A group of Maine credit unions led by the Maine Credit Union League has come to the aid of homeowners and businesses in three Mid-Coast counties by providing zero interest, no fee loans following the failure of a Brunswick energy firm.
The CUs pledged $200,000 to assist the 400 residents and businesses affected by last month's collapse of the family-run Thibeault Energy Co., which supplied oil and gas in the region north of Portland.
Disclosure of the CU loan package came at a press conference conducted by Gov. Paul LePage detailing the hardships for residents of the Mid-Coast area served by the firm.
Under the program, which the Maine League helped facilitate and coordinate, CUs are offering loans up to $2,000 at zero interest and no fee for 12 months 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, told reporters in Augusta.
Other CUs in the participating group beside 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 CUs "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 Mid-Coast region."
"We are offering these special loans not only because there is an immediate need, but because it is the right thing to do," said Sirois.