ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NCUA's Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund continues to improve, and if the current trend holds, credit unions can expect a nice payout — but not for another six years.

The fund hit a couple of noteworthy milestones during the three months ending March 31. It closed with a positive net position for the fourth consecutive quarter, and it sold the last of the real estate it received from the five failed corporate credit unions.

According to Rendell Jones, the agency's chief financial officer, the fund finished the quarter with $331.6 million in cash and investments. When that total is added to the more than $2.56 billion of assets it is managing, it leaves NCUA in a positive net position of $292 million, up 22% from Dec. 31.

"The fund remains stable and in line with our expectations," Jones said Thursday at the regulator's monthly board meeting. Jones added that his staff is drafting a "white paper" providing more details about the fund's status, as well as the work remaining to be done before its statutory "sunset" date in 2021.

According to Jones, the value of the fund's assets under management could take a hit if the economy suffers another downturn before 2021.

On the other hand, if conditions continue to improve the net position could grow. Indeed, most of the positive movement that occurred the first quarter can be traced back to improvements in the anticipated cash flows of the underlying assets, Jones said.

"We're on the right path," chairman Debbie Matz said in a statement following the short (12-minute) meeting Thursday. "Our aggressive recovery strategy, the improving economy and careful management of the fund and the NCUA Guaranteed Notes have all significantly minimized the costs of the corporate resolution. If current projections prevail, credit unions shouldn't have to pay any more assessments during the fund's final six years."

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