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Clark County CU Leads Way On Bonus Refunds

LAS VEGAS-Clark County CU is paying a $5.3-million bonus divided to 34,000 members who will average $155 in funds rebated. One member received more than $58,000. Payments are based on the sum of all interest earned or paid with the CU, and a proportional share is paid back to the member. This year the members will get back 18.9% of all interest they paid on their loans with the credit union. In 2004, the credit union returned to members $2.88 million back to its members. CCCU ended 2004 with a 2.76% return on assets (ROA), more than two and a half times the average 1.02% ROA.

Meanwhile, in Santa Ana, Calif., Orange County Teachers FCU said it is paying a $2 million participation bonus to members based on their individual levels of participation in the credit union. Members will receive 1% of the total interest paid on any type of loan during the year, plus 1% of the total dividends earned on any deposit account. The credit union noted it passed the $5 billion in assets threshold during 2004.

Two CUs To Offer Tax Services To Members

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.-Several CUs last week also announced plans to offer tax services this season to members. Santa Cruz Community CU has partnered with Project SCOUT to expand free income tax assistance services. The program aims to help low-income families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit prepare their taxes.

Under the program, volunteers helps seniors, disabled and non-English speaking and low-income people fill out their tax forms. The free program begins this month and is provided by the IRS.

Meanwhile, in Ithaca, N.Y., Alternatives FCU said it will open its third annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program for low-income individuals and families on Jan. 29 and offer through tax day in April. The all-volunteer credit union program helps people who have never filed tax returns before or who do not trust financial institutions, officials said. Individuals must earn less than $2,000 a year, while families less than $40,000, to qualify for the program.

Navy Fed To Offer CMG Plan

VIENNA, Va.-Navy FCU said it has launched a debt 'Protection Plan Program' through CUNA Mutual Group. The world's largest credit union began offering three options under the program, allowing members to cancel loan and credit card payments and/or balances in the event of death, disability, and loss of employment. The cost of the plan to members is based on the outstanding loan balance and is included in members' monthly loan payments. The credit union enlisted 16,000 memers in the program in the first month of it being offered.

2 New CUSOs Chartered

PHILADELPHIA-Freedom CU said it has chartered a new CUSO, CU Abstract, to provide full title insurance services and real estate closings. It will eventually serve the entire state and expand to provide title searches, purchase, and refinance closings for all accredited lenders.

In Santa Ana, Calif., Orange County's CU has formed Orange County Group, Inc., to offer financial management services, along with variety of products at no cost to members.

'Good Solider' Gets 11 Years

TAMPA, Fla.-Insisting he was a "good soldier," an Army veteran who served in the Iraq war refused to name the gunmen who helped him rob Mid-Florida FCU last March. So the judge sentenced Army Sgt. James Lee Stover, 34, to 11 years in prison, which could have been reduced if Stover cooperated in the investigation. During the March 29 robbery, Stover and at least three other masked gunmen pulled a manager into the vault by her hair, pushed a member to the floor and threw a visibly pregnant teller to the floor. At the time of the robbery, Stover was on a 30-day leave from active duty during the robbery, and had served a year in Iraq.

The Credit Union Journal's On Deadline coverage is sponsored by Liberty. For info: www.libertysite.com.

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