Thursday, February 23, 2012

We Don't Prioritize For Overdrafts

On February 22, 2012 The Cleveland Plain Dealer Consumer Affairs Reporter Sheryl Harris wrote a story about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and their investigation of financial institution fees called, "Agency to investigate bank overdraft fees."

In the article she states, "...the agency wants to know whether banks process consumers' transactions in an order that makes overdrafts more likely."

We process transactions chronologically. If you have overdraft protection on your Eaton Family Credit Union checking account, be assured that we do not process transactions to maximize overdraft fees.

More specifically, we process your account transactions as they come in. Here are some details by category:
  • Debit Cards - when debit cards are processed after purchase is important because some companies process immediately and others batch process. Therefore you might purchase an item today but we will not see the transaction until tomorrow or the day after. We handle debit transactions daily.
  • Checks - checks are processed in chronological order by check number on a daily basis. You write check number 100 before check number 101 so we handle the lower number check first.
  • Electronic - today paper checks are often converted to electronic transactions and many payments, such as auto debit, are electronic as well. These transactions are also handled daily as they come in.
  • ATM - instantaneous throughout the day. If you take out money from an ATM in Cleveland, Ohio, or Cleveland, Tennessee, or in Cleveland, UK (north east area of England) then it comes out of your account immediately through one of our ATM networks.
Knowing your balance is an easy way to minimize overdraft fees.
  1. Write It Down - keep track of your transactions and account balance with a check book ledger.
  2. Online - with our free home banking you can access account information on the web 24/7.
  3. Phone - by voice or touchtone, our free MATT Line gives you account information 24/7.
  4. Mobile - text, via mobile web or with iPhone App. Get your account information on the run 24/7 for free from us.
  5. Member Center - after hours you can get account information via phone at no charge from our member center.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Local Credit Union Fraud - Not In My House

At Eaton Family Credit Union we take our jobs very seriously. We appreciate that you trust us to make good decisions. Below you will find articles about the investigation at St. Paul's Croatian Credit Union in nearby Eastlake and the efforts we take to ensure your money is safe with us.

On February 9, 2012 another article was featured on the front page of the The Cleveland Plain Dealer that focuses on an organization that makes investments throughout northeast Ohio. The article by Michelle Jarboe McFee, "Cleveland International Fund looks for way forward after resignation, indictment of CEO" includes references to alleged fraud committed at the failed St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union. A companion article by John Caniglia, "Pepper Pike financier A. Eddy Zai indicted in Croatian fund swindle" references bribes paid to St. Paul's officials.

On September 28, 2011 The Cleveland Plain Dealer ran an article by James F. McCarty titled, "Chief executive officer of Croatian credit union pleads guilty to stealing $70 million, bankrupting the Eastlake bank."

The article starts, "The once trusted head of the St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union in Eastlake confessed Tuesday to stealing more than $70 million and triggering the collapse of the 67-year-old institution."

We want to address some of the points in the article to explain how this sort of thing cannot happen at Eaton Family Credit Union.

Fraudulent Loans
  • The article mentions that loans were dispensed without requiring collateral, borrowers had little or no assets, no employment history and often with fictitious names.
    • At Eaton Family Credit Union the borrower must complete and sign a loan application. Our loan officers verify this information against the credit report. We ask for employment verification.
Fraudulent Payment
  • The articles notes that, "most borrowers made little or no repayments."
    • Eaton Family Credit Union loans must be repaid. We report loan history (payment and non-payment) to all three credit reporting agencies. Our delinquent loan rate matches peer averages, but from time-to-time we need to efficiently and legally collect delinquent loans.
  • The article mentions that federal investigators said the credit union managers, "were running a scam, stealing millions of dollars in phony loans from the credit union."
    • In addition to a professional management team and experienced board of directors, Eaton Family Credit Union has an outside, third-party auditor. We are also subject to state, federal and private insurance audits.
We take our jobs very seriously and intend to be here for a very long time...thank you for your support.