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It’s back to basics for loanDepot, which announced a new joint venture Wednesday with a Georgia homebuilder that the beleaguered lender hopes will boost its purchase loan business.
LoanDepot, which has shed more than 5,000 employees as rising interest rates have curtailed profitable refinancings, had pursued a number of joint ventures with homebuilders under the leadership of founder Anthony Hsieh, who handed the CEO reins to CoreLogic veteran Frank Martell in April.
This summer, Martell said loanDepot would exit the wholesale lending business and continue “aggressively right-sizing our cost structure” while sharpening the company’s focus on purchase transactions.
LoanDepot’s new joint venture with homebuilder National HomeCorp, NHC Mortgage, will offer home loans in Florida, Iowa and North Carolina, with plans to expand to Kentucky, Arizona, Virginia, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina next year.
National HomeCorp specializes in building affordable homes, and the joint venture will provide homebuyers with “best-in-class customer service” loanDepot is known for, said Dan Peña, loanDepot executive vice president of national joint ventures.
“Affordability is one of the key housing issues of our time and loanDepot’s strategic focus on increasing and sustaining homeownership in underserved communities is a natural complement to National HomeCorp’s commitment to affordable housing,” Peña said in a statement.
In pitching joint ventures to homebuilders, loanDepot has touted its end-to-end digital lending platform, mello, which the company introduced in 2017 after pouring $80 million into its development over 18 months.
National HomeCorp. co-founder and CEO Wade Jurney cited loanDepot’s “industry-leading expertise, technology and infrastructure” as factors that will allow the joint venture “to quickly scale and streamline the homebuying process to ensure a terrific experience as our customers embark on their homebuying and building journey.”
Last summer, loanDepot announced a joint venture with Farm Bureau Bank aimed at providing home loans and mortgage refinancing to more than 5 million Farm Bureau members in 45 states.
Foothill Ranch, California-based loanDepot’s other joint ventures include LGI Mortgage Solutions (with LGI Homes), Henlopen Mortgage (with Schell Brothers), BRP Mortgage (with Brookfield Residential), MTH Mortgage (Meritage Homes), MSC Mortgage (with Michael Saunders & Company), TRI Pointe Connect (with Tri Pointe Homes) and Day 1 Mortgage (with Century 21 Redwood Realty).