WEST JORDAN, Utah-The $2.8-billion Mountain America CU has developed a program to address potential member financial problems before they turn into write-offs.

MACU has also developed a Member Assist Program to provide personal contact and a "soft approach" for members whose accounts are becoming delinquent, with the plan of providing helpful information and alternatives before the account has to be sent to collections.

Calls are assigned to the branch where the loan was originated. Branch employees contact their members who are five to 15 days delinquent on consumer loan payments. Each call is targeted as an opportunity for Mountain America employees to utilize its "Triple A Approach": Assess the member's situation, Advise on possible solutions, and Assist with the agreed upon solution.

Terry Behunin, VP of branches for MACU, said the callers often are able to provide options to members that they may be unaware of. "The branches wanted to know what they could do to help, and members were very receptive to us reaching out through courtesy calls rather than collection calls," he said. "We looked for ways to help in the case of special circumstances."

Through September, branch employees have made 1,336 calls under the Member Assist Program. Behunin said 277 payments have been received directly, plus others come in later that are not always credited directly to the program. "The program has been very successful," he declared. "Our members are thanking our employees for making the calls. It is a positive program and it was fun to develop. We are making more calls now that the branches are getting used to the system. The only branches not making calls are those that are exceptionally busy in transaction volume."

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the credit union industry

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.