Gas drilling may shift lending landscape

The expected boom in natural gas leasing has some local lending institutions reconsidering their mortgage policies.

And local borrowers who stand to make a lot of money from leasing their potential gas rich properties to energy companies are concerned, lenders say.

"Our switchboards have been lighting up," said Frank E. Berrish, president and chief executive officer of Visions Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Endicott.

"There has been concern and confusion."

Berrish may be getting more calls than other lenders about the gas lease issue. Visions holds more mortgages in Broome and Tioga counties than any other lending institution, the credit union president said.

At issue is how the leasing or selling of gas and mineral rights could affect the value of the mortgaged property.

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