Industry News

Web lender hits the pavement

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Online lending company E-Loan is sending loan consultants beyond the virtual world and into the physical field as part of its strategy to capture more of the purchase-money mortgage market. The company is conducting a small local loan consultant pilot program in the vicinity of its Pleasanton, Calif., headquarters, according to E-Loan spokesperson Tiffany Kelley Fox. "The pilot program is one of many ongoing efforts to better serve home buyers and build the company's purchase business," Fox said. E-Loan provides mortgage, auto, credit card, home equity and business loans exclusively over the Internet. Lenders are turning an eye back to purchase-money home loans in anticipation of a significant loss of refinance business this year due to higher and possibly still rising interest rates. The fading refinance market is expected to reduce 2004 mortgage originations by more than $1.5 trillion compared with 2003 volume, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Under E-Loan's pil...