As mortgage operations nationwide continue to fold, many in the industry are being forced to get creative. Case in point: faced with imminent unemployment thanks to the failure of corporate banking parent NetBank, some employees at Market Street Mortgage Corporation moved quickly to keep their operation afloat. Mark Cady, a regional vice president with Market Street, along with several other company team members, set up a net branch with Salt Lake City-based Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. that allowed Cady to keep the doors open for business and save 80 jobs in the process. Cady and his team will continue serving the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and McAllen markets under the name Flagstone Lending Group, according to a press release. PRMI is a correspondent and wholesale lender that operates in 47 U.S. states, and is provides branch operators with financial and operational support; this support includes underwriting decisions, which is why I'm referring to this arrangement as a net branch operation. PRMI went on a press offensive earlier this year as well touting its net branch opportunities to displaced mortgage professionals. Net branching was once seen as a less-attractive option for originators; I wonder if that perception is changing as more loan originators try to stay afloat. I also have to wonder if the net branch model is under some stress as the dynamics of the mortgage market have changed dramatically; more than a few have folded recently. Not that those concerns matter to Cady, however. "Despite the turmoil of the last several days, we're extremely excited to work in partnership with PRMI," says Cady, who will be heading Flagstone Lending Group. "This arrangement will enable us to hardly skip a beat and move forward serving our customers. We're confident that Flagstone Lending Group will provide the same exceptional products and services that Market Street customers have come to expect." As head of Market Street's Texas region, Cady oversaw an operation that closed $300 million in loans in 2006, including about $70 million in North Texas. The company can be found at