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CUNA Lending Council announces Collections in a Post-Recession Environment

The economic fallout from the Great Recession continues to impact the households of credit union members and add urgency to the work of credit unions’ collections departments, according to a new CUNA Lending Council White Paper.

Collections in a Post-Recession Environment is based on information gathered from lending and collections leaders at six credit unions as well as two experts from companies that  provide outsourced collections services for financial institutions.

The white paper explores how credit unions can update procedures, use technology, engage members early in the collections process, design loan modifications and take other steps to refine collections.

Credit unions report that a segment of members who have delinquent loans in the post-recession environment are from formerly affluent households and may still have relatively high credit scores. These households were able to use their assets to cope with financial demands as they adjusted to being unemployed or underemployed. But as assets are exhausted and members are unable to find jobs, the household falls behind on payments, loans enter collection and they may even file for bankruptcy.

This challenging post-recession environment offers an opportunity for collections to prove its worth to the credit union.

"Collections has always been on the back burner," noted Jessica Anderson, Collections Manager at $400 million asset 121 Financial Credit Union, Jacksonville, Fla. "We know they're making a difference, but we've never seen the true impact of collections' successes or losses until we’ve reached these economic times."

CUNA Council members are eligible to receive complimentary copies of this, and nearly 300 other white papers; non-Council members may purchase white papers for $50 per copy.

The paper is available online in the white paper section of www.cunacouncils.org.


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