Walter Investment Closes $122 Million Acquisition of Reverse Mortgage Solutions

Walter Investment Management Corp. (NYSEAMEX:WAC) announced on Thursday it has completed the acquisition of Reverse Mortgage Solutions (RMS).

In September, Walter announced it would pay $122 million for RMS, which is a servicer, originator and technology provider for the reverse mortgage industry. 

“We are extremely pleased to have completed the acquisition of RMS, further enhancing our capital-efficient, high-margin, fee for service business model,” said Mark J. O’Brien, chairman and CEO of Walter. “RMS is an industry leader in all facets of the reverse mortgage space and continues to deliver strong financial and operational performance.”

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RMS currently services approximately $12.4 billion in UPB of reverse mortgages and has issued approximately $1.8 billion of reverse mortgage backed GNMA securities to date, ranking it as the fourth largest reverse mortgage servicer and largest issuer of HMBS in the sector this year.

Walter said the acquisition positions itself as a leader in the $140 billion reverse mortgage servicing sector and is an attractive extension to its existing business model. 

“The acquisition of RMS creates a natural extension of our forward platform into the reverse mortgage space and will allow us to capitalize on the customer overlap between the two entities,” O’Brien said. “We believe the reverse mortgage product has significant potential for future growth, and RMS is well positioned to capitalize on the coming opportunities.”

Walter also announced last week that it won the bid to acquire Residential Capital out of bankruptcy, where it teamed up with Ocwen Financial to purchase the company for $3 billion. 

Earlier this week, Ocwen also announced it plans to acquire Genworth Financial Home Equity Access for $22 million. 

 

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  • While a monstrous deal in our very small industry even $122 million is not much in the world of finance.  The Genworth deal at $22 million is the type of transaction junior personnel are brought in to train on and handle.  

    It is nice to read that our products have “significant potential for future growth” but that phrase is so modified that one wonders if it is nothing more than euphemism so as not to offend.  As an industry in continuing decline, these words are more piercing than kind.   

    October was the second month in a row of less than 3,800 endorsements.  This is the third month out of four where endorsements have been under 4,000.  The last time this happened, Genworth had not acquired Liberty Reverse, Bank of America had not acquired Seattle Mortgage, and MetLife had not acquired EverBank.  Even the one month of the four which was above 4,000 was only 4,122.  Total endorsements in the LAST four months is only 15,441.  Multiply that by 3 and that is less than 47,000 endorsements for twelve months.

    It is tiring to hear that signs point to better endorsements in the near term when the number of case number assignments in June through September were so bad and the conversion rate on a yearly basis continues on its sporadic but overall continuing decline.

    We hear all of the time that things are getting better because Boomers have been expanding the senior homeowner base for the last four years; yet the only proof is ever lower endorsement numbers.  In the last few months we have been reading that in the last year house values have been rising yet our industry continues to show ever lower endorsement numbers.  And, yes, higher values should mean better endorsement numbers but the increase in values have yet to reach the continuous growth rates where seniors feel comfortable with our products.  As to the impact of Boomers, the potential is huge but without a significant, continuous increase in home values, well, the subject is interesting and gets loads of attention but the proof has yet to be seen in our industry.

  • Afraid we haven’t hit bottom yet.  Until the main-stream press stops portraying our product as one rung above declaring bankruptcy on the financial strategies ladder, we will find adoption by boomers to be slow.

    • Bad press was far worse in 2007-2009.  Yet those were our best years.

      The mainstream press has an impact but this has been a period of relative low negative and even some positive press.  The situation is far more complex today than five years ago.

      As long as something can go wrong even due to borrower foolish decisions, some in the mainstream press will blame it on the product, not the decision.

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