By The Way

The By The Way newsletter is a great way to keep Kentucky credit unions informed of the latest updates in governmental affairs, compliance and regulations, education and training.  In addition, By the Way highlights the difference credit unions are making on a daily basis.

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A Message from the President 

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has participated in our advocacy efforts regarding the IRS reporting language.  Kentucky has generated over 1300 comment letters!  This is amazing and very much appreciated. 

Across the country, there have been over 300,000 letters sent to members of Congress.  When we were in DC for our annual Hike the Hill recently, members of our delegation noted that this issue was the number one issue that they are hearing about from their constituents.  What a reminder that we are a team:  Credit Unions, Leagues and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).  Together, we are a force to be reckoned with whether it’s a threat to our taxation or to our members’ privacy, we are so much stronger together. 

The fight isn’t over yet.  We want to encourage you, if you haven’t already responded to the League’s and/or CUNA’s action alert, there is still time for your voice and that of your staff, volunteers and members to be heard.  To participate in our advocacy efforts, please click on the link below:

Take Action: Tell Congress to Oppose New IRS Reporting Provisions (cuna.org)

Thank you again and keep up the great work you do on behalf of your members and the communities in which you serve.

Sincerely,
Debbie Painter
League President

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Governmental Affairs Update

This month, Kentucky Credit Union representatives from across the state were able to return to our nation's capitol for the first trip back in almost 2 years for the 2021 Hike the Hill.  While every opportunity to engage with legislators and policymakers is of distinct value to the Credit Union movement, this trip came at a time when there are multiple issues being actively discussed in the Capitol. 

With that in mind, our group was able to advocate directly to our elected officials regarding the harmful proposal regarding expanded IRS reporting requirements for financial institutions as well as the debate brewing on the potential expansion of the “Durbin Amendment” to cover credit transactions. 

While in D.C., our group was able to meet with Senators McConnell & Paul as well as Representatives Comer, Guthrie, Massie, Rogers and Barr. In addition to meetings with our Elected Representatives, we were able to engage virtually with representatives from the CFPB and get a glimpse of the mindset of the Bureau as they move forward with future efforts.

Sincerely,
Kyle Hagerty, CUCE
Director of PR & Governmental Affairs



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International Credit Union Day

Building financial health for a brighter tomorrow 

Each year we come together to celebrate International Credit Union Day (ICU Day)® and raise awareness about what it means for members around the world to have a credit union as their financial partner. 

This year's ICU Day theme, “Building financial health for a brighter tomorrow,”™ reflects the way credit unions contribute to a brighter future by working to improve members' financial well-being. It is at the heart of the mission and structure of credit unions. The essence of this commitment is reflected in each institution's bylaws and it's something credit unions have been doing for more than 100 years. 

How will you celebrate ICU Day? Explore the buzz from last year's ICU Day festivities for inspiration on how to celebrate the positive impact your credit union has in the community. 

International Credit Union Day is brought to you by Credit Union National Association and World Council of Credit Unions. This year's event is proudly sponsored by Harland Clarke. 

Mark your calendar for October 21, 2021.

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Registration is open for the 2022 CUNA GAC

February 27 – March 3, 2022 | Washington D.C. 

Influence In Action

Join thousands of your credit union peers in Washington, D.C. to share the credit union difference with lawmakers. While we have adapted well to the digital environment, the true power of the GAC has always been all of us—CUNA, Leagues, credit unions, system partners—coming together. 

That’s influence in action. 

Join us to:

  • Connect with the growing credit union community
  • Advance the credit union mission
  • Advocate for the financial well-being of more than 120 million people

MORE INFORMATION

To learn more about how to secure your room for the GAC, contact Kyle Hagerty.

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Complimentary Webinar: The Need for Strong Authentication

October 28, 2021 | Online Learning Opportunity 

Weak authentication methods have resulted in severe fraud losses for credit unions. From authenticating members enrolling for online banking through credit union websites to authenticating individuals opening accounts online or employees being lured into scams. This session will introduce fraud case studies while introducing mitigation tips and loss controls that can help others minimize this risk. 

REGISTER

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Registration is OPEN for the 2021 Executive Forum

November 1-2, 2021 | Hilton Lexington Downtown | Lexington, KY

Hilton Lexington Downtown
369 West Vine Street
Lexington, Kentucky 40507 

The Kentucky Credit Union League is excited to present an executive-level gathering for credit union leaders across the state. 

The Executive Forum features a fresh, new format - a one-day event with insightful presentations, timely updates and open discussion among your peers who are all facing similar challenges and looking to share best practices and experiences. 

