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AUSTIN, Texas – With the approval of Proposition 16 by Texas voters in September, the Texas Credit Union Commission was granted the power to issue interpretations on home equity lending provisions found in Section 50, Article XVI of the Texas Constitution. The likelihood of interpretations being made before year-end is unlikely, however, as proper procedures for requesting an interpretation must be formalized first. The Texas Credit Union Department is currently drafting procedures for requesting an interpretation. Staff anticipates presenting the draft to the Commission for deliberation and possible approval for publication on October 23. Once published, and following a 30-day comment period, the Commission can consider the procedures for adoption at its next scheduled meeting on December 18. Until the Credit Union Commission adopts formal procedures for handling interpretation requests, the Department is not empowered to accept any requests, according to Department officials. Credit unions are reminded that authority to issue home equity interpretations rests solely with the Credit Union Commission. Neither the Commissioner nor Department staff can provide guidance, opinions or potential interpretations of the home equity lending provisions in the Texas Constitution. Credit unions are encouraged to seek the advice of their legal counsel on such matters. The Department will notify credit unions when the Commission formally adopts any home equity lending interpretation. -

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