California-based Point Mortgage Corporation has decided to shut down its wholesale business GoPointDirect and lay off employees to focus on retail lending, a top executive confirmed to HousingWire.
“We have temporarily taken it down,” Johnny Margarini, president and CEO, said during an interview. “When business picks back up, we’ll revisit wholesale, but for now, to be proactive to the way the market is, it’s best that we stop our wholesale operation.”
The company will honor and close the existing loans locked in the pipeline of GoPointDirect, “as long as the borrowers qualify,” Margarini said.
Around seven employees working directly in the wholesale division were laid off, according to Margarini. He did not provide more details regarding their last paychecks and severance payments when asked.
“Our industry is saturated with Realtors and loan officers. And I believe we went through a reset, the same way we did back in 2006 and 2007. And it happens in this industry every 10 years or so,” Margarini said.
According to Margarini, the wholesale division represented around 3% of the company’s business, and Point has decided to concentrate on the retail channel.
For mortgage servicers as well as lenders with a healthy servicing portfolio, the changing market environment can be a time to thrive — to expand and strengthen revenue streams outside of just mortgages.
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Point Mortgage Corporation had 177 sponsored mortgage loan officers and licenses in 28 states by Sep. 13, according to data from the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System.
The full-service mortgage lender offers conventional, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Affairs (VA), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans, according to the company’s website. GoPointDirect, the wholesale division, also offered partners a mix of conforming and government loans.
According to mortgage tech platform Modex, the company originated $1.23 billion over the last 12 months.
Like Point, other lenders face a shrinking mortgage market amid surging rates.
In the wholesale space, another challenge is an aggressive pricing strategy from competitors, mainly the top U.S. lender in the channel, United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM). UWM in June launched the ‘Game On’ pricing initiative, slashing prices across all loans by 50 to 100 basis points.