Hometown Lenders acquires TotalChoice Mortgage to add origination scale

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Hometown Lenders Inc. will acquire TotalChoice Mortgage in a move to expand its geographic footprint and meet its goal of growing annual originations from $1 billion to $5 billion.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal will help Hometown, a Huntsville, Ala.-based mortgage lender, continue to develop a stronger nationwide presence, giving it a foothold in the Midwest. TotalChoice, which expects to originate approximately $240 million in mortgages this year, is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. At least initially, it will operate as a division of HomeTown.

"The goal from the beginning was to build a sales division with exceptional sales personnel supported in partnership with an unmatched back office support," said Michael Farrell, TotalChoice divisional manager.

"To expand the TotalChoice vision, tooled with ground-breaking technology in the mortgage space, aggressive speed to client closings, and an aggressive weekly compensation to our salespeople. To do so, we needed a strong and committed partnership with a national mortgage company who encompassed the resources, desire, and commitment to scale our vision," Farrell continued.

Prior to the acquisition, both companies have prioritized technology in their respective business strategies. HomeTown has developed a number of origination technologies, including online self-service tool and will incorporate TotalChoice's custom marketing technology into its operations.

"In today's market, customers expect more from companies and it's our responsibility as a business to satisfy the demands of our consumers," Masana Noma, TotalChoice vice president of marketing and strategy, said in a press release. "An automated client relationship manager that features rapid response to our customer's inquiry or a mobile application that simplifies the consumer's task is a must-have tool for businesses."

Industry consolidation has become quite frequent this year as mortgage volume shrinks and costs soar. In the last few weeks alone, Mr. Cooper bought Pacific Union and Guaranteed Rate acquired two Hawaii-based lending companies.

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