April 3, 2009
From the desk of Tracie Kenyon, President/CEO, Montana Credit Union Network
This is an internal publication of the Montana Credit Union Network intended for affiliated CEOs and their
official family. For more information, call us at 1-800-745-5546.
Corporate Credit Union Update I am attaching a press release from NCUA
regarding this week’s happenings – simply too much to list in this message.
The NCUA Board has also responded positively to CUNA’s call for greater
transparency and has agreed to release information on the distressed securities to
members of US Central and WesCorp.
Offering Payday Loan Alternative Products More and more REAL Solutions
Credit Unions are expressing interest in providing their members an affordable
payday loan product. To help them, the National Credit Union Foundation
has released a Payday Loan toolkit to help credit unions build a sustainable payday
loan product that provides low cost options for consumers. Montana credit unions
Missoula FCU and Kootenai Valley FCU are highlighted in the report. The report
authored by Nancy Pierce is available for free download on the REAL Solutions
Impact Center or http://realsolutions.coop/.
It’s Not Too Late To Register for Regional Training Near You! Montana Credit
Unions for Community Development (MCUCD) is offering regional training in your
area this April – Train-the-Trainer: Making Financial Education Effective and
This seminar is for anyone at the credit union with member interaction. The seminar
will not only cover the various ways financial education can be delivered, it will
include the following:
o Psychology of Money
o Effective and Engaging Facilitation
o Financial Education Essentials
o Grab Bag of Ideas
This is a full-day workshop – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is being held in the following
o Missoula - Tuesday, April 7, MSU-Missoula County Extension Office
o Great Falls - Thursday, April 9, Sletten Cancer Institute
Click on the location you are interested in for information and registration. The
registration fee is $150 per person, which includes lunch. Please contact Karen
Smith at email@example.com or (800-745-5546 ext 124) with your questions.
‘In Compliance...’ On March 17, the Montana Supreme Court issued an important
opinion regarding credit card change of terms notices. In Kortum-Managhan v.
Herbergers, the Court held that a “bill stuffer” did not provide sufficient notice to add a
new arbitration clause to the credit card agreement. The original agreement allowed
Herbergers to change terms of the agreement (future modification) by giving notice. The
cardholder could terminate the agreement and pay off the balance if he/she did not
accept the change. Continued use of the card constituted acceptance of the change. The
Court said the bill stuffer arbitration clause was ambiguous because it was “blended into
the end of a document when bold type, capital letters and larger fonts are used to draw
attention to other clauses.” The Court distinguished and did not overturn Shimsky v.
Valley Credit Union (1984), which upheld the use of future modification agreements and a
change in interest rate notice. The Court made much of the fact that the arbitration clause
was a wholly new term and “not a mere change in the interest rate” and, most
importantly, that arbitration waives the fundamental constitutional right to jury trial and
access to the courts. The conclusion or statement of holding is stated broadly, however,
and is not literally restricted to arbitration clauses. What does this mean for credit
unions? For arbitration clauses, they should be included in the original agreement if at all
possible. If such a clause must be added pursuant to a future modification clause, the
addition should come in the form of a separate letter to the consumer. For change of
interest rate and other typical Reg Z change in terms, there is arguably no new
requirement. But given the tenor of the 5-1 decision, it is advisable to make sure that
notices are very clear and conspicuous and either sent separately or at least not included
with a significant amount of other materials in periodic statements.
Share Insurance Campaign Unveiled NCUA unveiled a media campaign that will
run for the next several months to educate the public about share insurance
coverage at credit unions. Nationally respected finance expert, Jane Bryant
Quinn, is promoting National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF)
coverage and reminds consumers that federally insured credit unions are a safe
place to keep your money at a time of market turmoil. During a 5-month video, print
ad, and electronic campaign, television, Internet, and transit buses will spread the
word that member accounts in federally insured credit unions are safe and secure.
The first 30 second TV ad can be viewed here.
Do Your Members Know? Do you have members who are receiving text messages
purporting to be from the “Montana Credit Union” and are asking for credit card and
PIN information. The text message "informs" members that their card has been
deactivated and directs them to call a Montana phone number to reactivate them.
