Credit unions want to continue admitting members from existing employer groups while Congress considers legislation that would overturn the Supreme Court's Feb. 25 decision that all an institution's members must share a single, common bond.

Credit union trade groups are seeking an extension of a December 1996 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that allowed credit unions to recruit members from their existing membership groups pending the high court's decision. The appeals court's ruling is to expire March 27.

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions and the Credit Union National Association are pressing the Justice Department and the National Credit Union Administration to ask for the extension. At a press briefing Monday, NAFCU officials argued that the courts should defer enforcement of the Supreme Court decision until Congress acts on pending credit union legislation.

"There are six bills on Capitol Hill that address credit union membership," said Tim Pryor, NAFCU's director of regulation and compliance. "There is a clear indication that Congress has an interest in fixing this issue before damage is done to credit union members."

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