WASHINGTON (6/11/09)--Credit union organizations are among 21 organizations that have formed a Ford Foundation-supported coalition group that will certify lenders as "safe," "fair," and free of predatory lending to help restore consumer confidence in mortgage lenders. The nonprofit Fair Mortgage Collaborative (FMC) will certify that lenders meet five core standards of conduct. Certified lending organizations include Boeing Employees CU (BECU), Tukwila, Wash.; Prime Alliance Solutions; Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises Inc.; Mortgage Grader; and Clearinghouse CDFI (community development financial institution). They will offer the new FMC-certified "fair and safe" mortgages across the U.S. "Mortgage lending practices that have taken place over the past several years have eroded consumer confidence in mortgage lenders," said Joseph Brancucci, executive vice president at BECU. "For BECU and Prime Alliance Solutions, we strive to make as many members as possible homeowners; however, it is equally important that it's with a mortgage that meets their needs and allows them to stay in their home. We fully support the rigorous certification process that is required to participate in the Fair Mortgage Collaborative," he added. Other credit-union-related organizations in the coalition include Center for Responsible Lending, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, and Self-Help CU based in Durham, N.C. The five core standards are:
* FMC lender works for customer, not other way around; * No steering; * Absolutely no predatory loans; * Non-standard loans require clear and compensating customer benefit; and * FMC keeps rules and standards current for new loan types.