MetLife Fails to Sell Forward Mortgage Business, Reverse Remains

MetLife (NYSE: MET) has announced that it has decided to wind down all of MetLife Home Loans’ forward origination business and had stopped accepting applications as of 5 pm today.

After announcing in October it was seeking a buyer, the insurer said it did not find such a buyer, and will close its forward origination business as of today.

“MetLife has been in the process of marketing for sale its forward mortgage origination business, which includes our Institutional Lending Group. Regrettably, we have been unsuccessful in completing an acceptable transaction,” the company said in a statement sent to its lending partners, which was obtained by RMD. “Therefore, we have made the decision to wind‐down all MetLife Home Loans’ (MLHL) forward origination business, including the Institutional Lending Group (ILG).”

MetLife said upon the October announcement that its reverse mortgage business would remain intact.

“[The] reverse mortgage business has operating and capital characteristics that are different from the forward mortgage business,” a MetLife spokesman said in October, upon the initial announcement.

Today, the company said in a press release that MetLife Home Loans continues to originate reverse mortgages.

MetLife will continue to service existing mortgage customers, and will honor contractual commitments for loans in process and expects the majority to close in 90 days.

Exit-related costs are expected to total $90-$100 million, after tax, over the next year, without an impact on company operating earnings, MetLife said in a press release.

In December, MetLife announced that GE Capital had agreed to acquire most of its bank business.

The company did not offer additional comments as of press time.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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