Daily Life May 18, 2020
It has been a few weeks since I sat down to write everyone. As you are well aware, because of the epic event we have invading our lives, we remain in a stay at home mode—except for essential workers (which in some places and on some days, at least based on news stories, looks like everyone).
I hope that all of you are well, sate, and not too stir-crazy (mostly restless or frantic from something most never had to do—stay in one place for a prolonged period of time). Certainly, pre-March 16, no one could have imagined that ST. Patrick’s Day, Easter, May Day, Mother’s Day, and soon Memorial Day (and perhaps even Independence Day) would be spent inside looking out instead of outside, waiting to get in (somewhere). What a monumental turn of events. And, one that most of us were not prepared for.
Today, as I am composing this newsletter—and often do when I’m working, look up from my desk in my home office, stare at the wall, and wonder, when will this all end. Sometimes, it seems to me, the wall responds: soon, I hope (the wall if as tired of me as I am of the wall or walls); other times, it seems that wall just stares at me—saying, why are you asking me. More than once I wondered what the wall is really thinking: is this guy nuts, or help, somebody help, or even, yeah, this fellow is out, we just don’t know where!
The one thing this epic event has allowed one (or, for some, forced) to do: think about the future: what will it bring, will we ever return to what we once considered a normal way of life, or as we hear so often, we will have to adapt to or adopt a new normal (and no one even knows what that is). And, what will this new normal mean to the economy, jobs, shopping, social gatherings, sports events, weddings, concerts, education, the Olympics, the Super Bowl, July 4 celebrations…and, much more.
Will we be able to ride the subway, go to an ice cream shoppe, ride a roller coaster, stand in a line next to each other, stroll down 42nd street (New York city) with the rest of humanity, attend a class reunion, or enjoy a family picnic: the answer for me, yes…yes…yes...yes…yes…yes. The real question is when will we be able to do these things without wondering about those around us (or worse, avoiding those things because we do not know those around us).
Indiscriminate, indifferent, and inconsiderate, this epic event wreaks havoc; it brings untold grief to some, misery and suffering to others. Comforting those affected is difficult: no hugs, no touching, and no gathering. As a result, we have had to learn a new way to grieve, to say goodbye, to honor those who have been lost, and to support each other.
This is how we are, as a nation, resilient, persistent, selfless, stubborn, and driven. Nothing defeats us. In particular no virus, simple or complex, can beat us. We will, as a nation, overcome this epic event. Our grit and determination will prevail.
IRS: Stimulus Payment for Social Security, disability or veteran recipients
Individuals receiving Social Security, disability or veterans benefits have until Wednesday, April 22, to let the IRS know about any children they have if they are to receive the stimulus payment a dependent child this year.
Adults who receive Social Security, disability or veterans benefits do not need to take any action to receive the stimulus payment for themselves because the IRS already has their bank information. But the IRS doesn’t know if they have a child eligible for the additional benefit. The IRS needs the dependent information before the payments are issued.
If the IRS does not have the information, the recipient will get their the additional per eligible child amount will be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020.
The IRS has said that recipients of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Veterans Affairs benefits will receive their stimulus funds through the same process they get their other benefits.
Your Stimulus Payment or Economic Impact Payment
A brief review—a compilation from several sources, including the IRS
The following is a review where tax payer stimulus payments stand. This will be a periodic review; as more information becomes available, the Credit Union will provide it to you.
Many people began receiving their Economic Impact Payment last week. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began distributing $290 billion in direct cash payments to tens of millions of Americans on April 15. The Treasury Department said that the first payments would be made to Americans who received their 2018 and 2019 tax return refunds via direct deposit. If you filed a federal income tax return for 2018 or 2019 and provided the IRS with your direct deposit information, the IRS will use the information from your tax return to calculate your payment amount and send you check via banking information.
As of April 17, more than 80 million payments had gone out. The total number of payments that will be made is estimated at 171 million. More Economic Impact Payments will be issued via direct deposit in the weeks ahead; they will go to social security recipients, those receiving disability (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), survivor benefits, or Railroad Retirement benefits and to other taxpayers who provide their banking information to the IRS.
If you filed a federal income tax return for 2018 or 2019 and did not provide the IRS with your direct deposit information and have not yet received your payment, you can go to:
and use the Get My Payment to let the IRS know where to send your payment by direct deposit (i.e., provide the IRS your direct deposit information).
Message from our CEO April 14, 2020
I hope your Easter, Passover, and weekend were safe and that you were able to call, facetime, text, email, or even write a letter to your family—and that each and everyone remains healthy, sheltered, and secure.
As I began writing this, it struck me how California continues reacting to this crisis. I am truly amazed at Californians approach to the Pandemic. For the most part, this laid back, trendy, hip, tech driven and smart group of people have stayed at home as the Governor directed. While a few have misbehaved, as can be expected when you have 40 million people, almost all Californians have taken the Pandemic seriously and are doing their part to ensure it is stopped as quickly as possible. From active first responders (i.e., doctors, nurses, medical assistants of all kinds, police and fire personnel, and our military), to active essential workers (including grocery store workers, bank tellers, delivery personnel, postal members, etc.), to kids coping with new ways to learn and parents supporting these efforts, to employees discovering a new way to work—from home, to families huddled together: what remarkable group of people.
