What’s next for Chetco patrons?

By Jessica Cejnar, The Triplicate January 02, 2013 05:49 pm

Former Chetco Federal Credit Union members will still have access to their finances over the New Year holiday, even though the financial institution was liquidated Monday.

CFCU’s California accounts will automatically transfer over to Coast Central Credit Union on Wednesday, said Dennis Hunter, Coast Central’s vice president of marketing. Even though they won’t become Coast Central members until then, former CFCU members will be able to access their accounts via Coast Central’s online banking and ATM machines using a new member number that was sent in the mail, Hunter said.

Coast Central’s branch, which had been on H Street in Crescent City, will reopen on Wednesday in the former CFCU branch on 660 L Street, Hunter said. The Eureka-based financial institution stands to gain roughly 6,900 new members. 

“They’ll get a new member number and all of their accounts are under that member number,” Hunter said. “If they had a Chetco checking account they’ll be receiving free checks in the mail from us. If they had a debit card, they’ve been getting their debit cards on Saturday and today.”

The National Credit Union Administration announced CFCU’s liquidation Friday. Coast Central is assuming control of CFCU’s Crescent City branch and its California memberships. Medford-based Rogue Federal Credit Union will take over CFCU’s memberships and five branches in Oregon on Wednesday.

NCUA’s decision to liquidate and close Harbor, Ore.- based CFCU comes after it placed the credit union into conservatorship in September 2011 to protect its financial stability and operations. Since then the Smith River and Klamath branches have closed, employees have been laid off and members’ loans were sold as part of a reorganization of the credit union.

NCUA chose to liquidate and discontinue operations at CFCU after determining it was insolvent and could not continue to operate on its own, according to an administration press release. NCUA has liquidated 14 federally insured credit unions in 2012.

According to Hunter, Coast Central Credit Union answered a request from the NCUA and submitted a bid to take over CFCU. Because it’s a California state-chartered credit union, Coast Central could only assume control of the Crescent City branch.

“We didn’t know whether they wanted to split Chetco up like that or not,” Hunter said. “The main thing is that we’re excited to be able to serve them. We’re anxious for them to become part of our Coast Central family.”

At the time of liquidation, CFCU served 24,926 members and had approximately $259 million in deposits, according to the NCUA. CFCU was chartered in 1957 and served Coos and Curry counties in Oregon as well as Del Norte County.

Coast Central Credit Union has been in business since 1950. It established a Crescent City branch in 1977. It has roughly 55,000 members and $960 million in assets.

The accounts of the new Rogue and Coast Central Credit Union members will remain federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund for up to $250,000. The NCUA administers the fund, which has the backing of the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

Former CFCU members can call Coast Central Credit Union at 707-445-8801 for more information on their account status.

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