BOISE, Idaho – The Idaho Credit Union League will offer training May 7 aimed at bringing credit unions up to date on Idaho's paperless E-titles program. Under the program, lenders can connect through a third party computer account/mailbox to motor vehicle title information from the state Department of Transportation's network. The two third-parties involved are FDI Consulting, which serves 67 lienholders, and VINtek with 18. Currently Idaho has 86 E-Lienholders, of which 51 are credit unions, 10 are banks and 25 are other financial institutions. The state processes more than 5,600 E-Titles each month. Rick Barnes, ICUL business development specialist, notes one advantage for members is when the loan is paid off and the member is eligible for a clear title, the member doesn't have to go back and get another title. The actual cost of a paperless title is $8, and most credit unions charge $13. But since the member doesn't have to pay $8 twice – once when buying the car and a second time when the loan is repaid – the member actually saves $3. A paper title is issued when the loan is repaid. The program has been offered for five years, and Barnes has some advice for credit unions in states just getting involved. First, realize there will probably be yearly changes and credit unions will need annual updates. Idaho credit unions will be able to participate in the May 7 session in person at the ICUL office, or by conference call using a PowerPoint presentation downloaded from the Internet or ordered by mail. This year a key issue will be changes in Internet Explorer that affect the program. A second point Barnes makes is that since vehicle licensing is a state function, the program can vary from state to state. That means it can be well-accepted by lenders in one state, while those in other states won't necessarily be as enthused as the idea spreads. In Idaho, the idea has won support. "It eliminates some paper and the state loves it," Barnes says. "You can go online and look at the title just as the state has it. Most courts in this area accept a printout of an E-Title from a computer screen as proof of title in cases such as bankruptcy. "We feel comfortable with the security. It's a really good program for several reasons. It allows credit unions to monitor what's going on and look directly at what the state has. You can access it offsite from any computer. It's one less piece of paper the credit union has to handle." -

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