IRVING, Texas -- The steady drumbeat for credit unions to seize the opportunity to boost their mortgage market share is resonating throughout the country as CU specialists organize smaller groups to capture member real estate loans.
One successful example of a CUREN (for credit union real estate network) is the Texas group headed by Janice Sheppard, who is VP of mortgage lending for Southwest Airlines Federal Credit Union in nearby Dallas. Sheppard is freshly returned from the ACUMA conference in Las Vegas where she won an award for bringing in three new CU members to the fold. Sheppard is the president of Texas CUREN, which has almost as many total members as ACUMA itself (over 200).
The Texas CUREN Mortgage Symposium will take place on Oct. 17 at the Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport, and Sheppard said that already some 60 attendees have registered. "The Texas CU League's Lone Star Ledger just ran an announcement, so I think we'll pick up another 15 or so attendees. Either way, it'll be close to a full house, Texas style," said Sheppard.
Tom Glatt, president/CEO of Continental Airlines Federal Credit Union will do a keynote and Freddie Mac Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts, PhD, will provide an economic outlook. There will also be presentations on underwriting, escrow analysis and mortgage fraud.
Sheppard related that Texas hasn't suffered as heavily in the real estate downturn as some others have, particularly Florida, Arizona and parts of California. "Texas is very protective and our economy has been holding up well. We have low taxes and homes are still affordable by most standards. We don't have that 30% appreciation but we do see solid 5%-7% appreciation in home values. Because Southwest Airlines FCU does mortgage lending in all the states where we have hubs we're looking at our portfolio carefully. And now is a good time for this CUREN meeting.
"We think of ourselves as a min-ACUMA in many ways," said Sheppard. "We get together quarterly to use educational tools, hear presentations from experts and have special guest speakers. This is for credit unions of all sizes. We want to expand out touch with vendors resources to help us do more mortgage lending."
For more information contact Sue Rogers at 800-356-5239.