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Wholesaler Launching

Fairway Independent announces third-party channel

Aug. 30, 2010

By staff

A company that originates more than $3 billion a year in retail business is launching a third-party channel that will focus on government programs. The expansion into the mortgage broker arena follows similar moves recently by other wholesale lenders.

A national wholesale platform is being developed by Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp., a news release Monday said. The Web site for the new business is

Working at the new operation are former production employees of Union Federal Bank's and MidAmerica Bank's third-party businesses.

The Sun Prairie, Wis.-based lender said a "huge vacuum" was created when many wholesale lenders abandoned the market after the onset of the mortgage crisis in 2007.

Fairway Chief Executive Officer Steve Jacobson sees now as the right time for the company's foray into wholesale lending.

"As the mortgage industry continues to rebound, we see a fantastic opportunity for us in the wholesale market," Jacobson said in the news release. "Although our goals are modest, we believe we can bring the same successful culture, speed and quality of service to the wholesale space as FHA experts who are able to serve banks, credit unions and other loan originators."

Other lenders to recently expand their wholesale presence include PHH Mortgage Corp., which earlier this month said the hiring of a new executive will be "invaluable" as it expands its wholesale and correspondent lending channels. 360 Mortgage Group reportedly pushed originations up 600 percent last year by shifting from a direct-to-consumer model to a wholesale lender. Total Mortgage Services launched TMS Funding in December 2009 and reported last month that it was doing wholesale business in 17 states including California, Florida and Texas.

Fairway's new third-party origination channels include fulfillment, broker and correspondent. Among targeted third-party customers are "select" banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers.

Fairway said it will leverage its "expertise" in Federal Housing Administration lending and USDA lending. It already operates 105 retail branches that it says provide "qualified individuals with a very aggressive and rewarding compensation environment."

Fairway reported $3.4 billion in production last year -- it's highest on record. During the first half of this year, around $1.4 billion was originated.

Fairway Independent Mortgage profile

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