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Failed, closed and a c q u i r e d mortgage-related entities.

Wholesaler Done

Metrocities closes wholesale operations

October 15, 2008

By staff

A company that claims to be among the biggest U.S. lenders is pulling the plug on its wholesale lending operation.

Metrocities Mortgage LLC has exited the wholesale lending business, Matthew Tully, senior vice president of marketing for parent Prospect Mortgage, told in a statement.

Tully noted that Metrocities, which reported $6 billion in 2006 originations, has not failed.

Metrocities states that it "ranks among the top mortgage companies nationwide in closed loan volume."

The Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based company said that it -- along with its affiliates -- has more than 1,000 employees. Tully didn't comment on the number of employees that are impacted by the closing of the wholesale unit, but the company lists 36 wholesale account executives on its Web site.

"Our wholesale operation was a relatively small part of our business," he explained. "We have exited wholesale lending in order to more intensely concentrate on building our core business, which is retail lending."

The wholesale operation offered conforming, jumbo, Alt-A and FHA programs.

A letter sent to mortgage brokers today said the decision to close the operation was based on current market conditions.

Prospect, which was established in 2006 and claims to be "one of the nation's largest mortgage lenders," acquired Metrocities Mortgage LLC in 2007. At the time, Metrocities noted it had "satisfied known and unknown claims related to problem loans."

On Aug. 7, 2008, Prospect closed on the acquisition of 70 IndyMac retail branches. That deal included 1,000 employees and a $366 million pipeline. The Northbrook, Ill.-based company said the IndyMac acquisition would make it "one of the largest independent retail mortgage companies in the country."

Tully added, "Our retail division is profitable and growing, and our September 2008 volume was the highest since our inception as a company in 2006."

Today's broker bulletin indicated that locks will not be accepted as of tomorrow. But Metrocities noted it "will work to close our existing locked pipeline, as smoothly as possible."

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