Frequently Asked Questions - Credit Unions

Consumer Questions

How do I determine if my credit union is regulated by the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions?

We only regulate credit unions chartered by our Department.  However, credit unions can also be chartered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).  If you are not sure whether your credit union is a state- or federally-chartered credit union, there are a few indicators in the credit union's name.  Many state-chartered credit unions have "State" in their corporate name, while a federally-chartered credit union will commonly have "Federal" in its corporate name, which would appear on your deposit statements or checks.  Refer to the Who We Regulate page of this website for a general description of which credit unions are supervised by our Department and the Credit Union Search page for a list of specific institutions which we regulate.

Where can I find financial information about a credit union?

NCUA collects and makes financial information on credit unions available to the public.  Visit https://recent5300.ncua.gov/Views/GetUpdateCreditUnions.aspx

I don't understand my deposit statement? Who can help me with that?

We  encourage you to contact your credit union.  The staff there should have a good understanding of their statements and should be in a better position to help.

I have legal issues with my credit union. Can the Department help me?

The Department cannot act as your legal counsel.  We cannot intervene in legal disputes between you and credit union.  We may be able to encourage/facilitate communication between the parties, but once an issue has been turned over to legal counsel, the Department cannot get involved.  Before filing a complaint with the Department, we encourage you to first contact credit union management to try and resolve the dispute.

Is it legal for a credit union to charge me fees?

With some restrictions, credit unions can charge fees on both loan and deposit products.  Typically, the loan or deposit agreement which you signed at origination/account opening will outline the terms of the contract.

Is there a way to determine if I have unclaimed property in North Dakota?

Unclaimed property is administered by the Unclaimed Property Division of the State Land Department, in accordance with North Dakota Century Code Section 47-30.1-17.  Their unclaimed property search page can be used to determine if you have any unclaimed property which has been transferred to the state.

How do I file a complaint against a credit card company?

If the credit card issuer is not a North Dakota state-chartered bank, you may file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Industry Questions

Where can I find regulatory guidance dealing with credit unions?

The Department has issued several Guidance Memos, which can be found here.  Additionally, the NCUA has issued Letters to Credit Unions, which can be found here.

I do not understand a State rule regarding credit unions. Is that something the Department can help with?

Yes, Department staff are here as a resource.  We first encourage you to review the Department's Guidance Memos, which provide some useful guidance on a number of different topics.  If you still have a question, please contact us and we will try to answer your question where possible.

I do not understand part of an NCUA rule. Is that something the Department can help with?

Yes, Department staff are here as a resource.  We first encourage you to review the NCUA's Examiner Guide as it provides some useful guidance on a number of different topics.  If you still have a questions, please contact us and we will try to answer your question where possible or put you in contact with someone at the NCUA who can answer it.

My credit union would like to establish a branch location. Do I need to apply for approval?

Yes, North Dakota Administrative Code 13-03-15 requires you to obtain prior State Credit Union Board approval before establishing a branch.

What is the dormancy period for when unclaimed property is to be presumed abandoned and what are the procedures to report abandoned property in North Dakota?

Unclaimed property is administered by the Unclaimed Property Division of the State Land Department, in accordance with North Dakota Century Code Section 47-30.1-17.  Their Holder Reporting Instructions page includes guidance on dormancy periods and reporting requirements.

What are the requirements when a real estate parcel is transferred into Other Real Estate Owned (OREO) in North Dakota?

North Dakota Century Code 6-06-06 requires a current appraisal of the property to be conducted by an appraiser within 60 days of transfer to OREO, if the recorded real estate value is $100,000 or more.  If the recorded value is less than $100,000, a market evaluation may be performed in lieu of an appraisal.

What is the holding period for OREO and when does the holding period begin in North Dakota?

According to North Dakota Century Code Section 6-06-06, the holding period for OREO is five years from the date of acquiring title.  A 'clean' title is generally obtained at the end of the redemption period if the property goes through a foreclosure process, or whenever full legal title is transferred to the credit union.  The statute provides the Commissioner authority to grant an extension to hold the property beyond five years.  An Extension Request form is available for credit unions to request approval to hold a property beyond five years.

If a property securing a loan is within the credit union's geographical field of membership, but the borrower does not live in the field of membership, is the borrower eligible for membership?

No.  The borrower would need to reside in the field of membership to be a member.  Property/collateral location does not determine membership eligibility.  Residency determines eligibility for geographic fields of membership.

If a non-public depositor's (e.g. a nursing home or non-profit corporation) deposits exceed the NCUA insurance limit, can a credit union pledge securities to secure those excess deposits in North Dakota?

No.  According to North Dakota Century Code Section 21-04-09, financial institutions may only pledge securities on behalf of a public corporation.   A public corporation generally includes a county, city, township, school district, or entity whose funding is derived from taxation, fees, penalties, sales of bonds, or from any other source which belong to a public corporation or the state.

What securities are eligible for pledging to a public corporation's deposits in North Dakota?

North Dakota Century Code Section 21-04-09 defines the securities which are eligible for pledging to public corporation deposits.