Eyeing expansion, Go Mortgage snags 160+ former FoA employees

Steven Reich, former exec at Finance of America, who brought over 21 retail branches aims to originate $1 billion in loan volume in 2023 from his division alone

More than 160 employees from the now-shuttered Finance of America Mortgage have landed at Go Mortgage, a Columbus, Ohio-based lender.

After Finance of America Companies closed its forward mortgage origination unit in October, a total of 21 FoA retail branches transitioned to Go Mortgage, said Steven Reich, a division president at Go Mortgage and former executive at FoA, in an interview with HousingWire.

In the coming months, more former FoA employees are expected to “trickle in” to Go Mortgage’s retail division, which will bring the total number to 200.

“When Finance of America announced their closure, we started searching around,” Reich said. “Myself and others, we reached out to a ton of companies, talked to a ton of people and narrowed it down to a small handful of companies — and Go [Mortgage] was on that list.” 

With a focus on purchase mortgages through referral sources, Reich aims to close $1 billion in loan origination volume in 2023 through his division alone.

“Refis are the easier product of the industry,” Reich said. “We specialize in marketing for purchases.”

In addition to offering borrowers FHA loans, conventional purchase mortgages and refis, the lender specializes in retail channel construction loans, according to the firm.

“We have a one-time close construction-to-permanent loan, and we are the largest seller of that product to the agencies. So, we are constantly communicating with builders, and even calling realtors telling them we have builder products,” Reich said.  

In October, Go Mortgage rolled out non-QM (qualified mortgage) single-close construction loans, which can be used to finance up to 90% of a borrower’s home construction for loans up to $2 million.

Michael Isaacs, CEO of Go Mortgage, said the reason for the rollout was that “too often, our loan officers were encountering clients who could afford to build, but do not qualify through conventional means or were discouraged by the complicated nature of construction lending.”

Go Mortgage, a lender with just under 500 employees, originates in both the retail and wholesale channel. In the wholesale channel, the Ohio lender is predominantly construction-oriented — filling the niche with mortgage brokers who are trying to provide construction lending solutions, according to Bev Thorne, chief marketing officer at Go Mortgage. 

Go Mortgage originated $753.2 million over the past 12 months, according to mortgage data platform Modex. Purchase mortgages accounted for 62% and refis accounted for 32% of total volume, Modex data showed.

This year, the lender has an ambitious goal of reaching $2 billion in origination volume through expansions in the retail space in particular. 

“We continue to add productive retail loan officers in the purchase space and get ourselves ready for when the market will turn and we’ll be ready for refis again,” Thorne said. 

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