Loan production at Gateway Mortgage Group rocketed 104% in the first seven months of the year over the same period in 2011 as the company capitalized on expanding retail branches and new business lines.

The Tulsa, Okla.-based mortgage company achieved the highest production levels in its history for seven straight months, experiencing its its best month in July with loan volumes reaching more than $141 million.

The company funded more than $661 million in loan originations in the first half of the year. Its servicing portfolio surpassed $1.8 billion and 12,000 loans while expanding its specialty servicing unit, launched in November 2011.

Gateway services more than $1.8 billion in residential mortgages through its in-house servicing, subservicing and default servicing channels

“Gateway’s continued growth, expansion and success begins at the corporate level and extends to every one of our retail branches – an achievement we are extremely grateful for,” said Gateway President Kevin Stitt.

The lender, which holds more than 50 retail branches across 25 states, expanded its retail branching footprint by opening eight new branches and hiring more than 133 loan officers for branch production and support. In June, the company opened its first retail branch in south Houston, a city in which home buying is red-hot and unemployment is falling.

And in May, Gateway acquired its largest branch in Omaha, Neb., formerly a MetLife building and the company's first location in the city. MetLife exited the mortgage origination business earlier in the year.

Gateway also introduced new business focuses in the first half of 2012 including correspondent lending and alternative sales such as joint ventures and marketing service agreements.

The addition of a chief credit and compliance officer, marketing director and vice president and director of alternative sales channels accommodated Gateway’s growth.

“We aim to exceed previous expectations and finish the year more successful than the last," Stitt said.