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Nationstar Acquires Champion

KeyCorp sale includes 250 employees

March 1, 2007


The sale of Champion Mortgage has been completed.

Nationstar Mortgage LLC announced today it acquired the Parsippany, N.J.-based company from KeyCorp.

The unit includes 250 employees at four call centers throughout the Northeast and will reportedly become an operating division of Dallas-based Nationstar, which was itself acquired by Fortress Investment Group LLC from Centex  Corp. last year.

Champion Executive Vice President Mike Caccaiguida will remain in place and report to Nationstar CEO Anthony H. Barone, the statement said.

"Champion Mortgage has a rich heritage and an excellent reputation as a premier mortgage lender in each of the markets it serves," said Barone -- who previously served as an executive for an Associates First Capital unit before it was swallowed up by Citigroup.

"Champion is one of the nation's largest retail home equity lenders," Hoover's reports. "The unit originates, sells, and services high-yield home equity mortgage loans secured by first or second liens. Champion deals primarily with one- to four-family residential properties, including townhouses and individual condos, and also originates loans to those who may not qualify through conventional sources."

The company, which was founded in 1981 according to its Web site, was a huge success because of its founder, Joseph P. Goryeb, one industry veteran told MortgageDaily.com.

Goryeb "led by professionalism," Robert Rubin, president of Investaid Corp., said in a telephone interview.

The success of the company was attributable to the fair treatment of employees and the fine character of Goryeb, Rubin added.

Rubin was inspired nearly two decades ago when he first observed the operation, which he said operated like a highly efficient assembly line system.

KeyCorp sold Champion's $2.5 billion residential portfolio to HSBC Finance Corp. in December.

KeyCorp announced in August 2006 that it was considering the sale of Champion because the unit no longer fit with its own objectives.

Nationstar, which reports a $10.5 billion outstanding loan portfolio, claims to be the eighth largest retail non-prime lender in the country.

Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of MortgageDaily.com.

e-mail: [email protected]

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