Home Office Ban Would Be Unconscionable: Letter to the Editor
We are celebrating our 56th year – over five decades of serving firefighters in Joliet, Illinois. Our credit union has always been there for our members – not only in good times, but more importantly, in the toughest of times when our members need us most. Our products are simple; shares and loans, but our mission is far from simple. We are here to serve our members, and will never forget, not for a moment, why we are here. We have accomplished a great deal in our 56 years and remain steadfast in our focus and promise to improve the lives of our members.
Our foundation is not unlike other credit unions. We are a not-for-profit financial cooperative, chartered to serve our member-owners and governed by a volunteer board elected by the credit union's membership. We follow the Credit Union Act and rules set forth by our regulator. We plan for tomorrow and train our board members. We are involved in the community and promote financial education. We reconcile accounts and keep impeccable records. We recognize that our credit union is not positioned to “do it all” but our credit union is strong, and based on our regulators’ findings – a safe and sound institution.
Our credit union stands at approximately $6 million in assets, serving 522 members. Over the last year our quick lending process closed 91 new loans for a total of 202 total loans, and sent one new firefighter off in his first new car. We have conducted countless share transactions and opened 16 new accounts. We even counseled a member on the red flags of elder financial abuse. We work hard, often late nights and weekends – but it's worth it because we are serving our members in the way they deserve to be served.
Our credit union is home-based. To imply that we are not taken seriously is wide of the mark. To suggest we step up and act like professional businesses is offensive. While the home-based model no longer fits the needs of the vast majority of credit unions – it fits us. The proposed rule to mandate a commercial office would lead to our demise, and leave 522 devoid of the credit union they built, and that is unconscionable.
Joliet Firefighters Credit Union