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Big Reverse Lender Halts Business

World Alliance stops accepting new applications

July 9, 2009

By staff

A reverse mortgage lender that recently ranked as the third biggest reverse mortgage originator has stopped accepting new business and might wind down altogether.

World Alliance Financial Corp. has stopped accepting new loan applications, a July 7 statement said. The reverse mortgage company said it will immediately begin scaling back operations and directing prospective borrowers to other lenders.

The Melville, N.Y.-based firm said it operates the Senior Lending Network from offices in New York and Michigan. It closed 884 home-equity conversion mortgages in May, according to Reverse Market Insight -- trailing only No. 1 Wells Fargo and No. 2 Bank of America.

After a company-wide review, World Alliance's Belgian parent KBC group said it would no longer make funding available for new reverse mortgages.

"Both the KBC Group and World Alliance management are working diligently to find a buyer or capital partner for the business, but if we are unsuccessful we will begin to slowly wind it down," KBC spokesman Viviane Hybrecht said in a July 7 statement. "In the interim, we will be retaining a core group of employees to ensure that World Alliance Financial is able to honor all of its current obligations, and will provide support services to former sales and support staff to help them through this difficult transition."

The suspension of new business will not impact current borrowers or current holders of Ginnie Mae securities, World Alliance Chief Executive Officer David Peskin said in the statement.

"We will continue to service outstanding loans, as well as fulfill all of our other obligations," Peskin stated. "Our core infrastructure will remain fully intact while we seek other opportunities."

Former World Alliance originator Bruce Jarrard recently pleaded guilty to stealing 56,000 reverse mortgage leads from the company before leaving in May 2008. The leads were generated from television and Internet advertisements and cost World around $75 each to generate -- though it sold some on the market for $100 to $200 each.
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