The Pulse (03-19-14)


The Pulse (03-19-2014)

March 19, 2014 ● Volume 03, Issue 11


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News

Take action now -- credit unions need to oppose mandatory mediation bill in Minnesota State Legislature 

The Minnesota State Legislature is in full swing with over 1,000 bills introduced in the first two weeks of the 2014 session. Most of these bills do not have any effect on the way credit unions operate, but the Minnesota Credit Union Network has grave concerns about one particular bill currently making its way through the House. Because of that concern, the time has come to ask our supporters to take action to protect credit unions and their members.

H.F. 1941 is a bill introduced by Rep. Raymond Dehn (DFL-59B) that would require a financial institution to go through a mediation process before they can foreclose on a property. While the concept of the bill might not sound overly onerous, the actual language of the bill has serious legal and procedural concerns that necessitate credit unions' strong opposition in its current form. Our chief concerns are:

  • The bill does not contain an adequate exemption for small servicers

According to the author, credit unions are not the target of this legislation but he has not built in sufficient protections for smaller lenders. Especially of concern is that second mortgages and other liens that may not appear to be affected by the bill would be subjected to the same burdensome requirements. Especially because…

  • The bill requires ALL subsequent lienholders to participate in mediation.

If a credit union holds a second mortgage on a property that may have its first mortgage under a lender that meets the requirements to be held to the mediation component, it will be REQUIRED to participate in the mediation session. If a credit union cannot be in attendance, it will AUTOMATICALLY be found to be acting in bad faith and its mortgage lien stripped summarily.

  • The bill also attempts to supersede the private right to contract and may be unconstitutional

The proposal provides that any mediation agreement that operates as a legal contract but fails to consider a homeowner will be required to execute loan documents otherwise required by federal and state laws. It also fails to address obligations if a homeowner is in bankruptcy, where a credit union could be in violation of federal law if required to participate in foreclosure mediation.

More than 30 bills have been passed in Minnesota over the last few years dealing with foreclosure, the Minnesota Credit Union Network has been an active participant in ALL of them. As your trade association, MnCUN has worked hard to ensure that credit union members are protected as much as possible and that the foreclosure process is fair and equitable for everyone. H.F. 1941, however, goes far beyond any reasonable idea and creates an uneven playing field for credit unions.

The Network strongly disagrees with this bill in its current form and is asking all GREAT members to contact their State Representative and ask them to oppose H.F. 1941. Please click here to be redirected to an email submission form to send a message to implore your elected representatives to protect credit unions. 




New Story Capture project helps consumers share their love of credit unions - webinar scheduled

For the next few months, the Minnesota Credit Union Network will be working with credit unions across the state to collect stories from employees and members.  The Network would like credit union professionals and members to answer one simple question:  “Why do you love your credit union?” Answers to this question will be captured in a variety of forms: video, online submissions, Facebook, Twitter, and postcards. We will be posting all of the submissions on our Story Share Website. The Network has piloted this program with eight initial credit unions and is now opening the project to everyone. The Story Share Website provides examples of the type of stories being collected.


The Network will be hosting a Webinar on Tuesday, March 25, at 10 a.m. to explain the story capture  project in detail, provide a quick tutorial on how to best round up story tellers, and to answer questions. Please register for the webinar -- log in materials will be emailed the afternoon of Monday, March 24.  The session will be approximately a half-hour long, with time allotted for questions and answers 

The Network is confident this project will help demonstrate the statewide appreciation for and support of credit unions to the public as well as elected officials and decision makers. With any questions, please

MnCUN Political Advocacy Director Ryan Smith by email or call (651) 288-5533



Lawmakers, opinion leaders join in Minnesota’s Credit Union Day at the Capitol

Minnesota Speaker of the House Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis) and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) headlined the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s 2014 Credit Union Day at the Capitol event in St. Paul on March 13. Nearly 200 credit union leaders from communities throughout Minnesota gathered for this annual event.


Thissen and Daudt talked about their respective priorities for the legislative session. They also shared the top issues that their constituents are contacting them about as well as their predictions for this fall’s Minnesota House races.


