Five Maine credit unions led by the Maine Credit Union League have now pledged $200,000 in no fee/no interest loans to assist some 400 homeowners and businesses impacted by the collapse of a Brunswick oil and gas supplier, it was announced Wednesday.
Disclosure of the industry's financial aid package came at a press conference conducted by Gov. Paul LePage detailing the hardships for residents of three MidCoast counties served by the family-run Thibeault Energy Co. which failed last month.
The new program, which the Maine League helped facilitate and coordinate, will offer affected consumers zero interest, no fee loans to purchase fuel.
"There's a good three months of the heating season and here we have residents wondering how they are going to come up with the funds to heat their homes," said Roger Sirois, president/CEO of the $233 million Atlantic Regional FCU, who spoke to reporters in Augusta. Other CUs in the participating group besides Atlantic Regional include Down East CU, Five County CU, Lisbon Community FCU and Midcoast FCU.
At the Tuesday briefing to announce the program, Gov. LePage congratulated the state's credit unions for "taking action to help others. I commend the Maine Credit Union League for helping to coordinate a quick response and to the credit unions for being willing to help."
John Murphy, president/CEO of the league, said, "Maine credit unions have once again shown a willingness to assist consumers and communities. This is an example of the cooperative spirit of credit unions coming together to demonstrate leadership during a crisis that has impacted a number of consumers in the Midcoast region."
The maximum on the one-year loans is $2,000."We are offering these special loans not only because there is an immediate need, but because it is the right thing to do," Sirois said.