Sam Gendusa April 6, 2018

Newsletter - April 2018

It seems that there are fewer banks, mortgage servicing companies, and title insurance companies today than ever before.

The consolidation of the mortgage industry has been going on for years now, but a series of recent mergers and acquisitions has us wondering what the industry will look like 20, 10, or even 5 years from now.

Last month, Fidelity National Financial, one of the country’s biggest title insurance and settlement services provider, announced its intent to buy Stewart Information Services, one of its biggest competitors, in a $1.2 billion deal.

In February, mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp entered into an agreement to acquire mortgage originator and servicer PHH Corp. If the deal goes through, Ocwen will originate more than $3 billion of residential mortgage loans and service nearly 2 million loans with an unpaid balance of $328 billion.

Also that month, Silverton Mortgage Specialists, Inc. signed an agreement to join the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies.

The market of U.S. banks and thrifts is shrinking as well: 68 branches closed in January, bringing the total down to 89,027.

Here are just a few acquisitions that have been announced recently:

  • Pacific Premier Bank ($8.5 billion) will acquire Grandpoint Bank ($3.2 billion)
  • Mechanics Bank ($5.6 billion) will acquire Scott Valley Bank ($692 million)
  • PlainsCapital Bank ($9.6 billion) will acquire the Bank of River Oaks ($454 million)
  • Guaranty Bank & Trust ($2 billion) will acquire Westbound Bank ($228 million)

And Bank of America is now partnering with Amazon to provide loans to merchants. (Amazon issued $662 million in loans last year, according to their annual report.)

“Unfortunately, we’ll see plenty of lenders quietly scaling back, or going away entirely, without a formal announcement this year,” wrote Rob Chrisman in Mortgage News Daily. “Let’s face it: there’s a lot of over-capacity in the biz, and only so many loans to go around.”

What’s your take? Where do you see the mortgage industry 10 years from now?

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