Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Two-Martini Legal Advice: Asking The N.C Credit Union Division To Avoid Switches In Its X-Mas Stocking...



to:"Ray, Kristina W" <kristina.ray@nccud.nc.gov>
cc:"Badwan, Rana" <rbadwan@ncdoj.gov>,
Jamie Applequist <japlquist6@gmail.com>,
Amy Woody <AmyWoody@mountaincu.org>,
"to: Roger Montes" <Roger@latinoccu.org>,
Caleb Malcolm <calebamalcolm@gmail.com>,
Fay Aand bill boyd <fayboyd@embarqmail.com>,
Lafayette Jones <lafayettegjones@gmail.com>

Dear Ms. Ray,

Happy Holidays! Took your advice and asked legal counsel for a review of our correspondence, over the last 6 months. As with most extended families, it's not too difficult to find a lawyer somewhere up the family tree willing to share an opinion - when, of course, paid an appropriate retainer. In this case, the hourly rate was two martinis, comfortable chair, roaring fireplace on a cold and rainy afternoon. 

Legal counsel said it was entirely appropriate for a consumer to ask a State regulator about her authority under N.C. State law. He pointed out the "Consumer Questions" section on the NCCUD website [here's the link] as a clear indicator of your responsibility and past willingness to respond to N.C. consumers; let alone the whole website heading: "Consumers" [here's the link], which includes "Consumer Information, Consumer Resources, Consumer Questions, File a Complaint". He also noted that on the website you were officially designated by NCCUD as the "go to person" [see link, at bottom] on any review of credit union rules and regulations. Lastly, he said it was unclear why you would refuse further clarification of the prior request, since responding to a consumer was clearly not an issue - as Administrator you have already crossed that bridge with our prior correspondence. 
The following alternatives were proposed:
  1. Politely re-request that the prior response to the two questions be clarified and state that a legal opinion is not being requested.
  2. Appeal the latest response to the Credit Union Commission.
  3. Ask a state-chartered credit union, as a courtesy, to file the 2 questions with the Administrator.
  4. Ask your N.C. State Representative (or any Representative) to file a request for answers to the 2 questions with the Administrator. Responses are generally mandatory.
  5. Ask your State Senator (or any Senator) to file a request for answers to the 2 questions with the Administrator. Responses are generally mandatory.
  6. Ask members from all across the State to also request that their Representative/Senator write the Administrator requesting an answer to the 2 questions. The more the merrier.
  7. Request through the Legislature that the Administrator be required to appear before any future hearing on H. 410  to answer these 2 questions and any others surrounding the role of NCCUD in the approval and monitoring of bylaw amendments.
  8. Encourage consumers/credit union members to attend the next Credit Union Commission Meeting (Spring 2024 Meeting coming up) to publicly comment on these 2 questions and other issues concerning the supervision of credit unions by the Administrator. Again, the more the merrier.
  9. File a formal complaint.
  10. All of the above.

 Thought all that was a fairly good two-martini investment. And, we can do any or all the above if you feel that is the way this must proceed.

Our strong preference however is #1. So our formal request is: Would you please clarify your prior (October 19, 2023) response to the 2 questions below. We are not requesting a legal opinion and understand you can not provide legal advice.

✔  Q: 1)  Is the N.C. Credit Union Division required by North Carolina law to monitor and enforce compliance by state-chartered credit unions with their bylaws?

Q: 2)  May a N.C. state-chartered credit union adopt rules, policies and procedures which effectively amend its bylaws without approval by the NCCUD
Thank you. We look forward to your prompt response .
Jean and Jim Blaine
December 5, 2023 
... sure know what I'd do... the right thing!