<p>WASHINGTON-CUNA got in one last meeting with Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Sheila Bair before she leaves the department this summer. CUNA’s efforts were two-fold: to touch base with Bair and ensure she was up to date on credit union concerns, as well as make sure her successor has up to date information, according to CUNA Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn. “We wanted to make sure that credit unions are at the table when the administration considers issues regarding financial institutions,” Dunn explained. She added that Bair has been very vigilant in ensuring credit union participation in Treasury issues. The meeting went very well, Dunn said, and included discussion of Bair’s predatory lending `best practices’ plan, Senator Paul Sarbanes’ (D-Md.) predatory lending bill, CUNA’s ethical mortgage lending guidelines, and Bair’s efforts to lead crisis management after September 11. A report on the department’s efforts in the wake of the terrorist attacks should be out by this fall. Predatory lending, specifically the prevention of it, has become a big issue for credit unions. CUNA’s Consumer Protection Subcommittee is reviewing Sarbanes’ legislation as the trade association formulates an opinion on the details of it. “As efforts continue in the state legislatures, we feel eventually there will be a mounting effort on the federal level,” Dunn said. CUNA has developed strong ties with Bair and is very interested in who will be her successor. Dunn commented, “For us, it is very critical who has that position.”</p>

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