CU Members Mortgage is one of the largest for-profit providers of mortgage services for credit unions turns 30 years old this year and said it stands ready to enter its next decade armed with the latest in mortgage origination and servicing technology.
“Obviously, in this business using technology to help streamline the process is way to go,” said David Motley, president of CU Members Mortgage. “We look forward to adding and implementing technology to improve the mortgage process for our credit union clients and their members.”
CU Members Mortgage began life in 1982 as a division of Colonial Savings, itself a 30-year-old firm at that time that began life as Fort Worth Mortgage but changed its name in 1972 after it acquired Colonial Savings. For the first 11 years of its existence, the fact that it was a division of Colonial Savings meant little. The firm did not break out its credit union business from its regular retail mortgage origination, according to Linda Clampitt, senior vice president with the firm. But in its first year, CU Members Mortgage originated one mortgage loan on behalf of the Schlumburger Employees Credit Union for less than $100,000.
Segregating the credit union business more distinctly into its own part of the firm’s operations allowed Colonial Savings to focus more closely on meeting unique credit union needs for high-touch service and high degrees of member and borrower communication, Clampitt explained. And history has validated the move, she added. As of this year, CU Members Mortgage has 175 employees, 1,224 credit union clients with a combined membership of 20 million and combined assets of $178 billion.
The firm closed more than $14 billion in home loans for credit union members in 2011 and saw its credit union business account for fully 52% of its total mortgage originations last year.
In the wake of the financial crisis and the resulting wave of mortgage regulations, which have not yet run their course, the firm launched four different ways credit unions could become the firm’s clients. The options range from a level where the firm provides mortgage consultant who take the mortgage applications, process the loans, underwrite them, close them and then service them to a level where a credit union does all the origination work except underwriting and then sells the loan to CU Members Mortgage.
While from the outside it might appear that the full-service option was one smaller credit unions would opt for automatically, Clampitt reported that credit unions of all asset sizes were the firm’s clients who used that option. The determinate of which CU used the full service option had more to do with how the CU wanted to handle mortgages, whether it wanted to put the staff and other resources into having its own mortgage department or outsource the work, Clampitt explained.