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Mortgage Branch News | Net Branch | Mortgage Branch Directory
Coverage of new and existing net branch operations. Programs, payouts and other details. Profiles of brokers and net branch lawsuits.


Branch Networks Expand

Recent mortgage branch activity

Nov. 12, 2010

By JERRY DeMUTH MortgageDaily.com


With an eye on growing markets, mortgage branch networks are expanding at a healthy pace in states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas. Along with the new branches come increased recruiting efforts.

Houston-based Iwayloan LP, in addition to opening new offices with newly-hired managers in Dallas and Hanover, Penn., also has opened in new office with a new manager in Atlanta, raising their total number of branches to five.

"We have been licensed in Georgia for some time," said Iwayloan Managing Director Larry Lobb, "but did not want to move forward with a new branch office until we had the right person."

Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp. has opened seven new offices, including three in New Jersey, which Allied Chief Executive Officer Jim Hodge called a "fast growing market." Those offices are in Toms River, Clifton and Mullica Hill.

Allied, which is also based in Houston, also has opened new offices in Louisville, Ky.; Frisco, Texas; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Muncie, Ind.

Hodge said that the company sees "lots of future opportunity" in the Louisville area, while the Frisco location is in "a very popular community for professionals working in the Dallas-Ft Worth area." As for the new Arizona office, he pointed out that the branch operator already has "some very strong branches in the state."

Allied now has more than 200 branches throughout the U.S. and the Virgin Islands, according to Hodge.

With a new office in Spokane, it's first in Washington, and two new offices in Texas, in Grand Prairie and Southlake, PrimeSource Mortgage now has 34 branches in 17 states.

"We expect Dallas/Ft. Worth to be a key market for PrimeSource Mortgage," said PrimeSource President and CEO Jeffrey Smith, "and we have an experienced staff of mortgage professionals at each of our Dallas/Ft. Worth branches to help drive our growth in the region."

The company also recently obtained a license in Virginia, bringing to 18 the number of states in which it is licensed.

Pointing to southern Maryland as "a growing community supported by a thriving employment market in government, government contracts and the military, including the Andrew Air Force Base and Patuxent Navel Air Station," Embrace Home Loans () CEO and founder Dennis Hardiman announced that his company has opened a full-service branch in Waldorf, Md.

Mortgage Network Inc. has opened three offices in neighboring states: Elkton, Md.; Wilmington, Del.; and Dewey Beach, Del.

"After the great success we experienced in the Pennsylvania area," explained Bob Johnson, regional vice president of the Lancaster, Penn.-based company, "we decided it was a natural progression to expand further into the Mid-Atlantic region."

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Gold Star Financial Management, which now has more than 20 branch offices in five states, and is licensed in 15 other states, has opened a new branch in Ferndale, a Detroit suburb, its fifth in the state.

Sacramento, Calif.-based American Pacific Mortgage, with more than 160 branches, more than 50 of them in California, is adding branch offices in 11 states west of the Mississippi plus Alaska and is seeking branch managers for them.

All Home Lending is seeking to add offices through its branch affiliate program that provides access to the Buena Park, Calif.-based firm's loan origination system, automated underwriting platform, marketing support, compliance assistance and other help.

Guaranteed Home Mortgage Co., which operates branches in 25 states from its headquarters in White Plains, N.Y., has opened branches in three additional states: Delaware, Indiana and Missouri.

In addition to opening new branches, Waukesha, Wis.-based Inlanta Mortgage added other new branches through a merger with American Foundations MortgageBanc's retail offices and operations, which were previously a wholly owned subsidiary of Generations Bancorp, Inc.

"This merger strengthens our presence in Illinois and Wisconsin," said John Knowlton, president and founder of Inlanta.

American Foundations MortgageBanc has retail branches in Illinois and Wisconsin that will change their name to Inlanta Mortgage, giving Inlanta 13 branch offices in Wisconsin and two in Illinois, in addition to 10 offices in seven other states, including two in Florida, the second of which was opened in August.

The company has plans for expansion into additional states in the future, said Joe Ramis, Branch Recruitment Director at Inlanta.

"From our continued growth and expansion into additional states, we are able to provide increasing opportunities for our mortgage professionals, partner branches and the customers they serve" he commented.

Inlanta also is licensed but has yet to open offices in Colorado, Kansas, and North Dakota.

American Foundations' president, Nicholas J. DelTorto, has joined Inlanta as executive vice president. In addition, American Foundations' chief operating officer John L. Watry has become chief financial officer of Inlanta.

Such branch growth can present challenges for mortgage operations with coordination and centralization of marketing. Home Savings of America, which now has nearly 100 mortgage branches in 27 states, with each conducting its own marketing, was "interested in designing a centralized marketing solution that would not only help us maximize our direct marketing ROI but also ensure our prescreen direct marketing campaigns were fully compliant with FCRA regulations," said Home Savings Vice President of Marketing Forrest Young.

The mortgage firm hired Boca Raton, Fla.-based Tranzact Information Services, which created a custom, private-labeled online data access and delivery system that fully integrated with Home Savings' technology platform, explained Tranzact President Ben Waldshan.

"The system provides branch managers with access to a variety of marketing data sets, including prescreen credit lists from all three leading bureaus," Waldshan said. "By leveraging hundreds of attributes hand-selected by Young and his team, managers can build highly targeted marketing lists to reach a number of mortgage prospects for conventional, reverse, FHA, and VA loans and more."

A merger has played a role in the growth of at least one other mortgage lender.
The seven offices -- six in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey -- of Vision Mortgage Capital grew by one with the acquisition of Financial Mortgage Corp. of Fort Washington, Penn. Vision is the mortgage division of Plymouth Meeting, Penn.-based Continental Bank.

Kislak Mortgage has opened a branch in Jacksonville, Fla., its third in the state.

Pulaski Bank Home Lending is opening a small office in Wichita, Kan., The Witchita Eagle reported. The new office, managed by Mitch Crouch, will target real estate agents.

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Jerry DeMuth is an award winning journalist who has been reporting for four decades.

e-mail Jerry at [email protected]
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