Sandretto Successfully Defends Credit Union
While numerous federal laws exist to regulate the consumer lending market, these laws cannot be used to negate the requirement that a duly executed loan be repaid. In a nutshell, that is the outcome of a recent federal court decision where Eastman & Smith member Mark W. Sandretto successfully represented the defendant credit union.
The plaintiff obtained a vehicle loan from the credit union over a year before the case was filed. A few months after receiving the loan, the plaintiff missed several payments. Plaintiff claimed to be entitled to rescind the loan agreement and, after continued non-payment, the credit union repossessed the vehicle. The plaintiff filed suit against the credit union alleging violations of, among others, the federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA), the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, and Title 42 of the United State Code, section 1983 (42 USC 1983).
In granting judgment to the credit union, the Court concluded that:
- plaintiff was not entitled to recission or damages under TILA, as the former claim was not an available remedy and the latter claim was barred by the applicable statute of limitations.
- plaintiff could not enforce a claimed violation of the CFPA by private right of action.
- despite their federal charter, federal credit unions are not state actors and, hence, have no liability for actions taken to repossess collateral under either the U.S. Constitution or 42 USC 1983.
Should you have any questions regarding these laws or this decision, please contact Mr. Sandretto. His practice focuses on assisting lenders, credit unions, small and medium sized businesses, insurers and their insureds in litigated matters.