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<p>FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – In a sale of charged-off loan portfolios totaling more than $5.1 million, 12 West Coast credit unions earned $232,000 with the promise of additional funds over the next three years. Credit unions in Washington, Oregon and California which participated in the sale earned 4.5 cents on the dollar, slightly more than what banks would have received for a similar portfolio and greater than what the credit unions might have gotten had they attempted to recover the loans on their own, noted Nancy Bullock, chief operating officer for Ascend United which handled the sale of the multi-credit union debt pools. “What was unique about the sale was that the investor initially paid 4.5 cents (on the dollar), but over a three-year period assuming they get an 18% gross collection rate, the credit unions will receive up to another 2 cents on the dollar,” she said. The sale was the first to be sponsored by the California league and the second for both the Washington and Oregon leagues. Ascend United is partners with 12 leagues throughout the U.S. and is a subsidiary of the Washington league. Six credit unions from Washington, five from California and one from Oregon were involved in the sale. Ascend United aggregated the portfolios and handled the transaction, which was completed late last year. Ascend expects to have four scheduled sales this year. It was conducting one sale in February and another was slated for April. “There may be more than that depending on how many credit unions can get their data ready for the sale,” Bullock said. “We have investors lined up. We’re just waiting to get the paper.” Bullock, who is also a vice president for the Washington league, initially developed the program as a credit union CUSO in 1998. The program was brought to the Washington league in 2000, and the first pool debt sale was held last year with Washington and Oregon credit unions participating. The five California credit unions which took part in the league’s first sponsored sale said they were pleased with the results, which earned them a total of $88,581. “It was a positive experience,” said Dawn Coleman, collection manager for Vandenberg Federal Credit Union in Lompoc. “It was the first sale we participated in and we will be participating again.” “I was extremely pleased with our sale of charged-off loans under the Ascend United program,” added Jan Bell, president and chief executive officer at Mendo Lake Credit Union in Ukiah. “We sold loans that were charged off over the last four years. The proceeds of the sale made a significant contribution to our 2001 bottom line. We were so happy with the process that we will now package charged-off loans for sale on an annual basis.” Ascend United is on the Web at www.ascendunited.com. [email protected]</p>

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