Real estate loan defaults force conservatorship on Cal State 9 while it stays open for business
The weight of defaults on real estate loans has forced the Bay Area-based Cal State 9 Credit Union into federal conservatorship.
The state Department of Financial Institutions announced late Friday that it was putting the National Credit Union Administration – the federal agency that regulates and insures credit agencies – in charge of Cal State 9 operations.
Member deposits are federally insured up to $100,000; IRA and KEOGH retirement accounts are insured up to $250,000.
The institution will remain “open for business as usual,” according to a joint statement issued Friday by Cal State 9 and federal officials.
Judith Hurst, Cal State 9’s interim CEO who came aboard Friday, said in a letter to members posted on the credit union’s Web site that the No. 1 priority during this period is to protect member assets and restore financial stability. As part of the recovery effort, the conservator will look into merging Cal State 9 with another financial institution or selling it, officials said.
The credit union has five branches in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward and Pleasant Hill. Its headquarters is in Concord.
The Cal State 9 Credit Union, which has been in operation for nearly 60 years, has more than 29,000 members and nearly $388 million in assets, said Carol Chesbrough, California’s interim commissioner of financial institutions.
“The credit union, however, had impaired capital and had become insolvent,” Chesbrough said.
The credit union reported $54.5 million in loan and lease losses in its September quarterly report on file with the state; in the previous quarter the reported losses amounted to $17 million.
The takeover signals yet another misfortune in the unfolding mortgage crisis in which homeowners are defaulting on their loans and losing their properties. The bulk of Cal State 9’s loans are for real estate transactions.
The state’s action “is related to the credit union’s defaults on mortgages,” California Department of Financial Institutions spokeswoman Alana Golden said Saturday.
Cal State 9 started as a credit union for University of California employees but has since expanded its membership pool to residents and employees in San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa and Sacramento counties.
State and federal officials did not say how long the conservatorship would last. Members with questions or concerns can call (925) 363-2700 or contact a local branch manager.
Read Cal State 9 Credit Union’s letter to its members: