NCUA does what it can; the rest is up to us.

October 31, 2012 at 7:41 am Leave a comment

NCUA has taken steps becoming all too familiar to credit unions in recent years:  yesterday afternoon it activated its emergency response policy.  This policy, among other things, encourages credit unions to make prudent loans with special terms and reduced documentation to affected members.  In addition, NCUA is ready to:

  • Reschedule routine examinations of affected credit unions, if necessary;
  • Guarantee lines of credit for credit unions through the NCUSIF; and
  • Make loans to meet the liquidity needs of member credit unions through the Central Liquidity Facility.

A second step taken by NCUA yesterday was to remind low-income credit unions that they are eligible to apply for emergency assistance grants of up to $7,500 to aid in needed repairs in the aftermath of disasters.  Given the devastation on Long Island and New York City, I’m sure there are credit unions that would be eligible for the funds and could use the assistance.

My guess is that for those of you directly impacted by Sandy, NCUA’s assistance is welcomed but just one piece of good news against the backdrop of mayhem.  For me personally the extent of the damage hit home after I talked to my family and found out that a life-long friend of theirs with whom they grew up in Brooklyn lost his house in the Great South Bay where he had spent his life earning a living as a fisherman.  Starting over at any time of life is difficult enough, but starting over at 77 is a too much to ask of anyone.  It’s one thing to look at the physical devastation; it’s quite another to realize that with each destroyed house is a lifetime of memories, not to mention investments.

It is precisely at these moments that the cooperative structure is most needed.  We can all disagree about who should run the government or how high our taxes should be, but disasters like this remind us that we can all hang together or hang separately. Credit unions in Virginia are already offering special loans to members impacted by the disaster and NCUA has authorized credit unions to provide an expanded scope of services to nonmembers under certain conditions.

In the coming weeks whether you are cleaning up the debris or simply breathing a sigh of relief for having dodged a bullet, all credit unions and industry stakeholders should put aside a little extra to lend a helping hand to a credit union that might need some help meeting operational demands or a member who simply can’t afford to continue to pay back a loan under its existing terms and repair her house.  Just as there are no atheists in fox holes, it is times like these that we really have to show why it is important to have an industry dedicated to people helping people.


Entry filed under: Compliance, General, New York State, Regulatory. Tags: , , , , , .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association.

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