ViewPoint Selling Mortgage Unit to Nonbank

Mortgage & Real Estate

ViewPoint Bank in Plano, Texas, is selling its home lending unit to a Dallas-based nonbank lender as part of its continued shift from a thrift to a commercial bank.

The $3.5-billion-asset bank said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week that it would sell substantially all of the assets of its ViewPoint Bankers Mortgage to Highlands Residential Mortgage, a 23-year firm that has been rapidly expanding since its current management acquired it two years ago. The firm is not affiliated with the former Highlands Bancshares of Jacksboro, Texas, which ViewPoint acquired in April.

ViewPoint is a former credit union that converted to a thrift on Jan. 1, 2006 and went public later that year. Late last year it switched to a commercial bank charter and it recently brought in a new chief executive whose background and expertise is in commercial lending.

As a condition of its sale of the mortgage unit, ViewPoint said that Highlands must hire no less than 95% of the unit’s employees. The agreement also requires Highlands to assume all of ViewPoint’s construction loan portfolio and take over the leases of its loan production offices.

A sale price was not disclosed. In connection with the sale, ViewPoint expects to write off about $818,000 as well as the value of the fixed assets that Highland does not acquire.

The deal is expected to close next quarter, at which point ViewPoint said it would work with Highlands to offer mortgages to its customers through a third-party arrangement.


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