipient of several awards including:

Individual citation from the department for life-saving actions at 318 Bruce St. on Jan. 14, 2016.

Level One EMS Award from the department for life-saving actions on Jefferson St. on July 1, 2009.

Hamilton White Brotherhood award [presented to the individual who most advances the brotherhood of firefighters by his or her unselfish devotion to the cause] from the Syracuse Fire Department Federal Credit Union.

The new chief was born and raised in Syracuse. He graduated from Nottingham High School in 1993. Steven Evans, a 20-year veteran of the department, will serve as the First Deputy Fire Chief. He’s served as the District Chief of the department since 2010.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Federal Open Market Committee Up's Rates

WASHINGTON–As expected the Federal Open Market Committee at its meeting today moved to increase rates by a quarter-point to a range of 1.25% to 1.50%.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, the Federal Reserve said data from November indicate the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate.
“Averaging through hurricane-related fluctuations, job gains have been solid, and the unemployment rate declined further,” the Fed said. “Household spending has been expanding at a moderate rate, and growth in business fixed investment has picked up in recent quarters. On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy have declined this year and are running below 2%. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.”
The Committee said it continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will remain strong. Inflation on a 12‑month basis is expected to remain somewhat below 2% in the near term, but to stabilize around the Committee's 2% objective over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee added it is monitoring inflation developments closely.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Patrick Harker; Robert S. Kaplan; Jerome H. Powell; and Randal K. Quarles. Voting against the action were Charles L. Evans and Neel Kashkari, who preferred at this meeting to maintain the existing target range for the federal fund's rate.
The increase is the fifth by the Fed since the financial crisis of 2008.




Monday, December 11, 2017

Rick Metsger reminded credit unions the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund may be required to increase loss reserves as the values of taxi medallions decline.


ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Dec. 8, 2017) – National Credit Union Administration Board Member Rick Metsger today reminded credit unions the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund may be required to increase loss reserves as the values of taxi medallions decline.
“Prices for New York taxi medallions at two recent public auctions have been considerably lower,” Metsger said. “That, combined with a continued increase in already high delinquency rates on medallion loans, suggests the Share Insurance Fund’s reserves may have to increase in the very near future.”
Metsger spoke today to the Oregon Department of Financial Services CEO roundtable in Salem, Oregon. His remarks covered various issues related to credit union regulation and the Share Insurance Fund. 
Metsger said the NCUA issued a Letter to Credit Unions in 2010, warning of concentration risk, and the agency issued a more specific letter on taxi medallion lending in 2014​.
“We have known, and warned about, this risk for some time,” Metsger said, “but the bill is about to come due. Unfortunately, a lot of credit unions that followed supervisory guidance and lent prudently will have to pay for losses incurred by a small number of credit unions that gambled on a market that was disrupted and a bubble that burst.”
Metsger also said the NCUA’s ability to curtail speculative taxi medallion lending was limited by a provision in the Credit Union Membership Access Act that specifically exempted credit unions chartered for the purpose of making, or had a history of primarily making, member business loans, from the statutory member business lending cap. A Senate report on that legislation specifically noted taxi medallion lending was an example of loan activity that was exempt from the cap.
​“Most credit unions cannot put more than 12.25 percent of their assets into member business lending,” Metsger said, “but the taxi medallion credit unions were able to put up 100 percent of their assets.”​
Two taxi medallion credit unions, Melrose and LOMTO, are currently operating under NCUA conservatorship.
Metsger added, “Our staff continues to carefully evaluate the loan portfolio at the conserved credit unions. This evaluation factors into what the share insurance fund reserves need to be, and in turn any effect on the equity ratio and potential share insurance fund distribution for 2018.”
“This,” he added, “reinforces why we needed to increase the fund’s normal operating level this year, to account for any significant losses that otherwise might have required a sudden and significant premium charge to credit unions.”
Metsger also talked about the NCUA’s risk-based capital rule, scheduled to go into effect in January 2019.  
“A major principle of financial regulation is that all risks are not equal, and one size does not fit all,” Metsger said. “That is why the U.S. and all major industrial nations have risk-based capital standards. We seek to minimize the risk that a few credit unions that want to gamble with other people’s money will lose their bets and pass the costs onto other credit unions and their members. I am happy to consider changes in our risk-based capital rule that will strengthen the system. But, trade groups seeking to repeal the rule completely ignore the fact that the adoption of a risk-based capital rule is both required by federal law and good public policy that protects credit union members. The situation with the taxi medallion credit unions only adds an exclamation point to this fact. It is a prime example of why we need a strong risk-based capital system.”

