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Mortgage Consolidations & Executive Shuffles

Mortgage Consolidations & Executive Shuffles

Recent mortgage mergers, acquisitions and other corporate activity

March 14, 2006

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
A new wholesale chief at Washington Mutual, delayed financials from Fannie Mae and a major acquisition by Capital One are among the latest corporate and merger activity in real estate finance.

Sun National Bank, of Vineland, N.J., recently launched a residential mortgage subsidiary named Sun Home Loans Inc. and broadcasted its first podcast, which is designed to help consumers learn more about mortgages and the mortgage process.

“Given New Jersey’s current housing environment, we wanted to give consumers a very focused approach to obtaining a mortgage that best fits their specific needs,” said Thomas A. Bracken, Sun National president and CEO, in the announcement. “With this specialized subsidiary, we are a one-stop mortgage resource, giving customers the attention they need to get through the mortgage process and move on to enjoying their new home.”

The subsidiary’s product menu includes interest-only and Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages, and affordable loans for low- and moderate-income households through two private programs, according to the announcement.

The Federal Reserve Board announced Monday it approved for Marshall & Ilsley Corp. to acquire Gold Banc Inc. and Trustcorp Financial Inc.

The Fed also recently approved for Compass Bancshares Inc. to acquire TexasBanc Holding Co.

Commenters opposing the merger transactions alleged Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data showed Compass, Marshall & Ilsley, Gold Banc and Trustcorp engaged in disparate treatment of minority individuals in its residential lending operations. But the Fed said its evaluation of overall performance records show the companies are active in helping meet the credit needs of their entire communities.

In Portsmouth, N.H., Direct Capital Corp. announced it acquired Direct Mortgage Services Inc.

The equipment & technology lessor said the acquisition will expand its financial product offerings and services to include purchase money loans, second mortgages, investment property mortgages, home equity loans, and commercial real estate loans.

Direct Mortgage has loan officers in Portsmouth, Naugatuck, Conn., and Bradenton, Fla., but will soon offer mortgages in all 50 states, according to the announcement.

Arizona-based Great Southwest Mortgage, a privately held mortgage bank, recently expanded into Colorado with 12 branches, The Denver Post reported.

Park National Corp. is expected to step out of Ohio for the first time when it opens a branch in Kentucky this May that will be capable of originating mortgage loans as well, according to Bizjournals.

Meanwhile, at Downey Financial Corp., Brian E. Côté assumed Monday the roles of executive vice president and chief financial officer of both Downey Financial and Downey Savings and Loan Association, F.A., the company reported. Côté will be assuming the CFO responsibilities from Thomas E. Prince, who will continue as Downey’s chief operating officer.

Washington Mutual Inc. hired Arlene Hyde as its director of the Home Loans Wholesale Channel.

The move is part of a realignment of the company’s Home Loans distribution channels focused on integrating sales and operations functions into a single-channel structure for retail, wholesale, correspondent and consumer direct, according to a WaMu announcement.

“The realignment of our Home Loans Production organization enables our team to focus their strengths and abilities on the areas where they can best contribute to the crisp execution of our mortgage lending strategies and position us for continued growth,” said Tony Meola, executive vice president of home loans production, in the announcement.

Hyde has reportedly been in the mortgage industry for 20 years and has held leadership roles at CitiMortgage, Knutson Mortgage Corp. and Mellon Mortgage Co.

Fannie Mae said it will not submit its 2005 annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission on time because it has not completed its financial statements for the year.

The secondary lender, which in late 2004 was advised to restate its financial statements, also said it believes the completion of 2004 and 2005 annual reports that will include restated results will not occur prior to the second half of 2006.

Within the annual reports, Fannie said the management’s report on internal control over financial reporting is expected to conclude that its internal control over financial reporting was ineffective as of Dec. 31, 2004 and 2005.

Capital One Financial Corp. said Friday it will acquire North Fork in a $14.6 billion stock-and-cash transaction.

The combined company will reportedly be one of the 10 largest banks in the nation and the third-largest depository in the New York region.

“We’re continuing to combine the power of national lending and local banking. North Fork provides us with a proven franchise and a strong growth platform in the largest banking market in America,” Capital One Chief Executive Richard D. Fairbank said in the announcement. “Our highest priority will be the successful integration of North Fork and the continued growth of our banking businesses in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Louisiana, and Texas.”


Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.e-mail: MortgageWriter@aol.com

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