Education sessions during Credit Union Day focused on grassroots advocacy and 2014 legislative activity. Members of MnCUN’s “The Crew” – a networking group for credit union employees 35 and younger – learned insights about politics and motivations for running for office from Rep. Joe Radinovich (DFL-Crosby), who is serving his first term in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Rep. Radinovich expressed appreciation for credit unions and their reputation at the state capitol – “local, community institutions that are trusted,” he said.

He encouraged credit union representatives to continue a high-level of engagement within the communities that they serve.

“In session and out, I appreciate talking to constituents,” Rep. Radinovich said. “You don’t always have to come with issues – it can be a more relaxed conversation – but forming that relationship is critical.”

Before heading to the capitol to meet with their state legislators, attendees also heard from a panel of capitol reporters, including:

  • Brian Bakst of the Associated Press;
  • Brianna Bierschbach of MinnPost;
  • Baird Helgeson of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune; and
  • Tom Scheck of Minnesota Public Radio.

The reporters shared their insights about the issues they are following in the Minnesota legislative session, along with their thoughts about the 2014 races for governor, Minnesota House and U.S. Senate. Blois Olson of Fluence Media moderated the panel. All of the panelists mentioned connections they’ve had with credit unions as well.


In the afternoon, credit union advocates took to the Capitol to visit with their local legislators and emphasize the many ways that credit unions – as locally-owned, not-for-profit financial institutions – are connected to the communities that they serve. Credit unions also discussed with lawmakers the industry’s opposition to HF 1941, a bill that requires mandatory mediation in foreclosure proceedings.


“Credit Union Day at the Capitol is a great opportunity for us to share our stories directly with elected officials,” said MnCUN VP-Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey. “This event allows us to show them how credit unions directly benefit their constituents and all Minnesotans.”

Register now and join us at the 2014 Annual Meeting & Convention

Don't miss out on a weekend packed with education, networking opportunities and entertainment. Registration is now open for MnCUN's 2014 Annual Meeting & Convention!

Taking place April 25-26 at the Radison Blu Mall of America, this conference offers the state's largest credit union exhibition, with opportunities for exhibitors to talk about their products and services and connect with credit union leaders. There are also education sessions for credit union staff and volunteers, as well as activities for The Crew – MnCUN's young professionals group.

Schedule at a glance: 

8-9:30 a.m.

Exhibit Hall Open: Breakfast with the Exhibitors
FIC Silent Auction

9:30 a.m.-noon

General Session
In continuous general session format, this portion of the conference will involve several of the weekend's keynote speakers, MnCUN highlights, and special guests.
- MnCUN President & CEO Mark D. Cummins
- NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz
- Kare 11 Anchor Kim Insley
- Credit Union Insider Dan Mica
- CUNA Mutual Group SVP John Lass
- Credit Union Lending Expert Brett Christensen
- Marketing & Media Expert Anthony Huey

noon-1:15 p.m.

Lunch in Exhibit Hall
FIC Silent Auction

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Business Meeting

3-4 p.m. & 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions
CUNA Mutual Group SVPJohn Lass
Credit Union Lending Expert Brett Christensen

Making Your Message Memorable: Conversations and Q & A
Anthony L. Huey, President – Reputation Management Associates, LLC

5:15-6:30 p.m.

Reception in Exhibit Hall

7:30 p.m.

Credit Unions for Kids "Minnesota Blackjack" tournament


Saturday, April 26

8-9:30 a.m.

NEW! Awards Breakfast

9:45-11:15 a.m.

General Session – Governmental Affairs

11:30 a.m-12:45 p.m.

Luncheon – Keynote Speaker: Former WCCO anchor Don Shelby

1-2 p.m.

Concurrent Roundtable sessions

1-3 p.m.

