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CU System briefs (09/06/2011)
* MONTVALE, N.J. (9/7/11)--A loan coordinator at Paragon FCU in Montvale, N.J., has been accused of helping a mortgage broker submit false information for 13 real estate loans in a scheme that could cost the credit union an estimated $5 million, according to the New Jersey Credit Union League. The loans were for 11 multi-family houses in Bergen and Essex counties in New Jersey. Paragon Loan Officer Dawn Woolbert was one of several accomplices who allegedly aided broker Joseph Curcio, who is accused of running CNS Enterprises LLC with the intent of “supplying fictitious invoices to be added to the seller side the settlement statements,” indicating a debt to the company, even though he was the buyer, said Bergen County Prosecutor Joseph Molinelli. The properties all eventually defaulted, and Paragon investigators began a review (The Daily Exchange Sept. 2) … * TACOMA, Wash. (9/7/11)--The merger between Watermark CU, with $542 million in assets, Seattle, and Sound CU, with $510 million in assets, Tacoma, Wash., was effective Sept. 1, completing the largest merger of credit unions in the history of Washington state. Sound CU will continue as the ongoing organization. Sound President/CEO Richard C. Brandsma will lead the credit union. The next step in the merger process will be integration of member accounts, services, online banking and online bill pay, scheduled for spring. After the account and branch integration next spring, Sound will have 21 branches in the Puget Sound area … * SANTA ROSA, Calif. (9/7/11)--Redwood CU (RCU), based here, announced that it soon will provide faster small business loan approvals and credit allocations in the North Bay and San Francisco areas because the credit union has been designated a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Preferred Lender. The Preferred Lender designation allows RCU to streamline the SBA loan process, which in turn can help expedite the lending process. Michael Downey, senior vice president of business services for RCU, said the credit union will be able to “shave about two weeks off the (SBA) loan process.” In 2008, RCU became the first credit union in the North Bay to introduce SBA lending, and the credit union says it has ranked among the top local SBA lenders for the past two years. The faster lending process, Downey said, will help small business members “grow, thrive and create jobs to strengthen our local economies” … * CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (9/7/11)--Patriot FCU, Chambersburg, Pa., started the school year out by opening its first student branch, inside Chambersburg Area Senior High School. The student branch is open five days a week with students employed to run the branch with a Patriot manager. Along with having the branch open for periods of time during the week, Patriot will provide financial education to teachers and students through workshops and classroom presentations. “The ability to partner with the high school and Chambersburg School District with our student branch is a great way to encourage good money management skills across the student body,” said Mike Silvers, Patriot chief operating officer. “At Patriot, we believe that providing financial education and money management information to teens will help them for a lifetime” …


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