BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (12/7/07)--The Alabama Credit Union League adopted guidelines for courtesy pay programs and approved four action plans during its year-end meeting Nov. 27 in Savannah, Ga. The league said it supports credit union courtesy pay programs, and recognized that the programs can benefit members, but can be detrimental if abused. "Such programs should be operated with transparency and the benefit of the consumer in mind," the league said. The league also emphasized that the programs are account features, not loans. To protect members, credit unions shouldn't include available overdraft coverage as a part of an account holder's balance. Credit unions also shouldn't manipulate the order in which items are processed to maximize overdrafts, the league said. Accounts should be monitored, with counseling provided to members who abuse the courtesy pay features. The board also approved the 2008 budget, and adopted four action plans:
* Maintain and improve the league’s position of influence through Dec. 31, 2008; * Develop, agree upon and recommend a future funding strategy for the league by Dec. 31, 2008; * Conduct a re-affiliation campaign and report results by April 30, 2009; and * Continue to pursue the implementation of the REAL Solutions program with the National Credit Union Foundation through March 31, 2009.