<p>RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – Steve Renock is packing up the moving cartons again and moving back West. Almost four years after he and his family moved from Southern California to Madison, Wis. after CU Mortgage, which Renock was president/CEO of, merged with CUNA Mutual Mortgage, Renock is retracing his steps with his family and headed to the California Credit Union League where he will work as senior vice president of marketing and communications beginning April 1. His last day with CUNA Mutual Mortgage is March 29. In his new role at CCUL, Renock will be responsible for the management and leadership of the Business Services Division of CCUL, which includes the marketing, business development, and products and services departments. He will also oversee CCUL’s communications, public affairs and membership departments. Renock will also serve as chief operating officer of the California League Services Corp. and will serve on the board of CU Association of the West as well. After working closely with the mortgage lending industry and credit unions for about 30 years, Renock’s new responsibilities at CCUL will be a change from what he’s become accustomed to, but it’s a change he said he’s looking forward to. “The California Credit Union League is the largest league in the country. It is constantly looking at ways it can support its affiliated credit unions to help them better meet their members’ needs. I’ll have the opportunity to be involved with a variety of business areas, especially with CU Association of the West where the different leagues and credit unions are not always involved with the same services.” He emphasized that when he joined CU Mortgage in 1990, it was a CUSO owned by 61 California credit unions. CCUL, said Renock, was instrumental in starting the business up, but the league never owned CU Mortgage. At the time he joined CU Mortgage, Renock said the CUSO “was faltering and had no direction.” From 1990 to 1998, for example, the company grew less than $2 million a month in mortgages, serviced $200 million in mortgages and had 12 employees. Since CU Mortgage merged with CUNA Mutual Mortgage in 1998, the company now has 100 employees, it did $3.1 billion in mortgage origination services in 2001, and has $7 billion in its service portfolio. Working closely with credit unions and their mortgage activities over the years has given Renock an interesting perspective on the maturation of mortgage lending and CUs’ involvement with the industry. He recalled, for example, when he began working in mortgage lending and real estate at U.S. Steel Railroad subsidiaries in the 1970′s, the mortgage lending process was focused on the lender -what was in the lender’s best interest, what worked best for the lender. Over the next several years, Renock built up his list of mortgage lending credentials working at various companies such as Mellon Mortgage as assistant controller of mortgage lending; Hinton Mortgage and Investment Co. as chief financial officer; and Shearson Lehman Mortgage Corp. as senior vice president of finance. Renock has also served on the Board of Directors of the California Mortgage Bankers Association and was the Chairman of their Legislative Committee. He is a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association. When he came over to the credit union side of the mortgage lending business, Renock said he was “amazed at the honesty and integrity of the people on the credit union side of the business. I used to see half a dozen fraudulent loans a month on the banking and mortgage broker side of the business especially with things like borrowers misstating information on their application so they’d be eligible for a larger loan.” Since working the past nearly four years at CUNA Mutual Mortgage, Renock said he’s seen how online lending has helped make the mortgage lending process “a less onerous experience” for consumers. Still, he said, “There’s still a lot of room for improvement in the mortgage lending industry. The mortgage lending industry could never have handled the 2 trillion in mortgages in did in 2001 if it hadn’t had the technology, but it got these mortgages done in fits and starts.” Renock though still finds it extremely frustrating that credit unions only hold 2% of the mortgage market. There are many credit unions of a variety of sizes that are doing a great job with offering mortgages, he said, “but there’s also a good chunk that’s not doing anything, and by doing nothing they’re letting their members go down the street to another lender.” Renock’s heard all the reasons from credit unions about why they don’t offer mortgage services – it’s too difficult to hire people with mortgage lending skills; there are more significant asset/liability management issues to deal with. “A lot of senior management level people at credit unions say mortgage lending is too risky, but there are ways to mitigate that risk, and credit unions have to look at ways to do that. There’s a host of people out there who can help them, they should take advantage of that,” Renock said. At press time, CUNA Mutual Group had not named a successor to Renock. Company spokesperson Sydney Lindner said CUNA Mutual was looking internally and was also conducting a national search “including looking at individuals within the credit union movement who have the skills set that will allow them to effectively run CUNA Mutual Mortgage Corp.” -</p> <p>[email protected]</p>

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