Credit unions that are being approached for credit from members who have a mortgage default in their history might take some comfort from a new study from TransUnion, one of the three major credit reporting firms in the U.S.
The study found that in cases where a borrower defaulted only on their mortgage and not on other loans such as credit card, auto or others, the borrower turned out to have an overall better credit score and attitude.
The study did not find any strong evidence supporting the widely accepted "excess liquidity theory," which suggests consumers who stopped paying their mortgage loans during the recent recession had an increased cash flow in the short term, and therefore could repay other debts. In fact, consumers in the foreclosure process performed similarly, if not better, on certain accounts when they opened them further in the foreclosure process.
"There appears to be a pocket of opportunity among mortgage-only defaulters that is not the result of excess liquidity, but rather the unique circumstances of the recent recession," said Steve Chaouki, group vice president in TransUnion’s financial services business unit. "This new market segment that the recession created is an important one for lenders to understand. They have the potential, today, to be stronger and more reliable customers."