Based on the headlines, one would assume that the mortgage industry is a complete disaster. original volume is down about 50% from a year ago, thousands of layoffs are reported every week and grim forecasters say the recession will last a long winter. Some mortgage companies will merge to stay afloat, and many others will go bankrupt.
But despite the worst business climate in more than a decade, some mortgage companies are hiring workers and thinking opportunistically about the cycle.
Purchase-focused lenders that didn’t swell in size to capture refinance activity during the boom, in particular, are looking to hire loan officers. And mortgage brokers, unburdened by high overhead, are massively recruiting retail LOs whose pipelines have thinned in recent months.
Although the purchase volume in the industry is down compared to 2020 and 2021, it is one of the only sources of activity for lenders. And it’s still a relationship-driven business: Borrowers want to talk to local loan officers when they start the process of getting a loan, which is why companies hire LOs, recruiters and mortgage officers.
Even traditional depositary lenders are eager to bring LOs from coast to coast. A quick scan of job boards shows that custodians such as US Bank, Citi, and Bank of America are looking to expand the ranks of LOs.
Bank WesBanco, the second-largest bank headquartered in West Virginia, plans to hire a dozen loan originators in 20 major markets this year. Founded in 1870, the bank has about 65 OL. It has patiently prepared for a downturn and hasn’t laid off a single employee in the past two years, said Rick Trew, vice president and regional sales manager at WesBanco.
“We didn’t go out and hire everyone we could,” Trew said. “We’ve maintained our stability over the past few years, that’s what sets us apart.
With more than 200 branches in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana, Trew said the bank is focused on the buying and construction industry.
Recruitment battles for LOs remain fierce, mortgage and LO officials told HousingWire. Although signing bonuses are not as generous as they were during the boom, many LOs who move receive better compensation in their new company. But it might take a few months to land, especially doing overseas recruiting.
“Our industry knows that the process of entering a market trying to find experienced originators is a very competitive and somewhat lengthy process,” Paul Buege, CEO of Inlanta Mortgage, told HousingWire.
Many large mortgage brokerages see market-wide volatility as a recruiting tool. Directed by Mike Kortas NEXA Mortgagea high-volume brokerage, is looking to reach 2,000 brokers by the end of the year, offering what he called the best price in the industry and 100% divisions.
And Anthony Casa at the helm Mortgage, headquartered in Philadelphia, recruits from major retail lenders across the country. It also uses brokers. Sean Grapevine, who led ATL Mortgage in Georgia, recently joined UMortgage. Casa also plans to hire for roles related to data, IT, operations and HR.
Small farms are also looking to fill their ranks, especially Currency Mortgage and Mortgage growth.
Motto, which added 60 franchises in 2022, is looking for seven business development consultants who will be responsible for selling Motto’s franchises. Real estate company RE/MAX acquired Motto Mortgage in 2016 to create a “one-stop shop” where buyers can work with both a realtor to find a home and a Motto Mortgage loan originator to secure financing.
“As rates have gone up and refi volume has gone down, they (rates) have been pushing back origination to buy money,” said Bob Butterfield, vice president of franchise sales at Motto Mortgage. “Buy requests are where brokerages really shine in the first place.”
“The broker channel is growing so fast [that] we can’t hire fast enough,” said Russell Petty, owner of Grow Mortgage, which has offices in the Carolinas, Florida and Indiana. Faster return times, often same-day underwriting approvals, and lower overhead are all factors that drive lower rates and business growth, Petty said.
He plans to hire up to 20 brokers by the end of the year, including junior OLs.
wemlo, a platform connecting mortgage brokers and loan originators to a processing network, is looking to grow. The company is looking to hire account executives to sell the company’s processing software. Demand for wemlo is being driven by brokerages that don’t have in-house processors, Butterfield said. The number of brokerages submitting loans to wemlo for processing increased 74% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year, the company said. Acquired by real estate company RE/MAX and Motto Mortgage in 2020 after two companies struggled to hire experienced processors, wemlo this year added three account executives with experience at wholesale lenders.
