Huntsville, Alabama-based Hometown Lenders is in a lot more home towns these days, having opened 14 new branches so far this year as it continues to pursue a strategic national expansion.
According to the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System, Hometown Lenders sponsors 626 mortgage loan originators, who work out of 128 branch locations in more than 40 states under trade names including 1st Family Mortgage Company, Bryte Home Loans, Hometown Texas, My City Mortgage, Southtown Mortgage, The Conley Group, Tila Mortgage, Total Choice Mortgage and Waymaker Mortgage.
While other lenders are laying off workers in order to downsize as the mortgage refinancing boom comes to an end, Hometown Lenders is advertising more than 40 openings for mortgage loan originators, loan processors, and other positions nationwide.
“We emphasize development not only with volume but also with the right people, and we’re pleased to partner with professionals of the highest caliber who share Hometown Lenders’ core value of people over profits,” said Hometown Lenders President John Taylor on Friday, in announcing the acquisition of nine new branches in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and North Carolina.
Hometown Lenders had previously announced the acquisition of three branches in Connecticut and Washington on March 29, the opening of a new branch in Auburn, Alabama, on Feb. 22, and two new branches in North Carolina and Oregon on Jan. 11. Last year, Hometown Lenders issued nine press releases detailing the opening or acquisition of 21 new branch offices in 2021.
Founded in 2020 by owner and CEO William (Billy) Taylor, Hometown Lenders attributes its success to proprietary systems that move automation closer to the point-of-sale, increasing efficiency and productivity in order to offer lower cost mortgage loans than its competitors.
Hometown Lenders is a client of SimpleNexus, the developer of a homeownership platform for loan officers, borrowers, real estate agents, and settlement agents. In March, SimpleNexus chose Hometown Lenders as the recipient of its annual Capstone Enterprise Award, which honors enterprise lenders using the company’s homeownership platform “to dominate the residential mortgage market.”
“Hometown Lenders is a model for how enterprise lenders can maximize their success and achieve astonishing growth with a great team and great technology all pulling in the same direction,” said SimpleNexus Chief Customer Officer Andria Lightfoot, when announcing the award.
SimpleNexus agreed in November to be acquired by cloud banking solutions developer nCino Inc., in a $1.2 billion deal that expanded nCino’s capabilities to serve the point-of-sale mortgage market.
Amerant Bank continues mortgage expansion through joint venture
Florida’s second largest community bank, Amerant Bank, is also expanding its national mortgage lending footprint through a joint venture, Amerant Mortgage LLC, it launched last year with former City National Bank executives Howard Levine, Tony Eelman, Marshall Martin, and Joe Keel.
After expanding its footprint with the $1 million acquisition of Boise, Idaho-based First Mortgage Company Inc. in May, 2021, Amerant Mortgage hired a team of industry veterans to expand its wholesale lending channel.
According to the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System, Amerant Bank employs 139 registered mortgage loan originators, while Amerant Mortgage employs 27 mortgage loan officers and sponsors another three. Amerant Mortgage is licensed in Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico, Rhode Island and South Carolina.
In its latest quarterly report to investors, Amerant Bancorp said it contributed $1.5 million to Amerant Mortgage on March 31, increasing its ownership stake in the joint venture to 57.4 percent, up from 51 percent at the end of the year. Amerant Mortgage, which employed 79 at the end of March, generated a $2.2 million first quarter net loss as it “continues to execute on its growth strategy,” Amerant Bancorp said.
Some mortgage lenders have downsized as their refi business dries up, including Better, Pennymac, Guaranteed Rate, Keller Mortgage, Mr. Cooper and Wells Fargo. In reporting first quarter earnings, executives at Rocket Companies Inc. said they expect buyout offers made to 2,000 employees will save $180 million a year, while LoanDepot executives said they don’t expect to turn a profit this year and will lay off workers and suspend the company’s quarterly dividend.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct that Hometown Lenders has opened 14 new branches so far this year, not “more than” 14.
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