Washington Mutual, Seattle, the nation's third-largest home lender, has confirmed that it's looking for a new mortgage chief.Industry sources told MortgageWire that the company has hired an executive recruiting firm to assist WaMu in its search. National Mortgage News broke the news about the thrift's search for a mortgage chief in its Feb. 21 issue. In the third quarter of last year, WaMu named Craig Chapman president of commercial and mortgage banking -- but the move was considered temporary. In a statement released late Monday night, WaMu said it wants Mr. Chapman "to focus exclusively on growing the company's commercial lines of business." The thrift also named three new senior leaders to its mortgage unit: John Berens, service delivery; Youyi Chen, portfolio management and research; and Bill Murray, division finance/servicing.

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