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TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

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CU System
SECU mortgage assistance programs reduce foreclosures
RALEIGH, N.C. (10/22/10)--Six one hundredths of one percent--.06%--is a low number that is making a big difference for State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) members as it represents the minimal increase SECU has experienced in the number of foreclosures compared to total mortgage loans over the past five years. Even as the economy in North Carolina and the country continues to suffer, SECU has managed to keep member foreclosures low due to its member-friendly Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) – an initiative that has already helped over 7,000 North Carolina families remain in their homes. Implemented in early 2009, MAP was created to assist members facing job loss or a reduction in work hours, by providing foreclosure prevention options which include mortgage extensions, modifications, refinances and partial payment alternatives. Budgeting, financial counseling and overall debt restructuring are also included as part of the comprehensive MAP initiative. Proof of the program’s success was noted at year-end 2009, when just 179 SECU foreclosures were filed for the year out of 121,625 loans in the SECU mortgage portfolio. The overall SECU foreclosure ratio is less than two-tenths of one percent of mortgages outstanding. SECU reports that the low foreclosure trend at SECU continues in 2010, as staff members remain committed to helping members develop workout plans for any delinquent mortgages. Spencer Scarboro, senior vice president of mortgage lending, said, “…Bad things do happen to good people! That’s why SECU is committed to exhausting every possible option to keep members in their homes and foreclosures at a minimum. It is the right thing to do for the member--prudent and compassionate--and the financially responsible course for their credit union cooperative.”
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