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Mortgage Hirings Continue

Recent recruiting activity in real estate finance

Nov. 23, 2012

By SAM GARCIA Mortgage Daily

portrait of Sam Garcia

People with experience in real estate finance are being recruited by mortgage lenders and the companies that provide services to them. Among the mortgage firms that are hiring are a reverse mortgage company, a distressed servicer and the nation's mega-lenders. A few of the prospective employers have been recognized as some of the best places to work.

In Jacksonville, Fla., a new office is expected to be opened in December by The StoneHill Group, according to a Nov. 13 announcement. The mortgage service provider -- which offers of mortgage quality control, due diligence, loan fulfillment, compliance audits and other outsourcing services -- has already started hiring 50 new employees for the 4,000-square-foot facility.

StoneHill President David Green said that the Jacksonville market has become a hub for many mortgage lenders and industry service providers. Jacksonville provides the 16-year-old firm with a supply of "experienced mortgage professionals from the northeast Florida region."

A move early next year to a new headquarters facility in Fulton, Md., will support NewDay USA LLC's launch of NewDay USA University, a Nov. 15 statement said. NewDay created the educational and training center for new and established mortgage banking professionals. The reverse mortgage lender projects that staffing will reach a thousand employees by the end of next year.

The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry reports that 136 loan originators are registered as being employed by New Day.

"Mortgage banking offers a great career path, especially for young people and recent college graduates," NewDay Chairman Rear Admiral Tom Lynch said in the statement. "Educating new hires and providing continuing education to current employees has been a cornerstone of success at NewDay USA and it is a foundation in the company's strategic plans for growth."

Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, which earlier this month notified the Texas Workforce Commission in a Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification filing that 459 North Texas employees would be laid off on Dec. 31, issued a news release on Nov. 16 indicating that headcount is expected to go from more than 1,500 employees now to more than 2,000 in 2013.

"Interestingly, our 2012 numbers far surpass 2011, for which the award was given," Wingspan Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President Steven Horne said in the announcement about being recognized as the second fastest-growing privately held company in the Dallas metropolitan area by the SMU Cox School of Business Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship. "Our company's total headcount fluctuates according to projects, but overall we continue to grow at a rapid pace.

"We foresee Wingspan's 2013 numbers to substantially exceed 2012's."

Wingspan is a Mortgage Daily advertiser.

Inlanta Mortgage reported on Nov. 16 that it added six employees to its funding department, and "many new positions" are still being filled at its branches and its Brookfield, Wis., headquarters.

"We are adding quality sales staff and only the best support staff to help our producers," Inlanta President Nicholas DelTorto said in the statement.

Bloomberg News reported this month that Wells Fargo & Co. has expanded its mortgage operations staff by 25 percent this year -- with over half being recruited from outside the company. More than 2,500 underwriting employees have been hired so far in 2012 by the San Francisco-based company, and another thousand positions are still open.

Another article from The Charlotte Observer indicated that Wells Fargo is holding a recruiting event for underwriters in Charlotte, N.C.

Forty positions are being filled in Downtown Columbus, Ohio, by Fifth Third Bancorp to handle first mortgages and home-equity lines of credit, Columbus Business First reported this week. In all, Fifth Third reportedly already employs 852 people in Central Ohio, where first mortgage production fell to 6,271 loans last year from 6,622 mortgage originated in 2010.

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group, which in June reported that its staffing had grown to more than 500 employees from 400 as of October 2010, said last week that it has been named as a Top Workplace in Michigan for 2012 by the Detroit Free Press for the fourth time. New recruits will be treated to "a high-energy, fun and productive collegiate atmosphere" as well as a gym, flat screen televisions and a pet-friendly employer, according to the announcement.

Sam Garcia founded Mortgage Daily in 1998 and became its full-time publisher in 2000. Prior to his news career he worked in mortgage lending for two decades.

[email protected]

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