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Saturday, March 8, 2008

OnPoint Credit Union asks, "Countrywide who?"

There was a lot of hoopla last year when OnPoint Community (formerly Portland Teachers) Credit Union dove into a joint venture with the Countrywide mortgage folks. But now that the mortgage hawkers have crashed the economy, and the FBI is sniffing around Countrywide, suddenly it appears that OnPoint's not too keen on the whole Countrywide thing.

Check out these Google caches of OnPoint-Countrywide web pages, and what those pages look like now:

Before and after.

Before and after.

Before and after.

Before and after (scroll down to March 12, 2007).

As a long-time OnPoint member, I'd be interested in knowing just what the heck is going on with that deal. But given the management attitude at OnPoint (whose CEO at one point was making $1.6 million a year), they'd probably rather throw me out than tell me.

Comments (24)

Jack, as of 6:05 pm, the url links you provided to the "after" pages were as follows:

"Temporarily unavailable" for the first two links

Pretty much normal for the third link

March 12, 2007 entry missing for the fourth link

That's the point.

And note the differences between the before and after on the third link.

Got it. I'm just slow here. And March 12 appears to be the date that OnPoint launched the joint venture with Countrywide.

And I do note that the third "before" link provides one statement that managed to speak the truth: Credit Union Times, in its December 13 issue, said the strategic alliance is one that stands out, "as having the potential to change the way credit unions do business."

Credit unions have changed from being nice loan facilities for the deserving little guy to just more centers of corporate greed. The idea used to be that no one was getting rich, but there was strength in numbers. The millions this CU overpaid to Cliff Dias are clear evidence that those days are over. I once was a proud member. Now I'm just a member. For the moment.

I just switched to Rivermark Credit Union, on the recommendation of nearly a dozen folks I know. So far, I've been really impressed with the service and value... 5%+ interest for checking sealed the deal.

I worry about safety with all these guys now.

Don't worry, deposit accounts are baked by the full faith and credit of the US Government.

Which is backed by the, uh, Chinese.

I understand cutting dead-weight. Countrywide is an albatross no bank wants to be associated with (now); stopping the advertising of your connections is good sense. But trying to do a shifty psuedo-retraction of a press release seems disingenuous.

How about another press release that says, "Hey, this was a mistake. Here's how much we lost. We're not doing it any more"?

Waayyyyyy too much to ask from big-shot CEO types. Especially those who won't even post their audited financials on the internet. "Here's a 10-line summary. If you want the whole thing, send us an e-mail." Creepy.

Don't forget that we are all subsidizing CUs because unlike regular banks they pay no taxes! That's how they can afford those ridiculous salaries for the CEO.

Onpoint Credit Union messed me up on a Refi. They told me they had lower rates and I should go with them. Unfortunately Country Wide nixed it and by that time I could not get the deal done with a commercial outfit. I will be leaving their credit union soon.

And like unions who's to blame? Few, very few members attend CU annual meetings. The membership has the power, once a year, to change things..but the members are just too busy to attend. Hell, 1/2 or more have never read the by-laws.
Another thing that is never brought out. Most credit union members are union members, i.e. Oregon Teacher's Union, receiving a wage that is negotiated. Not credit union employees..just like banks they are not organized...hello Teamsters.
And this applies to every credit union I have seen..and that is many..Portland Employees'credit union is one of many, same thing,city employees are unionized, not CU employees. So like big banks the CEO make the money and members, along with employees, get the crumbs.

The quality of the customer service at the branch we both likely share dropped significantly when the name change happened.

I've heard some negative feedback from OnPoint customers in the last few months, which is unusual.

I'm not sure the CountryWide situation is as dire as some believe: Bank of America just reiterated their intention to close on the acquisition ASAP.

If that deal should fall through, then I would avoid depositing/borrowing from CountryWide.

On a separate note, I don't know how NCUA coverage compares to FDIC, but they are both backed by the "full faith and credit of the U.S. Government". Which is (at least) as good as the full faith and credit of the P.R.C.

