ATLANTA — A more practical and urgent tone set the pace at this year’s NCUA Risk Mitigation Summit.Nearly 60 attendees came out for the third annual summit, the brainchild of NCUA Vice Chairman Rodney Hood, who reminded the audience that “risks must be managed, not avoided.” The day-long session held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta focused on interest rate, operational, credit and reputation risks as well as national trends.“We’ve gone from advocating risk management to looking at [asking] ‘why does my credit union need it,’” Hood told Credit Union Times. “Three years ago, it was ‘what is it.’ Now, it’s ‘how can I do [risk management].’”The keynote address was delivered by Robert Manning, research professor and director of the Center for Consumer Financial Services, Rochester Institute of Technology and the creative force behind the responsible debt relief algorithm. Manning is a consumer finance expert and the author of Credit Card Nation. As the founder and president of the nonprofit corporation, Responsible Debt Relief, Manning’s algorithmic breakthrough assesses household debt capacity and the debtor’s ability to repay outstanding loans. The mission is to alleviate the debt problems of the “near bankrupt” and others undergoing serious financial stress.“It gives credit unions the opportunity to recalibrate and get their members on an even keel during this extraordinarily difficult recessionary period,” Manning said. As a fellow with the Filene Research Institute, Manning is launching an RDR pilot program with the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. The program meets the NCUA threshold for charge-offs and therefore will be able to meet examiners’ standards of proof. For more information and a full downloadable copy of the Responsible Debt Relief report, visit or closing, Hood thanked program participants and all in attendance for making the 2009 NCUA Risk Mitigation Summit such a success.“It is my hope that the insight and information gleaned from today’s event will help promote the institution of successful ERM programs throughout the financial industry,” Hood said.All of the summit presentations were scheduled to post on NCUA’s Web site (–[email protected]

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