HOUSTON - Despite the devastation in 2005 dealt by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina to dealers and credit unions in Louisiana and Mississippi, Credit Union Acceptance Company LLC was able to not only exceed its goals for the year, but issue rebates to all its 2005 non-owner credit union clients. For...
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HOUSTON – Despite the devastation in 2005 dealt by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina to dealers and credit unions in Louisiana and Mississippi, Credit Union Acceptance Company LLC was able to not only exceed its goals for the year, but issue rebates to all its 2005 non-owner credit union clients. For the third consecutive year, the indirect auto lending CUSO that’s owned by nine Texas credit unions and CUNA Mutual, issued $100,000 in rebates to all its CU clients except the nine owners that had loan activity with CUAC during the year. CUAC President/CEO Adrian Dominguez said the year’s success was particularly poignant considering 2005 was full of a lot of ups and downs that were triggered by Katrina and Rita. The CUSO counts 60-70 dealers in Beaumont, Texas and 40-50 in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans area, and Dominguez said many of them along with credit unions in the areas, suffered a huge devastation from the storms. “A lot of dealers were cut off from having any contact with us because of downed power lines. We had contracts in house we couldn’t fund, we couldn’t reach those members and they couldn’t contact us,” he explained. The CUAC president continued to explain that a lot of members from credit unions in New Orleans came to Texas after the storms and needed to buy new cars. CUAC facilitated the loan arrangements for those members with dealers in Texas and sent the loans back to their credit unions. The dealers, he said, were very cooperative. Of course, with so many vehicles suffering flood damage, CUAC put its dealers on notice that it was watching all contracts very carefully to make sure no flood damaged vehicles were sold to members. “We watched every loophole dealers could possibly take, and we didn’t have any issues come up because we were very proactive. The dealers were very supportive of us and didn’t send us any damaged vehicles,” said Dominguez. CUAC also did its part in helping affected credit unions get back on their feet. The CUSO donated $30,000 to the Salvation Army and the Texas Credit Union League Foundation. It also gave Louisiana credit unions most affected by the devasting storms $5,000 each. In 2005, CUAC funded 40,000 contracts – its goal for the year was 36,000. Dominguez said dealers are “bouncing back,” and that will help boost the CUSO’s business this year. He anticipates doing a 14% increase to 45,000 contracts. “Our most exciting statistic for 2005 was to fund 36,000 loans and we accomplished this in only 11 months. Not only did CUAC help credit unions retain current member loans, 20,000 of those were for new members. We realize we could not have obtained this goal without the tremendous support of our client credit unions,” he said. Dominguez added that in 2006 the CUSO may see expansion into new markets beyond Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Ohio where it currently does business. Dominguez said the CUSO is also leaving open the possibility for taking on new credit union owners. Strategically that may be coming up in the near future, he said. -
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