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Small Mortgage Lenders See Big Growth

Smaller mortgage bankers are capitalizing on the fertile environment created by record-low interest rates and pushing residential loan originations higher. Many are reporting record production. Also experiencing a healthy pace of home-loan business are the nation’s credit unions.

Callahan & Associates reported that credit unions collectively originated $29.6 billion in residential first mortgages during the second quarter, growing from $26.1 billion during the first quarter.

Activity at credit unions is on pace to exceed the $82.5 billion in full-year 2011 production and the $84.5 billion funded during the prior year. Credit unions additionally originated $17.1 billion in other real estate loans last year, off from $19.6 billion during 2010.

Home-loan fundings fell to $7.309 billion during the second quarter from $9.109 billion in the first quarter at Provident Funding Associates LP, according to data supplied to Mortgage Daily. But the Burlingame, Calif.-based lender pushed up activity from $5.33 billion in the second quarter of last year.

Second-quarter production was 15,608 loans for $3.119 billion at PrimeLending. Business picked up from 13,757 units for $2.757 billion in the previous period. Originations at the PlainsCapital Corp. subsidiary were also stronger than $1.927 billion in the second-quarter 2011.

At Guaranteed Rate Inc., residential originations climbed to $3.020 billion in the second quarter from $2.462 billion three months earlier and $1.301 billion a year earlier, according to data provided to Mortgage Daily.

July mortgage production at Stearns Lending Inc. exceeded $1 billion, the company announced. July was the fourth consecutive month that a new record was established. Staffing at the Santa Ana, Calif.-based firm stands at more than 1,200 employees.

Fremont Bank reported that second-quarter production was $1.699 billion, inching up from the first quarter’s $1.630 billion. Volume was $0.788 billion in a year earlier.

Mortgage Master, which reports $5.3 billion in 2011 volume, projects that full-year mortgage fundings will come in at $6.5 billion this year.

At Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp., second-quarter volume grew to $1.414 billion from the first quarter’s $1.129 billion. Business leapt from $0.776 billion originated in the second-quarter 2011.

Originations totaled 6,416 loans for $1.245 billion in the second quarter at United Wholesale Mortgage, leaping from 4,349 units $0.830 billion during the first three months of the year, the company reported. During the same three months in 2011, production was $0.421 billion.

With $1.201 billion in volume for the three months ended June 30, Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. said it improved activity from $0.981 billion in the prior period. During the same period in 2011, PRMI closed $0.8 billion.

Residential Finance Corp. reported in June that volume was up 142 percent over the same time last year. By year end, production is forecasted to reach $1.3 billion.

USA Mortgage disclosed 2,225 loans for $0.379 billion in second-quarter residential originations, increasing from 2,030 loans for $0.365 billion in the first quarter. A year prior, the company originated 1,246 loans for $0.207 billion.

First-quarter volume at Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. totaled $0.365 billion, better than $0.344 billion in the final three months of 2011. A year earlier, volume was $0.226 billion.

Brentwood, Tenn.-based Churchill Mortgage announced this month that it is one pace to exceed $1 billion in production this year. The potential milestone is in line with record-breaking performance in both the first and second quarters.

In testimony during June before the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing & Community Opportunity, Union National Mortgage Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Cosgrove said that his Strongsville, Ohio-based company originated $0.750 billion last year. Since 1999, then company has closed more than 40,000 loans.

Second-quarter production at PSM Holdings Inc. was 863 loans for $151 million. Fundings during both May and June were at record levels.

Lone Oak Fund reported in May that it has funded more than $1 billion in commercial real estate loans. The Los Angeles-based bridge lender is a Mortgage Daily advertiser.

Originations at Foundation Financial Group climbed 14.4 percent from the second-quarter 2011 to the second-quarter of this year, a news release said.

At an event for 500 Wells Fargo & Co. loan originators in San Francisco earlier this year, the company promoted a market share goal of 40 percent, Bloomberg reported. Data from Mortgage Daily indicates that Wells Fargo had a 36 percent market share in the first quarter.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., which originated $147 billion in home loans last year, generated $2.3 billion of its 2011 volume from Wisconsin, according to a story from the Journal Sentinel.

During the first four months of this year, 99,097 mortgages were closed in Massachusetts, up from 76,930 in the same period during 2011, according to The Warren Group’s Mortgage MarketShare Module. In Connecticut, volume climbed to 43,179 loans from 37,074, while Rhode Island saw activity rise to 12,974 from 10,416.

Inside Mortgage Finance reported that first-quarter jumbo mortgage originations insured by the Federal Housing Administration climbed to $4.78 billion from $3.95 billion in the final three months of last year. But FHA jumbo volume retreated from the first-quarter 2011, when the total was $5.83 billion. During all of 2011, FHA jumbo production totaled $18.17 billion.

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