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ALEXANDRIA, Va.–The downturn in the mortgage market has been blamed for the demise of four credit unions biting the dust this year after posting huge losses from home loans and home equity lines of credit.

Despite being separated by size and geography, New Horizons Credit Union in Denver, Norlarco Credit Union in Fort Collins, Colo., Huron River Area Credit Union in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Cal State 9 Credit Union in Concord, Calif., shared several distinctions: they chased yield and neglected to either set or keep to an Asset Liability Management program that balanced risk with sound lending principles and in member communications they touted a growing lending portfolio only as a strength. The boards of directors, management and supervisory committees seemed to overlook the greater fiduciary responsibility to the CU’s membership and made risky loan choices even as they were charged with accountability.

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