Mortgage CUSO Hit with Cease-and-Desist Order
C.U. Members Mortgage Corp., a mortgage processing CUSO that serves 10 Connecticut credit unions, received a cease-and desist order and the promise of a civil penalty on March 14 from the Connecticut Department of Banking.
The violation involved incorrectly filing paperwork for fourth quarter 2013, according to Dottie Owens, president/CEO of the mortgage servicing company.
“It was that stupid call report,” said Owens, who will mark 30 years with the two-person firm in June. “I work with the National Mortgage Listing Service and thought it had been filed, but apparently I didn’t push all the right buttons.”
In 2008, the East Haven, Conn.-based C.U. Members Mortgage was hit with a similar order, and Owens said at the time she wasn’t aware she had to file a Mortgage Call report because the company had no loan originations during the period. The company, which primarily provides back office services to credit union mortgage departments, was assessed a $1,000 fine.
The CUSO also received similar notices for failing to file three call reports in 2012, one each for the first and second quarters and a third at the end of the year. The company updated its policies and procedures as part of addressing its penalties, the most recent Department of Banking notice said.
During the period covered in the most recent order, the company only had one mortgage loan origination, according to Owens.
Much as with other small enterprises, Owens blames the rising tide of regulation as making her job increasingly more difficult.
“I feel the regulators are putting us in a position of failure and can’t wait to shut down the small guy because it makes it easier for them,” Owens said. “I love what I do, but I have seriously concerned merging with some other company.”
She also says her affiliation with credit unions holds her to a higher standard.
“Credit union members expect to be serviced in the same way their credit union services them,” Owens said. “You couldn’t teach another mortgage broker to meet these standards.”
C.U. Members Mortgage Corp. was one of several CUSOs originally formed in the 1980s by credit unions then serving Danbury Hospital, Boehringer-Ingleheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. and paper manufacturer Kimberley-Clarke. It became an independent enterprise in 1984, but continued serving credit unions.
The firm has complied with the most recent demands from the Connecticut Department of Banking, but still expects to be assessed penalties for the failure to file properly.
“I know they’re going to spank me again,” she said. “I hope it’s not more than a thousand dollars. That’s a lot of money.”