Friday, December 8, 2017

Credit unions on track for double digit loan growth.

Lending growth highlighted CUNA’s October Monthly Credit Union Estimates, with credit union loan portfolios on track for the fourth straight. year of double-digit growth. 

“This would be the first time that has happened since the 1980s when loans grew in the double-digits for six straight years,” said Jordan van Rijn, CUNA senior economist. 


“The tremendous loan growth continues to be fueled by high demand for auto loans; car loans have already grown over 11% this year, representing the fifth straight year of double-digit auto loan growth,” van Rijn said. 

Credit union savings balances declined 0.4% in October, compared with a 1.1% increase in September. One-year certificates led savings growth during the month with a 1.3% increase. 

“We often see deposits and savings balances fall this time of year as members gear up for holiday-related expenses,” van Rijn said. “This year is no exception as member savings, shares, money market accounts and IRAs all decreased in October.” 

The loan-to-savings ratio increased to 83.1% in October from 82.1% in September. The liquidity ratio (the ratio of surplus funds maturing in less than one year to borrowings plus other liabilities) decreased to 13.8% in October from 14.6% in September. 


Total credit union memberships grew 0.2% during October to 113.4 million. “Although October saw the slowest membership growth since January, overall credit union memberships are still on pace to grow at the fastest rate since the 1980s,” van Rijn said. 

Credit unions’ 60-plus day delinquency remained at 0.8% in October. 

The credit union system’s overall capital-to-asset ratio increased to 10.8% from 10.7% in September. The total dollar amount of capital increased 0.7% to $149.9 billion.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Hats, Mugs and More!


Now available for purchase. NCOFCU T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Hats, Mugs and more! Help support NCOFCU with your purchase.

The National Council of Firefighters Credit Unions, Inc. (NCOFCU) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 professional association of credit unions serving firefighter's, first responders and their families. Credit unions serving firefighters and first responders have been meeting annually since 2001. Our mission is to provide its members with the knowledge, skills, tools, and resources necessary to ensure ongoing professional development, and the ability to deliver exceptional value to their organizations.

Click HERE to purchase






Saturday, December 2, 2017

Syracuse Fire Department Credit Union assists in making some happy holiday memories for needy kids.

Syracuse, N.Y. -  Firefighters were among the first to arrive on the scene when a 2-year-old girl was killed while playing with chalk on the sidewalk this summer.

The girl's brother was also injured while another sibling watched it all happen.
Saturday, the surviving siblings will be doing their Christmas shopping at Destiny USA with some Syracuse firefighters.

"We saw them on the worst day of their lives. Now is an opportunity to make some happy memories," said Syracuse Fire Department District Chief John Kane.

Nothing will erase the pain and loss the family feels. And nothing will erase the memories firefighters have of trying to save a child who was terribly injured.

"It's a little something," Kane said. "Especially this time of year."
The holiday shopping trips began five years ago, an idea of Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler. Syracuse police Officer Dennis Burlingame organized the event, and invited the fire department to help out. Since then, it has grown. Each department raises its own money for the shopping and picks out children to come. Most often, they are kids that they've encountered at crime scenes, fires and accidents.

This year, there are 30 children. Each gets a gift card with about $250 to spend and a police officer or firefighter to help them. Often, it's a firefighter or police officer that they've already met under much worse circumstances.

