Mortgage company Stearns Lending appointed Karen Crawford as chief legal officer.

The Santa Ana, Calif.-based company hired Crawford to lead the overall legal, compliance, and internal audit strategy and functions for Stearns’ multi-channel mortgage origination, sales and servicing operations.

Previously, Crawford served as chief risk officer at MetLife bank, along with working at Fannie Mae and Countrywide Home Loans.

"Her contributions will be invaluable as we build our servicing operations and continue efforts to expand our national footprint. Karen will be key in further solidifying Stearns’ position in the marketplace as a customer and client-centric organization, while maintaining a prudent risk management focus required in today’s lending environment," said Brian S. Hale, CEO of Stearns Lending.