Clipping The Wings Of Credit Unions?

A U.S. court ruling could bar nonemployee members

Mike Parleir needed only $5,000 more for a downpayment on a house in Asheboro, N.C., two years ago. But none of the area banks would touch him, even though his $50,000 salary from a food distributor was high by local standards. The reason: Parleir's own seafood eatery had ended up in bankruptcy in 1992. So Parleir turned instead to the credit union available through his employer--the AT&T Family Federal Credit Union based in nearby Winston-Salem. "I'm pretty loyal to them," says Parleir. "When I needed help, they were the only ones who came to my defense."

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