It is difficult to know when this crisis will end but State governments, the Administration, the Federal Reserve, Treasury, CDC and the federal government’s health agencies have been working over time to assist, help, preserve, and support all Americans. And, while we may bicker as a nation, we are all united in one common effort: rid this country of one of the worst tragedies it has recorded. Continued efforts are needed, along with patience. But, as a country we know more than we did last week, the week before, and the week before that. We keep learning, improving, and advancing. We will defeat this.
And, lest we forget (which I did), let’s take time to wish all those with a birthday since March 16, Happy Birthday! This is probably the strangest birthday you will ever have but it will also be one that many with birthdays during this period will most remember!
So, let’s take a look at what is happening for members:
The Credit Union launched its Payroll Protection Program—this is an SBA loan program designed to help small businesses. See more on the Credit Union’s web page.
The Credit Union continues working with members who need help with their mortgage loan payments and consumer loan payments. Members who need assistance are urged to call the Credit Union and discuss options and programs available. Get the help you need before you fall too far behind.
The Credit Union raised its daily cash withdrawal limit to $1,500 and increased its ATM withdrawal limit to $750. Hopefully, both steps will help members stay at home and not have to travel to get cash they may need.
The Credit Union continues to provide members with mortgage loan programs and consumer loans at very affordable rates and with very low or no costs.
The Credit Union continues to serve members at two branch locations: Riverside and Victorville—the staff is doing a great job assisting members who come into the branch.
On a different front, the first stimulus payments from the Treasury Department should be arriving this week. Known as Economic Impact Payments, the first payments are being made to those who received their 2018 and 2019 tax refunds via direct deposit. Other who are expected to receive their payments very soon are social security recipients. Once these payments have been made, Treasury is expected to begin sending checks to everyone else who is eligible to receive them. See blog on possible tax issues with these stimulus payments.
As always stay safe, continue following the stay at home protocol, and call the Credit Union with any questions or concerns. We are here to help. Talk with you next week. Have a safe and secure week.
Message from our CEO April 8, 2020
Hello to everyone. I hope this finds you safe and that you and your family are well.
It has been three weeks, March 13, since the Administration announced a National Emergency for what many call the Covid-19 pandemic. A lot of things have changed; and, probably, many more things will change. It seems that each day brings a different result, a different concern, and a different problem—it also brings another opportunity for us to help one another, even if we are apart, and to be encouraging to those that really need support.
Amazingly, many of the folks I talk to during the day, most by cell phone, some by face time, and the rest on a land line phone (slightly better quality than my cell phone, we live in a hilly area), remain resolute, happy, hopeful, and forward looking. Some of the most interesting are the veterans of foreign wars, including World War II. One and all proclaim, this is just another challenge we will survive!
One aspect of this experience that I had not planned on or even thought about, being home with my wife—our kids are grown up and have their own homes. We are two of those seniors who are supposed stay at home. We have been married 45 years in May and we have never been together this much.
It has been and continues to be a test of a concept or theory that I advocate in my retirement workshops: for those getting ready to retire, take two weeks and spend it at home with your spouse or partner—and, if you have others living with you, with those who live in your home. For many, it is an interesting experience, a peek into the future.
Interestingly, I have learned quite a bit; and, as my wife tells me, so has she. Perhaps the best part of this evolving experience, we talk more often, we do a few more things together (e.g., make dinner, watch a movie, and play games—games that we previously only played with our kids and grandkids before the Health crisis). I think we are more patient with each other, particularly since we know we are going to be doing this for some time (gee, that is what retirement is).
I also think we value the time we spend together and apart. I have an office upstairs where I spend quite a bit of each day—I still manage the Credit Union, albeit, long distance and with a very good staff. This, for me, confirms what I tell those attending a retirement workshop: develop outside interests that allow you to do some things without each other—a little space never hurts. NOTE: my outside activity is managing the Credit Union along with writing.
After this crisis, I will spend some time writing about our experiences, share those with you, and incorporate many of the lessons learned in my retirement workshops.
I do want to bring you up to date with the continuing changes we are making to help and protect both members and staff. The following are changes that we have made over the last week:
Increased the daily cash limit per member to $1,500
Increased the daily ATM limit to $750
Closed the Colton branch; it is an open floor branch where members sit directly across from the staff person who is assisting them (no glass barriers); the Riverside and Victor Valley offices remain open—they have floor to ceiling glass that protects both the member and the staff person
Reduced hours of operation in an effort to protect members and staff; we are now open 10am to 4pm—once this crisis is resolved, we will resume normal hours
The Credit Union remains open. It is here to assist you in anyway it can. If you have any questions, want to find out about loan programs that may be able to help you, or need a friendly smile over the phone, call us at 1-877-426-8767 x 2. Phone lines are busy but we are here to help you.
MORTGAGE LOAN: BEFCU’s Options related to Covid-19
At the direction of the recently passed CARES Act (i.e., the legislation recently passed in an effort to combat Covid-19 related problems) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae’s regulator, Fannie Mae offers assistance to borrowers that are impacted by Covid-19.
