Latino, CDCUs Team Up In N.C.

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Reaching out to communities and immigrants were among the common themes on tap at The National Federation of Community Development CUs' 32nd Annual Meeting and the Fourth Annual Latino CU Conference held in conjunction here last week.

Among the highlights:

* The 6-year-old Latino Community CU was recognized for having won the statewide Louise Herring Philosophy In Action award for its mortgage program aimed at meeting the needs of the immigrant community.

The $32-million CU-one of the fastest growing credit unions in the nation-does not require private mortgage insurance, and provides 90%, 95%, and 100% financing. "The mortgages were developed to meet members' needs," said John Herrera, LCCU's Chairman. "These mortgages help low-income families in North Carolina who certainly are capable of repaying a mortgage, but don't have savings for a down payment, to buy a home. Homeownership is still an elusive goal for many low-income families, but it is the best way to build family wealth."

Latino Community CU also celebrated becoming the first credit union in the country to offer discounted international money transfers under the Federal Reserve's new Directo de Mexico program (see related story page 11).

* Self-Help Credit Union was lauded for having pumped millions of dollars into renovating downtown buildings and providing $3.9 billion in financing to low-income homebuyers and small business owners since 1980.

* Featured speakers included U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral and Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

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