ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Real estate settlement services fall within the scope of permissible credit union service organization activities, NCUA Associate General Counsel Sheila Albin wrote in a recent legal opinion letter (03-0538). A credit union asked if it could establish a CUSO to handle all aspects of settlement for the mortgage loans the credit union makes. The services would include arranging the title search, reviewing the title work, providing title insurance as an agent for the underwriter, and handling the settlement of the loan. Albin explained in the letter that although the activities are not itemized in the rule, they do fall under the insurance brokerage services and loan support services categories. They are also linked to the "routine daily operations of credit unions," she said.

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