The Point: Feb. 13, 2013

Association to help launch BEST Employees NY program

The Credit Union Association of New York has been selected to help launch BEST (Building Economic Strength Together) Employees NY, an innovative program designed to increase the employment and financial stability of New Yorkers with disabilities.

The Association will partner with the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, New York State and the National Disability Institute to develop and implement the program over a two-year period. The program is being funded through a grant from the Kessler Foundation.

BEST Employees NY will connect employers with qualified job seekers with disabilities through the use of applicant training and certification, the Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) services and on-the-job training.

Prospective employees will receive training on credit unions' history and mission, credit union positions and their functions, the cooperative culture, etc. (Credit unions will have an opportunity to help develop the curriculum in the weeks ahead.) The training will be advertised through ACCES-VR, Workforce Centers, college placement offices and Centers for Independent Living. All training and certification will be provided virtually and at no cost. Once they have completed the training and evaluation, eligible individuals will be invited to screen for credit union positions.

As a leader of the program, the Association will:

  • recruit and support member credit unions to participate in BEST Employees NY;
  • develop a partnership with ACCES-VR;
  • build internal capacity to sustain the project beyond the first two years; and
  • work with other collaborating partners to implement the project.

"BEST Employees NY is a great fit for credit unions and their philosophy of ‘people helping people,'" said William J. Mellin, president/CEO of the Association. "This program will provide valuable opportunities to individuals with disabilities, and it will also offer New York credit unions a new platform for identifying talented employees who can help meet the needs of their members."

BEST Employees NY will build on successes and lessons learned from the Kessler Foundation-funded BEST Interns project in New Jersey. BEST Interns, a two-year employment and career advancement model, prepared 52 individuals with disabilities for sustainable careers in the financial services sector by providing training, internships with credit unions and placement assistance for positions at financial institutions throughout New Jersey.

More information about the BEST Employees NY project will be provided in the weeks ahead.

CFPB publishes guidance on mortgage servicer obligations

In guidance released Monday, the CFPB reminds mortgage servicers and sub-servicers of potential risks associated with mortgage transfers and of their obligations to homeowners.

In the guidance bulletin, the CFPB emphasizes that mortgage servicers are subject to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other laws that prohibit unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices.

The CFPB also reminds servicers that it will monitor:

  • how they have prepared for the transfer of servicing rights or responsibilities;
  • how they plan to treat homeowners;
  • how a homeowner's paperwork is treated;
  • how any loss mitigation efforts that have already begun are addressed; and
  • what policies the servicers have to prevent borrower harm for loans with loss mitigations in process.

For more information, view the CFPB's guidance and/or related press release.

The CFPB's final mortgage servicing rule, issued last month, requires mortgage servicers to meet new periodic statement requirements, provide additional notice of rate changes to borrowers and help ensure that consumers know their options to prevent foreclosures. The new regulations will become effective in January 2014.

CO-OP Financial Services to match donations for statewide CMN Hospitals fundraiser

Tomorrow's statewide credit union fundraiser will make double the difference for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, thanks to CO-OP Financial Services' Miracle Match program. All funds donated by New York credit union employees will now be matched by CO-OP Financial Services and sent to the credit union's nearest Children's Miracle Network Hospital.

The Valentine's Day dress-down fundraiser is being coordinated by the Credit Union Association of New York, and credit unions can still enroll. For details, visit the Association website.

"We are thrilled to be chosen by CO-OP for the Miracle Match program, which will double the impact of every dollar donated by New York credit union employees," said Tracy Conner, Association VP and fundraiser coordinator. "This is a great example of the credit union movement coming together and helping those in need."

Reminder: Dues reduction requests due Friday

The Credit Union Association of New York is once again offering a membership dues reduction program to New York credit unions. The program is designed to make Association membership more affordable for credit unions anticipating financial hardship in the year ahead.

The deadline for submitting requests is this Friday, Feb. 15. To request a dues reduction, credit union CEOs/managers and/or board chairpersons should submit a written request outlining the reasons they are seeking hardship consideration. Requests may be e-mailed to Tracy Conner, VP of member relations, at or mailed to her attention at the Credit Union Association of New York, P.O. Box 15118, Albany, NY 12212.

All submissions will be reviewed together after the deadline and kept strictly confidential.

Credit unions requesting a reduction may wait to remit dues payment until receiving a response from the Association. Adjusted dues invoices will be issued to the credit unions that are granted reductions.

For more information, contact Tracy Conner at or (800) 342-9835, ext. 8107.

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