Hitting the Road: Georgians Travel to D.C.

U.S. CapitolEarly next week Washington, D.C. will experience a cooperative explosion when thousands of credit union activists arrive in D.C. for CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). This year more than 100 individuals from Georgia, representing 35 different credit unions from all different asset sizes and their related organizations will be sharing the credit union message to our elected officials. The group will hear from heroes such as Sully Sullenberger, the former pilot from US Airways; media personalities such as TIME political reporter Mark Halperin, Arianna Huffington and Mary Matalin; elected officials such as Speaker of the House John Boehner, Rep. Spencer Bachus, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, and Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, lead sponsor of the 2010 MBL bill; and of course regulators such as the three NCUA board members and Elizabeth Warren, head of the newly formed CFPB.

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Washington, D.C. News

Hitting the Road: Georgians Travel to D.C.
House Hearing Hints of Interchange Rule Delay
Senate Banking Scrutiny of Interchange Questions Exemption
House Panel OKs Bill to Repeal Form 1099 Requirement

State News

Property Registry Bill Hearing
DBF Housekeeping Bill Moves Forward
Return of the Bankruptcy Reform Legislation
State Session Activity

Industry News

FCU Loan-Rate Cap Continues at 18%
CUNA Working to Assess GSE Plan's Impact on CUs
U.S. Bankruptcy Rate Declines in 4Q for Sixth Time
In Another State: Oregon Bill Proposes Tax on CUs Holding Public Funds, MBLs

Public Influence

Optimism Rises, Not in Georgia
Georgians Down on State Economy
N.Y. Times: To Heal Credit Score, Talk to a CU
Statewide News Coverage
CUs in the News
Consider This
Paying Attention

News of Interest

Housing Crash Hitting Cities Once Thought to Be Stable

 
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Washington, D.C. News
 

Hitting the Road: Georgians Travel to D.C.

Early next week Washington, D.C. will experience a cooperative explosion when thousands of credit union activists arrive in D.C. for CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). This year more than 100 individuals from Georgia, representing 35 different credit unions from all different asset sizes and their related organizations will be sharing the credit union message to our elected officials. The group will hear from heroes such as Sully Sullenberger, the former pilot from US Airways; media personalities such as TIME political reporter Mark Halperin, Arianna Huffington and Mary Matalin; elected officials such as Speaker of the House John Boehner, Rep. Spencer Bachus, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, and Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, lead sponsor of the 2010 MBL bill; and of course regulators such as the three NCUA board members and Elizabeth Warren, head of the newly formed CFPB.

When on the Hill, the Georgia activists will be sharing the following message:


All Consumers Benefit by Having Credit Unions in the Marketplace

Benefits to Credit Union Members

  • Lower interest rates and fees than for-profit banks.
  • Higher rates of return on deposits than for-profit banks.
  • One member, one vote gives credit union members a voice in credit union operations.
  • Great service from a financial institution that exists to serve members, not enrich shareholders.

Benefits to All Consumers

  • The presence of credit unions in a market motivates banks to keep their rates and fees competitive, benefiting all consumers.
  • Credit unions provide stability to the financial industry.
  • Credit unions did not need a taxpayer bailout because the not-for-profit structure discourages excessive risk-taking.

And We as Credit Union Activists are Concerned About:

  • Protecting the credit union tax exemption.
  • Raising the credit union member business lending cap.
  • The Fed's debit interchange proposal.
  • GSE reform (FNMA & FHLMC).

Also during the GAC, at 2 pm on March 2nd, the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing exploring “the Effect of Dodd-Frank on Small Financial Institutions and Small Businesses.” CUNA has been asked to provide a witness for the hearing as most members are concerned about the impacts of the legislation on smaller institutions.

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House Hearing Hints of Interchange Rule Delay

Several legislators called for a delay of implementation of the Federal Reserve's interchange fee proposal during a February 17th House Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit subcommittee hearing. Also prompting legislator concern about the impact on small issuers were comments from a Fed governor and earlier remarks by the Fed's chairman, as well as testimony from CUNA witness. Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin in testimony said that the Fed would delay its rulemaking process if directed to do so by Congress. Raskin also noted that portions of the Dodd-Frank Act that instruct the Fed to ensure that interchange fees are "reasonable and proportional" to the costs of maintaining a debit card system were difficult for the Fed to interpret.

