Industry News

Lime Financial to hire Meritage Mortgage sales force

Move comes as Net Bank leaves subprime lending business

Lime Financial Services will hire most of Meritage Mortgage Corp.'s sales staff and some employees in operations as Meritage's parent company, NetBank Inc., exits the nonconforming mortgage business. NetBank said the majority of Meritage's nonconforming mortgage sales force and "a smaller but significant number of operations support staff" will be offered jobs with Portland, Ore.-based Lime by Nov. 15. Last month, NetBank, an online lender, sold mortgage-servicing rights to $8.5 billion in loans and mortgage-backed securities that it held as a hedge, about 70 percent of the company's portfolio. NetBank Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Herbert said the company is "working aggressively" to refocus on core banking and conforming mortgage competencies. NetBank's nonconforming mortgage operations are expected to cease by year-end. Once the transfer of staff to Lime Financial Services is completed, NetBank will end Meritage's broker relationships and close any in-process loans....

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