MORE INFORMATION

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Kentucky Directors' College

December 14, 2021 | Kentucky Credit Union League | Louisville, KY

Educational Investment:
- $199 NASCUS or League Member
- $299 Non-Member 

Join us on December 14, 2021, for our in-person Director’s College in Louisville, KY! 

A state-specific opportunity for credit unions to hear firsthand from state regulators, including BSA requirements, cybersecurity, succession planning, interest rate risk, national issues, and much more. Credit union board members, committee members, and management should not miss the Kentucky Directors' College!

We invite you to participate in this acclaimed, annual one-day session. Be sure to take advantage of this excellent training opportunity for directors and staff. 

Location:
Kentucky Credit Union League’s Office; Training Room
5111 Commerce Crossings Drive
Suite 210
Louisville, KY 40229 

MORE INFORMATION

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Buy any 2 webinars between October 1st and October 31st and get 1 free!

Here’s how to get your free webinar:

Find and purchase two webinars and enter "Send my free webinar code!" in the Comments box at checkout.
A coupon code for your free webinar will be emailed to you within one business day.

(Not applicable for Sale Webinars, Board Essentials, Subscription Token orders, or full Series orders. Not available in all states.)

FIND YOUR WEBINARS HERE

Printable Webinar Schedule

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Tables, and Chairs, and Trash Cans. Oh My! 

When Commonwealth Credit Union began remodeling their Louisville Road Branch in Frankfort, KY, they quickly realized there were going to be some items that they wouldn’t be needing at the new building. Some of those items included 8 picnic tables and 4 large trash cans. Everything was still in great shape; they just wouldn’t fit in the new space. So, they got creative and came up with a brilliant solution to give these items a second life, while bettering lives in one of the communities they serve. 

They reached out to Henry Clay High School, which is already a Financial Education partner with Commonwealth Credit Union. The school was updating their courtyard and the tables and trash cans were perfect for them. Officials from the schools were thankful for this donation and noted how this would enhance the courtyard when it is unveiled next year.

The principal praised Commonwealth Credit Union for all they do to help their communities, and the impact their actions have on the lives of everyone in those communities. The students at the high school will now have great tables, chairs, and trash cans to make their new courtyard nothing short of extraordinary.

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New Benefits for Educators across Eastern Kentucky

Members Choice Credit Union Extends Commitment to Community Introduces New Grant Program Exclusively for Impactors 

Members Choice Credit Union (MCCU) is pleased to present a new grant program exclusively for impactors within the education field in Eastern Kentucky. The Educational Impact Grant Program was formed to lessen the strain educators and administrators face, the financial stress of funding for classroom expenses.   

MCCU, which merged with a "teacher's credit union" in early 2021, strives to support its impactors and youth through the Educational Impact Grant Program. This program designates $12,000 annually in educator grants to help teachers and administrators in the communities they serve to take their impact to a higher level. Grants may be used for any direct classroom expense, including, but not limited to, supplies needed to fund a project for the classroom, basic supplies the classroom may be lacking, supplemental items to enhance classroom learning, or an experience to enhance classroom learning. 

"Greenup County FCU was founded to support the education community," said Courtney Cox, Lead MSR and President of the committee over the Educational Impact Grant Program. "The Members Choice CU grant program is one way we are continuing to assist educators as they work to impact their students." 

"Members Choice is known well for their support in community-based sponsorships. Our real impact comes from being there on a personal level every day for every member, educator, and support staff," added Tiffany Black, Business Development and Marketing Manager at the credit union. "Within an area that struggles the most with school funding, we know the pressure financial burden adds, and this program was our way to pay respects to Greenup County FCU, their foundation, while easing financial stress on our local impactors." 

Each month the Educational Impact Grant Program awards teachers in our community with small grants ranging from $50-$200. The Educational Impact Grant Committee, made of Members Choice CU employees and volunteer members, will award grants to teachers and administration based on funds available and in amounts determined by the founding committee.  

Teachers/administrators in PreK–12 accredited schools in the 33 counties of Eastern Kentucky within the Field of Membership of Members Choice CU or an existing member of MCCU are eligible to apply.   

The application deadline is the 15th of every month, beginning in August. Educators may apply for funds and read official rules online by visiting www.mccu.net/eduimpact

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Jim Spradlin, Park Community Credit Union, CEO, Honored as 2021’s Most Admired CEOs 

Park Community Credit Union is pleased to announce Jim Spradlin, CEO, has been named to the list of the Most Admired CEOs in the 2021 Louisville Business First Annual Most Admired CEOs and Business Impact Awards feature. 

