Glenn Stearns is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in mortgage lending over the last 30 years. Stearns founded the mortgage company that carries his name, Stearns Lending, in 1989.
And in the convening years, Stearns helped build the company into one of the biggest mortgage companies in the nation.
But Stearns has laid somewhat low in the last year or so, at least in the mortgage business, especially since Stearns Holdings, the parent company of Stearns Lending, launched a “comprehensive financial restructuring plan” that will see the company reorganized through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
But Stearns is being quiet no more.
Stearns is launching a new mortgage company, Kind Lending, which touts itself as a “fresh and edgy approach to mortgage banking.”
The company will act as a wholesale lender, seeking to “forge a new identity in the wholesale lending and mortgage banking space.”
Stearns founded the company after taking what he refers to as “sabbatical.” Although it should be noted that during Stearns’ “sabbatical,” he appeared on the Discovery Channel’s “Undercover Billionaire,” where he was given $100, a cell phone and a car and was tasked with building a million-dollar company in three months.
Stearns had been easing away somewhat from running Stearns Lending since Blackstone first acquired a “majority stake” in the business in 2015.
At the time, Stearns was serving as the chairman of Stearns Holdings and retained a “significant” ownership stake in the company after the Blackstone deal.
But after the company began to suffer financially under the company’s debt load, Stearns Holdings moved to reorganize through bankruptcy, a process that will see Blackstone assume full ownership of Stearns Holdings, and therefore Stearns Lending.
Now, with Stearns himself no longer involved in his eponymous company, Stearns is moving forward in the mortgage business with a new company that will focus on wholesale lending.
“Dedicated to putting people before profit while maintaining transparency and integrity in lending standards, Kind Lending aims to break the industry standards and introduce a contemporary approach to mortgage banking,” Kind Lending said in a release.
“Culturally, the Kind team is operated by seasoned, upbeat and collaborative industry veterans who have the passion and determination to serve the mortgage community and their borrowers,” the company continued. “With broker empowerment and homeowners in mind, the team is currently developing a new customer service model, enhanced with progressive automation that will support mortgage brokers and promote individual decision making.”
Stearns is serving as the founder and CEO of Kind Lending and he brought a familiar face with him to help run the company. Yvonne Ketchum, who was with Stearns Lending from 2004 through 2018, will be serving as president of Kind Lending.
“Glenn is the type of person I would’ve worked for again in a heartbeat. He is truly kind, inspirational, gutsy and driven,” Ketchum said. “When he called, I jumped at the chance to launch this new venture with him. We are thrilled to introduce Kind Lending to the world. That’s Kind as in nice, caring and helpful. It will be a game changer and we can’t wait to show everyone how different, fresh and real mortgage lending can be.”
According to details provided by the company, Kind Lending is not yet operational and is not yet lending, but is building its wholesale platform now. The company stated that it is roughly one month away from opening its lending platform to mortgage brokers.
In the meantime, the company is looking to increase its staff.
“Kind Lending is looking to grow their team of top talented individuals in the industry,” the company said in a release. “Seasoned individuals looking for an upbeat and collaborative work environment where individual input matters and enjoying the job is mandatory, are encouraged to apply.”
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