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Nationstar Mortgage ($42.20 -0.26%) is purchasing MetLife Bank’s ($44.90 0.93%) reverse mortgage servicing portfolio. MetLife is now exiting the mortgage business and is no longer accepting new reverse mortgage applications and registrations.
The transaction is subject to certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
MetLife first broke the news to loan brokers on a conference call in April. One reason given, sources say, is that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's consent order facilitated the decision. Back in the beginning of March, when HousingWire learned that MetLife would be exiting the reverse mortgage business, the move was not overtly denied.
"We continue to originate reverse mortgages," said David Hammarström MetLife Global Brand, Marketing and Communication, in an email dated March 2, "but I would note that, as a public company, we continuously evaluate all of our businesses based on market conditions and the regulatory environment."
MetLife’s entire retail banking business, including mortgages, represented less than 2% of its 2011 operating earnings. Given its strategic focus as a global insurance and employee benefits leader, MetLife decided in 2011 that a bank holding company structure was no longer appropriate.
Since that time, MetLife reached agreements to sell MetLife Bank’s deposit business to GE Capital and sell the bank’s warehouse finance business to EverBank. The bank also ceased taking forward mortgage applications.
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