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The $18 billion State Employees Credit Union, Raleigh, N.C., is partnering with a nonprofit, government regulator and statewide broadcaster to help save more North Carolina homes from foreclosure.The credit union has joined the Center for Responsible Lending, an affiliate of the $349 million Self Help Credit Union, the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks and Capital Broadcasting Corp. to launch the “Fight N.C. Foreclosure” media effort.The media campaign will use public service announcements to highlight the state’s Home Foreclosure Prevention Project, bringing to North Carolinians an awareness of resources available to prevent foreclosures, the credit union said in an announcement. The project aims to significantly increase the percentage of N.C. homeowners who save their homes and also prevent consumers from becoming victims of foreclosure scams, especially scams affecting those with subprime mortgages.In February, SECU launched a mortgage assistance program which offers members an opportunity to meet in person with a senior officer of SECU and develop an individualized financial plan if the member has concerns about future payments on an SECU mortgage.Options in MAP include mortgage loan extensions, mortgage loan modifications or refinances, and partial payment alternatives. Budgeting, financial counseling and debt restructuring are also part of the MAP initiative-all without cost to the member, SECU reported.Susan Lupton, senior policy associate with the Center for Responsible Lending said, “We estimate that one out of every 12 mortgageholders in North Carolina will face foreclosure between now and 2013 unless drastic steps are taken to reverse the trend. The ‘Fight N.C. Foreclosure’ outreach campaign will hopefully make a tremendous difference in educating those who so desperately need the help to stay in their homes. We are extremely pleased to have State Employees’ Credit Union as a partner on this campaign.”Mark Pearce, deputy commissioner with the Office of the N.C. Commissioner of Banks added, “Foreclosures don’t have to happen. Even if our state’s citizens have experienced hard times, they may be able keep their home if they take advantage of available resources. North Carolina has a network of free counselors and partners like State Employees’ Credit Union.”Phil Greer, senior vice president of SECU’s loan administration department pointed out that SECU was determined to help even though it never made any subprime loans. “State Employees’ Credit Union understands the importance of helping members improve their financial lives-it’s the mission of SECU.” He added that “even if our cooperative was not part of the subprime debacle, we must help to educate all North Carolinians on the resources available to them during these difficult economic times.” –[email protected]

Wings Financial FCUFlocks to State Charter

Members of the $2.2 billion Wings Financial Federal Credit Union voted “overwhelmingly” to change from a federal to a Minnesota state credit union charter.Members voted on Aug. 27, according to the Apple Valley, Minn.-based credit union. The change will allow Wings Financial to continue focusing on its core national air transportation field of membership while expanding its field of membership to include anyone living or working in the 13-county Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, the credit union said.Calls to Wings Financial for an exact count of members who voted for or against the conversion were not returned. According to Wings Financial’s Web site (www.wingsfinancial.com), thousands of members participated in the voting process. The credit union serves 123,000 members worldwide. Wings Financial said it would not be able to accept member applications until final steps are taken in the conversion process.This is not the first time Wings Financial has expanded its field of membership. Founded in 1938 to serve Northwest Airlines, in 2004, it was approved for a trade, industry and profession charter to serve the entire air transportation industry.

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Peter Westerman

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