Fast-Growing Lender REMN Changes Name to Homebridge Financial

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Real Estate Mortgage Network Inc., Iselin, N.J., is changing its name to HomeBridge Financial Services Inc., effective immediately.

Until now, the company had been branding its West Coast wholesale operation as well as its correspondent operation under the HomeBridge name.

The mortgage business is changing rapidly and management felt it needed a "short and clean name that's easy to say and easy to remember" and is not an acronym, says CEO Peter Norden.

It also wanted a name that reflected the way it does business, one that shows its understanding of the needs of its customers, whether they be consumers, mortgage brokers or bankers.

But especially for the consumer, HomeBridge imparts the message that the company is a bridge for providing home ownership, he says.

There is a new slogan in addition to the rebranding, "Partners for the Path Ahead."

It is not easy to make a name change from a licensing perspective, Norden notes; he did it a previous company and if anything, the process has become more a big deal now.

There is a separate East Coast wholesale division. That unit is retaining the REMN Wholesale name. Keeping this name is more of a matter of name recognition among its broker clients. REMN Wholesale will continue to operate independently of HomeBridge Wholesale and they will continue to compete against each other for business, he says.

Both wholesale divisions are rapidly expanding, and the retail division is growing as well. HomeBridge soon will start servicing loans in-house rather than use a subservicer, Norden says. The company has a $9 billion servicing portfolio.

The correspondent division has been buying loans for six months. Its primary function is to add mortgage servicing rights to the portfolio. The goal is to the servicing portfolio to around $25 billion in the next few years and correspondent production is important for that effort, he says.

For 2014, the company is looking for moderate growth from this channel, in the area of $1.5 billion. "We don't want the growth to get ahead of us," Norden says. In the six months it has been buying loans, the company has bought $250 million.

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