4 Things on the Minds of Housing Finance Executives: Reporter's Notebook
More than 340 credit union housing finance executives came together in Las Vegas for the 16th annual conference of the American Credit Union Mortgage Association on Sept. 24-27.
As a group they represent the heart of an industry which has attained an historic degree of success but which remains subject to an uncertain future that may be largely shaped by others' choices.
2. Acceptance. The past three ACUMA meetings have been characterized by high degrees of anxiety about the economy, but this year many executives appeared to feel more acceptance of the slow economic progress and less anxiety about it.
“I think many credit unions have already adopted it into their planning, their underwriting and their marketing,” said William Emmons, chief economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
3. Anxiety. But while worry among housing finance executives about the economy appeared to have dissipated somewhat, active anxiety about two significant regulatory changes had increased significantly. The concerns split into two distinct halves.
First, concern about the wave of new regulations coming from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, what they might cost and how they might change the credit union's ability to help consumers. Second, worry about the still-unknown shape a reformed secondary mortgage market and what rules it may have.
4. Optimism. Despite the lagging economy, worries about new regulations and concerns that selling mortgages might become more difficult in the future, housing finance executives remained optimistic about the future of credit union housing finance.
Many reflected on the fact that credit unions became authorized to offer mortgage loans in 1977, only 35 years ago, and yet over those years credit unions have managed to capture more than 8% of the national mortgage market and have come to dominate in some metropolitan areas.