The 2019 session of the Indiana General Assembly has moved past the halfway point, and things are beginning to heat up on top issues like the budget, hate crimes legislation and payday lending. As the session started in January, legislators filed more than 1,300 bills. As we reached the end of February deadlines, only 419 bills survived through to the second half of session. Legislators are required under the Indiana Constitution to finish by April 29, but with that being a Monday this year, we look for things to wrap up on April 26. There are still several issues of interest to credit unions that the League will be pursuing as session continues.
Improvements to Uniform Consumer Credit Code
This legislation remains the League’s top priority. After passing the House in January by a vote of 76-21, the bill now moves to the Senate where
Senator Andy Zay (R-Huntington)
is taking the lead in shepherding the bill. The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee on March 20. The League has already held meetings with all nine committee members, including Chairman
Eric Bassler (R-Washington)
, and has received positive feedback from all of them. HB 1136 calls for a summer study committee to review the full UCCC and would:
- Change the existing UCCC “transaction charge” to allow a fee of the greater of $10 or 2%. Currently, the limit is the lesser of $10 or 2%. The most common application of the “transaction charge” is for credit card balance transfer and cash advance fees.
- Increase the allowable delinquency charge from $19 to $25. It also would remove this from the indexing process that results in an amount that changes every two years with the Consumer Price Index.
- Make improvements to a complicated provision of the UCCC called the “current installment rule” that creates confusion for lenders trying to post delinquent loan payments and collect the appropriate delinquency charge.
Do Not Call List – HB 1123
Rep. Jeff Ellington (R-23)
introduced HB 1123 to make a few minor changes to the “do not call” statute. During the initial House committee hearing on the bill, an amendment was added to the bill that would provide financial institutions with an exemption from the “do not call” statute that would parallel the exemption under federal law. HB 1123 now includes language that would give financial institutions the chance to call current customers by exempting calls made by a financial institution made to a consumer with whom the financial institution has "an established business relationship" as defined under the federal "do not call" regulations. It would be a major victory if this provision remains in the bill, and the League continues to work with others to try to keep it there. HB 1123 passed the House unanimously, and so far, there has not been opposition voiced in the Senate. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Utilities Committee, and Chairman
Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis)
has indicated that he supports the bill. We will continue to work on the bill and support it when it is scheduled for a hearing.
The League remains engaged in issues related to vehicle towing, Legacy Trusts and title searches for judgement liens and will be closely watching the budget discussions for any implications for credit unions.
Co-op Day at the Statehouse
Representatives from credit unions and the League joined cooperative businesses from throughout Indiana for the Co-op Day at the Indiana Statehouse on March 4. The showcase made it possible for cooperative businesses to interact with legislators during their workday. Several members of the Indiana General Assembly stopped by to visit with credit union representatives. The event was organized by the Indiana Cooperative Development Center.