The recent news in the credit union world is the arrival of the Credit CARD Act. It was designed to give consumers more protection.

Philosophically, this Act is OK with us. Most of the stuff it is trying to regulate we have long been doing, so mostly we are fine.

But right now we are working on one part of it that really has us scrambling.

The Act says that all bills must be sent 21 days in advance. OK, that’s fine. That makes sense.

Except for the fact that many of our members don’t want bills for certain types of loans. For example, auto loans. Auto loans are the same every month and most of our members have it set up on automatic payment. We’ve been setting auto loans up with coupon books since any of us can remember. It’s way cheaper for the credit union and it cuts down on the amount of paper a member gets in the mail.

However, these coupon books will essentially be illegal come August 20.

On August 20th, 2400 of our members will start getting bills for loans they have never gotten bills for. We don’t really want to send them, but we must in order to be in compliance with the Credit CARD Act.

We are diligently working on an online solution so we can send email alerts and have bills housed in a secure environment, but that was designed to be behind our new Home Banking system, which has been delayed until later in the fall.

If you are one of the 2400, you’ll be getting some communication from us soon. I apologize in advance. We are between a rock and a hard spot on this one.

We’ll work it out though.

Shari Storm

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