Credit Unions Getting Inquiries on Obama Mortgage Relief Plan
Other credit unions report interest as well, though they say that they've been proactive in seeking out members they think need help, even before the Obama plan was in place.
"We've had about a dozen people talk to us because they are having problems. Some we could help, but others we couldn't because they had credit card or other debt,'' said David Klavitter, senior vice president for marketing/public affairs at the 54,000-member Dupaco Community Credit Union in Dubuque, Iowa.
Jack Gaffney, Navy Federal's executive vice president for lending, said the vast majority of the inquiries have been from members interested in refinancing.
He said most of the mortgage changes would be a drop of one or two percentage points and that "will make a difference for members who are having difficulties because of the economy.''
On the Web site of the 3.1 million-member credit union, there is a self-assessment for members to take to determine whether they would be eligible for the Obama administration's plan and what other options might be available.
He said that the rules on mortgage modifications are very complicated, and they are still getting guidance from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. By contrast, he noted that the rules about refinancing are more straightforward.
Under the Obama administration's plan, the loan rate would be capped for the life of the loan and the goal of rewriting the terms of the mortgage is to reduce the percentage of income a family pays for its mortgage to 31%.
Participation in the program is voluntary, but the government is providing financial incentives for loan servicers to participate.
The plan also allows homeowners to refinance their mortgages so they can get a mortgage worth 105% of the home's current value if they owe more than the home is currently worth. The Obama administration estimated that its loan-modification plan that could affect between three million and four million homeowners and a plan to help between four million and five million homeowners refinance their homes.
Not all credit unions have received inquiries about the plan.
Sandy Lingerfelt, president/CEO of Clinchfield Federal Credit Union in Erwin, Tenn., said none of its members have asked about the Obama plan, but they are proactive in reaching out to members. They refinanced 83 mortgages last year.
John Graham, president/CEO of Kentucky Employees Credit Union in Frankfort, said he has "been kind of surprised'' that nobody in his 7,700-member credit union has inquired about either part of the Obama plan.