Mr. Cooper shuts wholesale mortgage purchase channel

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Mr. Cooper is exiting the wholesale mortgage business by May 29, according to a message on the webpage brokers use to submit applications.

"The wholesale platform, accounted for less than 5% of our total originations volume, and we believe reallocating resources to other segments within originations will help us better meet the needs of our customers today," a statement from Mr. Cooper said. The company noted that most workers impacted by the change were moved to other departments and others were offered severence.

While the company stated that the coronavirus outbreak "was not the driving force behind this decision," it was highly unlikely in the current economic environment that Mr. Cooper could gain significant traction in a business line to which it was a relative newcomer.

Mortgage brokers are unable to make new submissions to Mr. Cooper effective immediately.

Loans currently in the pipeline will need to close and fund prior to May 29 or before the expiration of the lock, whichever comes first, the message added.

The company entered the wholesale channel when it finalized the purchase of Pacific Union Financial on Feb. 1, 2019.

Wholesale was by far the company's smallest source of originations, at just $600 million of the $12.6 billion total volume in the fourth quarter of 2019, the most recent results available. (Mr. Cooper is scheduled to announce first-quarter earnings on Thursday.)

In comparison, the correspondent channel purchased $6.2 billion of mortgages in the fourth quarter, while its direct-to-consumer business originated $5.8 billion over that period.

Wholesale made up just 6% of Mr. Cooper's originations last year, according to its 10-K filing. For the third quarter, Mr. Cooper's wholesale volume was also approximately $600 million and in the second quarter, it did approximately $400 million.

In comparison, the largest wholesale originator, United Wholesale Mortgage, did over $103 billion last year.

In its current form, Mr. Cooper has been in business since July 31, 2018, when a corporate remnant of failed thrift Washington Mutual acquired Nationstar.

Besides the origination segment, Mr. Cooper is a significant mortgage servicer and also is the parent company of Xome, which provides title, valuation and other services.

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