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Lender Doubles HECM Originations Despite Industry Decline

Mortgage News

The volume of federally insured reverse mortgage closings was lower last month, though a few originators bucked the trend. Despite its intention to exit the reverse mortgage business, the biggest reverse lender increased originations, while a Georgia-based company more than doubled its business.

The Federal Housing Administration endorsed 5,511 home-equity conversion mortgages during July, retreating from 5,857 loans in June, Reverse Market Insight reported.

Activity was a little better in July 2010, when HECM lenders originated 5,901 units.

From Jan. 1 through July 31, HECM production amounted to 43,354 loans.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., which has announced its intention to get out of the reverse mortgage business, closed 1,719 reverse mortgages last month — more than any other company. Wells Fargo managed to boost production from 1,639 HECMs closed in June.

No. 2 was MetLife Bank, where fundings fell to 716 loans from June’s 1,079. While parent MetLife Inc. announced plans to sell the bank, reverse mortgage operations will not be included in any sale. Instead, MetLife Inc. will maintain the business — which is poised to become the biggest reverse mortgage lender once Wells Fargo clears out its pipeline.

July’s third-biggest HECM originator was Generation Mortgage Co. Volume at the Atlanta-based company more than doubled to 491 from 220 reverse mortgage originations in June.

At No. 4 Urban Financial Group, HECM production slipped to 426 fundings from 433.

Production at the fifth-biggest reverse lender last month, One Reverse Mortgage LLC, inched up to 328 loans from 327 in the previous month.

The number of active reverse mortgage lenders stood at 1,259 last month, tumbling from 1,888 last year.

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