Realtor.com operator Move Inc. may be on the hunt again for another lending partner for its websites following an announcement by MetLife Home Loans that it’s getting out of the forward mortgage business.
MetLife Home Loans — the residential mortgage division of MetLife Bank, N.A. — will no longer accept new loan applications for forward mortgages, MetLife Inc. announced Tuesday, although it will continue to originate reverse mortgages.
Move partnered with MetLife Home Loans last year to allow visitors to Realtor.com and AOL Real Estate to prequalify for a mortgage using Move’s PreQualPlus decision and pricing engine.
Move syndicates property listings to AOL Real Estate through its ListHub subsidiary, and visitors to the site use Move’s "Find" search engine tool for property searches.
On Wednesday, visitors to Realtor.com and AOL Real Estate who clicked on offers to "Get Prequalified Today" on listing detail pages at both sites were referred to the MetLife Home Loans PreQualPlus page at Move.com.
The page includes a disclaimer that prequalification is being provided by MetLife Home Loans, but that financing may be obtained "through any other lender."
Move officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Move launched PreQualPlus with MetLife Home Loans in the aftermath of another foray into mortgage lending with Cornerstone Mortgage Co., a Houston-based correspondent lender.
Within months of launching a website with Cornerstone — MortgageMatch.com — in December 2010, Move stopped offering loans through the site and eventually pulled the plug on the site without comment.
For several months, MortgageMatch.com has been redirecting visitors to PreQualPlus.move.com, which it continued to do Wednesday.
In December, AOL Real Estate and another AOL website, DailyFinance.com, began offering rate quotes, mortgage calculators, and real-time mortgage rates from Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.