Hallmark is positioned to become one of the top 100 mortgage lenders with expansion into Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas.

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Finance of America’s exit from forward mortgage lending is turning out to be a strategic growth opportunity for Fort Wayne, Indiana-based independent mortgage lender Hallmark Home Mortgage, which is bringing more than 60 mortgage professionals aboard from the downsizing company.

Marc Wadman, a divisional manager in retail originations at Finance of America since 2016, will continue to lead the team of Finance of America refugees, facilitating Hallmark’s expansion into Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas, the company said Wednesday.

Deborah Sturges

“Hallmark is now positioned to become one of the nation’s top 100 residential mortgage lenders,” Hallmark Home Mortgage founder and CEO Deborah Sturges said in a statement. “This increased productivity will create new employment opportunities at the corporate headquarters in Fort Wayne.”

Cody Castagno, a branch manager at Hallmark Home Mortgage in Tyler, Texas, was one of a number of former Finance of America employees posting news of the move on LinkedIn.

Finance of America Companies Inc., a nonbank lender that went public last year, announced on Oct. 21 that it would wind down its retail mortgage operations by the end of the year to focus on reverse mortgages, home improvement and commercial loans and lender services.

Finance of America had previously announced that it would exit the wholesale and correspondent lending business after laying off more than 1,000 people this year amid mounting losses.

Valued at nearly $2 billion when it went public last year in a SPAC merger, Finance of America Mortgage did most of its business through its retail and consumer direct channels.

The Irving, Texas-based lender had reportedly been in negotiations to sell its retail mortgage division, which employs about 1,000 loan originators who work out of more than 200 branch offices nationwide.

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Email Matt Carter

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