The money comes from several sources, including the Syracuse Fire Department Credit Union, the firefighter’s union Local 280, Syracuse Firefighters Association and FOCUS (Firefighters of Color United in Syracuse). The police and fire departments raise the money separately. The mall also kicked in some of the money and shopping bags. And everyone involved volunteers their time.

The kids also get a chance to sit on Santa's lap and whisper their Christmas wishes in his ear.

Often, they end up spending the money they've been given on others more than themselves. They'll pick a sweater for grandma, toys for their brothers and sisters.

Their shopping helpers encourage them to buy for themselves, but won't stop them from spending the money on someone else if that's what they want.

"It's really touching," Burlingame said.

Then, when the kids want something just one more thing and the money is gone, the firefighters and police officers often quietly reach into their own pockets for the final purchases.

"These kids are always 100 percent grateful," Kane said.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Cyber Monday Shopping Through NCOFCU

Cyber Monday shopping? Think of those special NCOFCU gifts through our On-Line Store!
Click HERE
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Help support NCOFCU through Amazon Smile while doing your holiday shopping. Shop Amazon Smile, and .05% of you purchase will go to the National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc General Operating Fund. Our direct link is https://smile.amazon.com/ch/27-2387106 

The National Council of Firefighters Credit Unions, Inc. (NCOFCU) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 professional association of credit unions serving firefighter's, first responders and their families, whose mission is to provide its members with the knowledge, skills, tools, and resources necessary to ensure ongoing professional development, and the ability to deliver exceptional value to their credit union members. 




Saturday, November 25, 2017

Boston’s First Responders Come Together to Support the South Boston Neighborhood House in Honor of Joseph "Dodo" Nee

Boston’s First Responders Come Together to Support the South Boston Neighborhood House in Honor of Joseph "Dodo" Nee

In honor of Joseph “Dodo” Nee, a lifelong supporter of the South Boston community and an inspiration to so many, Boston’s First Responders came together last night to present the South Boston Neighborhood House with a check donation of $7,500. The generous donation will provide back to school supplies and clothing to local students in the community.

This donation was made possible by members of the Boston Firefighters Credit Union, Boston Fire Department, Boston Police Department & Massachusetts Fallen Heroes/Veterans Edge to uphold the incredible legacy and efforts in which their friend, veteran, and fellow firefighter, Joseph Nee did for the South Boston community.

“Assisting the South Boston Neighborhood House was a seamless decision between Boston Firefighters Credit Union, Boston Police, Boston Fire, Mass Fallen Heroes and the Nee family to engage in an effort that would make Dodo very proud,” said Bernie Winne, CEO of the Boston Firefighters Credit Union.




PHOTO CAPTION (Left to Right): Mike Brown, Boston Police Officer & Vice President of Massachusetts Fallen Heroes; City of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh; Kathy Lafferty, Executive Director of the South Boston Neighborhood House; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; Bernie Winne, CEO of the Boston Firefighters Credit Union; and Dan Magoon, Boston Firefighter & Executive Director of Massachusetts Fallen Heroes.
_______________________________________________________________
The National Council of Firefighters Credit Unions, Inc. (NCOFCU) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 professional association of credit unions serving firefighter's, first responders and their families, whose mission is to provide its members with the knowledge, skills, tools, and resources necessary to ensure ongoing professional development, and the ability to deliver exceptional value to their credit union members. 

Help support NCOFCU through Amazon Smile while doing your holiday shopping. 









Friday, November 24, 2017

Charlotte Fire Dept in Thanksgiving Day Parade

Charlotte Fire Dept. is always proud to march in the Thanksgiving Day parade! It was a beautiful morning in uptown Charlotte.





Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Don't be the last to know.


Amazon Smile

Now you can painlessly contribute to the National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc (NCOFCU) through Amazon Smile while you do your holiday shopping online.

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when you use this link to shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc.

Our direct link is https://smile.amazon.com/ch/27-2387106 

*The National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions, Inc. (NCOFCU) is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) charitable organization. Donors may deduct contributions as provided in IRC 170(c) (3) of the U.S. Tax Code. Employer Identification Number 27-2387106


Don't forget 2018 Pre-Pay ends 12/20/2017

Pay $50 today to save $50 off the Early Bird 2018 registration for Seattle, WA  September 19-22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving




Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Irish Credit Union TV Ad's


Thought we would put a smile on your face!

