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AVCU Testifies On State Cybersecurity, Lemon Law Bills
MONTPELIER, Vt. (2/19/13)--The Association of Vermont Credit Unions last week testified on two bills that could have potential impacts for state credit unions. The bills relate to cybersecurity and lemon laws.

On Wednesday, Joe Bergeron, AVCU president, testified before the 11-member House Commerce Committee on cybersecurity draft legislation put forth by the state Attorney General's office (Newslines Express Feb. 15). 

Bergeron also testified on a proposed lemon law for dealer-purchased used vehicles.

The cybersecurity legislation would require all Vermont entities in possession of confidential consumer information to have safeguards similar to those imposed on credit unions by federal and state financial regulators, including consumer notification of data breaches;

The proposal would also include a requirement to notify the Attorney General, or the Department of Financial Regulation in the case of state chartered institutions, of data breaches within their own organizations.

Credit unions would be exempt from the first provision, provided they comply with similar National Credit Union Administration mandates stemming from National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund coverage. 

Credit unions already are required to notify their state or federal regulator, dependent on charter, of security breaches of their organization, but the draft legislation would require federal charters to also notify the Vermont Attorney General.

In his testimony, Bergeron explained the regulatory oversight and practices followed by credit unions and the greater potential complexity of a financial institution breach compared with a typical merchant breach. Credit unions typically report data breaches to the financial regulator who conducts the information technology audit, he said.

The lemon-law legislation, H.165, would create a 30-day/2,000-mile warranty on used-vehicle purchases of $4,000 or more and a consumer's right of cancellation of sale or lease under certain circumstances. The law does not obligate dealers to provide a warranty, but does require documentation between the buyer and seller if none is provided. 

AVCU surveyed Vermont credit unions about the potential impact on their lending practices. Bergeron reported the results in testimony.
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