The hearing also featured the testimony of Frank Michael, President/CEO of Allied Credit Union of Stockton, Calif. Michael, appearing on behalf of both his credit union and CUNA, reiterated the credit union industry’s urging for Congress to stop the implementation of the interchange standards and study the potential impact that the changes would have on credit unions and consumers. Congress could then restart the process of writing these potential regulations, Michael said. The Fed's interchange provisions could cap debit card interchange fees that are paid by merchants to card issuers at as little as seven cents per transaction. Issuers with under $10 billion in assets would be exempt from the interchange changes.

U.S. CapitolLawmakers questioned whether the Fed had been given the time needed to fully consider the impact that these interchange changes could have on financial institutions, merchants and consumers. Michael in his testimony noted a recent CUNA survey that found that 91 percent of CUNA's member credit unions would be forced to change their current practices if the interchange proposal became law. These changes could mean increasing members' existing debit card fees or introducing new fees and lowering deposit rates, he said. Michael added that the interchange regulations could harm low-income consumers by restricting their access to free checking accounts. He told committee members that his credit union would lose money on every debit card transaction made by one of its members if the Fed's interchange proposal stands. Michael also questioned whether the Fed proposal would be able to enforce its proposed exemption for credit unions and other small issuers with under $10 billion in assets. Raskin during questioning said that the Fed's plan to shield small issuers could be "eroded by market forces." Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke also admitted this possibility in separate Senate testimony. (See related story: Senate Banking scrutiny of interchange questions exemption).

CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said that CUNA was encouraged by the tenor of the hearing, and added that the combined comments of key legislators, regulators and our witness Frank Michael will increase pressure on Congress and the Fed to put on the brakes and rethink their approach. "That certainly will be the message we'll be reinforcing when 4,000 of our folks are in town for the Governmental Affairs Conference later this month," he added.

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Senate Banking Scrutiny of Interchange Questions Exemption

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on February 17th said that a planned interchange fee regulation exemption for credit unions and small institutions with under $10 billion in assets may not be effective in the marketplace, and admitted that there may be no way to ensure that small issuers are exempt from new interchange fee rules. The Fed chairman spoke during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the progress of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act implementation.

Card swipeBernanke in his testimony added that merchants could reject more expensive cards that would be offered by credit unions and other small financial institutions, and that debit card issuers may be forced to pass on the costs of debit card systems to their members and customers. Bernanke could not ensure that merchants would pass on their interchange fee savings to their consumers. CUNA aired similar concerns in recent meetings with Fed representatives and legislators.

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, who also testified during the hearing, shared many of Bernanke's views, and speculated that the interchange changes could harm small financial institutions far more than they would help merchants. Bair added that credit union members and community bank customers could replace their current cards with less secure prepaid cards if smaller issuers are forced out of the debit card business. Bair also called for the Fed's interchange rulemaking process to be delayed. (See related story above: House hearing hints of interchange rule delay).

Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh said his group is also examining the Federal Reserve's interchange provisions. Several legislators offered their own takes on the interchange proposal and financial regulation in general during the hearing:

  • Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said he did not see how small institutions could not be impacted by the interchange changes, and questioned the fairness of price controls.
  • Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) called the Fed's interchange proposal "draconian."
  • Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said that many financial institutions in his district have complained that they are overburdened by financial regulations, and
  • ranking committee member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said that overall, the amount of work required to implement the Dodd-Frank rules is "staggering."
For more on interchange: click here for the February 17th Bloomberg Businessweek article titled “Congress May Slow “Swipe” Cap Amid Regulator Concerns.”
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House Panel OKs Bill to Repeal Form 1099 Requirement

Following a hearing on February 17th the House Ways and Means Committee approved by a 21-15 vote a bill (H.R. 705) that would repeal a provision in the healthcare law requiring businesses to file Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 on every annual purchase of goods from a vendor above $600.

