Don’t Count Out The Independent

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TME-TGarritanoRichey May & Co has released its second quarter 2014 Trend Report for Independent Mortgage Bankers. The Trend Report includes the operating results of 37 independent mortgage companies throughout the US and covers all operating models and production volumes.  According to the report, loan production among independent mortgage bankers increased by 50 percent over the previous quarter, the first increase in the past three quarters. Purchase volume spiked 62 percent, while refinance volume increased 20 percent over the first quarter 2014.

Unfunded lock pipelines increased among independent mortgage bankers as well, rising 38 percent over the previous quarter. According to Kenneth Richey, managing partner of Richey May, this uptick indicates that the improved market conditions will continue through the coming months.

“The increase in unfunded lock pipelines suggests that we can expect to see similar, if not more improved, production in the third quarter of 2014 as well,” Richey said.

In addition to the increase in production, independent mortgage bankers improved profits by an average of 57 basis points, with many realizing up to 100 basis points in improved pre-tax profits over the previous quarter.

The Trend Report for Independent Mortgage Bankers was generated from the results of Richey May Select, the industry’s only benchmarking technology specifically for independent mortgage bankers. The software, which provides up-to-date peer-to-peer benchmarking information on various aspects of their businesses—such as financial, production, employment, warehousing and servicing operations—analyzes data submitted by independent mortgage bankers across the U.S., and compiles a report of the quarter’s notable trends. The quarterly Trend Report highlights key performance indicators, such as overall volume and volume by transaction type, as well as loan margins, operating costs, labor output, and more.

The data used in the report is gathered from Richey May Select subscribers and is provided at no additional costs to the participants.  All data sources are kept confidential.

“Independent mortgage bankers’ unit volume, expenses and margins were very close to those they experienced in the third quarter of 2013,” said Keith May, Richey May’s managing director, advisory services. “However, pre-tax profits in the second quarter of 2014 were much higher than in the third quarter of 2013. This is probably because third quarter 2013 was in the middle of a declining market, whereas second quarter of this year was in an improving market.”

Richey May Select is the only tool of its kind that provides independent mortgage bankers with fingertip access to a peer-to-peer comparison of how their businesses rank against other companies of similar size and operational focus. Unlike static benchmarking reports, with Richey May Select, all information is current and available approximately six weeks after the end of each quarter.

In fact, privately held lenders that get it right are growing. For example, Mortgage Master, a super-regional mortgage lender and one of the country’s largest privately-owned mortgage companies, continues to expand its production infrastructure in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and now has 17 branch offices and nearly 150 loan originators in the important Tri-State market. This strategic expansion is generating significant production growth in these three states, with total annual loan volume increasing over 500 percent to almost $2 billion from $388 million originations over the last five years. This growth is being driven by Mortgage Master’s more than 25 years of mortgage experience, and unique business model, which provides borrowers with the best possible pricing, products and service, and helps loan originators increase production via innovative marketing and shared ideas from some of the top originators in the industry.

“We are extremely pleased with our growth in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and we are continuing to strategically open new branches and hire top loan originators in these markets to help borrowers while interest rates remain close to record lows,” said Paul Anastos, President of Mortgage Master. “Borrowers are demanding experienced, trusted and caring loan originators to help them navigate the mortgage purchase or refinance process. Mortgage Master’s responsible, supportive and sustainable lending model allows our loan originators to deliver borrowers the best possible pricing and mortgage solution so they can make the right decision.”

Mortgage Master’s five New York branches employ 43 loan originators and are located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Garden City, Rye and Tarrytown. The five New Jersey branches employ 25 loan originators and are located in Hoboken, Fairfield, Cranford, Princeton and Wall. The seven Connecticut branches employ 41 loan originators and are located in Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hamden, Simsbury, Stamford and West Hartford.

“Over the last few years Mortgage Master has made a significant push into the greater New York City area. In less than two years we have grown to 30 employees from just 7 and we are actively hiring quality production professionals,” said Manhattan Branch Manager Scott Bonora. “Mortgage Master is uniquely structured to succeed in the New York City metropolitan area, and the surrounding states, and communities, because of our broad product portfolio, ultra-competitive rates and excellent client service.”

Mortgage Master is enthusiastically looking to increase its branch infrastructure in New York New Jersey and Connecticut, and recruit additional high quality loan originators.

Similarly, Supreme Lending, a national mortgage banker headquartered in Dallas, Texas, has opened a new branch in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is Supreme Lending’s first branch in the state. Robert Cenci, who has over 18 years of experience as a mortgage loan originator and sales leader, has been appointed as branch manager for the office. He has hired a team of six mortgage professionals, including one sales manager and three loan originators to work with him in the Philadelphia branch.

The Philadelphia branch was opened as part of Supreme Lending’s growth and expansion plans, and extends the company’s reach in the Northeast U.S.

“Supreme Lending’s growth and longevity are due in large part to hiring the best people and our customer-comes-first approach,” said Supreme Lending’s CEO Scott Everett. “By opening the Philadelphia branch, we’re making it easier for homeowners in Pennsylvania to receive not only competitive rates, but also the highest quality service. We’re so pleased to have Robert and his team representing Supreme in this area.”

Robert Cenci began his career with Washington Mutual in 1996 and has worked in the greater Philadelphia area for the entirety of his career. Prior to joining Supreme Lending, he originated mortgages with organizations that include Bank of America and MetLife Home Loans, and also led a sales team at Caliber Home Loans. He has extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the full range of mortgage products, including conventional, nonconforming and government loans that include VA and FHA loans.

Cenci cites the support Supreme Lending provides to its branches, as well as the company’s forward approach to using technology as primary reasons for joining the firm.

“Supreme’s policies are based on providing high quality customer care,” said Cenci. “Virtually everything they do, from the marketing and production support we receive from corporate to the company’s continual investment in technology, is focused on making the loan process faster, easier and safer for borrowers. That’s very important because it enables us to provide the quality of service our customers deserve and expect.”

About The Author


Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at