1st Metropolitan Mortgage, Charlotte, N.C., has announced the opening of a California subsidiary, The Mortgage Alliance Co., that will offer originators the option of being paid on a 1099 basis.1st Metropolitan said TMAC's model is based on 1st Metro's MetroBranching system and a desire to accommodate originators who want to join the company while retaining the option of being paid as licensees of the California Department of Real Estate. "California has multiple licensing types, one of which -- the DRE -- uses its real estate licensing structure to license mortgage brokers," said Daniel Jacobs, chief executive officer of 1st Metro and TMAC. "As a result, many California mortgage brokers are used to working under the special real estate salesperson exemption, which allows them to be paid via 1099." 1st Metro said many local and regional net-branch operators in California do not provide real back-office infrastructure or branch support. Mr. Jacobs said a survey revealed that the No. 1 reason originators affiliate with such operations anyway, instead of nationally branded branching companies such as 1st Metro, was "the requirement of being a W2 employee instead of a 1099 DRE licensee." The company can be found online at http://www.1stmetro.com.

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