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Wholesaler Goes Correspondent

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A wholesale lender that also operates nearly 40 retail branches has opened up a new correspondent lending business. At the top of its product list is a government renovation program.

Gateway Funding Correspondent was announced today by Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services.

The operation is targeting lenders, bankers and financial institutions in Mid-Atlantic states. A “broad range of products” and “government sponsorship” are being touted, while a customized servicing retention option is being offered.

Gateway — which runs 38 retail branches mostly in the eastern half of the country — said it already operates a “well established wholesale division.” It was founded in 1994 by former Mortgage Bankers Association Chairman Regina M. Lowrie, who went on to launch Vision Mortgage Capital in 2007.

Gateway, which claims to be “one of the largest privately-held mortgage companies in the United States,” promises “best in class turn times for underwriting and purchases.”

With demand for renovation lending products expected to continue increasing during the next several years, Gateway plans to strategically target the FHA 203K Renovation Loan program.

“Lenders choosing to promote renovation lending as a strategic initiative should benefit from this growth and the opportunities for added profitability associated with these products,” the statement said.

In December 2008, the Federal Trade Commission announced a $2.9 million settlement with Gateway over alleged price discrimination with minority borrowers. All but $0.2 million of the $2.9 million judgment, however, was suspended due to Gateway’s inability to pay.

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