HomeStreet Bank finds a buyer for its retail loan centers: Homebridge

HomeStreet Bank finds a buyer for its retail loan centers: Homebridge

Earlier this month, HomeStreet, a community bank and mortgage lender that operates bank branches and standalone home loan centers, announced that it planned to sell off much of its entire retail mortgage operation, which includes 72 home loan centers in five states, and as nearly all of the mortgage servicing rights associated with loans originated in those retail outlets.

And now, HomeStreet has found a buyer, one that shares a piece of its name: Homebridge.

According to the companies, HomeStreet and Homebridge have entered into a “non-binding letter of intent” that would see Homebridge “potentially acquire the assets related to HomeStreet’s stand-alone home loan centers and to hire HomeStreet’s related mortgage personnel.”

According to HomeStreet’s website, the company has 72 home loan centers: 37 in Washington, 16 in California, six in Hawaii, five in Idaho, and eight in Oregon.

According to HomeStreet, it received interest from several parties but chose to enter into the non-binding agreement with Homebridge. The companies say that they expect to enter into a “definitive agreement for a transfer of these assets and related personnel to Homebridge.”

According to HomeStreet, the move came about because of “persistent challenges facing the mortgage banking industry.” The bank cited “the increasing interest rate environment,” which has reduced the demand for refinances, and higher home prices that have decreased the affordability of homes as factors dragging down its mortgage origination business.

So, the bank said that it was moving away from mortgages, although not entirely. The bank said that it planned to continue originating mortgages sourced through its bank branches, online banking services, and affinity relationships. Read more

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