First Guaranty expands niche offerings for correspondent lenders
Correspondent lending remains one of the harder hit areas of mortgage finance following the collapse of the housing economy. However, First Guaranty Mortgage Corp. still sees value in diversifying the products it offers to players in the space. And now the wholesale and retail lender is putting all of its related products under one umbrella, in order to push loan originations, in a one-stop shop it calls Correspondent’s Edge. The niche-focused product line will include manufactured housing loans and rehabilitation loans such as a Department of Housing and Urban Development 203k or Fannie Mae HomePath loan. Fannie Mae offers some 203k loans under its HomePath program, as well as other forms of financing. First Guaranty hopes to one day compete with larger lenders in that area. "Many of the correspondents we speak with have found themselves limited to fairly vanilla loans, limiting them to a fairly narrow range of potential borrowers," said FGMC Senior Vice President Andrew Peters. "Correspondent’s Edge should provide them with additional tools and offerings, and widen the market for many of the newer correspondents making the transition from third party originator to correspondent lender," he said. Peters added that placing the correspondent products in an orderly fashion would help these lenders provide a better service to homebuyers and real estate agents alike who are looking to beautify properties before selling. In a statement Tuesday, First Guaranty said it will continue to support its “Rebuild the Dream” initiative. Rebuild the Dream is the branding effort of First Guaranty to promote its belief that REO properties should not be marketed in states of disrepair. "Many have backed away from non-traditional lending recently, but with cautious underwriting and an attention to detail, there is no reason to shun these products, which can also play a strong role in accelerating REO re-sales and even neighborhood stabilization," Peters added. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @jacobgaffney.