Not enough credit unions have started mortgage lending or preparations to move from refinancing existing mortgages to making new ones, according to a leading credit union housing finance executive.
Robert Dorsa, president of the American Credit Union Mortgage Association, said he remains an optimistic fan of credit unions but is deeply frustrated that too many credit union have started moving cautiously around mortgage lending when, instead, they need to vigorously attack housing finance.
“As for CUs, again we are stuck in kind of an analysis/paralysis mode (with) some even planning to use their production achievements from this year to forecast productivity for next year,” Dorsa wrote in an emailed response to a reporter's question.
This even though, Dorsa pointed out, a wealth of projections and data suggest next year will not provide a housing finance revenue stream nearly as large as this year's.
“I predict revenues from mortgage lending will vastly decrease next year,” Dorsa wrote, adding “and each time credit unions select the conservative route over reality we make ourselves vulnerable to an outcome which may very unpleasant.”
He added, “I actually try NOT to think about the consequences when the larger CUs reach that point.”
Instead of retreating from making mortgage loans, Dorsa strongly advocated credit unions getting more involved in their local mortgage markets, introducing themselves to real estate professionals and taking the steps, including hiring, they need to take to improve their housing finance performance.
“Credit unions which don't start making themselves a resource for their member's housing finance needs risk becoming irrelevant,” Dorsa said in his email to Credit Union Times.