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CUNA Raises Concerns Over E-Sign Law Aspects

WASHINGTON-CUNA has sent a comment letter stating it believes that the exception for residential default and foreclosure notices in the "E-Sign" law should only be removed if adequate consumer protections are maintained-and it's not clear that those protections are in place, CUNA wrote.

The letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) supports keeping default and foreclosure notices as exceptions to the E-Sign law (which validates and facilitates the use of electronic records and signatures, particularly on contracts).

"Credit unions' current ability to provide mortgages electronically has not been hampered by this exception with regard to these notices," wrote CUNA Assistant General Counsel Jeff Bloch. " As technology evolves, the ability to provide mortgages electronically may eventually be hampered if creditors are unable to deliver default or foreclosure notices electronically. At that time, it may be appropriate to revisit this issue and consider removing this exception to the E-Sign Act."

CUNA argued that there are no signs, at least for now, that technology has evolved to that point. "The negative consequence of not receiving a residential default or foreclosure notice, which would be the potential loss of the home, is potentially greater to a consumer than the consequence of not receiving other types of disclosures," CUNA wrote. "At this time, we do not believe that traditional e-mail can provide the same assurances of delivery that is now provided by certified or registered mail."

CUES Intro's Education Site For CU Directors

MADISON, Wis.-The Credit Union Executives Society has launched a new CUES Director Education Center, the content of which is specifically for board members. CUES said the curriculum includes a variety of elective courses in a user-friendly, self-paced, e-learning format. "New courses, updates to current content and additional features will periodically be added for continued professional learning," CUES said. The organization also has a program administrator on staff to track information and customize reports based on each credit union's specific needs-overall course usage by director, course registration, exam scores, and more. Upon passing, each director receives a personalized certificate of completion that reflects the professional standards associated with the program, as well as a long-sleeve embroidered sweater. A free 45-day trial can be had by visiting www.cuesdec.org.

Liberty, LA CU Form DP CUSO

PASADENA, Calif.-Liberty FiTECH Systems, a data processing providers, and LA Financial Credit Union have joined to establish Financial Data Partners, a data processing CUSO. The agreement calls for LA Financial, which changed its name recently from Courts & Records FCU, to serve as the CUSO's data center, while Liberty FiTECH Systems provides the core data processing technology, MANAGER GOLD.The organizations said the agreement follows two years of discussions.

"The joint venture calls for us (to provide the data center and human resources for the organization, while Liberty FiTECH Systems serves us with the technology and software expertise," said LAFCU CEO Barbara Nall, who credited VP/CIO, Mike Magro, for leading the credit union's efforts to "aggressively move forward" with the project.

The new Financial Data Partners will serve credit unions in the western U.S. Liberty FiTECH Systems' existing data center in Atlanta will continue to host credit unions' data processing in the rest of the country.

For info: www.libertysite.com.

OSI Launches Disaster Recovery

GLASTONBURY, Conn.-Open Solutions Inc. (OSI) has launched a Disaster Recovery (DR) solution for community financial institutions. The company said the service helps Open Solutions' client institutions fulfill regulatory requirements mandating reasonable business continuity and restoration of computer system operations following any event resulting in the loss of use of an institution's normal business facility. Open Solutions' Disaster Recovery is offering three levels of service in Platinum, Gold and Silver tiers. The most extensive, DR Platinum, includes active database servers and extended testing for telecom and security support and 24 hour/365 day network and application monitoring for core processing, ATM, cash management and web banking service restoration in the event of a disaster. Gold and Silver levels of DR services incorporate testing, security support and constant monitoring of servers at varying levels of active and passive systems backup. For info: www.opensolutions.com

USERS Points To '02 Feats

VALLEY FORGE, Penn.-USERS, Inc. reported that during 2002 it achieved a number of accomplishments, including the launch of Cross-Selling Manager (a browser-based solution that enables real-time, integrated cross-selling through multiple delivery channels); Risk-Based Pricing (an integrated solution for automating loan rate assignment- whether risk-based or not) Non-Member Loan Applications (designed to speed and simplify non-member loan origination); Internet Branding (a tool for modifying the look and feel of the credit union's home banking area to reflect its brand and graphic identity) and more.

The company said it also signed contracts with six credit unions to convert to its DataSafe system, completed 11 conversions to DataSafe, and renewed 49 DataSafe On-Line processing contracts.

Furthermore, it said its Internet banking market share also grew, as 18 credit unions implemented USERS' PCU Internet Banking in 2002-bringing the total number of credit unions using this software solution to 170.

For info: www.users.com.

OSI Debuts Disaster Recovery

GLASTONBURY, Conn.-Open Solutions Inc. (OSI) has launched a Disaster Recovery (DR) solution it says helps clients fulfill regulatory requirements mandating reasonable business continuity and restoration of computer system operations following any event resulting in the loss of use of an institution's normal business facility. Three levels of service are offered, the most extensive, DR Platinum, includes active database servers and extended testing for telecom and security support and 24-hour/365-day network and application monitoring for core processing, ATM, cash management and more.

For info: www.opensolutions.com.

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