The Most Admired CEOs program honors outstanding chief executives in the Louisville metropolitan area in for-profit and nonprofit companies and organizations. Nominations were judged by Louisville Business First's publisher and editors. 

As an outstanding CEO, as defined by Louisville Business First, Jim has been honored for his leadership and for being an innovator, standard-bearer, role model and exceptional leader overall. 

This year’s list of honorees was chosen based on how their contributions impact the company they head as well as the community in which they serve. Each honoree's commitment to financial success, quality, workplace wellness, diversity and philanthropy are hallmarks of an exceptional and admired chief executive, according to Louisville Business First.

Jim Spradlin, along with all the honorees, will be recognized at an awards event Tuesday, Nov. 9, and will be featured in Louisville Business First in print and online Nov. 12, 2021 via Q&As. 

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Navigating and Understanding the End of Pandemic-Era Homeowner Protection Programs

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, the federal government has enacted a series of programs to help people stay in their homes. Specifically, struggling homeowners received help through loan forbearance and several moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions for federally backed mortgages.1 In addition, many credit unions responded by providing loan modifications under Section 4013 of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to provide payment relief for their members during this difficult period.2 Although the pandemic has not ended, some of these pandemic-era protection programs have expired or are nearing expiration. This letter provides credit union lenders and mortgage servicers with critical information for compliance with changes to these pandemic-era protection programs. 

Deadline to Grant CARES Act Forbearance Extended to September 30, 2021 

Section 4022 of the CARES Act provides homeowners with federally backed mortgages the option to temporarily suspend their monthly mortgage payments, with an initial 12 months of forbearance.3 The forbearance period was subsequently extended up to 18 months.4 Borrowers who have not previously been in forbearance have until September 30, 2021, to request assistance.5 When the forbearance period ends, borrowers will need to work with their credit union mortgage servicers to establish a repayment plan for missed payments. 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency and other agencies that provide federally backed mortgages have announced a series of programs to help borrowers exiting forbearance to stay in their homes.6 These programs require — where agencies have the authority and depending on homeowners’ financial conditions — or encourage mortgage servicers to offer borrowers new payment reduction and loan modification options that can help homeowners remain in their homes. 

The NCUA strongly encourages credit unions to work with borrowers who are exiting the forbearance period. Such assistance may include helping borrowers to lower their payments. Credit unions need to provide this assistance in a safe and sound manner and comply with all applicable consumer financial protection laws. Credit unions should refer to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) website for more information on federally backed mortgage-modification programs.7 

Credit Unions Can Continue to Grant Section  4013 CARES Act Loan Modifications Until January 1, 2022 

For non-federally backed mortgages, Section 4013 of the CARES Act allows credit unions to modify a loan, including forbearance, without designating the modification as a troubled debt restructuring if it meets the following criteria: 

  1. The loan was in existence before December 31, 2019;
  2. The modification is related to COVID-19; 
  3. The borrower was less than 30 days past due as of December 31, 2019; and
  4. The modification is executed between March 1, 2020 and the earlier of January 1, 2022, or 60 days after the date of termination of the national emergency concerning COVID–19 outbreak declared by the President on March 13, 2020.8 

At the end of the forbearance or loan modification period, the NCUA encourages credit unions to use every effort, consistent with safe and sound practices and consumer financial protection, to help borrowers stay in their homes. These efforts may include granting additional loan modifications that are in the long-term best interests of the credit union and its members. 

Foreclosure Moratorium Expired July 31, 2021 

In addition to the forbearance provision, Section 4022 of the CARES Act also aided homeowners by imposing a temporary moratorium on foreclosures for federally backed mortgages.9 The moratorium initially expired in 2020 but has since been extended several times, with a final expiration on July 31, 2021.10 

To ease the burden on homeowners with the end of this protection program, whether their mortgage is federally backed or not, the CFPB recently issued a final rule temporarily amending certain mortgage servicing requirements under Regulation X to assist borrowers affected by COVID-19.11 Among other amendments, the final rule establishes temporary special COVID-19 loss mitigation procedural safeguards to ensure that a borrower has a meaningful opportunity to pursue loss mitigation options. 

Unless an exception applies, from August 31, 2021, through December 31, 2021, a servicer must meet at least one of the specified safeguards before initiating any judicial or non-judicial foreclosure process where a borrower became more than 120 days delinquent on or after March 1, 2020. The applicable state statute of limitations on foreclosures expires on or after January 1, 2022. The final rule does not apply to small servicers.12

Credit union mortgage servicers should fully understand the CFPB final rule before initiating foreclosures. Refer to Regulatory Alert, RA-08-20, for more information on this final rule by the CFPB. 

