SAN DIEGO — What goes up must come down and bubbles filled with hot air go 'pfffttt' eventually. That expresses the 'been there, seen that before,' philosophy expressed by Scott Norris, SVP of Real Estate at San Diego County Credit Union (www.sdccu.com) here. "I've been around for thirty years and we've been through boom and bust before," he said.

Watching the boom at its peak in 2005, when the local real estate market was gangbusters, Norris said the CU resisted the temptation to push the lending envelope, write exotic mortgages or delve into the ripening subprime market, make no-or-low-documentation mortgages. Instead, the CU tightened credit standards for home loans. As a result, SDCCU is sitting on a single REO and for the first time in 10 years has declared one basis point in charge offs on real estate loans. That's not bad for the credit union with the largest market share of mortgages among CUs in San Diego County, a singularly competitive town, offered Norris.

"We do make 100% loan to value mortgages but they require insurance," he said. "And we're having a big year for purchase loans because members who could not afford to buy homes here for the last two years now can do so (as home prices have declined). We get them pre-approved and they have lots of time to go house

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