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FAIRBORN, Ohio-Every week it seems there is another mortgage compliance matter that needs attention.

Just ask Tim Mislansky, president of myCUmortgage, who noted that whether it is the SAFE Act, QRM, RESPA/TIL revisions, GSE Reform, CFPB or Dodd-Frank, the weight of the compliance burden can be "overwhelming."

"There is not one single compliance issue that is the biggest challenge," he said. "The larger issue is, how does a credit union keep up with the onslaught of compliance matters related to mortgage lending?"

Compliance has increased costs in several areas, including research, implementation and management. Mislansky said all these factors increase the expense of helping members with home ownership. That means CUs either face reduced profitability on their mortgages or reduced competitiveness by passing higher costs to members.

So what is a credit union to do? "If credit unions choose to go it alone, they should look to trade organizations such as ACUMA, CUNA or their state league to help stay current with the compliance issues. But this can be nearly a full-time job," he said.

If the workload and costs to handle the burden internally are too great, there are many credit union-owned solutions available to help navigate the compliance maze, Mislansky continued. He noted some CUSOs are devoted exclusively to compliance matters. They can hire more expertise than most individual credit unions because the cost for compliance is spread across various institutions.

Another option is to partner with a mortgage CUSO to provide services such as origination or processing/underwriting. According to Mislansky, these CUSOs typically have compliance staff dedicated to mortgage lending.

"Again, the larger loan volumes that CUSOs manage allow them to spread compliance costs over more loans, allowing credit unions to retain competitiveness against other lenders."

Compliance and regulatory burdens won't be reduced any time soon, Mislansky warned.

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