As previously reported, the requiring of 1099-MISC forms on goods is an extremely burdensome reporting concept. It will require businesses to gather tax identification numbers and generate many millions of new tax forms that most small businesses and economists maintain will have questionable value in actually increasing federal revenue. Credit unions and other businesses have long been required to report to the on Form 1099-MISC certain payments of $600 or more that will be considered income by the IRS.

The legislation also would repeal a measure in last year's Small Business Lending Act requiring taxpayers who receive income from rental property to issue 1099s to service providers. To pay for the repeal's cost, H.R. 705 would increase the amount subject to recapture from individuals participating in state health exchanges, whose income disqualifies them from receiving a subsidy.

The Senate on February 2nd approved an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that would repeal the 1099 requirement. The amendment would direct the Office of Management and Budget to find unspent federal discretionary funds to cover the cost of the repeal. The House also has other bills addressing this issue, such as H.R. 4, which has 271 cosponsors, representing enough backing to pass the measure when it comes to a full House vote. The Obama administration also favors repeal.

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State News
 

Property Registry Bill Hearing

Jacobs
State Rep.
Mike Jacobs


Rep. Mike Jacobs unveiled the long-awaited updated version of the Property Registry Bill (HB 110) on Wednesday, February 23rd in a House Judiciary Subcommittee meeting. Readers will recall that this legislation seeks to standardize and impose reasonable fees on city and county foreclosure and/or vacant property registries. The legislation seeks to limit the scope of how local governments apply this concept, and cap the fees that are associated. The most current version of the bill would provide counties and municipalities the option to institute a registry for foreclosed and/or vacant properties, and would supersede any existing registry. Counties that have an existing registry, such as DeKalb, spoke against the bill as they do not want to limit the fees they currently receive, and Gwinnett County (which is currently considering its own local ordinance) spoke in favor of the bill as they viewed it as a uniform process.

In addition to credit unions, counties, cities, and other financial institutions, there are many other interested parties in the bill such as Realtors, home builders, and apartment associations. One can imagine the challenges with moving this legislation forward . . . and, it would be beneficial for something to pass to provide uniform standards across the state. During the hearing there were parties who expressed interest in re-inserting the language (which the Government Influence Team had worked to remove) that would require every financial institution to have a registered agent in the county in which a foreclosure took place. While Rep. Jacobs understands the issue that credit unions would have with this onerous requirement and removed this provision, the work continues to ensure that it is not amended in the process to add this provision back into the bill. The next version of the bill is anticipated on Monday, February 28th prior the next subcommittee meeting. Stay tuned!

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Frazier
State Rep.
Gloria Frazier
DBF Housekeeping Bill Moves Forward

On Tuesday, February 22nd the House Banks and Banking Committee held a hearing on the Department of Banking and Finance’s Housekeeping Bill (HB 239). Readers of last week’s Legislative Update will recall the synopsis of the changes in the bill, which are noncontroversial:

  • Change to definition of statutory capital base for eliminating volatile unrealized gains and losses on available for sale investments securities.
  • Permissive language to allow the Department to file for dissolution of a corporate bank charter if an organizing group fails to do so after demand.
  • Clarification that the failure of a financial institution to maintain at least five (5) directors at any time does not exonerate the remaining directors from their obligations and liabilities associated with their decisions made as directors.
  • Reconciles any conflict between O.C.G.A. §§ 7-655(c) and 7-1-658(3) regarding who can serve on the credit committee of a credit union.
  • Clarification that any false statement made with the intent either to cause injury or to defraud a financial institution, the commissioner, or any examiner, and every person with like intent who aids or abets such actions, shall be subject to the provisions of O.C.G.A. §7-1-842(1).
  • Other changes that affect mortgage brokers and licensed mortgage originators.

