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Reinventing Homeownership: A Compendium of Concepts to Consider

“Millions of Americans have lost their homes since the start of the Great Recession. By the middle of 2010, 4.6% of U.S. home mortgages were in foreclosure, three times the rate seen at the height of the Great Depression.”

Take a moment and let that sink in. It’s clear that a perfect storm of economic events has left homeowners and prospective homebuyers in a mess, not to mention the devastating aftereffects on investors and financial institutions.

The fallout comprises more questions than answers about what this all means for the next generation. The challenge is clear: How can the country’s home loan financing system rebuild itself in a manner that creates a win-win-win for borrowers, lenders, and investors? How can credit unions take the lead in building this new future—helping people get into homes they can afford, helping them make appropriate payments, reducing defaults, stabilizing families, and creating financially sound futures of promise?

The Filene Research Institute, your industry think-and-do tank, has tackled the mortgage issue from both the research and innovation sides of the coin for several years. Our mission is to discover how credit unions can shape the future of the mortgage industry by:

  • Increasing their mortgage loan portfolios with high-quality assets.
  • Providing innovative solutions to consumers for reaching their dreams of homeownership.

In this brief, we examine the social impact of homeownership and provide a brief glimpse at the Canadian mortgage market. Then, we move on to look at thought-provoking ideas from Credit Union National Association (CUNA) leaders, new concepts from i3 teams, and breakout methodologies from young innovators. We are confident that the seeds of a new homeownership financing model have been sown here, and there are rewards for credit unions that are willing to try something new. The potential benefits are enormous for consumers, communities, credit unions, and cooperative systems as a whole. Let’s see what credit unions can do to start putting people in homes again.