VAP Session
Understanding the Audit Report (V428)

Marcia Armstrong Lewis, MnCUN Compliance & Audit Consultant and Vickie Ganrude, MnCUN Director of Business Development

2-3 p.m. & 3:15-4:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

How to Increase Your Credit Unions Bottom Line
Bob Jones, Economic Development Specialist - NCUA Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives

20 Ways to Motivate, Inspire, and Energize Your Team
Sean McDonald, President - Your Full Potential, LLC

Credit Unions & Social Media – Maximizing the Connections
John Riordan, Director of Sales – DAYTA Marketing

The next debt bubble affecting your credit union membership
Darryl Dahlheimer, Program Director Lutheran Social Services (LSS)

Evolve or Die: Credit Unions in The Digital Age
Sean McDonald, President - Your Full Potential, LLC

10 Important Financial Concepts You Didn’t Learn in School
Jessica Winkelaar, Center for Social Studies Education at the Minnesota Historical Society and Bridget Moeller, FIC Chair


For a complete conference schedule and online registration, go to the 2014 Annual Meeting page of the Network website.

Cook Area Credit Union opens student-run Money Cave branch at North Woods School

Cook Area Credit Union celebrated the grand opening of its new student-run branch at North Woods School on March 11. The branch, dubbed the Money Cave, is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and is a convenient on-site service for both students and staff. 

The grand opening event included the reading of a letter from Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, recognizing the new branch office and Cook Area CU’s commitment to teaching young people the financial literacy skills they’ll need in the years ahead. 

The addition of the credit union branch at North Woods School has been a project guided with input from B.O.S.S. – Bunch of Students Saving – a student focus group that works with Cook Area CU to teach financial education in the school. B.O.S.S. members will staff the school’s branch with supervision from Cook Area CU staff. 

To help encourage students to begin saving money, the Money Cave is offering special incentives. Students in grades 4-12 will earn chances for prizes based on their third-quarter grade – the higher their grades, the more chances they’ll have to win. Students in grades K-3 will receive Grizzly pouches and earn a Grizzly paw stamp each time they make a deposit. They can pick prizes from a special bin for each five Grizzly paw stamps they earn, or they can save them for a larger prize later. 

“We’re trying to get them motivated and encourage them to start saving,” said Rich Crettol, chief executive officer of Cook Area CU. 

North Woods students will also have access to an ATM where they can make withdrawals of up to $20 a day for students in grades 7-9 and $40 a day for those in grades 10-12. 

Crettol stressed Cook Area CU’s ongoing mission for developing good financial habits for youngsters. The credit union has been bringing speakers on financial topics to the school since 2006 and the new student-run branch is an extension of that mission.


Apply now: $7,500 in financial education grants available from MnCUF

The Minnesota Credit Union Foundation – with the mission of providing resources for credit unions and communities to prosper and thrive – has a strong commitment to financial education. On Monday, the Foundation announced that it has $7,500 in grants available to assist Minnesota credit unions in implementing financial education projects.

Applications are currently being accepted, through Tuesday, April 1.

This is the Foundation's first financial education grant offering, which the organization hopes to repeat again in the fall. Applications will be evaluated on a variety of factors, including credit union value, community impact, collaboration and creativity. Projects/initiatives must have measurable outcomes and submit a written follow-up report within 30 days of the project completion.

For additional information and application forms, visit the financial education grants page of the Foundation website. With questions, email MnCUF Staff Liaison Kristina Wright or call (651) 288-5507.

Late call report filers will be fined by NCUA -- starting soon

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has declared it will begin to impose civil money penalties against federally insured credit unions (FICUs) that do not meet their quarterly call report filing deadlines.

In a Letter to Credit Unions (14-CU-03) the NCUA called tardy filing is "a serious problem" and financial penalties will be assessed starting in the second quarter of this year.

The agency reported that  more than 1,000 FICUs of all asset sizes filed their call reports after the 2013 third quarter deadline had passed, with a large percentage of these late filers being chronically late. "Such late filing impacts NCUA's ability to conduct effective off-site supervision and delays the release of quarterly industry data to the general public," and is a drain on NCUA resources.

