MIAMI – CUNA Mutual Group announced winners of its annual Excellence in Lending Awards during this week’s 2012 CUNA Lending Council Conference.

Out of the award program’s 13-year history, more CUs than ever, 84, applied for consideration this year. “We had a record number of applications and that did not mean simply quantity,” said Dan Murray, VP, Lending, CUNA Mutual Group, Madison, Wis. “There were many deserving applicants. In a challenging economy, it speaks to the resolve and creativity of our nominees.”

Winners and their categories: United Nations FCU, Long Island City, N.Y., Consumer Lending, Assets More Than $250 million; Cooperative Center FCU, Berkeley, Calif., Consumer Lending, Assets Less Than $250 million; Sunmark FCU, Albany, N.Y., Mortgage Lending, Assets More Than $250 million; Northeast Community CU, Elizabethton, Tenn., Mortgage Lending, Assets Less Than $250 million; Gesa CU, Richland, Wash., Business Lending; and, U.S. New Mexico FCU, Albuquerque, N.M., Low-to-Modest Means.

UNFCU was recognized for its unique Country Scoring process, a sophisticated risk monitoring system that takes into account loan-to-share, GDP growth and currency; Cooperative Center FCU was lauded for its “Stimulus Bailout,” an unsecured debt consolidation loan to help members shed their high interest credit card or payday loans; Sunmark FCU was credited for its holistic approach to mortgage lending through strategic hires, department restructuring, offering competitive rates, and expanding its products; Northeast Community CU developed a mortgage strategy and successfully executed on it by offering residential real estate loans with greatly reduced closing costs in part due to negotiated lower costs with local appraisers and an attorney; Gesa CU quickly became southeastern Washington’s business lender of choice in a short period of time; and U.S. New Mexico FCU effectively served members of modest means through a 30-employee volunteer committee this group’s social and financial needs.


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