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CUs mortgage services still have hurdles
NORWALK, Conn. (3/28/12)--One out of five consumers don't know where to turn when shopping for a mortgage, according to a recent survey by FreeScore.com.

When asked, "If you were apply for a home loan, which type of institution do you trust the most?" more than 20% of respondents selected "none of the above" when asked to choose among a credit union, bank or mortgage broker.

"This sentiment could reflect the negative public opinion that still remains following the well-publicized housing and credit market collapse, and the subsequent spate of defaults and foreclosures that have been plaguing consumers," FreeScore.com said in a press release.

This could also be an example of collateral damage--credit unions didn't cause the housing crisis but they have been affected by it in consumer perceptions.

And while credit unions are making many mortgage loans, and have received positive media coverage for their member service, they still have hurdles to clear when consumers consider where to shop for their mortgages.

In applying for a home loan, about 30% of respondents said they would trust a credit union most, while about 33% of respondents said they would trust a bank.

In December 2006, credit unions had originated 1,454,340 mortgage loans for a total of $164 billion, according to Credit Union National Association Research & Statistics Department. In December 2011, credit unions had originated 1,824,471 mortgages for a total of $236 billion.

Mortgage bankers and government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) such as Fannie Mae were least trusted by consumers, with about 8% of consumers saying they trust mortgage brokers and about 7% trusting GSEs.


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