TUKWILA, Wash. -- Prime Alliance first had Fannie and now has Freddie.
Until now, Prime Alliance had an exclusive strategic agreement with Fannie Mae that goes back to 2001, when Prime Alliance was founded. The PA solution has Fannie Mae's Desktop Underwriter built in, so credit union loans are approved using a secondary market decisioning engine. That partnership has been extended to 2016.
As a result of a newly announced partnership, Prime Alliance credit unions will now have access to Freddie Mac's standard online suite of mortgage underwriting and processing tools, LoanProspector.com, as well as various specialized tools such as training opportunities and credit opportunities.
"We built a lot of who we are with Fannie Mae and have an intimate relationship with them," said Prime Alliance President/CEO Joe Brancucci, emphasizing that the company's new relationship with Freddie Mac does not change, replace or modify its partnership with Fannie Mae. "With our relationship with Freddie [Mac] we've implemented and integrated Loan Prospector, but it's a different kind of relationship than the one we have with Fannie Mae. We wanted to be sure we didn't minimize our relationship with Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac is now a second set of relationships that gives credit unions choices. It's the best of all worlds for our credit union clients."
He added, "Our objective is to offer credit unions alternatives, and we thought Freddie Mac had a number of products and services that would complement the Prime Alliance/Fannie Mae alliance."
Referring to PA's strategy of choices, Brancucci described the two types. The first is the real estate and mortgage-related services provided by Prime Alliance. Credit unions, he said, need access to CUSOs since CU competitors own many of the companies that sell services to credit unions.
To that end, Prime Alliance has formed over the past few years Prime Alliance Real Estate Services, Prime Valuation Services and Prime Alliance Loan Servicing. The second type of choice, said Brancucci, expands the ability of credit unions to lend to all members by increasing the range of products, how those products are underwritten and how they're priced. "Adding Freddie Mac's Loan Prospector to the Prime Alliance technology is an example of this kind of choice," he said.
Freddie Mac's Iliana Ghanem, vice president, community lending, said Freddie Mac's partnership with Prime Alliance means it will be able to do business with more credit unions than it could previously because of some CUs' loyalty to Prime Alliance. In addition, there are CUs that already do business with Freddie Mac that Ghanem opined may have wanted to work with Prime Alliance in the past but couldn't.
There are currently 1,460 credit unions with a Prime Alliance site either directly or indirectly through a CUSO and other aggregators. The company is doing approximately 12,000 first mortgage loans a month, and Brancucci said while that figure is "static" over 2005, the company has seen much of its refinance loan portfolio being replaced by purchase money "which in this market is a good thing."
Brancucci added, "Our relationships with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow credit unions to focus more on strategic issues and encourage innovation by both GSEs to address emerging markets and the way credit unions do business. It allows the GSEs to present choices to our credit unions that will make our clients more successful." --firstname.lastname@example.org