loanDepot to acquire Mortgage Master

Nonbanks grow market share

Nonbank consumer lender loanDepot announced it is officially acquiring Massachusetts-based Mortgage Master, creating a combined company with 130 retail lending branches across the country, four web production centers and 3,700 full-time associates.

In addition, the two companies would combine to have more than 1,200 licensed loan officers serving borrowers in all 50 states, helping to fill the void left behind as big banks continue to reduce mortgage market share.

Together, the companies created a combined retail loan funding volume in October 2014 of $1.75 billion, with nearly $70 million in top-line revenue.

"By welcoming our colleagues at Mortgage Master to loanDepot, we are creating a very powerful and exciting opportunity for the organization, consumers, and our employees," said Anthony Hsieh, chairman and CEO of loanDepot.

"The combined company will position us to accelerate our expansion in the northeast while continuing to build our national consumer lending businesses offering both mortgage and nonmortgage lending products," Hsieh added.

Under the terms, Mortgage Master's Founder and CEO Leif Thomsen and President Paul Anastos will continue to lead the Mortgage Master brand.

The newly combined company will maintain and operate the, imortgage, and Mortgage Master consumer brands, while the LDWholesale brand will continue to help brokers grow their businesses.

"We chose to join loanDepot because we were impressed by the strength and experience of their management team who shared like-minded goals," said Paul Anastos, president of Mortgage Master. "Our primary objective for Mortgage Master was finding a partner who had similar beliefs on how best to grow our business with a culture that matched our own."

This move follows loanDepot’s recent announcement to begin offering personal loans, and so far, it is on track to deliver the company's first personal loan products in early 2015. 

The acquisition is expected to close in early 2015 subject to regulatory approvals.

But this isn't the first news of expansion for the lender this year. Back in April, loanDepot launched its wholesale lending division, LDWholesale, and in July, it was reported that the company would snap up all the loan officers at the tech-savvy online lender RoundPoint Mortgage.

These latest expansion initiatives from loanDepot follow industry trends that more and more nonbank lenders are growing to capture the first-time buyer market. While big banks like Bank of America (BAC) choose to not ease its mortgage standards or offer 3% down mortgages, nonbanks like loanDepot are quickly filling in the gap.

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