The $517 million Memphis Area Teachers Credit Union, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., is testing a program it hopes will move real estate it owns into the hands of financially disadvantaged members.
The "Home Run" program will allow financially stable members who nonetheless have poor credit histories, an inability to obtain mortgage financing and lack a down payment to purchase the real estate owned by the CU. According to the credit union's September Call Report, MATCU has foreclosed and repossessed on 34 real estate loans worth $1.8 million.
Members in the program will rent one of the MATCU owned homes for two years, making regular monthly payments, and attend a financial education course offered by the RISE Foundation, a noted Memphis area housing organization. At the end of the two year period, the CU will sell the property they have been renting for less than its tax assessed value and apply the members' two years of rent as down payment.
"The goal for this program is to get good people, who may have had some financial troubles in the past, into a nice and affordable home," said Daniel Weickenand, CEO of MATCU. "This will stabilize communities by putting ownership back into the hands of our neighbors."
"We believe that education plus incentives equals success," said Linda Williams, president/CEO of RISE. "Our financial literacy programs already provide the education; this program will provide the incentive that leads to a successfully rebuilt Memphis housing market."