Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Former Bank of America mortgage head eyes buying companies

The former head of Bank of America’s mortgage operations wants to raise about $100 million to buy mortgage banking companies as the housing market undergoes a shift from refinancing activity to more purchases, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.

The publication says Art Ringwald, who left Bank of America in 2001, before the bank's purchase of Countrywide Financial Corp., wants to buy residential finance companies at a time when home purchases are expected to continue overtaking refinancings as a percentage of mortgage originations.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, refinancings, by dollar volume, are expected to make up 36 percent of U.S. mortgage originations next year. That's down from 61 percent this year and 71 percent last year.

Inside Mortgage Finance said Ringwald believes a “significant number” of mortgage banking companies will be on the market.

The Observer could not immediately reach Ringwald Tuesday.

His comments to Inside Mortgage Finance come as small lenders, like their big peers, have been hurting lately, thanks to the slump in refinancing activity. Earlier this month, the Observer reported on how mortgage bankers in the Charlotte area have been affected by the decrease.

Some companies told the Observer that they’ve had to change their business models and retrain workers as refinancings have dried up. At least one company -- Wyndham Capital Mortgage in Charlotte -- has laid off workers, according to a document obtained by the Observer.

Inside Mortgage Finance said Ringwald, co-founder and partner in Southeast Capital Partners, helped grow Charlotte-based Bank of America from the nation’s 21st biggest lender to No. 5.

The story is Ringwald is expected to appear on Inside Mortgage Finance's website Thursday.