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Mortgage Casualties Fall
added: 2011-01-04

Fewer mortgage-related firms closed their doors during 2010 than in 2009 based on the Mortgage Graveyard from

Including mortgage companies, retail and wholesale credit unions and federally insured banks - Mortgage Daily tracked 201 mortgage-related business operations that either failed or were closed down during 2010.

The casualty list was smaller than 2009's count, which stands at 230 mortgage-related fatalities -- the most since Mortgage Daily began tracking the data in 1998.

A total of 22 non-bank closures were recorded for 2010, a vast improvement from the 70 tracked during 2009. Non-bank failures peaked in 2007 at 156.

Credit union casualties also numbered 22 last year. The count was up from 20 seizures and liquidations tracked in 2009.

Last year saw a rise in the failure of banks that were insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. - to 157 from the previous year's 140.

Among the year's most notable events was Bank of America Home Loans' October decision to close its wholesale channel, which was inherited from the July 2008 acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp. BofA previously closed its own wholesale lending channel in December 2007.

Also blindsiding the industry was Wells Fargo & Co.'s July decision to stop originating nonprime portfolio mortgages at Wells Fargo Financial Inc. That move was expected to impact nearly 4,000 employees.

Premium Capital abandoned new business this year after losing its Ginnie Mae approval and approval as an FHA mortgagee. Branch managers of the company, which did business as TopDot Mortgage, were subsequently indicted over seven allegedly fraudulent transactions for $5,739,326.

Sir Richard Branson abandoned his foray into the U.S. mortgage market, closing the mortgage business at Virgin Money USA Inc. Branson proclaimed the prior year, "At a time when others are exiting the mortgage space, leaving consumers with fewer financing options, Virgin Money is jumping in with its wholesale mortgage program."

Source: PR Newswire

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