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Wholesale Biz Drags Down Reverse Originations

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Mortgage Daily

                                                 January 8, 2010

Over the past year, reverse mortgage production has tumbled. While retail activity has fallen nearly a quarter during the period, wholesale volume has plunged by more than half — though business from both channels was up from the previous month. The No. 2 spot for overall activity changed hands, and the biggest wholesaler widened its lead.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., closed more government-insured home-equity conversion mortgages than any other originator during July: 1,460. Wells’ volume rose from 1,136 a month earlier.

The findings are based on data reported in the newsletter Reverse Market Insight.

Leaping from No. 3 in June, when it closed 755 HECMs, MetLife Bank ranked No. 2 during July with 1,062 reverse mortgages funded.

HECM originations of 864 at Bank of America, N.A., were the third highest in July. The previous month, BofA closed 998 loans.

No. 4 Genworth Financial Home Equity pushed volume to 581 HECMs from June’s 317, and Generation Mortgage Co. took the fifth spot with activity falling to 366 mortgages from 430.

Focusing only on retail production, reverse mortgage lenders closed 3,358 loans in July, higher than June’s 2,900. But the total was worse than 4,436 during July 2009. Last week, RMI reported that Wells Fargo maintained its tight grip on the top retailer spot during August.

Looking at aggregate wholesale volume, units edged up to 2,521 in July from 2,404 a month earlier. Wholesale HECM originations were down by more than half, however, from 5,392 units a year earlier.

It was the third month in a row that MetLife closed more wholesale reverse mortgages than any other wholesaler: 667. Wholesale volume in June was 480. MetLife was also the largest HECM wholesale lender in July 2009, when it closed 1,040 reverse mortgages.

No. 2 Genworth saw third-party originations strengthen to 334 from 170 during June, while Urban Financial Group followed with activity slipping to 324 loans from 352.

BofA’s wholesale reverse fundings fell to 302 HECMs from 357, and No. 5 Generation closed 283 reverse mortgages in July, falling from 347 the previous month.

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