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America One Finance - Retail, Net Branch

2009-08-10

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Initially, we learned America One Finance Inc. was pulling out of the State of Florida. Loan officers were informed in a memo sent out on 2009-08-07:

"As you know America One Finance is leaving the industry. On September 1 we will no longer operate in your state. We appreciate your hard work and loyalty to our company over the years and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors."

That first sentence implied it wasn't just one state though. And CEO Matt Simmons confirmed it when we inquired about the scope of the shutdown. "We are actually winding all states down," he replied.

"With everything that is going on in the industry, I feel the broker model is dead. With HUD policing 1% origination fee more, the upcoming disclosure of YSP as a fee that is coming out of the borrowers pocket, etc, I think a company really must bank to be competitive.

By enforcing HUD's requirements and not having the flexibility of a banker to offset it, there are no margins to pay for the proper infrastructure to maintain compliance and QC and have decent margins left. The warehouse line credit is 10% what it used to be so if a company is not a banker already, it is not going to happen.

Rather than trudging down a path that I don't see a future in, we investigated a lot of established mortgage banking companies and decided to transfer our best branches to Loan Network, LLC."

Based in Bellevue, WA America One Finance has over 75 offices nationwide -- about a third of them are listed on CityTownInfo. The company employed "well over 2000 loan professionals" per the web site.

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Comments:

staypositiveandfocus at 13:22 2009-08-12 said:
It is always interesting the spin a company puts on its closing. The reality: close the shop, cut a deal with another company, and take your best loan officers with you. The broker business is not dead it is upgrading. We will see the professionalism return to our industry. Like financial planners, etc who need to be licensed, we will become the same. Mortgage brokers offer consumers the best rates, programs and options in the industry. We just need to do a better job spreading the word. Make it a great day. Permalink
SoCalGal at 13:31 2009-08-12 said:
Hallelujah! SPAF speaks the truth! I'll be so glad when I can once again have PRIDE in telling people I'm a mortgage broker. Cut out the riff-raff. Raise standards. Get educated and licensed. Or leave. Permalink
Seattle Junk at 03:45 2009-08-13 said:
I have worked for America One Finance for close to 5 years. I was a branch manager and now I am just a LO again. Matt Simmoms was a excellent CEO and great business partner at AOF. Basically what is happening here is that the producing branches and LOs are given the privilege to partner up with Loan Network. Scott Fletcher (CEO of Loan Network) is also a great business man as well. I have worked with both of these gentlemen when I was an Account Executive with a major wholesale lender 5-6 years ago. These guys are the 2 most successful local broker owners in the Northwest, Seattle area. I would follow both of these guys off a cliff because I know there would be a soft landing below. You can't go wrong when 2 knowledgeable people with this kind of experience in the mortgage industry get together.

AOF has evolved while flushing out the non producers in this "spiritual cleansing" if you will. - Todd Permalink

Viola32 at 02:12 2012-02-01 said:
I contracted with them about 2 years ago and found them to be a pretty typical broker outfit. I wasn't impressed with their overall deal cost for the backend support. I didn't stay with them long though and ended up going with a traditional net branch lender to get out of the broker world. I think since then America One has gone to a lender format but can't say if they are competitve or stable. Permalink

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Important: This company is on our list of lending operations that have "imploded". However, please note that "imploded" is a somewhat subjective and does not necessarily mean operations are ceased permanently: it can mean bankruptcy filing, temporary but open-ended halting of major operations, or "firesale" acquisition. All information here is provisional, and may contain inaccuracies (especially newer information). If you are planning on doing business with this company or any other one listed on this site, you should inquire with them directly on whether they can still meet your needs. Many are still operating in some capacity.