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Wholesalers Step Up Reverse Business

Third-party originators stepped up their monthly production of federally insured reverse mortgages, though the same couldn’t be said for retail originators. But the improvement in wholesale was enough to offset the retail decline and push overall activity up.

For the second month in a row, MetLife Bank has ranked as the biggest originator of government-insured reverse mortgages.

The bank, which plans to hand over reverse operations to MetLife Inc. once it is sold off, closed 1,421 home-equity conversion mortgages during November, according to Reverse Market Insight. That was more than any other lender and was made possible by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.’s, decision to exit the sector and Bank of America, N.A.’s, recent departure from reverse mortgage lending.

MetLife’s business grew from 1,011 HECM endorsements during October.

The Federal Housing Administration endorsed 597 HECMs for Urban Financial Group, inching up from 565 units in October and landing it in the No. 2 spot.

Generation Mortgage Co. followed with 504 endorsements, then 500 at Genworth Financial Home Equity and 398 at One Reverse Mortgage LLC.

Industry-wide retail HECM volume totaled 2,675 endorsements in November, falling from 3,032 a month earlier and 4,004 a year earlier.

But the story was better for wholesale HECM lenders.

November wholesale production was 1,978 endorsements, climbing from 1,612 HECMs the prior month. Still, activity was slower than in November 2010 when wholesalers closed 2,547 HECMs.

With 313 HECMs originated through the wholesale channel, Urban Financial secured the No. 1 wholesaler title for the third consecutive month. Urban’s wholesale business grew from 264 units in October.

No. 2 was Generation Mortgage, where wholesale HECM originations climbed to 251 loans from 213.

MetLife’s 148 wholesale HECMs were next, then Genworth’s 138 closings and Security One Lending’s 14 units.

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