A California-based Alt-A wholesaler has gone into hibernation. The company plans to emerge from its sleep after the market shakes itself out.
Express Capital Lending announced that, "due to the current volatility in the mortgage market," it is not accepting new submissions until further notice -- adding that once current conditions improve they would contact their brokers with new programs and guidelines, as stated on their Web site.
Mike Graff, vice president of marketing for the Newport Beach, Calif.-based wholesale lender, told MortgageDaily.com that -- like most of its competitors -- Express is taking a break.
"We are going to be restructuring, probably like a lot of Alternative-A paper lenders and subprime lenders, it's probably going to be hibernation mode for a little while -- just while we let the market shake out ... giving people an opportunity to re-price some risk and get some products to sell," Graff said in a brief phone interview.
Right now, they employee around 50 employees. They did close, however, a couple Florida branches over the last two to three months, Graff said. But up until now, the monthly volume for the company was around the $25 million mark.
According to AllMortgageDetail.com, a searchable database of mortgage data from lending institutions in the country, Express Capital had steadily increased its volume from $1.9 billion in 2003 and $2.8 billion in 2004, to $3.8 billion in 2005. Figures for 2006 were not reported.
According to its Web site, Express currently does business in 13 states.
The company, which calls itself "Home of the most aggressive Alt-A products," was established in 1999, Graff said. It utilized a proprietary online pricing engine -- currently in limbo -- to offer brokers Alt-A products.
"It's just a matter of time until we get some things we can sell and then provide the service that we've always provided to them over the years, so at the moment we ask them to just kind of hang with us here," he said.