New York credit unions as well as banks may be getting a break soon from "spam-driven" subpoenas issued by collection lawyers and other creditors under a bill winning final clearance in the New York Assembly Wednesday and now headed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk.
The bill, endorsed by the Credit Union Association of New York, would toughen guidelines for serving data information subpoenas on CUs. In recent years credit unions have complained of being inundated with “hundreds and hundreds” of writs piling up in CU offices.
“This is an important step in the efforts of credit unions to curb the onslaught of subpoenas sent to credit unions daily in search of debtors who don’t even qualify for credit union membership,” said Michael Lanotte, CUANY senior vice president/general counsel. “It has been the association’s top legislative priority this year.”
The bill would require creditors to keep records of their good-faith basis determinations for sending information subpoenas. It would also authorize the imposition of civil penalties against creditors that fail to keep such records and allow CUs to sue creditors that send out 50 or more information subpoenas in a month without appropriate record keeping.
CUANY pointed out that an existing 2006 law dealt with the issue on debtor records but CUs still ended up receiving “hundreds and hundreds of requests daily causing them to unnecessarily redirect staff and resources to respond to these subpoenas.” In many cases, the individuals named in the writs were not even members.