As banks retrench from third-party lending, Envoy Mortgage is seizing the opportunity by launching its own correspondent lending division.

Houston-based Envoy established its reputation as a mortgage-banking firm with retail branches spread across 48 different states.

The company's new correspondent lending operations center is located in Monroe, La.

The firm hired veteran mortgage bankers, Don Hastings and Todd Cheney, to establish and run the new channel.

"In the past few years we've witnessed an unprecedented withdrawal of liquidity from the correspondent lending market, as banks retreated from third-party lending," said Rick Thompson, CEO of Envoy Mortgage.

"We believe this vacuum will be filled by well-capitalized lenders like Envoy who’ve positioned themselves to aggregate loans from high-quality lenders and retain loan servicing relationships."

Don Hastings will serve as executive vice president, while Todd Cheney was named senior vice president of Envoy Mortgage. The two executives bring more than two decades of experience in the lending industry, recently holding leadership roles at Affiliated Mortgage Corp.