Yesterday, Scott Simpson, Spencer Stokes, and myself were caught up in several meetings regarding our bill.
The auto-dealer association representatives acted like we handed them a bill that included dozens of new regulations and laws. As was explained to them in a lengthy “get together” yesterday; that is hardly the case. This is a simple piece of legislation that would do exactly these four things:
Increase the bond (so the ability for a bank or a credit union to get back some of the losses taken when a dealership goes under), protect the position of the lien holder (lawsuits are currently in process that are giving the legal rights of ownership of a vehicle to the third party owner—not the lien-holding financial institution), stop the practice of “powerbooking” (the situation where a dealer misrepresents the make or model or details of a vehicle to increase the value of the automobile), and improves technical issues that are designed to reduce risk exposure to credit unions.
While this isn’t another banker fight (quite the opposite on that front actually; the banks are with us on this one!), this is an important step for the credit union movement in Utah. We are taking a proactive approach in protecting credit unions from taking unnecessary losses. We’re fighting crooks. The ideas we have and the actions we are taking will not completely jive with some in the auto-dealer industry, not because they are crooks but because they have to protect their industry as well.
I feel it is so important that people within the credit union movement are aware that we are on the ground, working to improve the environment here in Utah. The legislative process takes time and a lot of effort on several fronts. The end result may not be what we originally planned for, however, we are going to get a bite of the apple.
Sorry for the rant, but just wanted you to know what’s shakin’ up here on the hill. I’ll keep you posted!