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FoA Mortgage’s shutdown brightens the prospects of a small Indiana lender

With a new team of mortgage bankers, Hallmark says it's positioned to become one of the nation's top 100 residential mortgage lenders

A team of more than 60 mortgage bankers at now-defunct Finance of America Mortgage has landed at Hallmark Home Mortgage.

The retail team covers the states of Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas. Marc Wadman will continue to lead the group as Hallmark’s senior vice president/regional manager.

“Hallmark is now positioned to become one of the nation’s top 100 residential mortgage lenders,” said founder and CEO Deborah Sturges in a statement. “This increased productivity will create new employment opportunities at the corporate headquarters in Fort Wayne.”

With the addition of Wadman’s team, Hallmark now has about 250 workers.

After suffering heavy financial losses, Finance of America shut down its forward mortgage business in October. It first closed down its wholesale channel and then shuttered branches over the last two weeks.

American Pacific Mortgage took over a series of branches last week, and several other large retail players – including Fairway Independent Mortgage, CrossCountry Mortgage and Guild Mortgage – are interested in taking control of additional branches.

Indiana-based Hallmark originated roughly $661 million in mortgages through the first nine months of the year, according to data from mortgage software company Modex. The company originated about $1 billion in mortgages in 2021, making this a relatively rare example of a small lender expanding significantly due to a layoff at a much larger competitor.

Most lenders in Hallmark’s production tranche are expected to shrink, not grow, in the year ahead.

“Of the [13%, or roughly 130] companies that did $1 billion to $2 billion for production in 2021, 17% of them will not even be able to do $500 million [over the 12 months ending June 30, 2023],” Brett Ludden, managing director of Sterling Point Advisors, a merger and acquisitions (M&A) advisory firm based in Virginia, told HousingWire for a recent feature on consolidation in the industry.

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