ACUMA Seeks to Navigate a New Path for CUs Through Unfamiliar Terrain
LAS VEGAS -- The American Credit Union Mortgage Association wanted attendees at its 2010 annual conference to walk away with two convictions. First, that the ongoing changes that are moving through the U.S. mortgage market in the past two years have created opportunities for credit union mortgage lenders. Second, credit unions need to educate themselves and change their mortgage operations to seize those opportunities.
"Attendees will go away with a solid grasp of the pulse of the market," said ACUMA President Bob Dorsa. "They will understand the kinds of mortgage loans consumers need, the kinds of consumers who are in need, and the most profitable ways to deliver the products and best serve consumer needs."
Tom Millon, CEO of the Capital Markets Cooperative, a firm that helps credit unions and other financial institutions manage risk while marketing their mortgages in the secondary markets, reassured CU executives that that there is still a market for high quality jumbo mortgage loans.
Jumbo mortgage loans are those which are too large to conform to the mortgage underwriting guidelines used by secondary mortgage market. They have widely been perceived to have fallen out of favor as real estate prices have declined and the secondary market for mortgages that do not conform to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines shrank dramatically.
Teresa Bryce, CEO of Philadelphia-based Radian Guaranty, a leading private mortgage insurer, told the conference that the bulk of foreclosed and otherwise distressed properties continued to impact the overall market for both refinanced and new mortgage loans.
Bryce said the large volume of mortgage refinances that many CUs are seeing only constitutes a "boomlet" compared to previous refinance market surges and said that fully 46% of property sales so far this year have been of foreclosed or otherwise distressed properties.
Following Bryce, Jim Gillespie, CEO of Coldwell Banker, one of the nation's largest real estate firms, gave a spirited defense of that home buyer tax credit and an overall optimistic view of the real estate and mortgage markets.
Gillespie told CU executives that while he did not defend all the spending decisions the federal government made, the new home buyer tax credit had been a wise expenditure.