March 16, 2011
April 1 deadline draws near
Beginning on April 1, the rules of the game pertaining to the valuation of real estate are changing. The NCUA Guidelines stipulate that a credit union can no longer use Tax Assessments and Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) unless their use is supplemented with a Property Condition Report. The new MemberClose website has all of the information you need on the new guidelines and the steps necessary to be in compliance.
The intent of the guidelines is also to clarify procedures that credit unions must follow relating to the ordering of full appraisals. MemberClose provides access to multiple Third Party Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs). The use of an AMC is one option that will assist in adhering to the guidelines.
MemberClose provides a bundled real estate settlement solution to more than 150 credit unions in 14 states. The program allows credit unions one secure website where they have access to a wide variety of loan processing services including property valuation tools, flood determinations, title and alternative title products, compliant loan documents, and remote closing services. For information visit www.memberclose.com or call 1-888-746-2476.
NCUA launches MyCreditUnion.gov
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) launched MyCreditUnion.gov, a new website that will offer "a one-stop toolbox of educational information and personal finance tips designed to help individuals in making smart financial decisions and better choices for their money."
The website contains background information on the credit union system and tells interested parties how they can start their own credit union. The site also addresses the needs of consumers by helping users locate local credit unions and reminding existing and potential members that up to $250,000 worth of funds placed in a credit union are covered by the NCUA's deposit insurance fund. The site also "provides important pointers for resolving credit union member complaints," according to the NCUA.
More general information on key financial concepts like saving, borrowing, managing credit, and obtaining free credit reports is covered by the site. "The best way for consumers to protect their money and to get the best financial deal is to learn the most that they can about financial products and services before signing on the dotted line," said NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz. . "Whether it's a car loan, a mortgage, a credit card, or a short-term alternative loan, smart consumers need to do their financial homework."
The NCUA timed the launch to coincide with National Consumer Protection Week, which ran through March 12 and aimed to highlight consumer protection and education efforts around the country.
To see the new NCUA site click here, MyCreditUnion.gov.
Older, long-time members more satisfied with credit unions
Older and long-time credit union members are more satisfied with their credit unions than younger, newer members are, according to a national survey of members.
Roughly 5,000 credit union members were surveyed last fall, according to MyCUsurvey.com, an online phone and Web-based member research tool for credit unions. The survey was designed to provide a benchmark against which credit unions can gauge their own performance.
The survey revealed three key factors that indicate credit unions could be at risk and need to improve satisfaction among newer, younger members. The factors are member age, frequency of branch visits, and length of membership.
Among the findings:
- Members older than age 65 were 30 points more satisfied with their credit unions than members under age 30.
- Members who visited their local branch at least once a week demonstrated 10 points higher satisfaction than those who visited less frequently and 14 points more than members who never visit their local branch.
- Newer members are not as satisfied, with a 15-point spread in satisfaction ratings between those who had been members for one year or less, and those who belonged to the credit union for 10 years or more.
The findings are "critical indicators for the credit union industry," said Dr. Jack Bieda, founder of MyCUsurvey.com. "The convenience of Web and mobile banking and other trends are undermining credit union satisfaction. It is clear that credit unions need to find a way to attract younger members and get them to visit their branches for a more personalized banking experience in order to cement the member relationship," he added.
The benchmarking data, which is updated every six months, measures overall satisfaction, willingness to recommend, interior branch satisfaction, exterior branch satisfaction, and service-level satisfaction.