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After exiting wholesale, Fairway hires origination teams across the nation

After exiting the wholesale channel in February, top U.S. mortgage lender Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. has decided to grow its retail footprint organically by hiring origination teams from various competitors.

The company announced last week that, in April, it welcomed production teams that collectively originated more than $500 million in mortgage volume in 2023. These groups are bringing a total of 92 mortgage professionals to Fairway.

According to Inside Finance Mortgage (IMF) estimates, Fairway ranked as 13th-largest U.S. mortgage lender in the first quarter of 2024. The lender originated $5.15 billion from January to March, down 12.6% from Q1 2023. For all of last year, IMF data shows that Fairway was the 10th-largest lender with a volume of $27.4 billion, down 34.5% year over year. 

As of Monday, the company had 2,824 sponsored loan officers and 860 active branch locations, per the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS).

Tiffany Fisher and her 44 teammates joined Fairway from Movement Mortgage, where they produced 1,174 loans for $223.1 million in volume last year, the team claims. They operate in Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas.

Meanwhile, Kirk Scrima left his brother Todd Scrima’s company, Summit Funding, alongside Dan and Steve Kaminski. Summit recently became involved in a legal battle with Movement over an alleged poaching scheme. Summit denies the allegations.

The former Summit team will add 22 mortgage pros to Fairway. Last year, the group funded a reported 291 loans for an aggregate volume of $158.8 million. They will operate offices and branches in California, Arizona and North Carolina. 

Burt Hoagland and Brian Kesler, who are departing Intercap Lending, are leading another team that has joined Fairway. In 2023, the Utah-based group funded 235 units with a volume of $111 million.

In addition, Kristen Walther left Norcom Mortgage, bringing 21 mortgage pros to branches in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Florida. In early April, California-based multichannel lender CMG Financial announced the acquisition of Norcom‘s retail assets, with the target company shifting its strategy to focus on the wholesale side of the business. 

Fairway CEO and founder Steve Jacobson said the company is humbled to have the teams join on and is “driven to earn their trust and respect.”

Jacobson has made some strategic moves at Fairway. The company exited the wholesale channel in February. In that space, rival lender United Wholesale Mortgage‘s “All-in” ultimatum, which barred brokers from sending business to Fairway and Rocket Pro TPO while still sending loans to UWM, likely hurt Fairway’s growth prospects.

Regarding its operations, Fairway sustained a cyberattack in early December that was caused by vulnerabilities in a vendor system, the company told the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

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