Risk Management Committee

The Risk Management Committee was formed in March 2001 by the Chapter to address the bankruptcy problem that has affected all credit unions.  They have been a very active committee of eight people from seven credit unions in the chapter.  Their goal and purpose is to:
  • Help Credit Unions in the Downriver area reduce losses due to bankruptcy.
  • Provide a source of support and education of credit union staff on recognition and prevention of bankruptcy filings.
  • Provide education and resources to credit union members on bankruptcy awareness.
  • Stay informed on bankruptcy laws by working with local, state and federal governmental agencies and politicians.
  • Be an active member of the state bankruptcy task force.
The committee is made up of a mix of credit union employees, loans, member services, collections and marketing.  It is important to have employees from all areas in the credit union because bankruptcy does not start with collections, it starts when we take the application and many times there are signs that our employees are not trained to read.

We encourage participation by credit unions in the chapter to attend, you can just come once in a while or be a regular member.  Our monthly agenda are informal and fun.  Usually we have a preplanned agenda that we follow, but time is always allotted for open discussion.  Whether you work in loans, collections, member services, etc. you have a lot you can give and learn.  This is a learning process where we learn from each other and share ideas to help members to deal with a problem that they feel is insurmountable.

The task force has put together a group of Legal and Community Members who act as resource people who attend meetings and give instructions and advice on different types of problems we are facing.  These resource members are:

  • Charles Holzman - Holzman, Ritter, Leduc and Moody
  • Tom Leduc - Holzman, Ritter, Leduc and Moody
  • John Butler - Butler, Butler & Roswe-Oberle
  • Mark Rosen - Bergin Financial
  • Diane Clifford - Green Path Debt Solutions
  • Kathryn Greiner - First Washtenaw

Here is just a sampling of what we have learned:

  • Bankruptcy filings and losses have increased.
  • All Credit Unions are affected by bankruptcy filings.
  • There is no common denominator to predict a bankrupt filing.
  • It affects all members regardless of age, income, sex, etc.
  • Credit Unions are taking a pro-active approach and dealing with bankruptcy head on.
  • The key is staff training on how to help members who are heading into problems.
  • Member education on the ramifications and pitfalls of bankruptcy are equally important.
  • Bankruptcy does not start in collections but when you take the application.
  • Credit Unions need to encourage their members to seek debt counseling, whether from an inhouse professional or outside.
  • We need to be involved in the legislative arena and fight for bankruptcy reform laws.