MADISON, Wis. (10/28/08)--Credit unions and leagues continue to hammer home the message that credit unions are safe and sound, and ready to lend while loans elsewhere are hard to come by. Media in a number of states have picked up that message. In the past week, the message has appeared in media in Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin, North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania The Columbus Dispatch (Oct. 26) reported that bank loan applicants are made to jump through series of flaming hoops to get a loan, but BMI FCU, Dublin, Ohio, has money to lend. BMI reported its mortgage loans have gone up 53% the past year. Ohio Credit Union League spokesman Patrick Harris noted that BMI is the rule, not the exception. Ohio's credit unions loaned $11.3 billion during the 12 months before June 30, up from $600 million the previous year. The Dallas Morning News' "Dollar Wise" column reassured a consumer who expressed concern about bank failures (Oct. 27). It pointed out that depositors in banks and credit unions have federal insurance on their accounts. The column also mentioned credit unions' National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) and the National Credit Union Administration three times. The Alamo Chapter of Credit Unions announced it will sponsor a Financial Forum in a town hall format Friday morning on television station KENS 5 "Great Day SA," where chapter President Robert Williamson will kick off the show explaining misconceptions about credit unions and their share insurance fund. Credit Union Association of New York CEO William J. Mellin authored an op-ed piece in Times Union (Oct. 16) that reassured readers about credit unions' safety. That same day, another article featured Sunmark FCU, Latham, and SEFCU, Albany, saying credit unions didn't participate in risky, speculative lending that fueled the credit crunch. It mentioned NCUSIF's role in protecting deposits of credit unions. The Tomah (Wis.) Journal (Oct. 26) featured a letter on safety of credit union deposits from John Laufenberg, president/CEO of Tomah Area CU; Donna Evans, branch manager, RIA FCU; and Colleen Woggon, CEO, Oakdale CU. Credit unions in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina have successfully launched a cooperative ad campaign in seven local newspapers, reported the North Carolina Credit Union League (Weekly Update Oct. 23). The four-week campaign launched on Oct. 19 focuses on the NCUSIF. In Pennsylvania, Tom Iacona of the Patriot FCU, Chambersburg, was interviewed for an article in Public Opinion about vehicle sales in Franklin County during the economic slowdown. He noted the credit crunch has been somewhat beneficial to the credit union with competitive interest rates on loans and direct financing. And the Pottsville Republican & Herald published a letter from Raylene Thompson, board president of Schuykill FCU, Pottsville, explaining credit unions exist to serve their members. It also promoted safety and soundness of credit unions (Life is a Highway Oct. 22).