The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) has recently completed a new “Credit Union Foreclosure Intervention Toolkit” to help credit unions combat the foreclosure crisis in their communities. Among other activities, the Federation has also been holding “train-the-trainer” workshops about the toolkit to credit unions and state credit union leagues on the front lines of the foreclosure crisis.
Created with support from a National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) Financial Education Grant, the purpose of the Federation’s initiative is to increase credit unions capacity to empower home ownership through their “Credit Union Foreclosure Intervention Toolkit” and other resources such as workshops, collaborations with housing counseling intermediaries, and webinars.
“With record rates of foreclosures projected through the year 2014, millions of at-risk homeowners need to take action early in the process to achieve the best possible outcomes,” said Christopher Morris, NCUF’s Director of Communications. “Unfortunately, many of these homeowners are paralyzed by fear, distrustful of the financial institutions that provided their mortgage loans, and uncertain where to turn for help. Credit unions are the one type of financial institution that has retained a position of trust for more than 90 million members. The Federation is providing key messages and informational tools to credit unions so their members can take action before it’s too late.”
“The Federation is the only national association dedicated to supporting credit unions operating in low- and moderate-income communities across the nation,” said Federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal. “In our more than 37 years of operation, we have developed expertise unique in the credit union movement with respect to serving the underserved, and with continued foreclosures affecting millions of Americans, we are working to arm our credit unions with the knowledge and resources they need to help their members through these challenging times.”
Foreclosure Intervention – Meeting a Dramatic Need
The Federation has seen the national foreclosure crisis reflected in a dramatic shift in demand between different types of counseling services, from pre-purchase to foreclosure intervention counseling. Their counseling agencies track their individual counseling clients according to a total of five categories of services: (i) pre-purchase; (ii) mortgage delinquency and default; (iii) post-purchase non-delinquency; (iv) rental housing; (v) housing for the homeless. Prior to the crisis, pre-purchase counseling accounted for more than 75% of all individual counseling clients. As shown in the chart below, since 2006, the proportion of individual counseling clients that seek pre-purchase counseling has dropped dramatically and the proportion of delinquency and foreclosure intervention clients has risen sharply.
Program Partnerships & Outreach
The Federation’s plans to continue conducting “Part of the Solution: Help for Credit Union Members at Risk of Foreclosure” workshops across the country to credit unions and leagues. In fact, a few have already been conducted with positive evaluations at the following locations this year:
- Federation’s Mid-South Regional Credit Union Conference in New Orleans, La.
- Mid-Atlantic Credit Union Conference in Charlottesville, Va.
- REAL Solutions® Conference of State Credit Union Leagues in Indianapolis, Ind.
- Federation’s Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved in Los Angeles, Calif.
The Federation has also collaborated with NeighborWorks to customize its Loan Scam Alert campaign materials for a credit union audience. The materials are packaged and made available in electronic form as part of the toolkit. The Federation is also working with members of the HOPE Now Alliance, and specifically with the Housing Preservation Foundation (HPF), to establish a channel for credit union members to obtain foreclosure intervention assistance.
The Federation will be conducting webinars on topics from the Foreclosure Intervention Toolkit throughout the year, with the most recent one for Credit Union Housing Counseling Affiliates held this past March.
A Foundation Grant at Work
NCUF grants are made possible by supporters of the Foundation and the Community Investment Fund (CIF), an award-winning system of investments that help credit unions earn dividends while donating to national and state community development programs.
This “Grant at Work” is part of a series highlighting NCUF grantees making a positive impact in their community and empowering consumers to achieve financial independence through credit unions.
About the National Credit Union Foundation (ncuf.coop):
The National Credit Union Foundation is the US credit union movement’s primary national philanthropic program provider, fundraiser and grant-maker. Through NCUF grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.
NCUF is funded primarily by investments in the award-winning Community Investment Fund (CIF) and by generous Supporters led by the Credit Union National Association and CUNA Mutual Group. All NCUF donors provide support that empowers NCUF and state credit union foundations to make a real impact in the credit union community.
The National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. NCUF continues to earn the Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.
About the The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation):
The Federation is a certified CDFI Intermediary representing more than 240 community development credit unions (CDCUs). The Federation's member CDCUs provide credit, savings, transaction services and financial education to more than 1.7 million residents of low-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the United States, and hold over $11 billion in community-controlled assets. The Federation also represents 50 Community Development Partners, some of the nation's largest credit unions with a special commitment to serving low-income communities. Founded in 1974, the Federation is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Colorado Springs, CO; Madison, WI; and San Francisco, CA. The Federation offers a wide range of advocacy, educational, training, investment, marketing, and outreach programs to support and assist CDCUs. For more information about the Federation and its programs, please visit: www.cdcu.coop.