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Net Branches Focus on FHA and Purchases

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Two net branch companies indicated that the surge in business during December involved more purchase transactions than refinance transactions. A New York-based firm reported that it added a dozen new branches in the last quarter, while a Utah-based company is luring new recruits with broad support for government originations.

Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company Inc. issued a statement yesterday boasting the addition of 12 company-owned branches during the past three months. Around 100 loan originators operate out of the new branches, which are located on the Atlantic Coast, in the Midwest and in the Southeast.

White Plaines, N.Y.-based Guaranteed said its branches have access to “sophisticated loan-origination and lead-management software” that cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars.” The 16-year-old firm uses a “people-oriented approach,” pays loan agents a day after loan fundings and provides instructional support.

In a statement to MortgageDaily.com, Guaranteed executive David A. Wind clarified that Guaranteed does not consider itself a net branch.

“For instance, the company leases every location, owns all of the equipment contained therein, controls all accounts, retains only W-2 staff and maintains full dominion and control over hiring and firing as well as underwriting,” Wind stated. “Indeed, our operations provide no indicia whatsoever of net branching as defined by the various jurisdictions that make those evaluations.”

Loan originations doubled in December from a year earlier for the biggest individual loan originator of U.S. government mortgages.

Around 70 percent of Rodney Anderson’s business — which jumped as a result of falling rates — has been for new home purchases, according to a recent press release. Anderson, who operates a Dallas-area division for Supreme Lending, claims to be “the country’s fourth highest producing originator of mortgage loans and the highest producing originator of FHA and VA loans.”

US Mortgage Corp. has also seen purchase activity pick up. The Pine Brook, N.J.-based company recently issued a statement indicating that its net branch managers have reported an increase in the share of purchase applications.

Streamlined FHA mortgages are at the center of a recruiting campaign by Flagship Financial Services. The Lehi, Utah-based company said it will provide new brokers with “proven direct mail pieces,” scrubbed mailing lists and scripts with conversion rates higher than 20 percent.

Flagship founder Will Farrar said many mortgage branches are unable to capitalize on the lowest interest rates in 40 years.

“Our goal … is to show mortgage brokers how to make money with the licensing, marketing and customer acquisition techniques we already have in place,” Farrar stated in the press release. “We already know they are working.”

Advantage Systems reported that 1,043 mortgage branches use its reporting tools for earnings, originations and other activity by branch and originator. The branches are part of 24 lending organizations.

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