These calls are fraudulent attempts to collect your personal financial
Take this opportunity to share this information with your members who may be
recipients of these messages. Find out more by viewing this week’s ‘Consumer Tip
of the Week’ on the MCUCD website at www.montanacreditunions.coop.
If you would like more information on providing consumer education for your
members, please contact Karen Smith at MCUCD – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you tried registering for education on our newly designed website? We
think you will like it so much - that we are giving you a BONUS for registering online.
If you register online for an event/web you will be entered in a drawing for a $100
VISA Gift Card. Only the person registered for the event will be entered in the
drawing. All registrations between March 18 & April 30 will be entered in the drawing.
Give it a try!
To accommodate the continually changing financial and regulatory
environment we have added two SPECIAL EDITION webcasts
FFIEC Guidance on Risk Management of Remote Deposit Capture:
A Practical Guide to Examiner Interpretation, David Peterson, Goldleaf Financial
Register here now!
Implementing Mortgage Refinance & Modification Procedures Under the New
Federal Making Home Affordable Program, S. Wayne Linder & Linda Young,
Young & Associates, Inc.
Register here now!
Annual Convention & Exposition Registration is
now available online for our annual convention. This
Hollywood-style gala is being held May 13 – 15 at the
Hilton Garden Inn in Missoula. In Montana in May -
Credit Unions Steal the Show!
MCUCD Silent Auction! Montana Credit Unions for
Community Development is looking for donations to
the Silent Auction during the Annual Convention on
Thursday, May 14. Every dollar contributed at the Silent Auction will support
MCUCD’s mission to improve the social and economic well-being of Montana
We are encouraging both credit unions and individuals to donate an item for the
auction. Donate one item or combine several items together to create a fun basket.
Please contact Dan Veale at (406) 442-9081 ext. 140 or email@example.com to arrange
your donation to the Silent Auction.
Invest in America Update Despite recent newsworthy announcements and
predictions, Michigan CUcorp reports that Invest in America’s relationships with GM
and Chrysler remain steady and unchanged. “The U.S. Government has said they
will stand behind GM and Chrysler warranties, and we know that Chrysler is
aggressively pursuing a partnership with Fiat to satisfy government requirements.
We remain confident that GM and Chrysler will emerge from these challenges and
with their brands remaining attractive to consumers to support and purchase,” wrote
CUcorp President Drew Egan in a Tuesday e-mail.
Invest in America continues to work closely with GM and Chrysler to expand and
improve the offers for credit union members. On Friday, Invest in America published
an April Newsletter with lots of information. I’m attaching it as a .pdf file to this
document. A few highlights:
GM has agreed to continue the credit union discount program nationally through
2009 and along with it’s seven divisions (Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, GMC, Saturn,
Cadillac, and Hummer) has rolled out a new Total Confidence Program that
dovetails nicely with the supplier pricing credit union members receive.
For the month of April, Chrysler will be providing credit union members a $500
incentive on the following 2009 model year vehicles: Chrysler 300C & 300 SRT8,
Grand Cherokee (all models including SRT8), Commander, Sebring Convertible, and
Ram 1500 SLT/Sport/TRX & Laramie models. And, because Chrysler has
discontinued its bonus cash programs for Chase and Chrysler Financial, this
program remains the best in the marketplace for credit union members.
NCUA Corporate Stabilization Please remember to have your ANPR comments to
NCUA by Monday, April 6, 2009. You can review CUNA’s communication on our
website’s NCUA Corporate Stabilization Page.
Philosophy in Action I am excited to tell you about two of “our own” who’ve
recently received some nice appointments – Chris Sisco (CEO, Montana First CU)
has been selected as chairman for the Montana Komen Foundation. This is a
wonderful honor and we know that Chris will be outstanding in this poisition. Tom
Boos (CEO, Billings FCU) was asked this week to serve on a steering committee for
the National Credit Union Foundation’s new project MashUp (a program designed to
increase opportunities for low-wealth family’s to access affordable car loans through
credit unions). Tom is an excellent choice and will represent Montana’s credit unions
very well. Please help me extend congratulations to both of these deserving folks!
Parting Shot Folks, I just couldn’t resist this one…"Obama was on TV saying
Americans are angry. We are angry, but we don't want a press conference. We want
to see Obama pelting AIG executives with a sock full of quarters shouting, "Here's
change we can believe in!" --Craig Ferguson