If you have a mortgage loan that BEFCU is servicing (you can call us at 877-426-8767 Opt. 2 to find out) and are experiencing a COVID-19 related hardship, you may be eligible for assistance, including deferment of your monthly loan payment for a minimum of 90 days or longer.
To see if you qualify, please call BEFCU and ask for Tiffany; she will ask you a few questions and send you a package to complete and return.
Once you send back a completed package, you will be notified by BEFCU within 5 (five) business days whether or not you meet eligibility requirements for a Covid-19 payment deferral or what other options may be available to you.
COVID-19 related hardships include, but are not limited to:
Reduction in regular work hours
Reduction in income
Close of Business
Illness of a borrower/co-borrower or dependent family member related to Covid-19; more specifically, a borrower, co-borrower or dependent family member is ill or quarantined and unable to work and, as a result, experiences a reduction in income that impacts the borrower’s ability to make their monthly mortgage loan payment.
Message From the CEO
March 30, 2020
I hope everyone had a restful weekend and remains safe.
The world is fighting mightily to contain and stop this health hazard (more readily known as Covid-19) that is plaguing almost every country. One can only sit, wait, hope, and wonder. The professionals continue pursuing a vaccine, antidote, cure—anything that will stop this virus in its tracts or at least help those who have been infected. They will find it; and, hopefully, very soon.
The Credit Union continues to adapt its operation to keep members and staff safe. Even before the outbreak, the Credit Union had remote operations; with the outbreak, more staff is going remote. In addition, the Credit Union continues to adjust its Branch Operations to the ongoing fight to stop the spread of the virus. Accordingly, the Credit Union has determined that the following changes need to be made to ensure that members and staff remain safe:
Branch hours will change
Beginning April 1, the Riverside and Victor Valley offices will be open from 10 am to 4 pm.
Phone hours will change
Beginning April 1, Phone hours will be from 9 am to 5 pm.
The office will close temporarily; the office will re-open when this outbreak is resolved. Members who use the Colton Branch can use the Riverside office (it is just 10 minutes away). The Branch Manager of the office is being reassigned to the Riverside office.
The Credit Union recognizes that these changes may create some inconvenience; however, the changes are being made to ensure the safety of all members and the Credit Union’s staff.
We thank you for you support and understanding. I will write everyone again near the end of the to let you how things are going.
ATM Locations by Branch
For more ATM locations near you, click here.
Message from BEFCU'S CEO- March 18, 2020
The health, safety, and well-being of our members, staff and community at large is very important. The Credit Union is doing everything it can to serve members and keep the staff well.
We are closely monitoring information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and from various federal, state and local agencies to ensure the actions we are taking are in line with the latest recommendations and guidance.
While we know some members are using our branch facilities, we strongly recommend that all members look in to how to use the Credit Union remotely. Take advantage of our online banking and Spig mobile banking features so you can accomplish all your banking needs without having to visit a branch in person. Conduct your business almost anywhere 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In addition, you can use our telephone banking service by calling 1-855-201-6849; access your account or accounts with a single phone call at any hour of the day. View other options available to you through our web page.
With these services you can:
Check Balances & Verify Transactions: Keep tabs on your account balance in real time.
Make payments on your credit cards, loans, bills, and set recurring transfers- Only available to Checking account holders- through online banking/ Bill Pay
Review statements- Online banking
Also, this may a good time to set up Bill Pay, the service that pays bills you set up automatically on preset dates, and Direct Deposit—set it up with your employer so there’s no extra trip to a branch.
And, this would also be a good time to find one or more of the over 30,000 ATMs that are available to you nationwide. Click here to get to the ATM locator page. Know where the ATMs you may need are before you need them.
Actions BEFCU is taking to keep you safe: cleaning and sanitizing our branches regularly. Continuously disinfecting surfaces that are frequent points of contact throughout the day, wearing gloves when waiting on members, opening mail, and handling cash or coin.
Actions you can take to stay safe include:
If you're 65 or older, please follow the CDC, state and local health agencies recommendations about remaining at home (use the Credit Union’s remote technology—call us for help).
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home if you are not feeling well, particularly if you have a cough, fever or shortness of breath.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
We have restricted cash withdrawal to $1,000 per day per member.
Members using a branch office must maintain a distance of six (6) feet from another member when in line. This may mean that a line will go outside. Your cooperation is required to ensure the safe and health operation of the branch.
Wait time in lines may increase as the Credit Union strives to protect the health and well being of members and staff—that means each time a member is done with their transaction, the staff member will wipe down their counter area and periodically (15 minutes to 60 minutes) will wipe down the public’s front counter.
All BEFCU branches remain open and are operating on normal business hours. If this should change for any reason, we will let you know via the website and email. Signs will be posted on the branch doors.
If you are experiencing a financial hardship, please call and talk to our Consumer Loan Manager. Explain what the hardship you are experiencing is and how long you expect it to continue.
The Credit Union will continue to update it information to you. Just click on the front screen and it should bring you here for the latest information.
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