The area that generated many questions was the section that references the above “false statement made” being subject to a felony. DBF Chairman Rob Braswell was in attendance to address the bill and field these questions from the committee, and drew attention that this was more than an accidental omission or error . . . that it was a false statement made with the intent to injure or defraud the institution. And while most of the questions surrounded this fraudulent activity, during the hearing Committee Member Rep. Gloria Frazier asked to hear specifically from the Government Influence Team on the full bill to ensure that credit unions would not be negatively impacted by the legislation. Thank you to Rep. Frazier for her public concern during the hearing to ensure that “her credit unions would not be hurt.” This legislation passed unanimously out of the Committee and now moves to the Rules Committee for consideration on the House floor for a vote.

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Frazier
State Sen. Jesse Stone
Return of the Bankruptcy Reform Legislation

In previous sessions, the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee has addressed (but not passed) legislation that sought to increase the amount of the personal exemption for bankruptcy proceedings, some years holding entire summer study committees on this issue. This topic has returned in 2011! The legislators have changed, but the issue is the same: Sen. Jesse Stone has introduced legislation (SB 117) that would increase the personal and property exemption from $5,000 to $25,000 for personal property and $50,000 for real property per debtor. While a consideration and discussion of an increase may not be inconceivable, jumping to this amount could negatively impact credit union lending practices. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee . . . which is chaired by Sen. Bill Hamrick, the senator who was chairman of the Senate Banking when it was introduced in years past. No hearing has been scheduled as of press time; watch for more details.

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Georgia CapitolState Session Activity

The state Legislature has worked through 19 days of the 40-day session, bringing them almost to the halfway point. While the press focused attention on the Hope scholarship and the various rallies that were held on the grounds of the Capitol, there were several bills of industry interest with activity:

  • Foreclosure Bill SB 123: While directed at foreclosure/mortgage fraud, this legislation would increase the timeframe to foreclose from 30 to 60 days. Bill sponsors are Sen. Lester Jackson and Sen. Donzella James.
  • Usury Bill HB 281: Rep. Ben Harbin introduced legislation that would clarify the way that interest is calculated based on loaned, pledged amounts.
  • Insurance Certificate Bill HB 66: Readers will recall that this legislation, by Rep. Howard Maxwell, seeks to legislate the new process that the Insurance Commissioner has put into practice on creating/approving forms to be used to provide evidence of an insurance policy’s existence. The bill has been modified to remove any conflicting language to ensure that financial institutions are notified in the event of a lapse in coverage. The bill is moving through the committee process as of press time.
  • Gold Standard Bill (SB 116): Sen. David Shafer has introduced the “gold standard bill” in the Senate (Rep. Bobby Franklin introduced similar legislation in the House – HB 3). Readers will recall that the Gold Standard Bills seek to require financial institutions … that serve as state depositories … to accept and offer gold and silver for accounts. The House bill, HB 3, was assigned to a subcommittee on Tuesday, February 22nd in House Banks and Banking Committee meeting.
  • Motor Vehicle Security Interest Bill: HB 323 by Rep. Michael Harden would extend the period of time to perfect a security interest on a motor vehicle from 20 to 30 days.

And, as of press time the House Judicial Non Civil Committee is meeting to hear testimony on the Attorney General’s Robo-Signing Foreclosure Bill (HB 237). This bill, introduced by Rep. Rich Golick, seeks to provide the AG’s office with subpoena powers over foreclosure documents. Watch for next week’s Legislative Update for details on the bill activity.

Next week the Legislature will be in session for five days, and there are multiple bills that will be heard in committee as mentioned above. The Legislature has set the calendar through day 31, and if the schedule is any indication the Legislature will be moving rapidly over the next three weeks. To monitor the above bills, along with all of the other pieces of legislation that are being tracked on behalf of credit unions during the session, please click here.

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Industry News
 

FCU Loan-Rate Cap Continues at 18%

Acknowledging that its action takes place at "an interesting time for credit unions," NCUA voted to continue the federal credit union (FCU) loan interest-rate ceiling at 18 percent. Without the regulators' action, the rate cap would have reverted to 15 percent as of March 11th. CUNA has encouraged the agency to maintain the higher ceiling. Fifteen percent is the default ceiling set for FCUs by the 1980 Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act. If the NCUA approves a higher cap, as is allowed by that law, the agency is required to revisit the rate ceiling within 18 months.

