CU Companies reported this week that its servicing department has noticed a steady trend of decreasing delinquency loans occurring in the last six months within its entire mortgage portfolio, and is touting the trend as an indicator that economic recovery is under way.
The New Brighton, Minn., mortgage CUSO’s portfolio includes loans from its correspondent lending and retail lending programs, which are available to credit unions in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, the company said.
"In May, our delinquency ratio was the lowest it has been since 2008, coming in at 1.68%," said Kathleen Nystrom, loan servicing manager for CU Companies. "While these numbers can also be attributed to the fact that our portfolio continues to grow, our borrowers seem to be in a better place financially. We have seen fewer loans being referred to foreclosure and more workout plans being successfully completed."
Nystrom encourages credit unions affiliated with CU Companies to continue working with the CUSO and borrowers when hardships arise by considering workout plans, modifications and short sales when needed.
"Our loss mitigation division within the servicing department remains diligent in their efforts,” Nystrom said. “When an account becomes past due, we attempt to gain contact every three days. In addition, letters are sent out informing borrowers of their options and encouraging them to reach out to us.”
The key, she said, is communication.
“We want both the borrower and our owner or partner to understand where the borrower is in the process and what needs to happen to move forward,” she added. “We'd love to see this trend continue, as it's important to us to see the borrowers we work with succeed."
CUCompanies was founded in 1987 by three Minnesota credit unions. The CUSO has expanded over the years to include four subsidiaries that provide title, realty, investments and member business services.
Through CU Companies correspondent lending program, participating credit unions originate, process and close loans. Then CU Companies underwrites and purchases the closed loan.
Credit unions have access to a website designed to streamline the loan process, direct access to onsite underwriters, and tools and technological resources to ensure an efficient loan process, according to CU Companies.