Illinois Regulators Suspend Small Credit Union
The Illinois Division of Financial Institutions on Tuesday said the $14 million Bensenville Community Credit Union was insolvent and suspended its operations for not more than 60 days.
However, the credit union continues to operate, said James McNeil, interim manager of Bensenville Community.
“The state, when they issued the suspension order, also named a manager/trustee (Paul Simons) and placed the credit union under the control of the trustee to continue operating until we finalize a (merger) with another credit union,” McNeil said Thursday.
The IDFI suspension order did not mention the state’s appointment of a manager/trustee.
McNeil said the IDFI's suspension order was issued to the credit union on June 26, but the state regulator did not post the the order on its website until July 29.
A state examination found the Bensenville-based cooperative had assets of $14,429,853 and liabilities and shares of $14,438,508, resulting in a total negative net worth of $8,654. The state regulator defines insolvency when the total of all liabilities and shares exceeds net assets.
Over the last three and a half years, Bensenville Community CU had been experiencing financial challenges.
Its loan income dropped from $909,790 in 2011 to $743,814 in 2013, according to the credit union’s financial reports filed with American Share Insurance.
Although the credit union posted a net income gain of $42,389 in 2011, it recorded net income losses of $311,477 in 2012 and $623,519 in 2013. As of June 2014, Bensenville Community posted a net income loss of $340,099, according to ASI financial reports.
The credit union’s net worth ratio was 6% in 2012 and plummeted to 2% in 2013. As of June 2014, its net worth was negative 0.11%, ASI balance sheet ratios showed.
In November 2012, a former Bensenville Community CU loan officer Desiree Cortes was sentenced to 60 days in the DuPage County jail after pleading guilty to stealing more than $170,000 from the credit union, according to newspaper reports.
Cortes used her position to create fraudulent credit card accounts and maxed out four of them with $40,000 limits. She had also charged $12,000 on a fifth card when she turned herself in in December 2011, the Chicago Tribune reported. She was ordered to make $179,000 in restitution and was placed on probation for 36 months.
McNeil said he doesn’t believe this theft incident contributed to the financial challenges of the credit union that serves about 2,200 members.
“The bottom line is many credit unions of this size aren’t able to continue operating profitably alone, and the times just kind of took its toll,” he said.