WASHINGTON (12/7/07)--Credit unions and other financial institutions need more time--such as 30 days--to determine their best course of action in accepting the “alternative recovery offer” in the settlement reached between TJX Cos., Visa and Fifth Third Bank, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) told officers of the three organizations. In a letter, CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica pointed out that the current 10-day “window” given to financials for accepting the offer is “unreasonably short.” “Such an important decision requires a great deal of consideration,” Mica wrote. “The alternative recovery offer is likely to have a major impact on card issuers, including smaller financial institutions. Many of these institutions will need the most time to review the offer due to smaller staff and reduced access to legal counsel,” he said. Mica highlighted two other factors that compound the need for more time: The onset of the holiday spending season (when mounting consumer spending taxes the resources of financials’ staffs), and the fact that acceptance of the “alternative recovery offer” waives the right of financials’ right to any other recovery. “When waiver of rights is involved it is extremely important to have adequate time to examine and consider the options available,” Mica stated.