SECU Involved in Anti-Foreclosure Effort
The credit union has joined the Center for Responsible Lending, an affiliate of the $349 million Self Help Credit Union, the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks and Capital Broadcasting Corp. to launch the "Fight N.C. Foreclosure" media effort.
The media campaign will use public service announcements to highlight the state's Home Foreclosure Prevention Project, bringing to North Carolinians an awareness of resources available to prevent foreclosures, the credit union said in an announcement. The project aims to significantly increase the percentage of N.C. homeowners who save their homes and also prevent consumers from becoming victims of foreclosure scams, especially scams affecting those with subprime mortgages.
In February, SECU launched a mortgage assistance program which offers members an opportunity to meet in person with a senior officer of SECU and develop an individualized financial plan if the member has concerns about future payments on an SECU mortgage.
Options in MAP include mortgage loan extensions, mortgage loan modifications or refinances, and partial payment alternatives. Budgeting, financial counseling and debt restructuring are also part of the MAP initiative-all without cost to the member, SECU reported.
Susan Lupton, senior policy associate with the Center for Responsible Lending said, "We estimate that one out of every 12 mortgageholders in North Carolina will face foreclosure between now and 2013 unless drastic steps are taken to reverse the trend. The 'Fight N.C. Foreclosure' outreach campaign will hopefully make a tremendous difference in educating those who so desperately need the help to stay in their homes. We are extremely pleased to have State Employees' Credit Union as a partner on this campaign."
Mark Pearce, deputy commissioner with the Office of the N.C. Commissioner of Banks added, "Foreclosures don't have to happen. Even if our state's citizens have experienced hard times, they may be able keep their home if they take advantage of available resources. North Carolina has a network of free counselors and partners like State Employees' Credit Union."
Phil Greer, senior vice president of SECU's loan administration department pointed out that SECU was determined to help even though it never made any subprime loans. "State Employees' Credit Union understands the importance of helping members improve their financial lives-it's the mission of SECU." He added that "even if our cooperative was not part of the subprime debacle, we must help to educate all North Carolinians on the resources available to them during these difficult economic times."
Wings Financial FCU
Flocks to State Charter
Members of the $2.2 billion Wings Financial Federal Credit Union voted "overwhelmingly" to change from a federal to a Minnesota state credit union charter.
Members voted on Aug. 27, according to the Apple Valley, Minn.-based credit union. The change will allow Wings Financial to continue focusing on its core national air transportation field of membership while expanding its field of membership to include anyone living or working in the 13-county Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, the credit union said.
Calls to Wings Financial for an exact count of members who voted for or against the conversion were not returned. According to Wings Financial's Web site (www.wingsfinancial.com), thousands of members participated in the voting process. The credit union serves 123,000 members worldwide. Wings Financial said it would not be able to accept member applications until final steps are taken in the conversion process.
This is not the first time Wings Financial has expanded its field of membership. Founded in 1938 to serve Northwest Airlines, in 2004, it was approved for a trade, industry and profession charter to serve the entire air transportation industry.
Study: More Consumers
Slip Into Lower Credit
The pool of Americans who would qualify for prime or super prime credit is steadily shrinking while the percentage of Americans who have to take subprime and so called "deep subprime" loans has increased, according to a recent study.
The credit bureau Experian commissioned the research firm Oliver Wyman to conduct the study.
"Our analysis further indicated that while loan originations increased by 38% from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009, driven primarily by a mortgage refinancing wave, the increase was limited to the most creditworthy consumers," said Charles Chung, Experian's senior vice president and general manager at the credit bureau.
The study also found that lenders are continuing to manage their risk exposure by aggressively reducing credit lines on revolving loans such as bank cards. Over the last 12 months, bank card credit lines have declined from $3.8 trillion to $3.1 trillion, a 17% decline.
In addition, the firms produced a report on what it called "strategic defaulters," borrowers who default on their mortgages only because the value of their home has declined well below their mortgage balance.
In conducting the analysis, Wyman developed a way to estimate the number of strategic defaulters and also uncovered several trends that can provide important direction for the evolution and enhancement of loan modification programs.
For instance, the analysis revealed that those in the super prime and prime credit score categories are 50% more likely to engage in strategic default than those with lower credit scores, the report said.
Furthermore, in studying the distressed borrower population the firms added they have uncovered a segment of borrowers that closely mimics strategic defaulters but would be favorable candidates for loan modification, called "cash-flow managers." Unlike strategic defaulters, these borrowers continue to make occasional payments on their mortgage, indicating their intention to get out of delinquency, the firms said.
"While 60% of strategic defaulters are charged off within six months after serious delinquency, one-third of cash-flow managers cure on their mortgage within six months after serious delinquency and another third remain less than 90 days past due," said Piyush Tantia, a partner in the retail and business banking practice at Oliver Wyman.
"Therefore, cash flow managers represent the borrowers who would make the best candidates for loan modification offers. The impact to businesses that successfully identify and address the two segments can be significant."