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Ranieri venture to expand New Penn Financial beyond government mortgages

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Shellpoint Partners, an investment firm owned in part by Ranieri Partners, acquired the mortgage originator New Penn Financial, and has already planned an expansion. New Penn, founded in 2008, has 24 offices and more than 400 employees. In 2010, it originated $1.2 billion in Federal Housing Administration, Veterans' Affairs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages. Shellpoint said the lender will expand its current product line to borrowers who do not fit government agencies' underwriting criteria. New Penn will target second homebuyers, investors and those seeking jumbo loans. It is a rare sign of a real private-sector push back into a still recovering housing market. "There are a significant number of creditworthy borrowers who cannot get credit because they don’t meet the criteria of the government agencies," said Shellpoint co-CEO Bruce Williams. "There is a significant opportunity for a well capitalized specialty finance company that is not burdened with a legacy loan portfolio." Shellpoint will own the loans originated by New Penn and use them to create securities. Shellpoint will hold some of those securities on its portfolio in order to comply with upcoming risk-retention rules. "Shellpoint’s capital and ability to develop proprietary products will greatly expand the options that we can bring to our borrowers in all of our business channels," said New Penn CEO Jerry Schiano. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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