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Fairway Business Down Over Half

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As overall business tumbled at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp., production from the new wholesale operation leapt. The company has expanded its government wholesale programs and plans to add non-agency jumbo loans to the wholesale menu.

First-quarter retail originations were 2,948 loans for $584 million, the lender reported to Mortgage Daily.

Business sank from total volume of $1.2 billion during the fourth-quarter 2010. Production was also lower than $0.7 billion in the first quarter of last year.

In a news release Wednesday, the Sun Prairie, Wis.-based lender reported that it “nearly quadrupled its wholesale lending production” and has grown its wholesale pipeline more than 300 percent in the first three months of 2011.

Through a spokeswoman, Fairway declined to provide first-quarter wholesale volume. But it did project $60 million in second-quarter volume.

Fairway announced in August 2010 that the wholesale unit was being developed, while a wholesale FHA program was announced in October.

Fairway said that its third-party client base grew to 160 mortgage brokers, a level that “nearly quadrupled” between Jan. 1 and April 1.

A non-delegated correspondent channel is expected to be added by June. That operation will acquire closed loans from clients who outsource the underwriting function to the wholesale channel.

USDA loans have recently been added to Fairway’s wholesale government product menu.

Another upcoming offering is non-conforming loans, which are expected to be rolled out in the third quarter. Fairway said it wants to take advantage of the upcoming expiration of the super-conforming loan limit.

“It’s all about speed, communication and balance — three core values our senior management insists that all employees keep in the forefront in dealing with the client as they help put deals together,” Fairway Wholesale Lending Vice President Howard Hoyt said in the announcement. “By providing our partners with direct access to our underwriting team, we’re making many more loans happen than would otherwise be possible.”

Fairway reports more than 1,030 employees, the same as it reported in January. But the number of company locations has climbed to 117 from 90.

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