Residential lender First California Mortgage Company (First Cal) will pilot the newly-created, NattyMac, a warehouse operation initiative started by Fannie Mae (FNM) and financial services firm, Guggenheim Partners. In February 2010, Fannie pledged a $1bn warehouse credit line to the mortgage warehouse operations of Guggenheim Partners. First Cal secured $50m in new warehouse funding through the program, enabling the lender to fund an extra 5,000 home loans in 2010 and more than triple production in 2009. “This innovative program, with its emphasis on enabling quality home financing, will help bring pricing stability to the housing market and to mortgage lending in general. This benefits both existing and new homeowners,” said Christopher Hart, president of First Cal. Before the current credit crisis, lenders like First Cal used warehouse lines of credit to fund mortgage origination and sold them to institutional investors such as Fannie Mae. These credit lines dried up as the credit crunch worsened. First Cal will produce more residential loans through its wholesale broker network, its retail lending operation and through DealPoint, its community bank program. Ralph Hints, chief financial officer for First Cal, said the company is in the process to secure additional lines of credit to support other non-agency lending programs such as FHA and VA-backed mortgages. Write to Jon Prior.

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