Glenn Stearns is back, and not just on television.
Kind Lending, a national wholesale mortgage lender and the second brainchild of mortgage veteran Stearns, announced that it originated $1 billion in the first six months of production — a feat that took Stearns’ first company, Stearns Lending, 15 years to accomplish.
“They say success is sweeter the second time around,” said Sterns, who holds both the title of founder and CEO at Kind.
“We have assembled the best in the industry and they have provided the rocket fuel to succeed,” Stearns said. “The lessons learned from 30 years of attracting excellence has led us to a company with the best culture and happiest teammates.”
With a booming market in 2020, funding $1 billion wasn’t unheard of — some LOs funded that personally, like Guaranteed Rate‘s Shant Banosian and Ben Cohen, plus Thuan Nguyen of Loan Factory — but it did register an important milestone for Stearns, whose previous company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019.
At the time, the bankruptcy was being conducted by Blackstone, the private equity giant that acquired a majority stake in Stearns’ parent company, Stearns Holdings, back in 2015. The process eventually saw Blackstone obtaining full ownership of Stearns Holdings, and therefore Stearns Lending.
HousingWire recently spoke with Austin Niemiec, executive vice president of Rocket Pro TPO, about how the company plans to build off its recent rebrand and how its “We’ll figure it out” approach helped it continue to support broker partners throughout 2020.
Presented by: Rocket Pro TPO
Over time, Stearns began easing his way out, and ultimately taking what he called a “sabbatical,” which included appearing on Discovery Channel’s “Undercover Billionaire” and ended with his launch of Kind.
Parallel to its name, Kind Lending’s mantra runs on just that — being really nice.
“Dedicated to putting people before profit while maintaining transparency and integrity in lending standards, Kind Lending aims to break the industry standards and introduce a contemporary approach to mortgage banking,” Kind said in 2020.
To fulfill his vision, Stearns brought with him Yvonne Ketchum, who was with Stearns Lending from 2004 through 2018, and has been serving as Kind’s president since its founding.
“Glenn is the type of person I would’ve worked for again in a heartbeat. He is truly kind, inspirational, gutsy and driven,” Ketchum said when Kind was first introduced. “When he called, I jumped at the chance to launch this new venture with him. We are thrilled to introduce Kind Lending to the world. That’s Kind as in nice, caring and helpful.
And Kind wasn’t the only wholesale lender to have a bang-up year. United Wholesale Mortgage originated more than $54 billion in mortgages and generated more than $1.3 billion in net income during the fourth quarter of 2020 and HomePoint originated a total of $38 billion in loans through the first three quarters of 2020. Flush with cash, both lenders managed a public debut.
And market leader Rocket Companies is expected to announce later this month that it originated over $300 billion worth of mortgages in 2020.