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Washington
Legal opinion covers CU directorrealtor conflicts
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/22/11)--Current lending rules allow volunteer credit union directors, but not paid officials, to represent a member as a real estate agent in the sale of the member’s home, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) said in a recent legal opinion letter. The letter, which was written by NCUA Associate General Counsel Hattie Ulan, specifically responded to a situation in which a director represented a member that faced foreclosure by the first mortgage lender and was in default on a home equity loan that they had obtained from the given credit union. Ulan said that the volunteer director “may receive a commission from an outside party for selling property secured by a loan made by the [credit union,] absent any steering of the borrower to the director’s business interests." Specifically, the NCUA has stated that directors may not receive, directly or indirectly, “any commission, fee or other compensation in connection with any loan made by the credit union.” Listing or selling a property that is financed by the credit union is considered to be “‘in connection with’ the loan” by the NCUA. However, volunteer officials are granted “an exception” to this rule, “provided that no referral has been made by the credit union or the official.” Ulan said that the agency “adopted the exception so as not to discourage volunteers from serving on boards or interfere with their livelihoods.” For the full legal opinion letter, use the resource link.
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