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Delinquencies Up On HELC, Down On Cards

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.-Bankruptcy filings are surging as consumers seek to beat new rules from the Bankruptcy Reform Act that go into effect in October. Since President Bush signed the bill into law into April, bankruptcy filings have risen 12% nationally through July, and are up by as much as 22% in some areas. The increase follows a leveling off in bankruptcy filings and even a slight decline during 2005. Some analysts are attributing the increases in filings to greater advertising by bankruptcy attorneys alerting consumers to the law's change, which makes it harder to have debts wiped out and to start fresh. More consumers will now have to seek protection under Chapter 13, which requires more debt to be repaid. It is estimated approximately 1.8-million people will file for bankruptcy during 2005.

Defense CUs Now Sort Through Final BRAC List

WASHINGTON-After months of nervous waiting, defense credit unions now know whose mission will continue and who needs to get busy making plans following final decisions being made on base closures. A Pentagon panel reviewing recommendations made by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission has voted against plans to close the Portsmouth shipyard in Kittery, Maine; Submarine Base New London in Connecticut, Naval Support Activity Corona in California, the Red River Army Depot in Texas and Naval Support Activity in New Orleans.

Major bases that will be closing include Fort Gillem and Fort McPherson in Georgia, Fort Monroe in Virginia, Army Garrison Selfridge in Michigan and Fort Monmouth in New Jersey. Several hundred Navy Reserve, Army Reserve and National Guard facilities across more than a dozen states are also to close.

President Bush can still make changes, as can Congress, although Congress has not made changes to BRAC recommendations in the past.

Police Searching For Robber

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.-Virginia Beach police are searching for a suspect who allegedly robbed a Brinks employee outside a Chartway Federal Credit Union.

Officials say the Brinks employee was putting money into an ATM machine outside the credit union in the 300 block of Kellam Road when he was approached from behind by a suspect armed with an assault rifle.

The suspect told the employee to get on the ground, then took the containers holding the money for the ATM machine and fled.

Shot Fired During CU Robbery

CHESTERFIELD County, Va.-Chesterfield County police were searching for a man who allegedly robbed the VaCap Federal Credit Union, then fired upon a member.

No one was injured in the incident. Police reported the suspect, described as a slender man in his 40s, wearing a red baseball hat, black jacket and glasses, approached a teller, displayed a gun and demanded money.

The suspect was last seen getting into a gold Oldsmobile Cutlass.

Second Name Change For CU

WILBRAHAM, Mass.-The credit union that started out as Monsanto Employees CU in 1937, became First Pioneer Credit Union after converting to community charter in 2000 is changing its name once again, this time to ValleyStone CU.

"Since obtaining our community charter in 2000, we have experienced all signs of positive growth and have been extremely pleased with the feedback from the communities of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties," said James P. Nagy, CEO and president of First Pioneer Credit Union.

"We, in good faith and as a corporate-conscious citizen, have decided to fine-tune our name to better suit our vision of distinctiveness in the financial institution marketplace since hearing recently of another entity with a similar name."

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

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