The top 25 mortgage lenders recently reported only 29,912 preapprovals resulted in mortgages used in a home purchase in 2012, according to data from the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council. That figure is down from 101,626 in 2007.
ACUMA says declining use of mortgage preapprovals by banks is a gift to credit unions.
Despite what almost everyone agrees is the deep importance of the topic, credit unions have become largely ambivalent about reforming the secondary mortgage market and uncertain about potentially disrupting a system which seems to be working well, according to executives with credit union organizations familiar with the issue.
HMDA data suggests that credit unions continue to grow in the home finance market, the American Credit Union Mortgage Association says.
The 44,000-member, $540 million National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Rockville, Md., has been working to prepare its housing finance program for whatever the federal government may choose to do with the two giant mortgage entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Greater financial education, a greater variety of loan products and different lending strategies have all been techniques credit unions have begun to use to help borrowers meet more stringent housing finance requirements, according to executives from credit unions and mortgage CUSOs.
Almost 1,200 of the 19,000 real estate professionals attending the National Association of Realtors conference visited the America's Credit Unions booth.
American Credit Union Mortgage Association and several credit unions to represent in Anaheim later this week.
A dispute over who owns the rights to the name of a long-standing credit union real estate institution appears to pit a mortgage consultant within one of the institution's chapters against the leading provider of private mortgage insurance for credit unions.
For what may be the first time ever, a credit union has become the biggest source of housing finance for a major metropolitan area in the U.S.