Smaller Mortgage Players in Growth Mode

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With many of the biggest players in the mortgage game sitting on the sidelines post-crash, scandal, and lawsuits, the smaller also-rans are happily, busily and selectively snatching up seasoned employees and industry volume.

In an interview with Westchester Today, Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company president David Wind admitted, “Thanks to the closure of so many larger firms, we are the recipients of highly qualified, skilled staff that heretofore would not have considered working for a company such as ours.”

Eventually the housing market will stabilize and those who originate and securitize mortgages will once again be in demand at the bulge bracket banks, but for now, with most mortgages being serviced by Fannie and Freddie Mac, any growth will be relegated to second tier firms.

Reverse Mortgages

One area where we're seeing growth is in reverse mortgages. They have become an attractive target for smaller lenders, as the largest players step out of the market. Guaranteed Home Mortgage entered the reverse mortgage market in May. According to Reverse Market Insight’s Industry Overview, MetLife Bank took the second spot in total volume, with its reverse mortgage volume growing 184 percent. Reverse Mortgage Daily reported that MetLife Bank will “no longer purchase reverse mortgage loans from correspondent lenders that source their loans indirectly through mortgage brokers,” as of January 2011.

One Reverse Mortgage had an increase of 32 percent. Urban Financial, a subsidiary of Knight Capital, experienced a 66 percent increase, while Generation Mortgage Comp posted a 120 percent jump. Genworth Financial HM EQ had a 72 percent boost, while American Advisors Group saw a 169 percent increase.

Security One Lending posted an 84 percent jump. Wells Fargo Bank held on to the top spot, with 23.3 percent of the market share. But their year-to-year volume grew by a small amount—a mere 3 percent. The once top ranked Bank of America dropped to fourth place with a 45 percent drop in reverse mortgage volume. Wells Fargo and Bank of America stopped writing new reverse mortgages this year.