Citing declining market conditions, Portellus Inc. says it will close its mortgage technology business unit and sell the unit’s supporting assets.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company said it will preserve the company’s business rules management system (BRMS), which will be sold through licensing agreements into other vertical markets.

After assessing the market for technology buys by mortgage lenders over the next 18 to 24 months, Portellus has decided to focus on more promising BRMS prospects.

Lenders have already cut tech spending, said Joe Bowerbank, Portellus’ director of marketing, and many are playing a waiting game as the housing downturn and disruption of secondary mortgage markets continues.

“What’s going on is if a lender is facing the prospect of not being around in six or seven months, why invest in an enterprise-level platform?” Bowerbank said.

Larger, more established technology vendors who serve the mortgage lending industry may be able to weather the slowdown in tech spending, Bowerbank said. Founded in 2001, Portellus is a younger company with less reserves and recurring revenue, and the system maintenance and support costs to provide services to mortgage lenders “didn’t make sense” anymore, he said.

The company is now in the process of divesting its mortgage technology operations and auctioning off its intellectual property and other assets.

Up for sale are mortgage applications including a Web-based loan-origination system (LOS), a product and pricing engine (PPE), an automated underwriting system (AUS), an integration services hub (PIXMO), and point-of-sale (POS) portals for brokers, retail and correspondent lending channels.

Interested buyers may contact the company about participating in the auction by e-mailing mortgagetechassets@portellus.com.

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