The Pulse (07-22-15)



The Pulse (07-22-2015)

July 22, 2015 ● Volume 04, Issue 29


The Pulse Archive

Credit Union News


Minnesota Credit Union Foundation hosts second annual Financial Literacy 5K event


Over 240 financial education supporters participated in the second annual Minnesota Credit Union Foundation (MnCUF) Financial Literacy 5K on Saturday, July 11. The event was held at Lake Normandale in Bloomington and featured a walk/run for adults, as well as a half-mile fun run for kids.

“The Financial Literacy 5K raises awareness about the need for Minnesotans of all ages to increase their financial management skills,” said Kathy Harrington, Heartland Credit Union President/CEO and Secretary of the MnCUF Board of Directors. “Today’s strong turnout highlights the credit union mission of people helping people and shows the key role that credit unions play in helping their members and communities thrive.”

Powered by soleMOTION Race Management, the event included awards for first place male and female finishers overall, and the top three male and female finishers in six age categories. First place overall male and female winners were Anthony Fransen from Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, and Abby Nelson from Hiway Federal Credit Union. Credit unions and other organizations that registered five or more Financial Literacy 5K participants were also eligible to compete for the team award based on an average of all team participants’ finishing times.

“We’re very pleased with the continuing success of the 5K, and I want to thank all of the credit unions, financial education organizations and supporters who took part – whether by volunteering or by racing – in today’s race,” said Lyndsay Miller, MnCUF Executive Director. “Credit unions across the state constantly dedicate time and energy to financial education, and the Foundation is proud to support their efforts through proceeds from the 5K event.”

With a strong commitment to financial education, MnCUF is an organization dedicated to providing the resources for credit unions and communities to prosper and thrive. In 2013, the Foundation launched its Financial Education Grant Program and an ongoing budgetary commitment to financial education. The Foundation dedicates 50 percent of its annual budget to Financial Education Grants that positively impact credit union members and communities. The Foundation also works through its committees – Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids and the Family Involvement Council – to support the local Gillette Children’s Hospital and college scholarships for credit union members.

The Financial Literacy 5K was sponsored by Co-Op Shared BranchingEckberg LammersTC RunningTruStage and Wipfli.



MnCUN’s “cycle of news” helps to put national spotlight on Minn. CUs efforts to “Unite for Good”

MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins proudly
showing off Minnesota credit unions being recognized
for their community outreach at the America's Credit
Union Conference and World Credit Union Conference
in Denver last week.

Last week, Minnesota credit union good news stories were featured at the 2015 Credit Union National Association (CUNA) America’s Credit Union Conference. Unite for Good, a program developed by CUNA aimed at unifying the message and voice of credit unions, displayed stories of credit unions engaging their communities.

Stories are submitted to MnCUN – either via press release or through a brief synopsis provided in an online form – they become part of the Network’s "cycle of news”. MnCUN posts stories to the CU Social Good and Unite for Good social media sites, which aggregate positive credit union stories.

“We at the Network are pleased to see recognition of community outreach by Minnesota credit unions at the national level,” said MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins. “I encourage credit unions to continue to share their efforts.”

To submit stories to MnCUN through the share your story button on the Network website. Contact Network Communications Director Connie Kuhn with any questions.



Attend the 2015 Fall Leadership Conference

Fall Leadership Conference is scheduled for Sept. 11-13 at Madden's Resort in Brainerd. Join your credit union colleagues for a weekend of networking and education.

A few of the sessions to be included in the Fall Leadership Conference are listed below:

  • How Big Data Is Forever Changing Credit Unions – Ron Galloway
  • The Payments Revolution: How Apple Pay, Bitcoin & Others Are Innovating & Disrupting Financial Technology – Ron Galloway
  • Marketing to Millennials – Cynthia Campbell, Filene Research Institute   
  • Prize Linked Savings – Doorways 2 Dreams
  • Minnesota's Political Landscape – Tom Hauser

Fall Leadership Conference sessions are strategically designed to provide credit union professionals and volunteers with opportunities for education, networking and legislative advocacy. Early bird registration for the conference will end on Tuesday, Aug. 11. The deadline for regular priced registrations is Tuesday, Aug. 25. 

Online registration and lodging information, can be found on the Fall Leadership Conference section of the Network website. 


Celebrate summer and Children's Miracle Network on Thursday, July 30

Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids (MnCU4Kids) is encouraging credit unions across the state to participate in the upcoming Miracle Treat Day on Thursday, July 30. 

On this day, $1 or more from every Blizzard® Treat purchased at participating Dairy Queen stores will be donated to Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, Minnesota's Children's Miracle Network-designated hospital. Gillette, which helps kids with disabilities and chronic conditions, is based in St. Paul, with outreach clinics located around the state.

Mark your calendars for the special day to thank your staff or involve your family and friends. To find a participating DQ store, enter your zip code into the finder located on the Miracle Treat Day website

A Miracle Treat Day flyer and pre-order form are available online. 



