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CO-OP Fin. Services FSCC sign final merger paperwork

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (1/25/12)--CO-OP Financial Services and Financial Service Centers Cooperative (FSCC) have finalized their merger, initially announced in September, the companies said Tuesday.

"It is very gratifying to note that with the conclusion of our agreement, all the major pieces of the credit union movement's decades-old shared branching initiative have been brought together," said Stan Hollen, president/chief operating officer of FSCC and chief strategy officer of CO-OP Shared Branching. "Now under the CO-OP Shared Branching business line are FSCC and the operations of Service Centers Corp. and Credit Union Service Corp. 

Sarah Canepa Bang, who previously served as CEO of FSCC, will continue as president and chief operating officer of FSCC and chief strategy officer of CO-OP Shared Branching, the company said. Craig Beach will serve as president/chief operating officer of CO-OP subsidiary Credit Union Service Corp.

More than 1,700 credit unions nationwide participate in shared branching, making more than 4,400 physical branch locations available to their members, plus 2,200 Vcom kiosk locations at 7-Eleven stores.

CU Members Mortgage excelled in year of challenges

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DALLAS (1/25/11)--During 2011 CU Members Mortgage added 43 new credit union clients, hired 15 new staffers, partnered with Mortgagebot to offer a new online mortgage resource application, and actively managed several new regulations that were imposed on the mortgage lending industry.

"As we faced the new regulation changes in regards to appraisals last year, our correspondent department adjusted its processes and technology for  Uniform Appraisal Dataset and  Uniform Collateral Data Portal compliance," said Linda Clampitt, CU Members Mortgage senior vice president. "This was challenging; however, we worked with our credit union partners very closely to work through the logistics and provided a resource to make it smooth and affordable, and to move forward."

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) business also changed dramatically in 2011, Clampitt said. The Department of Housing and Urban Development removed its mini-eagle approval and left only two options for offering FHA loans: Full-Eagle or Third-Party Originator. Since most credit unions do not have Full Eagle authority, they had to find a partner to work with them to provide the low-down-payment FHA loan option.

Dallas-based CU Members Mortgage also launched an online mortgage application with partner Mortgagebot. The addition has increased approved applications by 40%. More than 45,000 website visits have taken place since Oct. 4, with more than 6,000 rate searches.  

With regulatory changes and redefined roles in mortgage lending, CU Members Mortgage has rewritten specific contracts with its credit union clients. This effort is designed to protect the credit union and CU Members Mortgage as both parties venture through the lending environment, said the company.

The burden of increased regulation required more staff, Clampitt said. "Our focus is to educate during these times of change, as credit unions must know how to participate in providing home loans to meet the demands of members," she added.