Wells Fargo Closes Book on Reverse Mortgages with Final Servicing Transfer

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) will complete the transfer of all remaining reverse mortgages in its servicing portfolio to Champion Mortgage on September 1, ending an era in the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage industry.

The two parties agreed to the transfer of about 80,000 HECMs — the last remaining in Wells Fargo’s portfolio — back in 2016, according to Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda, though Champion isn’t slated to assume servicing functions and until the beginning of next month.

“We will work closely with Champion during the process to help smooth [the] transition for these customers,” Goyda said in an e-mail to Reverse Mortgage Daily.

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Once the largest lender in the reverse mortgage industry, the San Francisco-based Wells Fargo shuttered its origination channel in 2011, citing the then-unstable economic climate. The banking giant had a 26.2% market share at the time, with a total of 16,213 endorsements in 2010.

Wells Fargo retained its existing servicing portfolio after its origination exit, though it gradually sold off mortgage servicing rights to other companies — including a 2013 deal with Walter Investment Management Corporation (NYSE: WAC) in 2013 to offload $12 billion in rights.

Goyda declined to disclose any additional terms of the Champion deal. A spokesperson for Champion did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.

The Coppell, Texas-based Champion is a subsidiary of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. (NYSE: NSM), which on Monday also announced that it was officially rebranding its home-loan operations as “Mr. Cooper.” The Champion brand will remain for its reverse mortgage servicing business.

Written by Alex Spanko