The ads are the final piece of a new through-the-line brand campaign that Irish credit unions have been building online and in out-of-home over the past week – The Credit ReUnion. The national TVC launched this week and will run for the next three weeks along with out-of-home, digital, radio and social.





San Diego Firefighters Shave Heads in Solidarity With Fellow Firefighter Battling Cancer

San Diego firefighters honored one of their own Monday by shaving their hair off in solidarity with a firefighter battling cancer.

Firefighter Nick Hibbs is going through chemotherapy for cancer.

"We’re happy to do it for him," said one of the firefighters, while sitting in a chair getting his hair cut off.

In addition to the solidarity shave, Hibbs' band of brothers at Fire Station 1 in Downtown San Diego have also taken food to his home and helped complete some of his chores around the house.

"He’s our brother. We wish him the best," said Bennet. "He’s our brother and we wish him the best. We understand the fight he's going through with his family. We care a great deal about him. That’s why we’re here."

Hibbs is a member of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Bomb Squad. He married his high school sweetheart and has two children.

 www.ncofcu.org

Monday, November 13, 2017

Some new competition "Apple Pay Cash"

Apple’s forthcoming Apple Pay Cash will likely become the next in a long line of P2P offerings that are forcing credit unions to think about the future of their noninterest income, industry experts say. 
Apple Pay Cash, which launched in public beta this week, allows users to send and receive money in Apple Messages. They can use money with Apple Pay Cash in stores, on the web or in apps. The feature also works with Siri, and a member can use cards already in their Apple wallets, according to the company. There is no fee to use Apple Pay Cash with a debit card, but there is a 3% fee to send money using a credit card. 
Apple isn’t the first company to launch a P2P product — but it is one of the biggest. And that can be an opportunity for credit unions, according to Mark Ranta, who is head of digital banking solutions at ACI Worldwide in Naples, Florida.
For one thing, Apple Pay Cash could actually push members to use their debit cards more often, he said.
“If you want to look at the positive, there has to be an interchange to get the money into the ecosystem,” Ranta explained. 
“Now, what [credit unions] will miss out on is the money moving back and forth…the money moving from one iMessage to another,” he added. “But they weren't playing in that space today, anyway. So from a credit union perspective, I actually think it's a good situation because you're actually trying to move more of the commerce to a digital arena.” 
P2P is often a substitute for handing over cash, Ranta added.
“The attack isn't necessarily on interchange here, because the real attack is on cash,” he said.
Filene Chief Knowledge Officer George Hofheimer told CU Times it’s too soon to talk about possible negative effects on the interchange. 
“Still, credit unions should monitor this important source of at-risk revenue closely. With the advent of new competition like Apple Pay Cash, Venmo, Zelle and Square Cash, the threat to the interchange business model certainly exists,” he added.
“The question is when or if the new competitors will operate outside the current payment rails and truly disrupt the credit union interchange model,” Hofheimer said. 
Monetizing P2P services has been a challenge throughout the financial services industry. P2P might not generate much revenue for transactions that move money from person to person, Ranta noted, but there may be an opportunity to capitalize on money movements between people and businesses. 
For now, the bigger opportunity may be in using the product to build brand equity for credit unions, he explained. Providing Apple Pay Cash and other popular money-movement tools helps credit unions shows they’re able to keep up with the pace of modern technology.
“Apple has a pretty big marketing engine, and just saying that you have the capability to work with Apple goes a long way,” Ranta said.
CUTimes

Friday, November 10, 2017

Honoring All Who Served


Today we honor those who have taken up the call to duty and served our nation. 

Frivolous ADA lawsuits considered abuse against America's small businesses.

Please note some of our credit unions serving firefighters and first responders have been served with these frivolous lawsuits.


