Mortgage Variety Helps Fight PredatoryLenders
BALTIMORE - (07/08/05) -- Credit unions can help overcomepredatory lending in the mortgage market, but only by offering aselection of mortgage products at competitive rates, according toone credit union manager who has succeeded in expanding his creditunions share of the underserved mortgage market. Bert Hash,president of Municipal Employees CU, told attendees of NCUAsPALs conference here, his credit union has enlisted with governmentand other non-profit organizations in the fight against predatorymortgage lending, which has hit his Baltimore community harder thanalmost any other major U.S. city, quadrupling the foreclosure rateduring the 1990s. The credit union has introduced severaladvantageous mortgage programs: offer a 0.75% discount on rates forall mortgages within city limits under its Buy InBaltimore program; providing no-downpayment loans throughthe Federal Home Loan Bank; and offering Fannie MaesSmartCommute mortgages near public transportation. The credit unionhas also partnered with a number of not-for-profits to teachfinancial education and expand financing options for eligibleconsumers, Hash said.