Irwin Unloads $19B of MSRs

Citigroup has acquired a majority of Irwin Mortgage's $19 billion servicing portfolio, investment banking sources have told Mortgage Servicing News.

The sale was made public in early October but the parties involved declined to identify any of the buyers. Sources said three other firms bought minority pieces of the portfolio. Known bidders on these smaller pieces include ABN Amro Mortgage, Ann Arbor, Mich.; EverBank, Jacksonville, Fla.; and MidFirst Bank, Oklahoma City. These firms had not commented at press time.

Irwin's parent company sold the housing receivables for $261 million, but said that ultimately it will book an $11 million loss on the deal.

Irwin Mortgage of Fishers, Ind., is owned by Irwin Financial Corp., a Columbus, Ind.-based bank.

In September, IFC sold IMC's loan origination platform and headquarters to Freedom Mortgage Corp., Mount Laurel, N.J., a privately held company. At one point, Freedom considered buying the servicing platform but passed. The platform could trade in the next month or so, investment bankers said.

In late January, IFC began fielding offers for IMC, which ranked 35th among residential servicers. Even though Irwin sold its "A" paper division, the company kept its home equity division. IFC chairman Will Miller cited declining profit margins in the conventional sector as a reason for the sale, adding, "Our servicing activities have grown to a size where we believe they can be managed and grown more effectively within another organization." (c) 2006 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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