WASHINGTON—The Senate Judiciary Committee took a deep dive into what some are calling lawsuit abuse against America's small businesses during a hearing this week – specifically mentioning frivolous lawsuits filed under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
Ahead of the hearing, NAFCU informed the committee how these ADA lawsuits are impacting credit unions and asked that it further examine the issue. Numerous credit unions have been named as defendants in lawsuits that allege websites are out of compliance with ADA.
In his opening statement, committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) used an example of a "drive-by" ADA lawsuit as frivolous. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) also made a large example out of the frivolousness of highly technical ADA lawsuits during the hearing, NAFCU reported.
NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler, in a letter to the committee, asked that leaders of the committee take steps to curb the rise in frivolous lawsuits that are occurring under the ADA, specifically in regard to unclear website access requirements.
"A number of lawsuits and dozens of demand letters have been received by credit unions over the accessibility of their websites," Thaler wrote Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
Thaler explained that credit unions want to ensure their members can access the services they need, "however abusive frivolous lawsuits can have a chilling effect forcing an institution to cut services due to litigation risk."  
National Federation of Independent Business Senior Executive Counsel Elizabeth Milito, a witness in the hearing, testified that ADA lawsuits are one of the largest instances of frivolous lawsuits faced by small businesses. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP Partner John Beisner, who testified on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, said that ADA lawsuits are often about a quick payout and not even about actually correcting the violation.
“NAFCU has been incredibly active on ADA, urging members of Congress to take legislative action,” the association said. “A NAFCU-supported bill – the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (HR 620) – would set conditions for filing civil actions over the failure to remove an architectural barrier to an existing public place, among other things. The bill cleared the House Judiciary Committee in September. NAFCU is actively working to expand the bill's protections to also cover website lawsuits. The association also sent a letter to the committee last month urging members to support additional legislation to clarify website access requirements under the ADA in order to curb frivolous lawsuits.”
CUToday

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Credit union expert Tim Harrington will keynote the National Council of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU) 2018 Annual Conference.



Tim Harrington will keynote the National Council of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU) 2018 Annual Conference. He will also address Financial Literacy at the volunteer's session Thursday afternoon, which will help attendees build the skills and knowledge they need to strengthen their credit unions’ bottom lines. The conference will be held September 19-22, 2018 at the Seattle Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Seattle, WA.

“Tim Harrington is a dynamic speaker whose knowledge and expertise in this industry will help attendees lead their credit unions to new heights,” “With the continuing challenges facing credit unions, it is imperative that board and supervisory committee members have the specific competencies this conference offers so they can help ensure their institutions’ safe, sound operation and competitive standing in the consumer financial services market.”

Author, consultant and speaker Tim Harrington has worked with credit unions in 48 states, two territories, Canada and Mexico. His progressive ideas and broad knowledge of credit union issues have made Tim a valuable resource for credit unions nationwide. Tim has spoken to tens of thousands of credit union volunteers and staff and continues to inspire them to improve their credit unions.

Since 1996, Tim has been President of TEAM Resources, a firm providing consulting, strategic planning, and training to credit unions from coast-to-coast. TEAM Resources’ clients range from a few million in assets to the billions in assets.

Pay $50 now to SAVE $50 on the Early Bird registration
(offer expires 12/20/2017)


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

FIREFIGHTER OCCUPATIONAL CANCER FORUM ONLINE

For those of you strongly focused on the issues related to FIREFIGHTER OCCUPATIONAL CANCER, whether your active or retired, there is an important NO COST forum that you are invited to attend next week.

You can attend IN PERSON or watch it LIVE via FACEBOOK (so pretty much all of us should watch this important discussion) as shown below:

When: Wednesday, November 15, 1900, to 2100 hours.
Where: Columbus Fire Training Academy in the John Nance Auditorium, 3639 Parsons Ave., Columbus, Ohio
Admission is free and parking is available.

