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NCUA: FCUs Exempt From Predator Laws

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA said that federally chartered credit unions are exempt from a consumer protection statute passed by the Washington D.C., council aimed at battling predatory home lenders.

In a new legal opinion letter issued to the D.C. CU League, NCUA said the District's Home Loan Protection Act of 2002 is preempted for federal credit unions by the Federal CU Act, which regulates the rates, terms of repayment and other conditions of loans and lines of credit for federally chartered credit unions.

Since there are no locally chartered credit unions, the ruling has the effect of exempting all credit unions from complying with the predatory lending statute. It is the third time in the past two years that NCUA has helped CUs skirt local consumer protection statutes through preemptive rulings, including requests to do so for federal charters challenging applications of North Carolina's anti-predatory lending statute and California's credit card disclosure law.

Man Who Held Tellers Hostage Pleads Insanity

SAN ANTONIO, Texas-A man who held two San Antonio FCU tellers hostage a year ago during a dramatic nine- hour stand-off with police will use an insanity defense even though a jury found him competent to stand trial last month. A defense attorney for Paul Wiseman said during opening arguments Wednesday that Wiseman was at the credit union dressed in commando gear with several guns to commit suicide not rob the credit union. "Paul Wiseman did not go to the bank to hurt anyone," defense attorney Angus McGinty told jurors. "He went to the bank to commit suicide by cop." McGinty recalled how Wiseman, who shot himself in the shoulder before surrendering to police, had lost a malpractice case days before the incident and had been suffering excruciating arm and neck pain from a worker's injury which drove him to abuse narcotics. "Paul Wisemen was at the end of his rope," the defense lawyer declared. "He couldn't live with the pain anymore." Prosecutors portrayed a different picture described in his confession to police later that day. They said Wiseman never mentioned wanting to kill himself and that he initially considered attacking an Exxon station but turned away in the fear the gas station clerk might be armed. Wisemen's defense lawyer asked that the confession be inadmissible but the judge let it be entered as evidence.

US Central Sells $350M In Notes

WALL STREET-U.S. Central CU said last week it sold $350 million in non-callable five-year global notes. The 2.75% notes were sold at 99.616 to yield 2.833%, or 48 basis points over Treasuries. Citigroup was the lead underwriter.

CU In Affordable Housing Plan

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.-Members of Fort Campbell FCU will get assistance in buying a new home under a new program piloted by Fannie Mae and a local affordable housing group. Fannie has agreed to buy up to $5-million of mortgages with no down payments under its new Home Front Mortgage program. Under the program Affordable Housing Resources, a non-profit organizations based in Nashville, will lend borrowers funds to cover closing costs.

Failed 'Bomber' Is Sentenced

PORTERVILLE, Calif.-Gilbert Rodriguez, 56, pleaded no contest to a failed robbery at El Futuro CU here and was sentenced l to 16 months in prison. Although he also left behind a purported bomb, additional charges of making a bomb threat and being armed with a purported bomb were dismissed.

He walked out of the credit union without any money but left the bag behind.

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