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Cendant Wins Contract with Fleet

Cendant Mortgage here, one of the biggest players in private label funding, has snagged Fleet National Bank, Boston, as a client.

Fleet chose Cendant to provide mortgage services to its customers over Washington Mutual, Seattle, which had been its vendor since June 1, 2001.

So far this year, Fleet/WaMu had funded $3.2 billion in home mortgages (19,500 units) through the alliance.

WaMu had been Fleet's outsourcer since June of 2001 in the wake of its purchase of Fleet Mortgage Group, Columbia, S.C.

However, a spokesman for Fleet said the bank did not like certain aspects of the outsourcing arrangement it had with WaMu. "We could not cross-sell to the mortgage customers and once the loan was sold to WaMu we could not access account information on the consumer."

Even though Fleet does not underwrite or service mortgages directly anymore, it remains a large player in the home equity market.

Under its alliance with Cendant, Fleet will be able to both cross-sell and access account information. "We couldn't do that under the agreement we had with WaMu," he said.

Fleet gave WaMu notice 90 days ago that it would end its alliance. The spokesman would not say whether other vendors bid on the contract.

The Cendant-Fleet alliance actually began on Dec. 1.

Under a private label arrangement, the outsourcer (Cendant) originates and services mortgage products with Fleet's name on them.

Cendant will provide mortgage products in the bank's nine-state imprint, which includes 1,500 branches as well as its website.

Cendant is a private label originator for several financial institutions, including Merrill Lynch.

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