FOR THOSE ATTENDING ONLINE, GO TO THIS PAGE:
ON NOVEMBER 15 AT 1900 Hours Eastern

THE PANELISTS:
Columbus Firefighter Mark Rine, 36, is the father of five children and was diagnosed with terminal cancer about five years ago.
Nora Jaegly of Toledo lost her husband, firefighter Peter Jaegly, to occupational cancer in 2013. Peter was 49 and served as a Toledo firefighter for 20 years, two as battalion chief
.Missy Collier of Plain City watched her husband Jeff die of occupational cancer at 40. 
After his death, Missy spent years trying to get death benefits from Jeff’s pension fund and from the federal government so she could save the house their three boys grew up in.
Cal Holloway is a firefighter with the Dayton FD and has occupational cancer. Holloway has had several surgeries now to remove cancerous spots from his skin after he underwent a free skin cancer screening.
State Sen. Thomas Patton, a Republican from Strongsville Ohio, spearheaded the passing of Ohio's presumptive cancer law that took effect in April.
Chief Dave Bernzweig, a battalion chief with the Columbus Fire Division and director of health and safety for the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters, has spent years trying to get cancer prevention measures implemented into the fire service. Bernzweig is also a special committee member of the National Fire Protection Association, which helps set policy fire departments across the country follow.
...and many others as well.
MORE DETAILS HERE:
http://www.dispatch.com/news/20171101/unmasked--join-us-for-community-forum

Friday, November 3, 2017

President Trump Nominated Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell

WASHINGTON–President Trump nominated Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to become the new Fed Chairman. If approved, Powell will replace current chair Janet Yellen, who was nominated in 2013 and has been the only woman to lead the Fed. Yellen’s term expires in February.
A Fed governor since 2012 and former Treasury official under the George H.W. Bush administration, Powell was among five candidates considered for the job, along with former Fed governor Kevin Warsh, Stanford University economist John Taylor, the president's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn and Yellen. 
The position of Fed chair requires Senate confirmation, and with Republicans currently holding the majority the GOP  would be able to confirm Powell without any Democratic support, if necessary. Powell, 64, has largely been an ally to Yellen on monetary policy. He has also called for the easing of some of the regulations on banks put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. Powell is not an economist, and instead is a lawyer and former partner at private-equity firm, Carlyle Group. In remarks offered in June, Powell said, "The economy is as close to our assigned goals as it has been for many years. Risks to the forecast now seem more balanced than they have been for a some time."
The position of Fed chair requires Senate confirmation, and with Republicans currently holding the majority the GOP  would be able to confirm Powell without any Democratic support, if necessary. Powell, 64, has largely been an ally to Yellen on monetary policy. He has also called for the easing of some of the regulations on banks put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. Powell is not an economist, and instead is a lawyer and former partner at private-equity firm, Carlyle Group. In remarks offered in June, Powell said, "The economy is as close to our assigned goals as it has been for many years. Risks to the forecast now seem more balanced than they have been for a some time." A Fed governor since 2012 and former Treasury official under the George H.W. Bush administration, Powell was among five candidates considered for the job, along with former Fed governor Kevin Warsh, Stanford University economist John Taylor, the president's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn and Yellen. 
The decision by Trump to nominate Powell marks the first time in four decades that a new president hasn't asked the current Fed chair to stay on for a second term.
In a statement released by the Fed, Powell said, "Thank you, Mr. President, for the faith you have shown in me through this nomination. I am both honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve our great country. If I am confirmed by the Senate, I will do everything within my power to achieve the goals assigned to the Federal Reserve by the Congress: stable prices and maximum employment."
NAFCU congratulated Powell on his nomination.
"We appreciate his readiness to hear credit unions’ concerns affecting their members and communities," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "We look forward to working with him as we continue our work with the Federal Reserve in seeking to ensure a positive regulatory environment in which credit unions can thrive."
CUToday

