Nationwide Equities this week announced the opening of a new office in Las Vegas helmed by a pair of reverse mortgage industry veterans.
Jesse Brewer and Rick Rodgriuez will run the Mahwah, N.J.-based Nationwide’s new Nevada office, which will offer both Home Equity Conversion Mortgages and forward loans.
“In today’s market, it is very expensive to market and acquire a customer,” Nationwide president Glenn Wallace said in a statement announcing the new shop. “Once we have one, we need to have a product that meets their needs and circumstances, be it reverse or forward.”
Brewer and Rodriguez, both formerly of Resolute Bank, will be tasked with building a Las Vegas-based sales team as part of Nationwide’s “BranchPower” expansion program, designed to build a stronger foothold for the lender in the West. Both originators have been in the HECM space since the mid-2000s.
Nationwide — which recently rebranded its retail reverse mortgage product line as Reverse Loans USA — joins a list of other lenders attempting to bolster their forward lines as the HECM industry adjusts to the new, lower principal limit factors introduced last fall.
“I remember when there were no adjustable-rate loans, no [mortgage-backed securities], and interest rates of 21%,” Wallace said in the announcement. “The mortgage business looked doomed. But the industry always finds a way to survive. People always need money.”
Nationwide CEO Paul Lamparillo referenced the rising home equity levels among U.S. homeowners in his comments on the expansion, though he added that companies need to “fill the void” created when the Department of Housing and Urban Development slashed the PLFs.
Back in February, when talking to RMD about the Reverse Loans USA rebrand, Lamparillo said he’d already heard extensive interest from originators looking to potentially diversify their product lines or join new companies.
“We’ve been hiring like drunken sailors on the forward side to try to bridge the gap that we anticipate and are realizing right now,” he said. “The volume has cut drastically on the reverse side. And the forward side is vibrant — there’s not even a hiccup.”