Will CUs Seize the Opportunity?
Major mortgage lenders appear to be continuing their strategic retreat from the U.S. housing finance market, leaving credit unions with a significant opportunity that they may not be willing or able to take.
Major lenders pulling back from their mortgage operations is not particularly new. Bank of America cut its share of the U.S. mortgage market to roughly 8.5% last October when it shut down its correspondent mortgage lending program with smaller banks. Then it and other mortgage lenders made news when they laid off significant numbers of their leading loan officers and processors.
This particularly frustrates Dorsa now because there are signs the industry is starting to make real inroads into the broader mortgage market. More credit unions than ever before have been reaching out to Realtors, streamlining their mortgage programs and using them to reach out to their communities. But there are still too many CUs that are almost hiding the fact that they offer mortgage loans or are not offering them at all, Dorsa said, explaining that ACUMA discovers this anew each year when it takes a booth at the National Association of Realtors annual conference.
“Every year we routinely meet Realtors who say things like, ‘Oh, I love my credit union,’ and ‘Credit unions are great,’ but then are shocked to find out CUs offer mortgages,” Dorsa said. “‘My credit union offers mortgages? I didn't know that,’ or ‘My credit union offers mortgages? Since when?’ And it’s not just smaller credit unions, I have had members of Navy [Federal] say the same things.”