Eviction Moratorium Expires September 30, 2021 

Similar to the forbearance protection, Section 4022 of the CARES Act also mandated that mortgage servicers may not evict homeowners from a property with a federally backed mortgage that has been foreclosed. The eviction moratorium has been extended several times, with a current expiration of September 30, 2021.13 Credit union mortgage servicers should be aware of this restriction, which aims to keep people in their homes even after the home has been foreclosed.

Other Homeowner and Renter Assistance Programs 

The American Rescue Plan provides almost $10 billion to help struggling homeowners with financial assistance to help keep them in their homes. Homeowners may use this money for mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, and other needs. The American Rescue Plan and earlier pandemic-related statutes also provided financial assistance to renters and landlords through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Credit unions should refer to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s website and direct struggling members to those resources. 

The NCUA is concerned about the financial well-being of credit unions and their members. While some of these pandemic protection programs may be ending, there are resources and new programs available to help ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on homeowners. The NCUA encourages credit unions to understand these changes and use these resources to work with their members. Credit unions are also encouraged to share consumer education resources, available at NCUA’s MyCreditUnion.gov, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s website, and the CFPB’s unified housing website, with concerned members. 

1 Federally backed mortgages are mortgages purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or insured or guaranteed by federal government agencies such as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
2 Public Law 116-316 (March 27, 2020).
3 Id.
4 See the fact sheet issued by the White House on February 14, 2021, Biden Administration Announces Extension of COVID-⁠19 Forbearance and Foreclosure Protections for Homeowners(opens new window).
5 See, the fact sheet issued by the White House on June 24, 2021, Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Initiatives to Promote Housing Stability By Supporting Vulnerable Tenants and Preventing Foreclosures(opens new window).
6 The Federal Housing Finance Agency is the regulator and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
7 As a reminder, the June 24, 2021, amendment to NCUA regulation part 741 Appendix B(opens new window). authorizes credit unions to capitalize unpaid interest when modifying loans and entering into workouts. Capitalizing unpaid amounts must be appropriate for the borrower and is subject to the requirements and restrictions in the amended rule. See Letter to Credit Unions 21-CU-07, Capitalization of Unpaid Interest.
8 Section 4013 of the CARES Act originally established a date of December 31, 2020, which was subsequently extended to January 1, 2022 by § 541 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116-260, approved December 27, 2020).
9 Supra, note 2.
10 Supra, note 5.
11 12 CFR part 1024
12 12 CFR 1026.41(e)(4).  A small servicer includes a servicer that, together with any affiliates, services 5,000 or fewer mortgage loans for which the servicer or an affiliate is the creditor or assignee.
13 Supra, note 5.

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Proposed IRS reporting provisions would create ‘significant new burdens’

Credit unions need to work together against a proposal that would require financial institutions to report money moving into and out of accounts to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), said CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. CUNA issued an action alert Wednesday urging credit unions to share their concerns about the proposal, which under consideration in the infrastructure package currently being debated.  

“This proposal would put credit unions and banks in the position of perpetrating an unprecedented invasion of privacy, in addition to creating a significant new compliance burden for credit unions,” Donovan said. “We encourage credit unions to reach out to your staff, members, and other stakeholders, as this directly impacts their day-to-day activities and privacy. We need to tell members of Congress to oppose this provision.” 

The proposal would require depository institutions reporting nontaxable activity, including the gross amount flowing into and out of accounts to try and identify unreported taxable income. 

CUNA has resources, including talking points and other tools, available on its Member Activation Program (MAP) community.

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PODCAST: CECL made simple

Put a plan in place and take advantage of tools to streamline the process. 

With deadlines approaching and preparation to be done, CECL compliance needs to be top-of-mind for credit unions. However, credit unions might be concerned about the cost and complexity involved or have questions about how to get started. 

This episode of the CUNA News Podcast features Shawn O'Brien, president of QwickRate

O'Brien provides guidance for keeping CECL compliance simple. He also shares tips for putting a plan in place and highlights how credit unions can use practical tools to streamline the process.

In this episode:

1:20: Deadlines to know

2:12: CECL challenges

5:14: How to get started

6:32: Collaborating on CECL

8:36: Helpful resources

10:15: Keep the process simple 

Listen to the podcast here: https://news.cuna.org/articles/119862-podcast-cecl-made-simple.

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