BALTIMORE (3/10/09)--A letter to the editor of the Baltimore Sun from a Maryland credit union CEO about extending mortgages says that as a lending institution, he would rather own a long-term 5% loan than have a bankruptcy judge cramdown a mortgage payment. Richard T. Webb, CEO of Hunt Valley, Md.-based Atlantic Financial FCU, was responding to a letter criticizing extending mortgages to 50 years or longer. The point, that such loans increase the borrower's debt is valid, Webb said but fails to consider the length of time most homeowners keep a mortgage. The average time a mortgage is held is around seven to nine years, Webb wrote, adding it would make sense to make smaller payments on a longer-term loan when the chances of staying in a house for 30 years are small. For the full letter, use the link.