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Lender Doubling Originations, Staff

Alpine Mortgage plans 150 hires during next 12 months

September 3, 2008

By staff

An Oregon firm expects to more than double the nearly $700 million in loans it originated last year, while it plans to add 150 employees. A positive atmosphere is behind much of the success.

Alpine Mortgage Planning originated 3,125 loans for $0.7 billion last year, Regional Vice President Brian Reynolds said in a statement to This year, production is projected at 6,535 loans for $1.5 billion.

About 95 percent of this year's volume will be retail and 5 percent wholesale -- though mortgage broker business is expected to jump to 20 percent of 2009 originations at the Lake Oswego-based company.

Conforming production accounts for 51 percent of Alpine's activity, FHA fundings represent 48 percent and non-conforming loans make up 1 percent.

"This is truly a function of Wall Street and the appetite for jumbo mortgages," Reynolds explained. "We have some very well priced jumbo products, but they are difficult to qualify for due to the credit curve tightening so extensively."

He expects jumbo share to increase to 15 percent once Wall Street regains its appetite for jumbo loans.

To accommodate the recent growth, Alpine has hired 96 people during the past 12 months, according to Reynolds -- who runs retail production for the company. About 95 percent of the hires were mortgage advisors, while 4 percent were administrative personnel and 1 percent was wholesale. Headcount stood at 166 on Sept. 1 including a new net branch addition.

Alpine estimates it will hire another 150 employees over the next 12 months. In addition to wholesale and retail, the increase reflects projected growth in net branching opportunities.

The success at Alpine -- founded in 2002 by President Patrick Palmer, Chief Operating Officer Ed Coker and Executive Vice President Brian DuVal -- contrasts an industry-wide decline.

Freddie Mac projects total U.S. residential originations in 2008 to fall to $1.9 trillion from $2.5 trillion last year. Mortgage employment has gone from 441,500 during June 2007 to 355,500 in June 30, 2008.

Reynolds attributes Alpine's success to teamwork, empowerment, positivity and excellence -- though a sense of family also helps.

"The positive atmosphere and culture of the mortgage company is rare in the industry and attracts top producers and quality employees," he stated. "If we can have a positive impact on everyone's life that we touch, the rest all falls into place."

Brian Reynolds, Patrick Palmer, Ed Coker and Brian DuVal

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