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Hearing set on Wisconsin auto dealers lawsuit
MADISON, Wis. (12/11/08)--A hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 16 in a lawsuit brought by a Wisconsin auto dealers trade against the state credit union regulator over an agreement it made with a credit union to divest its auto sales business (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Dec. 9). The Wisconsin Automobile and Truck Dealers Association had petitioned the Dane County Circuit Court to overturn an agreement made by the state Office of Credit Unions. The agreement gave Racine-based Educators CU (ECU) 18 months to divest its auto sales business unless a state law regulating vehicle sales by credit unions is changed before then. The business involved is Educators Auto & Lease, which is a division of ECU Financial Services. It provides used-car sales, new- and used-car leases, and new-car referral services (News Now Dec. 3). The Department of Justice, which is handling the defense of the Office of Credit Unions, has asked that the dealers association lawsuit be dismissed. The regulator, Suzanne Cowan, earlier this year ruled that retail auto sales by credit unions aren’t allowed under the state statute. The situation was prompted by a complaint from an unknown auto dealer in the area about Educators CU’s auto sales. The dealers association filed a complaint saying the credit union charter doesn’t allow credit unions to offer auto sales service (News Now Nov. 4).
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