A “Subprime” Phone Call

I got a call from a reporter at one of the Business Journals in NC this afternoon, asking about any uptick in mortgage refi’s at credit unions as a result of the subprime mortgage mess. He had already spoken with State Employees’ Credit Union and needed more information about other credit unions that were helping out, plus general information about loan delinquencies and other indicators that members might be having a hard time meeting their mortgage obligations.

The easy part of the call was referring him to NCUA and other agencies for the statistical gobbledygook. The hard part was only having one other credit union – Local Government Federal Credit Union – that I could point him to as a credit union that is helping its members deal with bad mortgages from other lenders.

It’s quite possible that I’ve missed others who want to spread the word. If so, please call me and I’d be happy to refer this reporter and future ones to you.

However if I’m not out of the loop on this, one of three things is most likely happening …

1 – Some other credit unions are helping out their members, they just aren’t talking about it openly (which is fine, but you’re missing one heck of a branding, marketing & loyalty-building opportunity for your credit union in the community);

2- Some other credit unions don’t offer mortgages (fair enough, but are there helpful resources you can bring to the table for your members who may be trapped in a bad mortgage loan? By sharing this, you can perhaps prevent a personal financial train wreck, which is another great opportunity to build member loyalty and trust);

3- Some credit unions aren’t doing anything and haven’t talked to their members about this (I know, its not a charity you’re running … but if you haven’t said anything at all about mortgages that could possibly blow up in your member’s faces, ruining their finances and hurting your bottom line in the process … what exactly are you running?).

A common complaint I heard from credit union people during the mortgage bubble the last couple of years was that members went running after the shady guys down the street because they were able to get them in a home more quickly and flexibly than the credit union.

Well now’s your chance … not to say we told you so … but how can we help?

(Edit on 11/28 to add: Carolina Postal Credit Union is currently working up a targeted mailing to members who may be trapped in risky subprime mortgages. While details are still being worked out, the credit union is going to do what it can to assist members at risk of ARM resets that could end in foreclosure. Good going, CPCU!) 

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3 Responses

  1. We have some big credit unions in our area and I don’t hear much from them. My kids are members of one of them. And kids have parents with mortgages. What an opportunity! I haven’t switched mainly because of the time to switch over all of the accounts.

    For fun, I just went and checked their website, nothing about mortgages help for members. And we live in an area that is seeing a lot of foreclosures.

    ChrisCD
    Jumbo CD Investments, Inc.

  2. Chris – thanks for stopping by and weighing in on this – hopefully more credit unions will see what they can do in this area – it is as you say a tremendous opportunity!

    Thanks again for sharing your comments – they’re always appreciated.

  3. I think many credit unions are too nice and miss the boat on trends and opportunities because they don’t want to come off as opportunistic. Or worse yet, they actually continue to be so inwardly facing, they don’t even see the opportunies.

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