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Cornerstone CUs in Oklahoma Enjoy Successful Legislative Session
Friday, May 30, 2014 6:30 AM

Credit unions in Oklahoma enjoyed a successful legislative session this year. When lawmakers adjourned last Friday they had approved the vast majority of initiatives supported by the Oklahoma Credit Union Association – a subsidiary of the Cornerstone Credit Union League.

According to Nate Webb, president of the Oklahoma Credit Union Association, the passage of SB0582 was among the major accomplishments this session. The bill was approved overwhelmingly in both chambers, and addresses long-standing problems in Oklahoma’s Title 42 possessory lien process.

“For years, loopholes in current law have been exploited to the detriment of credit unions, banks and financial institutions,” Webb says.

Specifically, SB0582 was designed to address the questionable business practices among the state’s tow truck operators. Oklahoma credit unions have reported a growing number of instances in which operators will tow a vehicle and store it without timely notification to the lien holder.

“In cases where notification was not sent in a timely manner, storage fees accrued, and in many of these instances, the cost of retrieving the car ended up being more than the collateral was worth,” notes Webb. “Other cases resulted in costly litigation.”

The measure was the product of two years of contentious negotiation with the Oklahoma Wreckers Association. Although association representatives were at the negotiating table throughout the process, their membership ultimately opted to actively oppose final passage.

Governor Fallin has yet to sign the bill; however, Webb says it looks promising that she will.

This is the first legislative session in which Oklahoma’s advocacy efforts enjoyed additional resources available as a result of the three-state consolidation creating the Cornerstone Credit Union League.

“The synergy and expertise now available were a major component of this year’s success at the Oklahoma State Capitol,” adds Webb.