Thank you for your continued loyalty to Bank-Fund Staff Federal Credit Union. As a member owned financial co-operative we are always mindful that it is our duty to protect Credit Union resources. As good stewards it is imperative that we stay up to date with all regulatory and legal requirements placed upon the Credit Union. .

Because of this ongoing duty we are proposing an Arbitration and Waiver of Class Action provision. This new provision provides more clarity as to how legal disputes between the Credit Union and its members shall be resolved. Industry associations have noted the harm that costly, protracted litigation can cause to credit unions and their members. We are making this change in our judgment as a way to protect our member owners and the Credit Union through the parties working together to resolve disputes quickly and amicably in the limited instances where they arise. You are, of course, free to reject this Agreement according to the instructions in the Agreement should you feel differently.

This new Arbitration provision will become effective on July 1, 2020. You will have until August 10, 2020 to exercise your right to opt-out of this provision.

If you request to opt-out of the Arbitration Agreement, we will provide a confirmation communication back to you within 10 business days of receipt of your written notice.

If you do not opt-out of this provision the continued use of your Credit Union account will act as your consent to this proposed Arbitration Agreement. Instructions on how to opt-out are included in the new provision provided with this notice. The full text of this new provision can be accessed below and found in the Share Account Agreement.

VIEW ARBITRATION AGREEMENT

If you would like to view the Share Account Agreement in its entirety you may do so by clicking below:

VIEW SHARE ACCOUNT AGREEMENT

 

FAQs:  BFSFCU Arbitration Agreement

  • Q: Why is BFSFCU implementing this provision?

    A: We are making this change in our judgment as a way to protect our member owners and the Credit Union co-operative through the parties working together to resolve disputes quickly and amicably in the limited instances where they arise.

  • Q: Why is this Arbitration Agreement being proposed now?

    A: The Credit Union has become aware of class actions asserted against credit unions and other financial institutions. Arbitration provisions are common to, and included in, many credit union and banking terms of service. Because our Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial co-operative, this provision was developed to ensure individual members can assess and make an individual determination for what is the best course for resolution when considering individual interest and the interest of all Credit Union member-owners.  

  • Q: What is Arbitration?

    A: Arbitration is the out-of-court resolution of a dispute between parties to a contract, decided by an impartial third party (the arbitrator).

    Arbitration can be an efficient means to resolve legal disputes between parties.  Arbitration is designed to be less costly than filing in court, likely more convenient, and the member will have the same available remedies.

  • Q: What is an Arbitration Agreement?

    A: An agreement between parties to use an arbitration forum to resolve disputes.

  • Q: Where can I learn more about Arbitration?

    A: Check American Arbitration Association’s website, http://www.adr.org/, or call AAA at (800) 778-7879.

  • Q: What is class action litigation?

    A: A class action is a type of civil lawsuit brought on behalf of many similarly situated people who have been harmed in the same way by the same entity.

  • Q: What does class action litigation mean for the Credit Union and its members?

    A: Class action litigation essentially puts member-owners in a position of having to sue themselves and deplete the resources of the membership/co-operative as a whole.

  • Q: What is a Class Action Waiver?

    A: By agreeing to a Class Action Waiver, you are waiving the right to participate as a class representative or class member in a class action lawsuit.

  • Q: Does the Arbitration Agreement apply to Mortgages?

    A: This Arbitration clause does not apply to Mortgage litigation, though you can agree to resolve an issue through arbitration if you think that’s a better way of resolving the dispute.

  • Q: Does the Arbitration Agreement apply to a lawsuit filed in Small Claims Court?

    A: This Arbitration clause does not apply to claims initiated in or transferred to Small Claims Court.  In Washington, D.C. you can file a lawsuit in Small Claims Court for up to a maximum of $10,000.

  • Q: If I consent to the Arbitration Agreement what are my dispute resolution options?

    A: You will be deemed to have consented to the arbitration agreement if you do not opt-out. 
    If you have a dispute with the Credit Union your options for resolution include:

    • Direct Resolution - Members can raise concerns and obtain resolution directly through Credit Union Management and the Board of Directors.
    • Regulator Resolution - Credit unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).  The NCUA’s Consumer Assistance Center assists consumers in resolving disputes with credit unions and providing information about federal consumer financial protection and share insurance matters.
    • Arbitration - Arbitration is an out-of-court resolution of a dispute between parties to a contract, decided by an impartial third party (the arbitrator), to resolve legal disputes between parties. Arbitration is designed to be less costly than filing in court, likely more convenient, and the member will have the same available remedies.
    • Litigation – In Washington, D.C. you can file a lawsuit in Small Claims Court for up to a maximum of $10,000.

    Dispute resolution will be conducted through an arbitration process; you will not have any right to bring a dispute to court or to appeal an arbitration decision in court.  Importantly, if a dispute arises that involves a group of members, you cannot bring or participate in a class action.

    It important to note that this Arbitration clause does not apply to claims initiated in or transferred to Small Claims Court.  It also does not apply to Mortgage litigation, though you can agree to resolve an issue through arbitration if you think that’s a better way of resolving the dispute.

  • Q: What if I disagree with the Arbitration Agreement?

    A: If you disagree with the Arbitration Agreement, you must opt out, and you must do so in writing prior to August 10, 2020. 

    If you have a dispute with the Credit Union your options for resolution include:

    • Direct Resolution - Members can raise concerns and obtain resolution directly through Credit Union Management and the Board of Directors.
    • Regulator Resolution - Credit unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).  The NCUA’s Consumer Assistance Center assists consumers in resolving disputes with credit unions and providing information about federal consumer financial protection and share insurance matters.
    • Litigation – You can file an individual lawsuit (in Washington DC, the Small Claims Court maximum is $10,000); or bring or participate in a class action.

    It important to note that this Arbitration clause does not apply to claims initiated in or transferred to Small Claims Court.  It also does not apply to Mortgage litigation, though you can agree to resolve an issue through arbitration if you think that’s a better way of resolving the dispute.

  • Q: Can I opt out?

    A: You have the right to opt-out of this Arbitration Agreement and it will not affect any other terms and conditions of your Account Agreement or your relationship with us.

  • Q: How can I opt out?

    A: To opt out, you must notify us in writing of your intent to do so within 30 days after the Arbitration Agreement was provided to you.

    Your notice of intent to opt out must be received by the Credit Union in writing at Bank-Fund Staff Federal Credit Union; Risk Management; 1725 I Street NW, Suite 150; Washington, DC 20006-2406 within the 30-day time period.

    Your notice of intent to opt out can be a letter that is signed by you, or an email sent by you to [email protected], that states “I elect to opt out of the Arbitration Agreement” or any words to that effect.