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Cooperative leasing spaces in Walmart to sell mortgage products to consumers

Lenders One Cooperative announced on Monday that it has struck a deal to lease retail space in Walmart stores to sell mortgage products and services.

The cooperative inked a deal for space at three Walmart locations, but said there are “many more opportunities to come.”

Lenders One will be selling purchase, refinance and home equity products at its “store-in-store” branch locations.

Justin Demola, president at Lenders One, wasn’t immediately available for comment. In a statement, Demola said that the initiative is part of the cooperative’s mission to help members “improve their profitability and better compete against larger, well-funded mortgage lenders.”

Walmart isn’t the first warehouse-style retailer to offer mortgage products on location. Similar to Walmart, Costco has a partnership with Ohio-based retail lender CrossCountry Mortgage, which in 2020 acquired First Choice Loan Services, Costco’s mortgage program provider.

Founded in 2000, Lenders One Cooperative has a network of more than 240 independent mortgage bankers, banks, credit unions, correspondent lenders, and suppliers of mortgage products and services. The platform is managed by a subsidiary of Altisource Portfolio Solutions, a service provider and marketplace for the real estate and mortgage industries.

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The cooperative members cover the entire lending spectrum, originating between $50 million and $25 billion per year. Collectively, their origination volume reached around $780 billion in 2020, the cooperative claims.  

According to the company, the Walmart deal is part of a plan to improve its members’ profitability by manufacturing loans more efficiently and closing a greater number of loans.

The cooperative also launched a full credit reporting agency (CRA), which will offer its members a full tri-merge credit report, fraud reports, undisclosed debt notifications, verification of employment and assets, and other services.

Another initiative is a cloud-based technology called Lenders One Loan Automation (LOLA), launched to automate the loan manufacturing process. Members can order and receive cooperative solutions without human intervention. 

In 2012, one-third of people surveyed said they would consider a mortgage from retailer Walmart and almost half would consider one from PayPal. Neither company offered mortgages.

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