A NCUA document recommending the continuation noted that trends in money market rates, which are starting to increase again, in part justify the higher ceiling. Moreover, it added, a significant number of FCUs "depend on loans with interest rates that would be affected by any reduction in the ceiling.” “Indeed, as of (the third quarter of 2010), 122 FCUs had volumes of 15-18 percent loans exceeding 10 percent of assets," the NCUA noted.

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CUNA Working to Assess GSE Plan's Impact on CUs

Freddie & FannieCUNA said it will examine the Obama administration's proposed changes to the current mortgage finance system to identify any potential difficulties for credit unions. The Obama administration's proposal for the future of government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was released earlier this month, and suggests a trio of potential outcomes. One proposal would almost completely privatize the housing finance system, limiting the government's role to assisting low-income and veteran homebuyers. The report notes that smaller lenders could have a difficult time competing under such a system.

Another proposal would create a system through which the government would back mortgages only in times of financial distress. Low-income individuals and military veterans would still be offered assistance under this structure. The government could also use a system of reinsurance to backstop private mortgage guarantors to a targeted range of mortgages. The report notes that this option provides the lowest-cost mortgages, and would likely benefit smaller lenders. The document does not propose specific legislative solutions. The administration noted that changes such as reducing conforming loan limits, increasing guarantee fees, and requiring higher down payments from potential homeowners could be handled through internal regulatory changes.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) in separate statements said that they would soon begin working with the Administration to further develop new housing finance policies. CUNA will be following this issue closely as developments unfold in Congress and with other policymakers. CUNA's GSE Reform Task Force in previous comments said that equal access to the secondary market is critical for credit unions.

For more on the GSEs and the costs associated with such, click here for the February 14th Wall Street Journal article titled “Fannie, Freddie Costs Expected to Sink”.

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U.S. Bankruptcy Rate Declines in 4Q for Sixth Time

Bankruptcies filed in the U.S. rose 8 percent during calendar year 2010, according to data by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. However, the rate of growth of bankruptcies filed during fourth quarter 2010 declined for the sixth consecutive quarter for business filings and for the second quarter in personal filings. During fourth quarter, roughly 370,080 bankruptcies were filed, down from 372,203 filed for the same period in 2009. In 2010, 1.59 million bankruptcies were filed. That is a five-year high and up from 1.47 million filed in calendar year 2009.

"These bankruptcy filing numbers roughly track credit union loan loss data," said Bill Hampel, chief economist at the CUNA. "Household financial conditions deteriorated dramatically from 2007 to the first part of 2010. Since then, conditions have stabilized with the result that although high, bankruptcy filings are at least beginning to recede," he said. "We have a way to go, and it will take quite a while to get there, but at least we are moving in the right direction," according to Hampel.

Filings have increased steadily since 2006, when they totaled 617,000 for the first 12-month period after the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 took effect. In 2005 more than 2 million bankruptcies were filed in the rush to beat the more restrictive requirements from the act. Most of the 2010 filings involve non-business debts, which totaled 1.536 million, up 9 percent from 1.4 million filed in 2009. Business filings totaled 56,282, down 7 percent from 60,837 in 2009. Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings totaled 1.139 million in 2010, with Chapter 13 the next highest, at 438,913 filings, followed by 13,713 under Chapter 11, and 723 under Chapter 12.

The recession's end is finally bringing the expected improvement in consumer and business finances, said Moody's Economy.com. However, it cautioned that business and personal filings "are on different paths." Business bankruptcy filings have fallen for a year and a half, while personal filings have been slower to begin to drop. Business filings remain highly elevated by historic standard, above levels seen leading up to the bankruptcy reform legislation in 2005. "By contrast, the level of personal filings has only briefly returned to levels seen in the early part of the last decade and is slipping below them again. This is true despite high unemployment and high levels of defaults including credit card charge offs and foreclosures," Moody's said.

