FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (2/4/14)--Following a merger in 2013, the Cornerstone Credit Union League will monitor spring legislative activity in three states--Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The Oklahoma Legislature convened Monday, and is scheduled to meet through May. The Cornerstone league is closely monitoring two bills in particular, said Tom Haider, executive vice president and chief advocacy officer at the league.
One bill would change a state law to require towing companies to lien holders when a vehicle is towed. "What has happened in some situations is that vehicle will sit in storage and rack up tremendous storage fees, and by the time the lender finds where the vehicle is, it's no longer cost effective to recover the vehicle," Haider told News Now. "What we're hoping to do is amend that law to put an affirmative duty on anybody who takes possession of a vehicle to notify the lien holder."
Another bill would allow lien holders to represent themselves in small claims court on defaulted loans. Under current law, credit unions must take claims into full court where full legal representation is required. In small claims court, the credit union can be represented by an employee, such as a loan manager.
In 2014, the Texas legislature will not hold a regular session. The legislature meets in January during odd-numbered years.
"In off years, they hold a lot of interim hearing and conduct studies on major issues," Haider said. "For example, this year they might hold a hearing on data security as a result of the Target breach."
The Arkansas General Assembly's will hold a fiscal session, from Feb. 10 to early March, to settle the state's $5 billion budget.
In odd-number years the Arkansas General Assembly meets for regular sessions where any type of bill can be filed. In even-number years the assembly convenes for fiscal sessions.
"There really won't be anything coming up that will have any impact on credit unions, but we will certainly monitor the session," Haider said.