When mortgage lender ditech relaunched back into the industry in March 2014, it faced an unusual legacy of having to shake off the over-the-top "Lost another loan to ditech," ad campaign.

Further, the press seems obsessed with referring to ditech as a "subprime mortgage firm," even though its bread-and-butter was primarily Alt-A mortgages.

Even sitting on the sidelines for years after the housing crash appears to have done little to impact that brand legacy.

But the company hopes its new business direction will help redefine both the firm and its mission in the eyes of others.

The new ditech was formed from the assets from the GMACRescap estate, purchased by Walter Investment Management Corp. (WAC)/Greentree Originations in November 2012.  

As a result, ditech worked under the name Green Tree from Feb. 1, 2013 through Feb. 28, 2014, until it once again started to operate under the name ditech in March.

When the company announced its plans to come back into the market, it revealed its new business plan, which entailed a three-pronged approach.

Ditech is planning to build business segments in direct consumer lending, retail lending and correspondent lending with its "600-plus institutional partners," according to company spokesman Richard Smith.

And while there are examples of other mortgage lenders expanding retail here and there, the general consensus is that digital threatens branches.

ditech, as it turns out, still holds some of its bravado and doesn't see why one lending model needs to be exclusive of another.

“We are actively pursuing top performing loan officers and branches to join our retail network, and we are looking for branches that are doing at least $10 million a month in originations,” Smith said. “In order to provide the kind of full-spectrum service we want to provide to our customers, we are quickly adding top-producing branches and supporting them with our brand, marketing and state-of-the art technology platforms to make them even more successful.”

Ditech’s unique approach to mortgages balances between online and retail lending.

While more lenders are starting to go online, ditech explained that it is still focusing on retail lending and growing its brick-and-mortar buildings, since some people still value the extra-high touch of a mortgage lender relationship that knows their local area very well.

“When we talk about bringing on top-performing loan specialists and branches, we do have a list of strategic markets that we are targeting, but we are willing to be opportunistic if we find the right combination of an attractive area and a top-performing team that we can make even more successful,” said Smith.

So why would they want to join ditech?

“Right now, they are producing in their market on their own. The advantage they have with ditech is the support of a national brand, a best-in-class technology platform, national and local marketing that is going to drive additional business to them, and the capitalization that they may need,” Smith said.

Most recently, ditech acquired two new lender groups in Seattle and Irvine, California.

And the company is witnessing strong growth online, averaging over 20% growth per month in online lending.

“This model will give us the ability to provide a higher level of customer service than other competitors are able to do,” Smith said. “With both the consumer direct and retail model, we are building the infrastructure and intellectual capital to attract new prospective consumers and match them up with the best possible consumer experience for them, whether it is the high touch retail home loan specialist who knows the local market or a certified home loan specialist in our call center who is educated to assist customers over the phone.” 

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