As NCUA Expands Disaster Policy, Fire Closes New Mexico CUs
The NCUA, which on Thursday expanded its latest policy on credit union disaster relief to include five more states hit by floods, may soon be adding a sixth, New Mexico, dealing with a raging Los Alamos wildfire as three CUs in the community have now shuttered offices.
“Let me say that the kind of support we’ve received would never have happened in a bank and I’m a former banker,” said Matt Schmidt, president/CEO of the $15 million Los Alamos Schools CU, which was forced to relocate its main office to the $385 million Del Norte CU.
Los Alamos Schools, Del Norte and Zia CU all have now closed facilities in the stricken community under evacuation orders issued on Monday.
“We had to leave our credit union when it got pretty smoky and so the property remains closed but Del Norte has been a fantastic host,” Schmidt said.
Meanwhile, the NCUA said because of severe weather and flooding affecting areas of Montana, Nebraska, Indiana, Kansas and Iowa, it was formally extending its disaster relief policy to assist CUs and their members in local recovery efforts.
North Dakota flooding already had prompted a similar announcement in May.
Under the agency’s disaster assistance, NCUA encourages CU to offer special loan terms and will reschedule exams of affected CUs. In addition the agency said it would guarantee lines of credit for CUs under the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and make loans to meet liquidity needs of impacted CUs.
Schmidt of Los Alamos Schools told Credit Union Times he was hopeful “we can get back into Los Alamos over the weekend” provided the fire threat eases. The wildfires came within two miles of Los Alamos Schools CU.
“That’s about the time we packed up the server and the PCs and put them in my truck and then I headed home to pick up my dog and cat to evacuate,” he said.