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Mortgage Branch News | Net Branch | Mortgage Branch Directory
Coverage of new and existing net branch operations. Programs, payouts and other details. Profiles of brokers and net branch lawsuits.

Branch Expansion Strategies Implemented

Recent mortgage branch activity

Dec. 11, 2012

By HOLLY LaFON Mortgage Daily

Regional and national mortgage firms are wading into new markets with branch openings announced in several regions of the country. Some branches were opened from scratch, while others were previously independent firms that were acquired as branches of larger companies. At least one of the new branches will be recruiting 10 new employees.

A fourth new office has been opened by Port Huron, Mich.-based First Preferred Mortgage Co. in Birmingham, Mich.
The growing company plans to open more branches before the end of the year as Michigan's economy continues to improve. Chris Newberry and Luke Marton, who each have more than 15 years of mortgage industry experience, will lead the new office.

A company that claims to be one of the country's largest privately held non-bank lenders, Real Estate Mortgage Network Inc., has expanded with three new retail locations strategically located across the country.

New REMN offices are opening in Jacksonville, Fla.; New City, N.Y.; and San Diego. The staff will be serving area home buyers, home owners, realtors and builders and combine the services usually found separately at consumer retail branches and large-scale wholesale lending and online channels. They will be led by mortgage industry veterans and area experts: Jamie Zeitz in Jacksonville, Joseph Maskovic in New City and Michael Pieratt in San Diego.

Crosscountry Mortgage has added 25 new branches in less than a year. The rapid growth was achieved with the help of Advantage Systems' Accounting for Mortgage Bankers, which is geared uniquely for the mortgage industry and has allowed the Brecksville, Ohio-based company to grow its branch network, provide branch managers with real-time financial data, and obtain higher quality financial data and back-office efficiencies.

The Northern California markets of San Rafael and Petaluma are the homes of new Guaranteed Rate branches. The branch openings are part of its sweeping nationwide expansion. The new branches will be managed by Cory Carroll, a new recruit to the company with 23 years of mortgage industry experience.

Guaranteed Rate, which claims to be America's fastest growing mortgage company, is expanding in Maine with a new branch in Auburn. The national residential mortgage investment and banking firm says it has been rapidly growing since its founding in 1992, and the new Maine branch will cover the entire state, offering a wide range of mortgage products including FHA, VA, USDA, conventional and reverse mortgages. A five-person staff will be headed by Brendan Fontaine, a professional whose experience includes both mortgage banking and law.

Two other new branches opened by Guaranteed are located in North Bergen, N.J., and West Hartford, Conn. Guaranteed Rate Senior Vice President of Mortgage Lending Jason Jastrzebski will manage the West Hartford branch, and Ratiba Lafi-Grullon was named vice president of mortgage lending at the North Bergen office.

In Winter Park, Fla.,
Gateway Mortgage Group has opened its first Florida branch. Todd Shale, the new branch's manager, is in charge of recruiting and leading its first team of mortgage consultants, publicizing the privately held company's name in the Sunshine State and expanding its market share there. Shale has more than 10 years' experience in the mortgage industry, most recently serving as the Florida sales manager for the REO Finance Group at a financial services holding company.

Gateway is increasing its share of
the Kansas market with a new branch located in McPherson, which will service all counties in the state. The new location will allow the company to provide higher-quality customer service as its customer base in Kansas increases. Don Pennington, a mortgage industry expert with almost a decade of experience, will manage the branch.

An expansion into New England by Inlanta Mortgage was implemented with the addition of
Alpine Mortgage LLC offices in Manchester, N.H.; Newington, N.H.; Portland, Me.; and Augusta, Me. Partnering with Inlanta will allow Alpine originators to focus on customers and building new business, while Inlanta's operations and support staff handle the process.

Inlanta's expansion throughout the New England region will be led by New Regional Vice President Scott Reid.

California-based Guild Mortgage Co. is adding two new South Carolina satellite offices located in Beaufort and Bluffton to its Spartanburg, S.C., office. The expansion will help improve service and convenience and meet increasing demand. Current Spartanburg manager Dwight Bennett will oversee the new branches.

Guild reportedly opened its fifth South Carolina branch, located in Greenville, as part of its planned Southeast expansion. Silas Tolles and Frank Huguen will manage the new branch.

In addition, Guild has opened an office in Roseville, Calif., in a move that is expected to create 10 new jobs, according to a story from the Sacramento Business Journal. The manager of the branch is Nora Robinson, a 40-year mortgage veteran.

PinPoint Mortgage has joined W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital LLC as the flagship Midwest branch, an announcement last week said. Chicago-based PinPoint was founded by Jack Brascia in 2000.

Centennial, Colo.-based W.J. Bradley reports that it is licensed in 20 states and operates 67 branches predominantly in the West. Headcount exceeds 1,300 professionals.

Wye Mortgage has been added as an operating branch of PrimeLending. Wye Mortgage primarily services Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region, while PrimeLending serves the continental United States. The new location will have two senior loan officers, Rick Rider and Trey Rider.

Another independent firm, 123 Mortgage in St. Louis, has joined PSMI Holdings, a Roswell, N.M.-based mortgage broker. Kevin Puntney, the former president of 123 Mortgage, will lead the new office. Puntney grew 123 Mortgage into a consumer direct brand with a strong radio presence in the St. Louis market. A St. Louis native, PSMI says Puntney is one of the top mortgage professionals in the state.

V.I.P., an Arizona-based, mid-size mortgage bank that claims to be on a mission to restore the reputation of the mortgage industry, has opened its newest location in Albuquerque. Jim Bakhtiar is the new branch manager.

Metro Atlanta welcomes a new branch of Churchill Mortgage, a mortgage company providing FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages in 26 states. Jennifer Coe, its newest business development executive, will open the new branch and focus on growing business in George. Coe bears the responsibility of staffing the new branch with processors and loans officers, advancing the Churchill brand by partnering with local community banks and establishing a realtor outreach program. Coe joins Churchill from Terri & Company, where she was one of three licensed real estate agents. A licensed real estate agent, certified distressed property expert, and certified aging in place specialist, she has won numerous industry awards.

Bank of Oklahoma has opened a mortgage branch under the Bank of Kansas City Mortgage brand in Salina, Kan., that will focus on mortgages to first-time homebuyers and investors as well as mortgages that are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Salina Journal reported. The branch was opened by Kitty Pestinger.

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