Throughout the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, a time when many consumers were struggling financially, credit unions provided much-needed financial services to their members.
Some of the nation’s biggest lenders say they continue to see the steepest declines in commercial real estate loans of all sizes.
If credit unions were looking for a lending panacea in 2011, it was nowhere to be found. It wasn’t for a lack of money to lend because many cooperatives were awash in funds, economists said over the course of the year.
Credit unions worked hard in 2011 to continue to build their housing finance programs even as the overall housing industry continued to struggle with low home prices, high foreclosure rates and significantly tighter mortgage underwriting rules.
Now garnering heightened industry attention, the $1.3 billion United Federal Credit Union of St. Joseph, Mich. moved a step closer last week to charting what it called trail blazing territory by winning NCUA approval to buy an ailing Indiana savings bank.
That precedent-setting deal by Michigan’s United Federal Credit Union to merge an ailing Indiana savings bank gained NCUA approval last week and now seems certain to be the model for more to come, its architect says.
Some credit unions that have loans to sell through loan participations are helping the yield of other credit unions so long as the transaction is properly structured and as many protections are in place as possible.
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.
It’s no surprise that lending has been in the doldrums for many CUs the past few years but there could be an unexpected jolt triggered by fervor surrounding Bank Transfer Day Nov. 5.
More home buyers in Madison, Wis., area chose the credit union to finance home loans than any other lender in 2010.