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Bank of America Exits Wholesale Lending

Mortgage News

The wholesale lending division that Bank of America Corp. inherited with its acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp. will be shut down. Resources will be re-directed toward correspondent lenders. It’s the second time that the bank has exited the mortgage broker business.

In a conference call, executives were advised that the wholesale division would be discontinued, a source told Mortgage Daily.

A spokesman confirmed the departure in a statement.

“Bank of America Home Loans will exit the first mortgage wholesale channel to focus more operational resources toward fulfillment capacity for its leading direct-to-consumer retail channel, helping existing and new customers obtain mortgage financing,” the statement said. “Bank of America will work closely with its first mortgage wholesale clients to ensure that loans currently in the pipeline are fulfilled and processed for consumers.”

The exit will be completed once loans in process have been transitioned.

BofA originally closed its wholesale lending channel in December 2007.

But the July 2008 acquisition of Countrywide Home Loans landed the lender right back in the business of mortgage broker originations.

The Calabasas, Calif.-based lender said that its efforts will now be re-focused on expanding its correspondent and warehouse lending channels.

“Bank of America remains committed to purchasing and financing loans from correspondent lending clients, including those approved to originate loans from mortgage brokers,” Bank of America Institutional Mortgage Services President Doug Jones said in the statement. “We intend to build upon our leadership position in that market to provide enhanced liquidity to the smaller financial institutions and independent mortgage companies that supply mortgages as our correspondent clients.”

BofA said it will offer impacted wholesale employees the opportunity to work in other units including its retail lending channel, correspondent channel and warehouse channel.

The company reported $391 billion in originations for last year.

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