<p>FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – 2002 is only half over, but the Washington Credit Union League is already preparing for what its Senior Vice President of Government Affairs said will be a lively session. Predatory lending will be at the center of the legislative stage next year, said the league's Stacy Augustine. Four bills were introduced during the 2001-2002 session, but they were introduced too late for elected officials to take any action on. "The number of predatory lending bills that were introduced is a warning of things to come in the next legislative session," said Augustine. State Sens. Georgia Gardner (D-42) and Karen Keiser (D-33), both sponsors of predatory lending bills in the 2001-2002 session, are planning on holding hearings next year on predatory lending legislation. Augustine said she met with Gardner to discuss the issue with her and to explain to her that the Washington League wants to see predatory lending regulated, but not subprime lending. Augustine said she is concerned that some solutions that have been discussed "would be regulation burdensome to credit unions." For example, said Augustine, the idea has been proposed to require state licensing for all loan officers. Aside from predatory lending, Augustine said she expects payday lending will also be on the legislative radar screen in 2003. She said payday lenders in the state are trying to block reforms.</p>

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