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American Home Expands into Correspondent Lending

Name change planned for Q2

Feb. 17, 2012

By MortgageDaily.com staff


American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc., a big player in the mortgage servicing arena, has recently expanded into correspondent production, warehouse lending and home valuation services and is changing its name.

The Coppell, Texas-based firm said Friday that it launched correspondent and warehouse lending operations in October.

The addition of the new business lines followed an expansion over the past 12 months into loan closing services, REO management and home valuation. It also started providing special servicing, sub-servicing and asset management consulting.

Dave Applegate, president and chief executive officer of the company, noted in the news release that "we have built a full-service mortgage banking enterprise with a broad spectrum of offerings and expertise in lending."

American Home claims to be the 13th largest residential servicer with 374,000 mortgages serviced for $71 billion.

The company was created from the early 2008 acquisition of American Home Mortgage Investment Corp., which was among the first casualties of the subprime crisis. That was followed by the May 2008 acquisition of Option One Mortgage Servicing and the February 2009 purchase of 185,000 loans from Citi Residential Lending.

In August 2009, the man behind American Home, billionaire Wilbur Ross, hired former Federal Housing Finance Agency director James B. Lockhart III as vice chairman of WL Ross & Co. LLC.

American Home furthered its stake in residential lending with a September 2010 investment in The Capital Markets Cooperative. Members of the cooperative reportedly originated $25 billion annually at the time.

American Home recently settled a lawsuit filed in a Stamford, Conn., superior court by Carrington Capital Management LLC. That lawsuit, filed in February 2009, was followed one week later by a lawsuit filed in the same court by American Home against Carrington parent Carrington Asset Holding Company LLC, two Carrington affiliates and Bruce M. Rose.

American Home had accused Carrington of devising an illegal scheme to force it to unnecessarily hold on to repossessed properties much longer than necessary -- a move that allegedly enabled the hedge fund to divert losses to more senior investors.

In today's statement, American Home said it is changing its name to Homeward Residential. The change reflects its expansion into residential lending and other real estate finance related businesses.

"The name Homeward evolved after employee and customer input, followed by additional research, analysis and audience testing," the announcement said.

American Home expects to complete the name change in the second quarter.

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