Better if they would pay off in RMB, perhaps. But the dollar is due for a rally.

I got out when I got wind of Cliff Dias' ridiculous salary, combined with all the junk mail I got trying to convince me everything was cool with them merging with whoever who pay them the l00tz.

I still think there are employer CUs that are less than just regular profiteering banks. Maybe just less of them.

Mister Tee: I'm not sure the CountryWide situation is as dire as some believe: Bank of America just reiterated their intention to close on the acquisition ASAP.

Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is for certain - BofA's timing on the Visa IPO is less than optimum, and Countrywide isn't quite getting a white knight riding to the rescue here.

I bailed out of PTCU about five years ago, after they tried to shuck and jive me on my mortgage insurance after my wife died. They wanted to cheat me out of $16,000 based upon their sending me a mimeographed letter stating that they'd unilaterally switched mortgage insurers.

The management at PTCU (now OnPoint) seems to think that they have the right to unilaterally change mortgage contracts on their customers.

I could certainly understand why they'd want to change their business name after that.

It may have been B of A pulling away from OnPoint, and not the other way around. If I were B of A, I wouldn't want some of the fringe business that Countrywide scraped up over the last year or so.

Jack, since they are non-profit you can view their 990’s online at places like www.foundationcenter.org and their 5300 call report (financials) is updated 60 days after the quarter ends on the NCUA website.
If you really want to know more about them you have options.

I looked up their 990 on Guidestar, but it was really old. Foundation Center looks like a real pain in the behind to navigate, if it's got any better info.

I'll have to see what I can find on the NCUA site.

If anyone interested on what is on that march 12 press release, here is the link to google cache:,+Countrywide+Home+Loans,+Announce+Groundbreaking&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us&client=firefox-a

PORTLAND, Ore.-OnPoint Community Credit Union and Countrywide Home Loans have announced a joint venture that is a first-of-its-kind in the nation between the country's largest mortgage lender and a credit union.

OnPoint Community Credit Union, the state's largest credit union with 180,000 members and assets of $2.3 billion, said the new business launched February 21 as OnPoint Mortgage powered by Countrywide.

OnPoint Mortgage offers more than 140 mortgage programs in a 50/50 joint venture with Countrywide. This allows OnPoint to add first mortgages to its list of financial products, including its highly successful home equity loans.

OnPoint's President & CEO Rob Stuart said this venture spells convenience and opportunity for current and future credit union members because of the wide variety of first mortgage products now available to them.

"Countrywide has national name recognition while the OnPoint name is well-known throughout much of our state. Together, we believe this will be a powerful partnership that's destined to help thousands of Oregonians achieve their home ownership dreams," Stuart said.

"Our new relationship with Countrywide Home Loans will help more OnPoint members qualify to buy a home and will provide the convenience of easy, one-stop shopping for their financial services needs," Stuart continued.

OnPoint Mortgage is hiring home loan consultants for each of OnPoint's 11 branches that span 10 of Oregon's most populous counties. The administrative offices for OnPoint Mortgage will be located at OnPoint's Montgomery Park headquarters in Portland.

Credit Union Times, in its December 13 issue, said the strategic alliance is one that stands out, "as having the potential to change the way credit unions do business."

OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, serving more than 180,000 members and with assets of $2.3 billion. Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union's field of membership includes everyone who lives or works in 10 designated Oregon counties (Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington and Yamhill).

For more information visit www.onpointcu.com or call 503-228-7077 or 800-527-3932.

The NCUA site is a gold mine of info. Definitely the place to start, although executive comp. isn't on there. More later today.

The follow-up is here.

Is Onpoint Community Credit Union still partnering with Countrywide Mortgage through Onpoint Mortgage?

Have they stopped using the connection with Countrywide Mortgage in their advertising because of the negative fallout?

Does Countrywide Mortgage have their employees in Onpoint Community Credit Union branches?

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