NEW YORK (9/20/11)--With support from a National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) Financial Education Grant, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions has completed a new “Credit Union Foreclosure Intervention Toolkit” to help credit unions combat the foreclosure crisis in their communities. The federation has been holding “train-the-trainer” workshops to teach credit unions and state credit union leagues how the toolkit can help empower homeowners. The purpose of the federation’s initiative is to increase credit unions’ capacity to empower home ownership through the toolkit and other resources--such as workshops, collaborations with housing counseling intermediaries and webinars. “The federation is the only national association dedicated to supporting credit unions operating in low- and moderate-income communities across the nation,” said federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal. “In our more than 37 years of operation, we have developed expertise unique in the credit union movement with respect to serving the underserved, and with continued foreclosures affecting millions of Americans, we are working to arm our credit unions with the knowledge and resources they need to help their members through these challenging times.” The federation has seen the national foreclosure crisis reflected in a dramatic shift in demand between different types of counseling services, from pre-purchase to foreclosure intervention counseling. Federation counseling agencies track their individual counseling clients according to a total of five categories of services:
* pre-purchase; * mortgage delinquency and default; * post-purchase non-delinquency; * rental housing; and * housing for the homeless.
Prior to the crisis, pre-purchase counseling accounted for more than 75% of all individual counseling clients. Since 2006, the proportion of individual counseling clients that seek pre-purchase counseling has dropped dramatically and the proportion of delinquency and foreclosure intervention clients has risen sharply. The federation’s “Part of the Solution: Help for Credit Union Members at Risk of Foreclosure” workshops are offered nationwide to credit unions and leagues. The federation also has collaborated with NeighborWorks to customize its Loan Scam Alert campaign materials for a credit union audience. The materials are packaged and available in electronic form as part of the toolkit. The federation also is working with members of the HOPE Now Alliance, and specifically with the Housing Preservation Foundation to establish a channel for credit union members to obtain foreclosure intervention assistance. NCUF grants are made possible by supporters of the Foundation and the Community Investment Fund, a system of investments that help credit unions earn dividends while donating to national and state community development programs.