“Interest rates have knocked out homebuyers, but we still have more qualified buyers who have saved a lot of money and tried to enter the market,” Buege said. “As we see a cooling in the housing market, this is almost bringing balance back. We watch the market as the glass is half full.
Difficult time for operations staff
It’s a better job market for LOs than for processors and underwriters because they’re the “revenue generators,” said Mandy Garfield, head of talent acquisition at Independent Mortgage Bank. Norcom Mortgagewho is looking for LOs in several markets.
“During the refi-heavy years, companies really got beefed up in processors, underwriters, and support staff,” Garfield said. “When the refis left… [that] That’s why you see a lot of these layoffs. For a business to grow, loan originators are those who bring the loans and income to the mortgage company.
It’s an extremely competitive job market for operations professionals. More than a dozen out-of-work operations workers told HousingWire they had applied for hundreds of jobs and rarely received more than a few interviews for positions for which they were highly qualified.
“We had over 300 people applying for an assistant loan originator position in 24 hours, so we had to close that ad,” Garfield said.
Janille Dimaguipo knows this first hand. She has nearly a decade of experience as a funder, processor and underwriter. She was fired from her underwriting job by Change mortgage in May 2022
“I knew it was a bad labor market, but I didn’t know it was this bad,” she said. “Layoffs are cyclical but I’m not used to there being nothing. This layoff season has been different for me. It’s frightening. Some people have been unemployed since January.
Dimapuigo said she received few responses from the hundreds of jobs she applied for. But she is not discouraged.
“The industry hasn’t put me down,” she said. “A lot of people don’t get into underwriting until later in life. I learn fast, I’ve worn a lot of hats, I’ve done a bit of everything. I’m not too set in my ways, I like learning and being in the industry.
Here is a list of mortgage lenders and brokerages looking for LOs, account executives, processors and more. We will continue to update this list of companies that are hiring, please share any other openings you see there by emailing Connie Kim at [email protected].
*American Financial Network has open positions for LOs, Sales Managers and Branch Managers
*E Mortgage capital is hiring LO and account managers
*Bank WesBanco search for LOs and processors in its Mid-Atlantic, Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio markets
*NCP Bank is hiring OL in the New York area
*American bank is hiring New Jersey and Oregon OL
*Prime Mortgage recruits account managers for wholesale, non-delegated and delegated trade
*Currency Mortgage is hiring business development advisors
*wemlo is hiring account managers
*Mortgage across the country is hiring OL in the New York area
*Coastal bank recruits LOs in Florida. Positions are remote but living in Florida and having a self-employed business is a requirement
*Carrington Mortgage Services is hiring distant OL
*Federal Navy is hiring an LO in Mayport, Florida.
*SecurityNational Mortgage Company is hiring OL in Texas, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Maryland
*Landmark Business Mortgage recruiting OL in Vancouver, Washington
*Griffin financing is looking for OL with non QM experience
*Greater Nevada Mortgage is recruiting LOs to fill its field and in-house Mortgage Consultant positions in the Reno and Las Vegas areas of Nevada and the Sacramento and Roseville areas of California. The company is also looking for a Regional Sales Manager in the Reno and Sparks area of Nevada.
*Financial Geneva recruits LOs and branch managers
*Go to Mortgage recruits OL
*Norcom Mortgage recruits LOs and branch managers
*Liberty House Mortgage recruits OL
*UW Mortgage is hiring a junior accountant, an office manager and vice president of operations
*Logan financing recruiting Account Executives and Account Managers with Non-QM Experiences, Non-QM Underwriters, Scenario Desk Underwriters, Loan Origination Specialist
*Goldstar Financial recruits LOs and managers in 39 states and Washington DC
*WMB recruits LOs and account managers in California, Florida and Washington
*Hypotech is hiring LO
*Loan3 recruits LOs, branch and account managers
*Inlanta Mortgage is hiring LO and Branch Managers in the Midwest
*Nexa Mortgage recruits remote LOs across the United States (call Joe Stunzi at 404-867-8991)
*Weichert Financial Services recruits LOs in New New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and DC. He is also looking for initiators for the company’s call center
*First State Bank of the South East recruits senior LOs in Kentucky and Tennessee