Last chance: Dora, Louise, Desjardins award entry deadline is this Friday

Just days remain to submit entries for the annual Dora Maxwell, Louise Herring and Desjardins awards programs. Each Minnesota credit union offers unique programs, products, services and community events. Now is the time to recognize these efforts!

Did your credit union implement an innovative program to help members out of debt? Did you host a community charity event? Did your employees help teach kids or adults financial literacy? Showcase what your credit union has done by submitting an entry by Friday, July 24, for these national award programs.

To submit an entry, visit the National Awards Programs page of the Network website. This webpage also provides descriptions the awards, along with eligible activities for each.

Statewide entries must be submitted to the Network office by Friday, July 24. With questions, contact MnCUN Director of Communications Connie Kuhn by email or call (651) 288-5527.


Financial Education Peer-to-Peer (P2P) to be held Aug. 5

With support from the Minnesota Credit Union Network, the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation is hosting a complimentary in-person Financial Education Peer-to-Peer (P2P) opportunity for credit union professionals on Wednesday, Aug. 5, from 12:30-3:30 p.m. at Wings Financial Credit Union at 14985 Glazier Ave., Apple Valley, MN 55124.

During this event, we will hear presentations from University of Minnesota Extension staff as well as Prepare + Prosper (formerly Accountability Minnesota). Lunch will be provided and, in addition to the presentations, you will have the opportunity to network with your peers, share experiences, and learn from each other. For more information, and to register, see our Financial Education P2P event page.


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.  


Minnesota Valley Federal Credit Union voted #1 Place to Bank by Mankato Free Press Readers Choice Awards


Northwoods Credit Union dials up advanced capabilities for mobile members


SPIRE Credit Union fundraiser provides Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare with over $2,000




Effective advocacy protects credit union tax status in Senate Finance report


View all Governmental Affairs news stories


NCUA releases July Board Agenda

FRSB issues July issue of FedFlash

View all Regulatory Compliance news stories



Can I Accept Late or Partial Payments Without Reinstating a Loan?

Article by Tiede Grabarski

This is a recurring issue and one of the most frequent questions we get from our Credit Union clients.  The short answer is yes, you can accept those payments, but when you do you should take some simple steps to protect your Credit Union.

The Problem

Broadly stated, the concern is that if you have accepted late or partial payments, your borrower might claim that he or she thought the loan had been restored to good standing in the Credit Union’s eyes and did not realize you were going to continue to treat it as in default.  This risk is heightened where there has been a history between the parties of late or partial payments accepted, with no action by the Credit Union. 

This risk is real.  In Cobb v. Midwest Recovery Bureau et. al., 295 N.W.2d 232 (Minn. 1980) the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a secured lender who had repeatedly accepted late payments would be required to give the borrower a written a notice of its intention to change its practice and begin following the contract to the letter before it could start exercising collection remedies.  The Court required this even though the loan documents contained the standard language that past waivers by the lender did not create a course of dealing for future waivers, and that the agreements could only be modified in writing.  The Court nonetheless found Cobb's lender to have acted inappropriately when it commenced collection without warning, after a history of accepting late payments with no action taken.  The essence of the Court's holding was that it was inequitable for the lender to change its practices without warning, no matter what the documents said.

Though the specifics of Cobb involved collateral collection, it is reasonable to expect courts to apply the same logic to any loan default.  This gives rise to the question referenced above: "can I accept this late/partial payment without waiving the default?"  The answer is yes, but you should document your decision.

The Solution

if you are accepting a payment you could refuse, first you should decide whether you want to preserve a default. 

If the payment two days past the grace period on an otherwise performing loan, maybe you don't care about the default.  In that case, you might take the payment, and not send a letter. In that circumstance, you probably cannot rely on the tardiness of that payment if you decide to call default next month for another payment. 

Say, however, that the payments have historically been late, and you have never called the loan.  Now you want to call the note.  But, you don’t want to pass up the money either.  In that situation, we recommend you take the funds, not call the loan that month, but send a letter that no defaults are waived, and the Credit Union will henceforth insist on strict compliance.  Then, if another late payment comes in, you will be free to call default.  And, you can take that payment as well.

Accepting partial or late payments and still preserving your default is not difficult, so long as you follow the Supreme Court’s rule requiring that you keep the borrower informed of your intentions.  Documentation in a letter sent, with a copy in your file to show a judge, should work in most circumstances.

The contents of this article are intended to be informational, and not legal advice regarding any specific case or set of facts.  However, if you do have questions, Peter Tiede and Jodie Grabarski at Tiede Grabarski are happy to discuss any time, and as a practice don’t charge Credit Unions for ad hoc calls.  They can be reached at (651) 964-2518 (Peter) and (651) 964-2514 (Jodie), and can be found at

If this describes you, then you are invited to join The Crew. This group 
If this describes you, then you are invited to join The Crew. This group 

 Joanna Drennen
 Nathan Dormody

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

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