DALLAS (1/21/11)--With the nation’s economy still sluggish--especially in the mortgage industry--CU Members Mortgage continued to buck the trend, assisting credit unions with mortgages and keeping its home loan activity steady throughout a challenging 2010. Noteworthy 2010 statistics for CU Members Mortgage include:
* 16,300 applications produced from April through September (up from 10,500 during same period in 2009); * 150% increase in loan applications in 2010; * Increased staff from 95 in 2008 to 131 in 2010; * Signed 44 new credit union partners, 10 of which became Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-approved; and * 111 credit union partners became FHA approved in 2010.
“In the midst of last year’s application boom, we’ve watched the Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act present challenges that have increased the time necessary to process a loan,” said Linda Clampitt, senior vice president of CU Members Mortgage. “We’ve watched investor guidelines become even more conservative and documentation requirements become more demanding. We are still awaiting loan officer compensation changes under new regulatory guidelines--and don’t forget the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act is looming.” In 2009, there was focus on FHA loans becoming more available, requiring credit unions to have a partner that could help them provide FHA loans on a sponsored level. This trend continued in 2010, but with an added edge that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was eliminating loan correspondents, leading to big changes in the FHA approval process, the company said. This change became effective Jan 1. While it changed the approval process, creating a sponsored third-party program, CU Members Mortgage still actively provides FHA loans for its partners. Also in 2010, the tax credit expired, signaling the end to the incentive helping so many buyers purchase new homes--which may have been the primary motivator in the jump in mortgage applications last year, CU Members Mortgage said. As the tax credit expired, however, rates were still low, which kept refinance applications flowing. For 2011, Clampitt predicted that as the mortgage lending environment changes and becomes more rigid, specifically as the SAFE Act unfolds, staff will become experts in their field with registration and licensing, continuing education and other components. As a result, more credit unions will seek the expertise of mortgage aggregators to provide a product for both compliance and membership growth, she added.