The agency said it plans to charge:

  • Up to a maximum of $2,000 per day for each day a required report is "minimally" late or contains uncorrected false/misleading information if the late or false/misleading filing is unintentional and the credit union has reasonable procedures in place to avoid such errors;
  • Up to a maximum of $20,000 per day for each day a required report is late or contains false/misleading information if the late or false/misleading filing is not covered by the "unintentional" safe harbor outlined above;
  • Up to a maximum of $1 million, or 1 percent of total assets, whichever is less, per day if a federally insured credit union knowingly or with reckless disregard for accuracy submits a false or misleading report and fails to correct it.
To determine the size of the fine, the NCUA said it will consider:
  • The size of financial resources and good faith of the credit union;
  • The gravity of the violation;
  • The history of previous violations; and
  • Other matters as justice may require regarding the circumstances of late or false/misleading submissions, such as natural disasters and incapacitation of key employees.

Proceeds from the fines will go to the U.S. Treasury, the NCUA said.

Those that file late in the 2014 first quarter will receive warning letters with an estimate of what the assessed penalty would have been. Follow this link to view the full NCUA letter.

On March 3, the Minnesota Credit Union Network -- with input from its Regulatory Review Committee -- responded to NCUA’s letter late call report fines. MnCUN finds that, although it generally supports the intent to cure late filings, it cannot support penalties that appear punitive in nature.

Instead of assessing fines, MnCUN's letter to NCUA suggested outreach to credit unions struggling with filing their 5300 call report timely. In addition, MnCUN asked for clarification in multiple areas including who will be responsible for the initial determination of a violation, what constitutes false/misleading information, and when penalties will be assessed.

To review this and other recent comment letters submitted by MnCUN, visit the MnCUN Comment Letters page on the Network website. 

Credit Unions in the News

Follow the links on the stories below to read more about the outstanding programs, new initiatives and well-deserved recognition received by your peers recently. Got news of your own? Send stories, pitches, press releases and published articles to MnCUN Director of Communications Connie Kuhn.  

MN Power ECU’s Hutchinson reelected to CUNA Marketing Council Exec Committee

Central Minnesota Credit Union announces 2014 scholarship winners

Mid-Minnesota Credit Union announces changes at Crosby branch

Royal Credit Union Names Vice President of Business Loans & Services



Senate passes Flood Insurance fixes

Project Zip Code now available for mobiledevices

Minnesota Legislature Bill tracking resourcesavailable online

NCUA Town Hall Webinar with CFPB Director Cordray now online

NCUA Board posts March agenda

HUD proposes FHA prepayment rule changes

NCUA Issues Letters to Credit Unions

Letter No.14-CU-05: Liquidity and Contingency Funding Plans


Discover financial solutions with FIS

Working to deliver banking and payment technologies to credit unions worldwide, FIS and its sales and customer service partner, CSCU, together are the credit union industry's advocate, partner and leader in total payment solutions. Created by and for credit unions, CSCU is driven by the same principles that guide the industry. The company works exclusively with credit unions to provide a customized, holistic offering that maximizes value for credit unions and their members. CSCU's services and offerings are focused on driving the growth and success of its nearly 3,000 member credit unions.


FIS’ proven solutions serve many markets, including:

  • Automotive Finance – Integrated loan and lease automotive finance servicing system.
  • Card Services – Comprehensive, customized and flexible solutions and services for credit, debit and merchant card processing
  • Check Services – Complete check management programs and solutions for collecting outstanding check debt.
  • Commercial Lending – An enterprise-wide, integrated technology solution that supports the entire commercial lending process.
  • Community Banking – Core processing, eBanking, check imaging and business intelligence tools to optimize efficiencies, mitigate risks, maximize revenues and strengthen customer relationships.
  • ePayments – Electronic banking solutions to generate additional revenue, increase/retain market share and decrease operating expenses.
  • Loan Syndication and Trading – Integrated functional modules that support the lending process from deal building through servicing and trading.
  • Technology Support – Technology solutions and services to meet all your business needs.
  • Wealth Management – Tools and services to strengthen relationships with investors and grow business.

Check out FIS today and discover the various ways they can partner with you to provide solutions that will take your credit union to the next level. To learn more about FIS, contact MnCUN Director of Business Development Vickie Ganrude by email or at (651) 288-5515.


Minnesota Credit Union Network
555 Wabasha Street N, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55102

(651) 288-5170
(800) 477-1034