NEW YORK – The July 11 Wall Street Journal ran a profile of Martin Eakes, the CEO of the $188 million Self Help Credit Union, headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. Eakes and his former fianc, now wife, began Self-Help in 1980. The profile, which ran in the paper’s Money and Investing section, included a picture of Eakes and focused on his role among high powered and powerful mortgage bankers. It also touched upon Self-Help’s lending to a company in Durham which is looking to convert a prominent former cigarette factory into a retail and entertainment complex in the center of town. The profile also included an account of criticism leveled at Eakes by Representative Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the very same legislator that has introduced legislation that would strip NCUA from some of its authority to regulate credit union-to-bank charter conversions. At a hearing on predatory lending, McHenry grilled Eakes on the broader Self-Help organization’s purchase of a $23 million building in downtown Washington, D.C. to house, in part, the organization’s lobbying and research arm, the Center for Responsible Lending. Eakes replied that the building was a good investment and the credit union and its broader organization had wanted to send a message that it would be in Washington for a while.

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