WASHINGTON (4/29/09)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica met with Treasury staff Monday to discuss credit union priorities, as well as President Barack Obama’s Mortgage Modification Program, of which credit unions have expressed interest. Mica met with Al Fitzpayne, deputy chief of staff; Seth Wheeler, deputy assistant secretary for Federal Finance; Fred Baldassaro, senior adviser, Office of Business and Public Liaison; and Mario Ugoletti, director, Financial Institutions. The CUNA leader presented information to the officials regarding credit unions' solid record of lending to small businesses, homeowners, and other consumers. Credit unions have continued to lend to their members and have provided tailored loan modifications to help borrowers avoid delinquency and default, Mica said. Mica also outlined for the new officials several credit union legislative priorities:
* Increased member business lending authority; * Changes to the Federal Credit Union Act, including the creation of a seven-year corporate stabilization fund to spread out the costs of assistance to corporate credit unions; * Credit unions’ opposition to House cramdown legislation; * Access to Troubled Asset Relief Program funds; and * The support of CUNA, credit union leagues and credit unions of the “Homes For Our Troops” program.
The group also discussed Obama’s homeowners’ program. On Tuesday, Obama announced new efforts--including the Second Lien Program, which will work in tandem with the first lien modifications offered under the Home Affordable Modification Program. Under the Second Lien Program, when a Home Affordable Modification is initiated on a first lien, servicers participating in the Second Lien Program will automatically reduce payments on the associated second lien according to a pre-set protocol. Alternatively, servicers will have the option to extinguish the second lien in return for a lump sum payment under a pre-set formula determined by Treasury, allowing servicers to target principal extinguishment to the borrowers where extinguishment is most appropriate. Monday’s session was a “good first meeting,” Mica said, and noted that CUNA would follow up with the Treasury on some of the issues. Other CUNA staff in attendance: Bill Hampel, chief economist; Eric Richard, general counsel; and Mary Dunn, deputy general counsel.