MetLife, Inc. said Thursday morning that it will acquire EverBank Reverse Mortgage LLC of Bloomfield, NJ, from its parent, EverBank. The acquisition is expected to close July 31; terms of the deal were not disclosed. MetLife said in a press statement that it intends to operate EverBank Reverse as a division of MetLife Bank, an operating subsidiary of the insurance and financial services giant. “MetLife Bank added reverse mortgages to its product portfolio in 2007. The acquisition of EverBank Reverse Mortgage will help us rapidly grow this business,” said Donna DeMaio, president, MetLife Bank. The sale of Everbank marks the second time in less than one year that the company has been sold. EverBank purchased Bank of New York’s interest in BNY Mortgage in March 2007, and renamed BNY Mortgage into Everbank Reverse in late November of last year. Jacksonville-based EverBank Financial Corp is a privately-held financial services firm with approximately $5.5 billion in assets and 1,600 employees; it’s unclear how many employees work at Everbank Reverse and will be affected by the pending sale. The market for reverse mortgages is quickly moving the mainstream. The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association reported that reverse mortgages — also known as home equity conversion mortgages, or HECM — grew 41 percent year-over-year in 2007. American Banker reported earlier this month that Wells Fargo is predicting that one of every five U.S. mortgages will be a HECM within 20 years, as Boomers look to their homes to fund their retirement. Disclosure: The author held no positions in MET when this story was originally published. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.
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