My Kind of Town?

October 7, 2019 at 9:23 am Leave a comment

Chicago’s taxi medallion industry is in even worse shape than New York’s, and New Yorkers are to blame. That’s my synopsis of a lengthy article by the New York Times published over the weekend, in which the Times details the dramatic rise and fall of Chicago’s taxi medallion industry, which has caused hundreds of people, many of whom are drivers, to declare bankruptcy. Furthermore, the paper continues to argue that the investment and lending practices which caused medallions to inflate was so reckless and predatory that the loans would have collapsed with or without the rise of Uber and Lyft.

As with the previous article on New York’s taxi medallion industry, the practices of certain credit unions, as well as banks and other lenders, is a part of the story. “As prices rose, lenders flocked to Chicago. Three credit unions that had long provided loans to most New York medallion buyers all came, along with new players in the industry, including Actors Federal Credit Union from New York. So did bigger institutions such as Capital One. Medallion Financial, the Manhattan company, expanded its presence in Chicago.”

The First Monday in October

It’s that time of year again. The Supremes are back in session. Although this promises to be an extremely high profile session, with cases on abortion and immigration to be decided by June, so far, there isn’t much that directly impacts your credit union on the agenda.

A colleague of mine who is also a regular reader of this blog recently predicted that credit unions will be facing an increasing number of ERISA lawsuits. As a result, one of the cases that I will be keeping an eye on is Thole v. U.S. Bank, in which the Court will decide whether a participant in a defined benefit pension plan has standing to sue the plan’s fiduciary for alleged mismanagement, where the plan in question is overfunded. This might not seem like the most relevant question- okay, it’s not- but credit unions are being subjected to more and more ERISA related lawsuits, and the question of who can bring these lawsuits and when is important.

A second case, which the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on today, will answer the question of whether Title XII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation. Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda is a consolidation of lawsuits brought in New York and Georgia. The case is particularly important for those of you who work in states that don’t prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as a matter of state law. For those of us in New York, the case is an interesting example of the interplay between New York’s Human Rights Law and federal protections.

Entry filed under: HR, Legal Watch, New York State. Tags: , , , , , .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., Senior Vice President, General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association. In addition, although Henry strives to give his readers useful and accurate information on a broad range of subjects, many of which involve legal disputes, his views are not a substitute for legal advise from retained counsel.

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