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Texas CU To Join Dallas Free-For-All

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas-Vought Heritage Community CU has become the latest credit union to seek to serve the lucrative Dallas market.

The $400-million credit union, which converted from a federal charter two years ago, has applied to state regulators to serve more than four million people in both Tarrant and Dallas counties.

If approved, Vought Heritage Community CU would be the seventh state charter serving all of Dallas County. Separately, Velocity CU, in Austin, has applied to serve more than 1.1 million residents in Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell and Hayes counties.

Pit Bulls Terrorize CU Patrons

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-Two pit bulls that terrified members and employees of General Council CU were ordered put to sleep by the courts.

Two credit union members testified they were bitten by the dogs in the credit union's parking lot, while several employees said they were frightened by the dogs when they went to get into their cars.

Jason Edwards, the dogs' owner, pleaded that the dogs were gentle enough to play with toddlers, but Municipal Judge Dennis Budd said there was enough evidence to show the dogs were a serious threat to credit union patrons.

"These dogs have a dangerous propensity," said Budd. "I think Mr. Edwards should be held responsible for that, and that the dogs should be destroyed."

While Edwards admitted he had trouble keeping the pit bulls in his yard, he said the dogs were not a threat to the community.

The Judge fined Edwards $2,200, and gave him a suspended 10-day jail sentence; and ordered him to pay $260 to cover medical bills for two members bitten by the dogs.

FCUs Can Recoup Settlement Costs

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-A federal credit union can regain mortgage settlement fees it has waived from a borrower if the borrower prepays the loan before it matures, according to NCUA.

Because the waiver of settlement fees is considered a benefit, the credit union may require reimbursement of that benefit if the borrower prepays the loan, NCUA said in a new legal opinion.

Such an understanding should be indicated clearly in the loan documentation, the federal regulator said.

UWCU Helps Student Debtor

MADISON, Wis.-University of Wisconsin CU and a group of UW-Madison students are offering to give $300 to the student with the highest credit card debt, as part of a week long series on credit counseling.

The series, called "Take Charge of Your Credit," aims to educate students on the rights and responsibilities associated with consumer credit.

To drive home the threat of runaway debt, a search is being launched to find the student on campus with the highest credit card debt.

That person will receive $300 to pay towards paying of his or her debt. Students can enter the contest by submitting their credit card balance online to igotnobling@hotmail.com.

Former Cop Banned From CUs

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-The former treasurer of the Troy, N.Y., police credit union, who was a former officer on the local police force, was banned from the credit union industry by NCUA for his role in an embezzlement scheme at Troy FCU. William Carey, 63, pleaded guilty in 2003 to embezzling $216,000 and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Also banned were: George Cashman and William Carnes, two former director of New England Teamsters FCU, Arlington, Mass., for their roles in a scheme to extort and embezzle funds from an employee benefit plan.

Wescom Employees Skip Oscars

PASADENA, Calif.-Employees of Wescom opted to prepare a full-course meal for the homeless and distribute sack lunches to about 200 San Gabriel Valley homeless, instead of watching the Academy Awards Sunday night.

The charitable effort was organized by the credit union's employee-run charity, WesCare, and the East San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the Homeless.

All items for the dinner and bag lunches were collected and prepared by WesCare.

The Shelter's Winter Program opened December 1 and operates through March at different sites throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

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