Wells Fargo to Exit Wholesale Reverse Mortgage Business

Wells Fargo will exit the wholesale reverse mortgage business and will no longer accept applications through its broker channel after March 18th.

“After a detailed review of evaluation of volume and goals for 2011, Wells Fargo Wholesale Mortgage lending (our broker channel) has decided to discontinue offering reverse mortgage loans,” said Veronica Clemons, spokesperson for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in an email to RMD.

While the bank is the largest retail reverse mortgage originator, wholesale has never been a big part of its business. Wells Fargo is the seventh largest wholesale reverse mortgage lender, sponsoring 1,206 HECM units in 2010 according to Reverse Market Insight. Of its total reverse mortgage volume, only 7% came from its wholesale channel, which was down 34.6% last year.

As far as retail is concerned, it’s business as usual and the company plans to transition wholesale employees to its consumer platform.

“We continue to make reverse mortgage loans through our Retail Mortgage lending channel (direct-to-consumer), where most of these loans are originated for our company,” said Clemons. “Wells Fargo team members who support Wholesale reverse will transition to support reverse mortgage loans through our Retail channel.”

Wells is the second large bank to exit the wholesale business in the last 30 days. Bank of America announced it was shutting down its entire reverse mortgage operation last month.

Update, Wells Fargo announced they’re exiting the retail business as well.  More information here.

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