Proposed New Legislation Will Limit Your Overdraft Protection

We have just learned that the House Financial Services Committee may begin debating two bills that could dramatically affect overdraft protection. The most significant development is that both bills (H.R. 3904 and S. 1799) have the backing of key leaders in both chambers.                  

The most damaging provision in the bills is one that would limit the number of times a credit union member could access overdraft protection to once per month and six times per year.  

Please go to the Grassroots Action Center,, and send a message to your U.S. Representative and to Senator Brown urging them to oppose these two bills.

We also have letters available in our offices for you to sign that we will fax to the legislative offices.

Credit unions continue to be strong and secure.

This has been a very difficult year for the financial services industry, including credit unions. Credit unions have fared much better than banks. As of October 26th, 107 banks have gone out of business in 2009. In the same time period only 21 credit unions have gone out of business. 

You might ask, why have so many banks gone out of business compared to credit unions? I believe the answers are simple:

Credit unions focus on what is best for our member/owners (they aren’t just customers to us), while banks focus on what is best for their stockholders – at the expense of their customers.

  • Credit unions did not get caught up in the secondary mortgage market like many banks, or chase the yield on risky mortgage products just to increase our income. 
  • Our approach to lending and investing is tried and true. When you entrust us with your money we manage it as carefully as if it were our own money, because after all as a member/owner – we work for you.

I tell members that they should put safety first when investing their hard-earned dollars. Even if that means not getting the highest rate in the market place all the time. I also encourage members to ladder their investments at the credit union. Don’t have all of your certificates coming due at the same time; spread them out over time from short term to long term. You may pass up some short term yield, but in the long term I believe you will come out ahead. You can Google “ladder a certificate portfolio” on the Internet and get more information. 

Credit unions have received favorable press this year from many national organizations and news networks. If you are not a credit union member you may want to consider joining ours – we are open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Licking County.

In the heat of the political season and on International Credit Union Day


On Thursday, October 16, International Credit Union Day, Hopewell Federal sponsored the Licking County Chamber’s Candidates Night at the Granville Inn.   About 70 individuals attended and the event was broadcast live on the local radio stations, 1430 WCLT and T-100 – the Newark radio stations.  As the sponsor of the event, we were given the opportunity to tell the audience a little about Hopewell Federal Credit Union.  Since it was International Credit Union Day, it made the event more special in my mind. You can hear the whole program by going to

 Here is my opening remarks for last night meeting.

 Today is International Credit Union Day, the day that credit unions take the time to celebrate the credit union difference and recognize the contributions that credit unions make every day in the lives of their members worldwide. 


Beginning in 1948, credit unions have come together annually on the third Thursday in October to commemorate the credit union movement’s history and achievements.  This year’s the event organizers have chosen the theme Your Money, Your Choice, Your Credit Union to anchor our celebration. 

 Your Money, Your Choice, Your Credit Union represents the many reasons why 177 million people worldwide choose credit unions for access to fair and affordable financial services.  This year, credit unions are especially proud of their repeated acclaim as safe and sound institutions and their continued service to members, even through difficult economic times.

 Hopewell Federal Credit Unions is just one of more than 49,000 credit unions in the world.  Today we join our fellow credit union members in 96 countries in celebrations.  With access to a safe, convenient place to save their money and secure affordable loans, members from all walks of life are able to create new opportunities for themselves. 

 Hopewell Federal opened its doors in 1962 with the vision to serve our members.  Since then, our goal has always been the same: To Help Members Get Ahead Financially.

 No matter where you are in the world, access to financial services is vital. Rich or poor, we all face similar challenges in life.  Together, credit unions are helping members overcome those challenges not only here in Licking County but throughout the world.  The credit union motto is and always will be “Not for profit, not for charity but for service”

 Al Smith

Planning for the Future

Planning for the future


October 2 and 3 was the planning time for the Hopewell Federal management team and our official family.  Every fifteen to eighteen months we get together to think about where Hopewell Federal will be in five, ten or twenty years from now.  It is always our goal to be the local Licking County Credit Union.  You might say we want to be the last credit union standing in Licking County. 


This year we had Mike Diercks of LMI, Leadership Management Institute serving as the facilitator.  In my twenty-six plus years here I find these sessions to be really challenging.  The credit union world has seen tremendous change over the past twenty-five years and who know what the future will have in store for us.  We need to look ahead and try to be ready to meet our members needs no matter what they might be. 


With all the consumer legislation being proposed in the U S Congress, I’m sure we will spend some time discussing how the passage of any of those bills could affect the credit union and the members.  These certainly are tough economic times and call for hard questions to be asked and tough answers.  Our volunteer board and committee freely give up their time to help us set the critical direction of the credit union. 


If you know any of the board or committee members, thank them for the time and effort they spend on your behalf as a HFCU member.