WASHINGTON (8/19/09)—National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Michael Fryzel should instruct agency examination staff to be flexible as credit unions struggle to comply with aspects of the new Credit Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, urged the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Tuesday. In a letter to the NCUA chairman, CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica reiterated that a number of credit unions have found the 21-day rule, as it applies to open-end lending programs other than credit cards, presents “extremely challenging compliance concerns, particularly in light of the effective date later this week.” That rule prohibits creditors from claiming a payment as late unless that creditor adopts reasonable procedures to ensure that periodic statements are delivered to consumers no later than 21 days before the payment due date. The provision goes into effect Thursday for all open end lending programs. Mica urged the NCUA that if a credit union is making good faith efforts to comply, the credit union should not be subject to any enforcement sanctions regarding a 21-day rule for open-end plans. The CUNA leader noted that CUNA has been aggressively seeking relief for credit unions at the Federal Reserve Board and in Congress. (See related story: Fed to CUNA: CUs have some leeway on 21-day rule.) “While it does not appear that the Fed will grant a more definitive extension of time for credit unions to comply, other than the ‘short period’ alternative it has already provided, that agency....(has) acknowledged the extreme compliance difficulties credit unions are experiencing,” Mica wrote. He added, “There is no question that the CARD Act is inflicting a significant toll on the credit union system. In recognition of this and the range of other issues credit unions are facing, including the sagging economy and funding for NCUA's corporate stabilization program, we urge you to direct NCUA examiners to work with credit unions as they reasonably determine what is their best approach for compliance.” Use the resource links below to access CUNA’s CARD Act FAQs resource as well as the complete Mica letter.