The subprime arm of National City Corp. reported that adjustable-rate mortgages and branch expansion prompted its latest mortgage production to exceed monthly projections by 20 percent. But the unit still saw its business fall from the prior month.
San Jose, Calif.-based First Franklin Financial Corp. said it originated $2.44 billion in mortgage loans during April, down slightly from March's figure reported at $2.46 billion. Fundings in April 2003 were $1.36 billion.
First Franklin's wholesale division accounted for over $2.27 billion of the latest fundings, the consumer-direct division added $0.14 billion and the rest came from its portfolio-retention group, according to the report.
About 70% of the originations were purchase loans, the subprime lender said.
ARMs from the company's core loan product suite, Direct AccessSM, reportedly accounted for more than 73% of April's originations, both purchase and refinance, with the most popular being the two-year LIBOR -- London Interbank Offered Rate -- ARM.
The addition of two new wholesale branches -- one in Sacramento, Calif., and the other in Garden City, N.Y. --aided production, the report said. The company now has a total of 35 wholesale locations spread across the nation, compared to 30 in 2003.
First Franklin said it plans further purchase-product development, branch expansion, key technology upgrades and continuous organizational development efforts as part of its 2004 market share strategy. CEO Andy Pollock recently said the company intends to jump from its current position as the nation's fifth largest nonconforming lender to third largest within the next three years.