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In Another State: Oregon Bill Proposes Tax on CUs Holding Public Funds, MBLs

OregonSome Oregon credit unions will be taxed if the state's banker association gets its way with legislation it initiated this year. Late last week a bill was introduced in the Oregon House, House Bill 3263, which has the backing and support of the Oregon Bankers Association. The bill will impose a corporate excise tax on state-chartered credit unions and interstate credit unions holding one or more deposits of public funds that exceed $250,000 or holding commercial loans that in aggregate exceeds an amount equal to 10 percent of credit union assets. The proposed legislation would apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2011.

Oregon credit unions won a key victory in the 2010 legislature by passing a bill to lift a cap of $250,000 on deposits of public funds, and this bill was actively opposed by the bankers. House Bill 3263 is a response to that victory.

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Public Influence
 

Optimism Rises, Not in Georgia

In an article on February 23rd, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution indicated that the slowly rising optimism among consumers nationwide is not matched by that of Georgia consumers. The article cited a report released by Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) to which over 4,000 Georgia credit union members responded. Among the report's findings:

  • Only 12 percent of poll respondents believe the economy is improving compared to a year ago, with 40 percent saying they think it's getting worse.
  • Almost 30 percent (29.4 percent) of respondents said they experienced changes in their employment situation during the recession, ranging from layoffs to pay cuts to having to take a second job.
  • More than one-third of respondents (35.7 percent) said they had no reserve savings to cover essential expenses if they were to lose their job or other source of income. On the other hand, 18.9 percent said they had enough savings to cover more than one year without a source of income.
  • Almost two-thirds of respondents (65.6 percent) said they have changed their personal savings habits over the past six months, including spending less or cutting expenses like eating out and taking trips.
  • Compared to 2010, respondents appear even more wary about making large purchases. 63.3 percent said they do not plan to purchase any big-ticket items in 2011, compared to 52.1 percent who said they avoided large purchases last year.
  • Half (50 percent) of respondents say they will pay for their large purchases with cash from savings.

Mike Mercer, President and CEO of GCUA, said Georgians continue to view the economy with “cautious optimism.” “Spending will be curbed, saving will be maximized to the extent that each household can manage it, and we’ll continue to see an overall ‘play it safe’ attitude from people,” Mercer said.

Amy Bryan, an Athens resident and member of GEMC Federal Credit Union, shared that she is “somewhat optimistic” about the economy, but would be more so if her husband – who has been unemployed for three years – could find a good job.

The article also cites information from a national Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index released in February that found consumers were generally more optimistic about the labor market and their income prospects. Click here to read the article.

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Chart downGeorgians Down on State Economy

On February 23rd, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported results of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates’ (GCUA) recent consumer survey. The article highlighted specific statistics indicating that “Georgia consumers are pessimistic about the Peach State’s economy.” "As national statistics start to show an increase in consumer confidence, Georgia credit union members are still wary about their own personal financial health," said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of GCUA. Click here to read the article.
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N.Y. Times: To Heal Credit Score, Talk to a CU

Consumers looking to restore a poor credit score should talk to a credit union to help them gain more sound financial footing, according to a February 18th article in The New York Times. Among a half-dozen suggestions, in an article titled, "Healing a Wounded Credit Score," by Tara Siegel Bernard, is the suggestion, "talk to a credit union."

"These institutions may be more willing to work with members who have checkered histories," she wrote. "Their offerings vary, but they may be more likely to consider alternative credit scores, offer free credit counseling or have products tailored for people with poor credit histories." "Certainly, many credit unions have credit builder or rebuilder loans, often structured as a loan with a built-in savings component so that a person gradually builds up funds that can act as partial collateral," Clifford Rosenthal, president of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, told Bernard.

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Statewide News Coverage

Get the latest in statewide news coverage, click here.

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CUs in the News

Get the latest in local CU coverage, click here.

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Consider This

View archives of this monthly e-news brief sent to journalists, click here.

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Paying Attention

View the quarterly report and poll of Georgia credit union members and CU trends, click here.

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News of Interest
 

BubbleHousing Crash Hitting Cities Once Thought to Be Stable

The New York Times reported on February 13th on the cities that are being hit hard(er) with the housing crash – cities that, due to their economic diversification, were thought by some to be immune . . . and Atlanta being one of the cities highlighted. To read more please click here.

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