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LAS VEGAS — Meeting here on the very day the Fed lowered the fed funds rate to help stabilize the markets came a blue-sky call for credit unions to put themselves in consumers’ minds as first choice home lenders. In the very storm of the subprime meltdown, increasing foreclosure rates and higher numbers of late payments came a call to “Seize the Loan!”

Never mind all that, “we didn’t start the fire” every speaker at the second meeting of the Credit Union Housing Roundtable seemed to say, now is the opportunity of a lifetime for CUs to march into the future of American homeownership. While the message isn’t exactly new, as ACUMA, which also meets here this week, and other CU organizations have issued calls to boost the share of mortgages and expand programs to small and mid-sized CUs, this latest challenge comes at a break point. The mortgage business is in turmoil and CUs have some good answers to problems.

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