Wholesale lender eyes broker growth

by Diana Aqra30 Jul 2013

A wholesale lender has said it aims to expand its broker business to three-quarters of its originations.

Carrington Mortgage hopes to grow its broker originations share to 75% by offering new products and expanding into new regions.

Carrington announced Monday it would start offering rural USDA loans to its wholesale partners while it expands its lending presence into the central region of the U.S.  

It is “very easy for us to scale-up our wholesale platform,” said Ray Brousseu, Carrington Mortgage Services executive vice president of mortgage lending. The USDA product is viable in almost every state, and Brosseau said the central division is certain to benefit from the product.

Wholesale currently makes up about 66% of total originations but the company could reach around 73% of originations by 2015, Brousseau claimed. The total amount of originations for 2012 was not disclosed.

Carrington also recently reduced its credit overlay requirement to 580 FICO score. Brousseau argued that the market will continue to be aggressive, and said originators will succeed by offering variety of products and having the capability to able to deliver on them.

Beholden to USDA turnaround

USDA loans may be attractive for consumers; homes can be financed up to 100% LTV and they are guaranteed by the government. However, originators may be hesitant to write them because of slow turnaround times due to the agency’s approval process.

Neither the broker nor lender is in full control of the underwriting process of USDA rural home loans, said Julie Flatland, vice president of credit at Carrington. USDA loans can be up-to 100% financed and credit scores can be somewhat banged-up, she said, but it’s not an overnight process. In fact, underwriting can take up to several weeks.

It is too early to tell how the broker channel deals with offering USDA loans, Brousseau said. But Carrington is attempting to make it a seamless process.