Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Trendwatch: More captive mortgage lenders

More real estate companies and builders are launching their own mortgage operations, according to an executive with Advantage Systems, Irvine, Calif., makers of the Accounting for Mortgage Bankers (AMB) technology.

Vice president for sales Joe Ludlow says companies are making the decision to go into lending to "even out the business swings in construction, sales and financing."

AMB was recently chosen by Walker Jackson Mortgage Co., Fairfax, Va., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Long & Foster, one of the largest real estate companies in the Mid-Atlantic region, for its start-up operations.

"In a more focused market, the higher level executives in these mortgage firms have more industry experience," Ludlow said. “In particular, they understand the limitations imposed by generic accounting systems designed for manufacturing and wholesale distribution. The mortgage industry presents very specific demands on the accounting department that simply won’t be found in generic systems.”

Walker Jackson anticipates $4 billion in (mainly purchase) mortgage business by 2009, according to David Harris, chief financial officer.

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