The former MetLife Home Loans branch in Omaha, Neb., has become part of Gateway Mortgage Group, Tulsa, Okla. Kent Geschwender is the branch manager, a position he had held with MetLife and previously to that with First Horizon Home Loans.
The office has eight loan officers with a combined 120 years of lending experience. It opened in 1989 and will continue to serve the greater Omaha area. It had become part of MetLife after that company acquired the forward mortgage operations of First Horizon in 2008.
“Our business was on the verge of a large transition and we were being pursued by several major lenders across the country. We knew it was important to align ourselves with a lender that shared the same core values we deliver to our borrowers every day,” said Geschwender. “By joining Gateway, we are able to continue to process, underwrite, close and service our loans locally.”
Gateway has over 50 retail branches in 25 states.
Gateway is not only growing its retail business, but its newly started correspondent aggregator channel already has 20 approved clients, company president Kevin Stitt said in an interview during the recent Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Secondary Market Conference. Of those approved clients, 65% are depositories, located in a six-state region in the company’s footprint.
Stitt said the company would like to have 50 approved correspondent sellers. The reason the program is attracting interest is because loan sellers are uncomfortable being able to deliver loans only to a single outlet, plus turn times at the dominant player in the field, Wells Fargo, have slowed.
Having Gateway as an option to sell the loan to allows the seller turn its warehouse lines quicker, he added.
The retail and correspondent growth also plays well into Gateway’s plans to grow its existing $1.5 billion servicing portfolio up to the $5 billion level.