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Merger Creates Top-10 Subprime Servicer

Walter Investment acquiring Marix Servicing

Aug. 31, 2010

By staff

An upcoming acquisition of a default servicer is expected to create a new top-10 servicer of subprime mortgages and boost demand for servicing portfolios.

A news release Tuesday indicated that Marix Servicing LLC is being acquired by Walter Investment Management Corp. from Marathon Asset Management L.P. The deal, for which terms were not disclosed, is expected to close by the end of October.

Marix is a Phoenix-based "high-touch specialty mortgage servicer," the statement said. It has relationships with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and is designated as a select servicer by Standard and Poor's Ratings Service. The average management executive at the company has more than 22 years' experience.

"The company, Marix and Marathon will maintain a close strategic relationship after the closing, including the use by Marathon of Marix for the servicing of residential mortgage assets on an exclusive basis, participation by Marathon on Marix's advisory council and the continuation of pre-existing credit agreements provided to Marix by Marathon through March 2011," Walters Investment explained in the announcement.

Walter Investment and subprime servicing subsidiary Walter Mortgage Co. were divested by Walter Industries Inc. in April 2009 and merged with Hanover Capital Mortgage Holdings Inc. Around 225 people were employed by the firm at the time, whereas headcount in today's statement was reported at 230.

As of March 31, 2009, Walter Mortgage serviced around $1.9 billion. In today's statement, the Tampa, Fla.-based real estate investment trust said that the Marix acquisition will make it one of the 10 biggest subprime mortgage servicers in the country.

"We believe Marix will serve to both accelerate and broaden our portfolio acquisition opportunities," Walter Investment Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark J. O'Brien said in the announcement.

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