By KIMBERLEY HAAS
Leaders at a California-based lender that generated $36.8 billion in origination volume last year say they are finding success because they focus on creating customers for life.
Guild Mortgage, located in San Diego, has been originating and servicing residential loans since 1960. Their origination volume in 2021 was up about 5% from $35.2 billion in 2020.
The company’s in-house servicing portfolio grew 18% year-over-year to $70.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, with Guild retaining servicing rights for 80% of total loans sold.
Last month, they earned their fifth consecutive Servicer Total Achievement and Rewards performer recognition from Fannie Mae.
According to a press release, the STAR Performer recognition is reserved for top-performing servicers in one or more of three categories: General Servicing, Solution Delivery, and Timeline Management.
Guild Mortgage received recognition for Solution Delivery during the 2021 STAR Program year, earning the distinction for the first time in this category covering loss mitigation operations, retention, and liquidation.
Fannie Mae has recognized the company in the General Servicing category four times.
Russ Fowlie, Executive Vice President of Loan Servicing, spoke with The Mortgage Note about the accomplishment.
“This award demonstrates that we’ve got the mindset of keeping a customer for life,” Fowlie said. “We want them to come back to us when they have their next mortgage need.”
Fowlie has 25 years of mortgage banking and servicing experience. He joined Guild in 2021, coming from JP Morgan Chase where he was the Executive Director of Home Lending, Finance, and Compliance, according to his bio.
Fowlie gave credit to his team.
“I think it always starts with the people,” Fowlie said. “I inherited a great team who was already doing great work in the loss mitigation place.”
Mary Ann McGarry, CEO of Guild Mortgage, said servicing became even more complex during the second year of the pandemic, with difficult economic times for many homeowners.
“This required being proactive in educating our customers about their options to keep them in their homes, including through refinancing and forbearance. Our loss mitigation team, servicing initiatives and new processes helped thousands of homeowners and strengthened customer retention as part of our mission for creating customers for life,” McGarry said in a statement.
In a press release about the Guild Holdings Company Report for the fourth quarter, which included the full results for 2021, McGarry said she was pleased with the results delivered during the fourth quarter and full year “despite a more challenging second half of the year for our industry.”
McGarry said she believes Guild remains well-positioned to drive sustainable and profitable growth.
She thanked the company’s more than 5,000 employees.
“Their ongoing efforts have enabled us to maintain strong relationships with all of our customers, which remains key to driving steady growth across the ongoing cycles in our industry,” McGarry said.
Guild Mortgage has worked with Fannie Mae through the years to introduce low-down payment and first-time homebuyer loan programs.
The company was one of the first lenders to offer loans under Fannie Mae’s MH Advantage initiative, a mortgage program for manufactured homes with features and amenities comparable to traditional, site-built single-family homes, according to a press release.
Cyndi Danko, Senior Vice President and Single-Family Chief Credit Officer at Fannie Mae, said in a statement that by helping homeowners emerge from forbearance or providing the resources needed to refinance their loan in 2021, STAR Program recipients demonstrated their commitment to improving the homeownership journey.
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