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Homes for Our Troops contributions surpass goal

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DENVER (8/25/08)--America’s credit unions exceeded the $300,000 goal to help present two disabled veterans with new homes during the upcoming national presidential conventions. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the Credit Union Association of Colorado and Wyoming, and Minnesota Credit Union Network, along with the National Journal Group and the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, are jointly sponsoring homes for two disabled U.S. servicemen wounded in the line of duty. Credit unions are building the homes for Army Sgt. Marcus Kuboy in St. Paul, Minn., site of the Republican convention, and Staff Sgt. Travis Strong in Golden, Colo., near the Denver site of the Democratic convention. At each national convention, America's Credit Unions look for opportunities to give back to the host cities, noted CUNA Political Affairs Senior Vice President Richard Gose. Co-Op Financial Services, the Corporate Credit Union Network, and state credit union leagues across the country were instrumental in the fundraising effort, which so far totals more than $350,000, he added. Homes for Our Troops is a nonprofit organization that builds specially adapted homes for severely injured service members. Use the link for more information.

Fifth Third wants court to reverse CU standing

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WASHINGTON (8/25/08)—Fifth Third Bank of Cincinnati is seeking a rehearing of a July court decision granting Pennsylvania State Employees CU (PSECU) and Sovereign Bank standing to sue BJ's Wholesale Club for the cost of replacing member credit cards after customer data was stolen from the retailer. The $3.13 billion Harrisburg, Penn.-based credit union had tried to recover the $98,000 from both the retailer and its merchant bank, which is Fifth Third Bank, through negotiations. More than 235,000 credit and debit cards total were reissued, and nearly 1,000 accounts were affected by illegal purchases made by thieves. Ultimately, PSECU filed suit against the retailer and bank in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in 2004. In July, a U.S. court of appeals reversed the district court ' s ruling that the suing parties did not have standing, thereby clearing the way for the credit union plans to return to the District Court for a jury trial--which PSECU originally requested. The appellate court's reversal was based on a finding that PSECU was a third party beneficiary to the contract between Visa and Fifth Third Bank, and thus has standing to bring suit against Fifth Third. To block that occurrence, Fifth Third is asking for a rehearing on the standing issue, based on the following arguments:
* Classes of third party beneficiaries must be specific and narrow, and according to the appellate court's rationale, any issuing bank or Visa cardholder could be considered a third party beneficiary; and * That the Circuit Court used the wrong standard in overturning the District Court's ruling.
Fifth Third Bank asked for the rehearing because the appeal "involves a question of whether thousands of issuing banks--or even millions of retailers or consumers who are participating in the Visa system--should be able to sue for breach of contract as purported third-party beneficiaries of the contract between Visa and its acquiring banks.” The request further states that the previous discussion actually is contrary to the intent of Fifth Third Bank and Visa by allowing issuers to pursue breach of contract claims in court. Also, "by allowing issuing banks to pursue breach of contract claims in courts to be resolved outside the Visa regulatory system, the panel decision undercuts that central purpose of the contract, allows potentially differing and inconsistent results and eliminates Visa's control, contrary to the contract's stated intent," the request stated.

CUs converge on national convention

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DENVER (8/25/08)--Staff and volunteers from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), state leagues and corporates aim to raise the profile of credit unions during this week's Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Denver. The four-day convention happens Monday through Thursday. Credit unions also will participate in the Republican National Convention happening next week in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. CUNA and credit unions have been involved in these national events since 1988, according to CUNA Senior Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose. Among each day’s plethora of events, CUNA is sponsoring the National Journal’s Convention Daily Briefings, which feature party newsmakers. A convention version of the CUNA-sponsored Power Breakfast, the on-site events are moderated by Atlantic Media political director Ron Brownstein, The Hotline's Amy Walter, Charlie Cook and Chris Matthews. On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and other elected officials will join CUNA and the leagues, the Democratic National Convention Committee, National Journal Group and Homes for Our Troops in a ceremony to turn over a new home to wounded Iraq war veteran Staff Sergeant Travis Strong and his family. Meanwhile, CUNA Editorial Communication Vice President David Klavitter will provide frequent convention updates using Twitter. The service allows instant, extremely short online postings--limited to no more than 140 characters each. CUNA News Now will provide complete coverage of credit union participation in the convention. Use the resource link below for more information about Homes for Our Troops.