Surprise: Bank of America Is Back in Correspondent (Sort of)

Although Bank of America exited the correspondent channel earlier this year, its Merrill Lynch affiliate is aggressively bidding on jumbo loans in the secondary market, according to mortgage bankers familiar with the situation.

Over the past few weeks, rumors have circulated that B of A (or Merrill) might possibly be considering issuing a jumbo bond some time in the first half of 2013.

At press time a B of A spokesman had not returned a telephone call about the matter.

B of A also exited warehouse lending, transferring part of that business to Merrill as well. At one time B of A was the largest warehouse provider in the nation with $15 billion in commitments.

Some large warehouse lenders cross-market their services to nonbanks, agreeing to both finance their production via warehouse or repo lines and buy their loans.

As a mortgage lender, B of A is now in just one production channel: retail, excluding Merrill’s secondary market purchases.