LAS VEGAS -- Two executives whose credit unions have been hit hardest by the mortgage crisis shared some of their wisdom about mortgage loss mitigation.
The two spoke to about 50 credit union executives in a break-out session at the 2010 American Credit Union Mortgage Association conference.
George Shipman, vice president of real estate lending for the $1 billion California Credit Union told other CU mortgage executives that his credit union had not had a loss mitigation program prior to the crisis because executives didn't think it needed one. "The credit union had never foreclosed a property before the crisis," Shipman said, adding that now the CU has roughly 300 in foreclosure or other loss mitigation.
Robin Simmons, assistant vice president for real estate lending for the $2.9 billion Desert Schools Federal Credit Union agreed, noting that the credit union had not been prepared for the waves of members seeking modifications or other remedies to their mortgage problems.
The credit unions had to overcome challenges, such as finding staff with experience in loan-loss mitigation or training existing staff. Shipman told his audience that he had been given the responsibility of leading the credit union's effort because he had been the only staff member who had experience with the savings and loan crisis in the 1980s and 1990s and the measures financial institutions had to take then.
"When they asked if anyone had any experience with the RTC [Resolution Trust Corporation], and I was the only one who raised his hand, I got the job," Shipman said.