Wingspan Portfolio Advisors Growing Its Lending Unit

After acquiring JPMorgan Chase’s Melbourne, Fla., servicing shop earlier this year, Wingspan Portfolio Advisors is now expanding the functions this facility will provide and who will be offering these services.

The Dallas-based special servicer is growing its origination business at the new Florida office by hiring in-house underwriters, rather than utilizing outsourcers. Unlike some lenders who are trying to reduce headcount within their organizations, Wingspan will use W-2 employees who are familiar with the company’s oversight and control in order to improve their overall results.

“There is good talent in the Florida office and we plan to make full use of the community there by reconfiguring our underwriting area,” Steven Horne, president and CEO of Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, told this publication in an interview. “Currently, we have 2,000 employees in all of our offices, but we expect this number to jump to 3,000 by yearend.”

Wingspan Lender Services, the mortgage processing, closing and quality control division of Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, said the selection process entails rigorous testing and requires an individual to have relevant and recent experience.

Underwriting candidates are hired using a two-part testing process that includes questionnaires and case files, along with interviews with Wingspan executives. Additionally, Wingspan requires a minimum of three years of underwriting experience within the last five years to ensure current knowledge of the industry.

Jim Gallagher, senior vice president of Wingspan Portfolio Advisors and executive in charge of Wingspan Lender Services, said the company’s thorough testing and interview process shows clients that they are getting the most current professionals who are familiar with pre- and post-closing quality control as well as origination fulfillment.

“There is just too much at stake in this regulatory environment,” Gallagher stated. “Having the working groups together in our facilities brings a missing component to the mortgage processing and underwriting value proposition. Collaboration and a centralized environment are critical to a topflight offering, we have found.”

According to Gallagher, with the expansion into Florida, Wingspan has developed a strategic reserve that allows the company to deploy 30 to 35 experienced underwriters within 30 days for multiple clients.

“Our system allows accelerated training, and our hires are already vetted and documented for experience, so we can move fast,” Horne added. “We are planning for the same kind of exponential growth Wingspan Portfolio Advisors has experienced over the last few years, and are leveraging the Melbourne, Florida, professionals that came to us in February’s acquisition of that facility.”