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Biggest Reverse Lenders

Financial Freedom losing lead

October 21, 2008

By MortgageDaily.com staff

IndyMac Federal Bank's reverse lending subsidiary is still the leader in the sector, but two competitors are cutting its lead.

Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corp. has closed 16,188 home-equity conversion mortgages from January through August, Reverse Market Insight Inc. recently reported. The level of activity makes the company the biggest reverse lender. Retail volume accounted for 4,365 units, while wholesale volume was 11,823 units.

Even though the subsidiary of failed IndyMac currently maintains a 14 percent market share, its growth rate is a negative 48 percent -- leaving it vulnerable to losing its No. 1 ranking.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., held the second spot with 13,010 HECM loans closed this year. Most of Wells' business was retail, with just 165 loans were funded from mortgage brokers. Wells' growth rate was a negative 15 percent.

James B. Nutter and Co. was next, with 9,450 reverse mortgage closed through August. Just 360 units of Nutter's volume was retail, while 9,090 was wholesale. But with a 52 percent growth rate, the company is quickly improving its standings.

No. 4 was Bank of America, N.A., which has funded 7,967 HECMs year-to-date through August. Retail activity accounted for 2,072, and wholesale activity was 5,895. In addition, subsidiary Countrywide Bank FSB saw volume of 5,191, including 2,773 retail loans and 2,418 wholesale loans -- ranking it No. 5. Combined, the two companies ranked No. 2.

Factoring in BoA's growth rate of 22,663 percent and Countrywide's 474 percent growth rate -- the combined operation is well on its way to dominating the reverse mortgage market.

World Alliance Financial Corp. was No. 6, followed by MetLife Bank, Liberty Reverse Mortgage Inc. and Urban Financial Group. No. 10 was Generation Mortgage Co.

Reverse Market Insight previously noted that few of the companies that enter the reverse market ever rise above five loans per month.

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