Oregon Credit Unions, CUAO Testify at State Legislature's Payday Loan Hearing
BEAVERTON, Ore. - Oregon has joined the growing list of states taking a closer look at payday lending activity and considering legislation regulating the practice. On Jan. 11, the Credit Union Association of Oregon along with credit union staff testified at a hearing called by state Rep. Debi Farr who is chair of the Business, Labor & Consumer Affairs Subcommittee on Payday Loans. The daylong hearing included representatives from the State of Oregon who regulate the payday loan industry, consumer and religious advocates, and the payday loan industry. Testifying on behalf of credit unions and the CUAO were Bob Corwin, chief operating officer First Tech CU; Rhonda Heile-Brown, vice president of branch services OSU FCU; and Pamela Leavitt, senior vice president of governmental affairs & public relations for the CUAO. CUAO and the credit unions testified on the alternative products many Oregon CUs are offering including various short-term loan products. CUAO said legislators on the committee were particularly interested in learning about the low fees and APRs offered by credit unions, as compared to the payday loan industry. According to the Associated Press, Oregon is one of 16 states that do not restrict the interest or fees that can be collected by payday lenders.