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Matz continues to explore CARD Act concerns
WASHINGTON (9/8/09) – Newly installed National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Deborah Matz continues to examine credit union compliance hurdles related to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act. On Friday, Matz gathered several credit union officials and representatives of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), CUNA Mutual Group, and National Association of Federal Credit Unions to further explore and discuss the issues. Credit unions represented included Boeing Employees CU, Holy Rosary CU, American Airlines FCU, Missouri Central CU, and Justice Department FCU. Matz indicated NCUA has initiated efforts on Capitol Hill to get federal lawmakers to consider a legislative fix to the 21-day rule that is bedeviling credit union compliance efforts, reported CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn, who represented CUNA. The CARD Act aims to prevent lenders from making arbitrary changes to interest rates and terms associated with credit cards that have an existing balance. However, credit unions have serious compliance challenges trying to meet provisions that prohibit creditors from treating a payment as late for any purpose, including reporting the late payment to the credit bureau, 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. Matz reiterated at the Friday meeting that federal credit union examiners are being asked to take a close look at a credit union’s good-faith efforts to comply with the new law and demonstrate flexibility for a reasonable time while credit unions are developing compliance programs under the new law. Dunn said Matz, while saying credit unions need to respect the law, indicated a great deal of sympathy for credit unions trying to sort through what they need to do. She indicated a communication has gone to examiners directing them to work positively with credit unions that are making good faith efforts to comply. CUNA, the Connecticut Credit Union League, and other league representatives, have also been working toward a legislative fix to some of the compliance problems. In the meantime, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) in August urged the Federal Reserve Board to provide relief to credit unions regarding the 21-day rule Act as it applies to open-end plans other than credit cards. In a letter to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, Dodd urged the Fed to allow credit unions "more time to come into compliance" for such open-end plans. CUNA has prepared a document to assist state leagues and credit unions with credit unions' questions regarding their compliance obligations under the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act provisions--especially on the 21-day periodic statements provision. Use the resource link below to access the document.


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