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Mortgagebot CUs buck mortgage meltdown trend

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MEQUON, Wis. (10/6/08)--Credit unions are bucking the mortgage meltdown trend and are adopting the online mortgage channel, according to Mortgagebot, a mortgage technology provider. “The online mortgage channel has truly arrived,” said Scott Happ, Mortgagebot president/CEO. Mortgagebot provides direct point-of-sale mortgage origination solutions to credit unions. “It’s especially obvious among America’s credit unions. New research from Deloitte Consulting indicates that seven out of 10 mortgage shoppers start their searches online,” he added. Mortgagebot has gained nearly 50 credit union clients in the past 18 months. More than 80% of them have less than $500 million in assets, Happ said. “America’s smaller credit unions understand that the market has changed--and they don’t want to be left behind,” he added. Mortgagebot’s PowerSite helped Tampa Bay (Fla.) FCU triple its mortgage application volume and reduce processing time by 33%, the credit union said. “With subprime lenders out of the way, and few mortgage brokers on the street, more mortgage applications are coming straight to the credit union,” said Dean Clark, Tampa Bay FCU real estate lending manager. Tampa Bay FCU has $318 million in assets. Callahan and Associates research also indicates that credit union mortgage originations in the first quarter of this year were up by 53% compared with last year. Credit unions serve their members when other financial institutions have left the mortgage market, added Chip Filson, Callahan and Associates president. “They have healthy balance sheets, and remain active lenders with ample liquidity,” he said.

Digital Insight survey underscores consumers needs

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CALABASAS, Calif. (10/6/08)--Credit unions may want to note that trust and familiarity are two important factors consumers consider when managing their money on the Web, according to a Digital Insight survey. About 68% of consumers rated their credit union or bank as the most trusted place to keep their online financial information secure, while 66% picked a website hosted by an established company as their second choice. “People want a trusted place to view all of their accounts, make better decisions about where they spend their money, and pay their bills with peace of mind that their information is safe and secure,” said Sasan Goodarzi, Digital Insight president. Other findings included:
* About 25% of consumers switched financial institutions because of a recommendation from friends or family members; * Roughly 61% said the most important financial management feature is the ability to manage and pay all bills in one place; and * Nearly all survey respondents banked with an institution that offers online banking, but only 24% of these said their financial institution provides valuable information. About 87% said their credit union or bank only helps them pay bills.
Digital Insight offers FinanceWorks--powered by Quicken--which allows consumers to manage accounts across more than 5,000 financial institution and credit card sites. FinanceWorks aims to help middle-market credit unions and banks meet the needs of their members/customers to be competitive with larger financial institutions.