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Correspondent Field Continues to Grow

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A growing national lender has joined the expanding ranks of newly launched correspondent lenders. The move follows last year’s launch of an online retail division and a branch recruiting arm.

Since last year, mortgage originators have lost access to major correspondent lenders such as Ally Financial Inc., Bank of America Home Loans and MetLife Home Loans. PHH Mortgage Corp. earlier this year began scaling back its correspondent production, while ING Mortgage closed its correspondent operations altogether in April.

But several smaller players have stepped up to the plate to take advantage of the growing void. Among companies to opening correspondent lending divisions last year were Fairway Independent Mortgage, New Penn Financial LLC and Quicken Mortgage LLC. So far this year, Gateway Mortgage Group, Guardian Mortgage Co. and Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. announced new correspondent units.

The latest entrant is Real Estate Mortgage Network Inc.

The Edison, N.J..-based company said Wednesday that it has opened its own correspondent division.

Leading the new business from Irvine, Calif., is Managing Director Bela M. Donine. Her 25 years in mortgage lending most recently included a gig as national sales manager at Greenlight Financial Services, which she joined in October. Some of Donine’s other prior employers include nonprime lenders Impac Mortgage, Opteum Mortgage and Ford Consumer Finance.

West Coast Operations Managing Director Melissa Sherman will support the correspondent division and manage wholesale fulfillment operations.

In August 2011, REMN opened FinanceMyHome.com, a consumer-direct online lending business in Dallas. Three months earlier, REMN launched Menlo Park Funding as a branch recruiting network.

REMN, which claims to be “one of the largest, privately held non-bank lenders” in the country, said it operates 40 retail offices and employs more than 800 people — up from 600 employees reported earlier this year.

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