Members United's Herbst To Head Mortgage CUSO

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BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Joseph Herbst, who had a key role in the failures of both U.S. Central FCU and Members United Corporate FCU, emerged last week after being hired as new CEO for CUMAnet, a mortgage lending CUSO based here.

CUMAnet said Herbst, who was chairman of the U.S. Central board in its final days and CEO of the recently-failed Members United, will lead the effort by the regional CUSO to expand nationwide. CUMAnet originally began with a northeast regional presence, but has since expanded to Washington D.C., Chicago and other markets. Herbst has experience financing a mortgage loan CUSO, with Members United having providing the main financing for Central States Mortgage Co., the CUSO that went bust in 2009.

Herbst has kept a low profile since he and other top officers at Members United were dismissed by NCUA when the federal regulator took the one-time $14 billion corporate under conservatorship with two other failures, Southwest Corporate FCU and Constitution Corporate FCU.

We are excited to bring in Joe Herbst to lend his expertise and vision to our CUSO, said Robert Birkhahn, board member, CUMAnet board of directors. His comprehensive background and experience in the industry and success with growing organizations from the regional to the national level will serve as key elements in helping to grow our organization.

Herbst has been a long-time leader in the corporate network, first as CEO of Empire Corporate FCU, which he merged with Mid-State Corporate CU to create Members United, then as chairman of the U.S. Central board. He was unsummarily dismissed from both positions when each was take under conservatorship by NCUA, first at U.S. Central in March 2009, then at Members United on Sept. 24.

My primary goals will be to increase CUMAnet's national footprint and maximize operational efficiencies for future growth, paving the way for low-price options. That is, after all, what the credit union system is all about, said Herbst.

CUMAnet, formerly CU Mortgage Alliance Network, is owned by 14 mid-Atlantic credit unions, including Affinity FCU, Greater Alliance FCU, Credit Union of New Jersey, Eastern New York FCU, Market USA FCU and several others.

Herbst lives in East Greenbush, N.Y., near the one-time Albany headquarters of Empire Corporate, from where he commuted by personal jet to Members United’s Warrenville, Il., offices.

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