BB&T Corp. (BBT) said it originated 72,500 mortgages through its retail operation, including 53,500 refinance loans and 19,000 purchase mortgages, a 97% increase from 2008’s origination level. In addition, BB&T said it closed 6,600 loans worth nearly $1.3bn Homeowners Affordability and Stability Plan, as known as the Making Home Affordable program, to help stave foreclosure for distressed borrowers. The increase in origination volume could be partially attributed to BB&T’s August acquisition of the failed Colonial Bank. The move added 354 banking offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Nevada, the largest acquisition in BB&T’s 137-year history. The move made BB&T the eighth largest financial holding company in the US based on deposits. The Colonial acquisition sparked BB&T’s renewed commitment to warehouse lending. In October, it named Jeff Ellison president of its mortgage warehouse lending division that provides short-term financing to mortgage companies. Ellison, a career BB&T employee, working his way from the bank’s management development program in 1984 and most recently served as senior credit officer in the bank’s Orlando-based East Florida region. Working from BB&T’s Orlando offices, Ellison oversees daily operations and nearly 60 employees. BB&T was among the first banks to repay the federal government’s investment through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). It was among the first nine of 19 financial institutions that passed the government’s “stress test,” and allowed to repay its TARP funds, which in did in Q209. Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.

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