Credit Union Tax Status Remains Unchanged for Now

WASHINGTON — The credit union tax exemption appears to have escaped unscathed as Republicans in Congress have released details of a massive rewrite of the U.S. tax code they hope to pass.
"As of now, the credit union tax status remains unchanged in this bill and the bill looks good from a credit union perspective, but this is an ongoing process and change can happen anytime. CUNA will be thoroughly reviewing the bill and remains engaged with both chambers of Congress as this process continues, ensuring policymakers are fully aware of the credit union difference in the financial services marketplace and in the lives of our 110 million members," said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, who formerly served as chair of the House Budget Committee and director of the Office of Management and Budget under the Bush Administration. “We thank the House for taking this first step in needed tax reform, and like those who are pushing toward reform, CUNA, leagues and credit unions are committed to building and supporting a strong middle class in this country."
NAFCU, too, said it will be working closely with Congress as the bill advances."As of now, the credit union tax status remains unchanged in this bill and the bill looks good from a credit union perspective, but this is an ongoing process and change can happen anytime. CUNA will be thoroughly reviewing the bill and remains engaged with both chambers of Congress as this process continues, ensuring policymakers are fully aware of the credit union difference in the financial services marketplace and in the lives of our 110 million members," said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, who formerly served as chair of the House Budget Committee and director of the Office of Management and Budget under the Bush Administration. “We thank the House for taking this first step in needed tax reform, and like those who are pushing toward reform, CUNA, leagues and credit unions are committed to building and supporting a strong middle class in this country."
"NAFCU thanks House Republican leaders for continuing to recognize the economic value the credit union tax exemption provides to the U.S. economy and American consumers," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "We’re staying in close contact with lawmakers in both the House and Senate – especially those on the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee – to ensure the preservation of credit unions' tax exemption and to look out for credit union interests as this process continues to unfold." 

Changes to Individual Tax Rates 
The plan that may eventually go to the president for his signature will likely undergo a number of changes as it now works its way through Congress and the heavy lobbying begins. But for now, the tax reform plan includes: 
The plan establishes three tax brackets, 12%, 25% and 35%, plus a top-teir rate of 39.6% for the highest incomes. The income levels for those brackets have not yet been disclosed, however.
Changes Affecting the Middle Class
The House proposal would nearly double the standard deduction for middle-class families, expanding it to $24,000 for married couples, from $12,700, and setting it at $12,000 for individuals, from $6,530 today. The plan also calls for increasing the child tax credit to $1,600 from $1,000, plus a $300 credit for each parent and non-child dependent.
No Changes to 401(k) Retirement Plans
After initial reports that the House plan would eliminate tax breaks on 401(k)s, the plan now calls for no changes for both traditional retirement accounts and Roth accounts.
Changes to Mortgage Interest Deduction
Under the proposed plan, existing homeowners can keep the deduction, but future purchases will be capped at $500,000.
Elimination of the Medical Expense Deduction
In the talking points released by the Republicans, the plan calls for eliminating the medical expense deduction, which the Republican backers said will be made up for by an overall reduction in tax rates. Those with high medical expenses, however, could be hit hard.
No Repeal of the Estate Tax–For Now
The proposal will double the estate tax exemption to roughly $11 million, from $5.49 million, but it also calls for the repeal of the estate tax altogether over a six-year phase-in.
Limits to State and Local Tax Deductions
Expected to be a hot issue, the proposed bill calls for limiting the deduction for state and local taxes to property taxes, and then capping that at $10,000.
CUToday

Thursday, November 2, 2017

NAFCU's CEO Dan Berger & Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler named as top Lobbyist

ARLINGTON, Va.–NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger and Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler have been named top association lobbyists for 2017 by The Hill.
This is the 15th consecutive year that Berger was named to the list and the 10th year for Thaler.
Berger said the accomplishment wouldn't be possible without the support of NAFCU's member credit unions and dedicated staff.
“In our 50th year as an association, I'm proud that NAFCU is staying true to its original mission of being the top federal advocacy organization for credit unions," Berger said in a statement. "Our government affairs team does a fantastic job of maintaining relationships with decision makers in D.C., and our members' grassroots efforts ensure lawmakers and regulators are aware of how a new rule or law will impact credit unions' operations."
The Hill recognized Berger and Thaler for “manning NAFCU’s lobbying operation during a critical time, leading a successful effort to keep the industry’s federal regulator away from tighter congressional control."