NJ-Based HomeBridge Financial to Purchase Operating Assets of Prospect Mortgage

Real Estate In-Depth | November 1, 2016

ISELIN, NJ—HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc., a national independent mortgage lender based here, announced on Nov. 1 the signing of a definitive agreement to purchase the operating assets of Prospect Mortgage, LLC from Prospect Holding Company, LLC.

The asset purchase consists primarily of the loan production platform. As a result, HomeBridge will become one of the largest non-bank mortgage lenders in the country, originating loans nationwide with approximately 900 retail mortgage loan originators in nearly 250 branches. HomeBridge will continue to operate its two wholesale divisions; ultimately employing more than 3,000 full time associates across the enterprise. The asset purchase is expected to close in January 2017. No financial details of the transaction were released. Prospect Mortgage has operations locally at 711 Westchester Ave. in White Plains.

According to Scotsman Guide’s 2015 Top Mortgage Lenders rankings, HomeBridge should become the sixth largest non-bank mortgage lender for overall production when the deal is finalized. In addition, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development listed Prospect and HomeBridge first and second, respectively, in its year-end 203(k) endorsement summary report. HomeBridge will become the nation’s largest renovation lender, with more than double the production of the nearest competitor, the company stated.

HomeBridge CEO Peter Norden, President Joel Katz and Chief Operating Officer Joe Sheridan will continue to lead the business. “In today’s mortgage market, size, capital, liquidity and product diversity are critically important to long-term growth and success,” said Norden. “Specifically, our access to capital will improve, impacting our funding capabilities and our ability to increase our presence in existing and new markets. We will remain an entrepreneurial, flexible and nimble mortgage banker by effectively balancing profitability and volume, while continuing our commitment to operating in compliance with the current mortgage lending regulatory landscape.”

Michael Williams, Prospect’s chairman and CEO and the former president and CEO of Fannie Mae, will remain with HomeBridge in an advisory role for the immediate future. He said, “This arrangement creates a true loan production powerhouse that should become the nation’s premier non-bank mortgage company. I expect a smooth transition because of the similarities in corporate cultures at HomeBridge and Prospect, including strong leadership, a talented workforce and a profound commitment to excellence in everything we do.”

In addition, Doug Long, Prospect’s President of National Lending, will take an Executive Vice President role with HomeBridge and manage existing Prospect branch operations that are moving to HomeBridge.

Houlihan Lokey served as exclusive financial advisor to Prospect, assisting in structuring and negotiating the transaction.

Donald Arace, manager of Prospect Mortgage’s White Plains office stated that the merger of the two mortgage banks with almost identical loan operating systems, production and staff is an ideal fit. “I am excited about the HomeBridge merger acquisition of Prospect. HomeBridge and Prospect are primarily purchase originators. This will instantaneously create a bank that will be one of the top four mortgage banks (non-depository) in the nation,” Arace said.

He continued, “The two organizations were #1 and #2 in renovation lending this past year, and with the expansion of products including construction financing and deeper Jumbo selection, this merger will enhance overall Realtor and borrower satisfaction.”

HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc. is one of the largest privately held, non-bank lenders in the United States. In the last 25 years, HomeBridge has grown to include more than 1,500 associates in nearly 100 retail branches across the country and two separate wholesale operations, HomeBridge Wholesale and REMN Wholesale. HomeBridge holds FNMA, GNMA, FHLMC, FHA and VA approvals and funded nearly $9 billion in home loans in 2015.

Prospect Mortgage is one of the largest independent residential retail mortgage lenders in the United States, having funded almost $9 billion in home loans in 2015. It is a leading lender offering a full range of quality home loans, including FHA and VA, conventional, jumbo and super jumbo, renovation and more.