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Redwood Credit Union earns $1 million

Redwood Credit Union earned $1 million in first quarter, a significant improvement compared to a year ago, when it lost millions of dollars during the global financial collapse.

It also began growing in size again this year, with assets increasing 1.8 percent to $1.7 billion, according to a quarterly report released Monday.

"We had a strong first quarter," said Brett Martinez, president and chief executive of Redwood Credit Union. "We're doing a lot better compared to this time last year."

The growth in assets was largely driven by a 4 percent increase in its membership, he said.

"There is really a movement to financial cooperatives, which is really what a credit union is," Martinez said.

Nonprofit credit unions such as Redwood are focused on the financial health of members, not on corporate shareholders, Martinez said. Redwood Credit Union has spent the last year helping its members cope with The Great Recession, rising unemployment and smaller paychecks.

"Our focus has been working with our 147,000 members to keep them in their homes and in their cars, and working with them on their budgets," Martinez said.

During the past 12 months, Redwood has modified more than $60 million in members' real estate loans, according to the financial statement.

"That number by itself shows that we have been helping people," Martinez said. "It's our No. 1 focus."

Redwood Credit Union, the second-largest financial institution in Sonoma County by asset size, remained well capitalized, according to government standards.

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