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New FHA Wholesaler Launches

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A big FHA retail lender is jumping back into the wholesale business.

By the middle of this month, Lend America expects to begin accepting business from mortgage brokers, an announcement today indicated.

The new unit will operate in 47 states through a centralized operation with 25 geographically focused teams, more than 30 FHA direct-endorsed underwriters and an automated paperless platform.

It’s the second foray into wholesale lending by the Melville, N.Y.-based company.

In July 2008, Lend America-affiliate Ideal Mortgage Bankers Ltd. said it would stop accepting mortgage broker business. In an announcement at the time, Ideal attributed the exit to risk, the lending environment and the direction the mortgage industry was headed.

Many of Ideal’s employees were redeployed to Lend America, which now has 600 employees.

Lend America Chief Business Strategist Michael Ashley noted in the statement that the wholesale business has changed since they exited last year.

“With wholesale lending platforms dwindling, we believe today there is a tremendous opportunity to help mortgage brokers better meet borrowers’ needs, increase close rates and rebuild their businesses,” Ashley stated in today’s news release. “Through our innovative centralized model and systematic loan process, which address risk factors as well as time and cost inefficiencies in the lending value chain, we can quickly become a major resource for the mortgage brokerage community.”

Lend America reported in April that its servicing portfolio exceeds $500 million, while FHA retail originations were $450 million during the first-quarter.

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