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Realty Mortgage Corp. - Agency, FHA

2009-02-05

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stories: wlbt.com, msn.com, clarionledger.com

Update - 2009-02-19: Realty Mortgage Corp filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of Mississipi (Jackson) on 2009-02-18. Detailed schedules are due to be filed by 2009-03-05. The petition listed creditors numbering between 200 to 999 with liabilities in excess of $10 million. Assets were reported in excess of $10 million.

Update - 2009-02-06: A class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was filed against Realty Mortgage Corporation and principals Tommy F. Taylor, Jr. and Charles A. Myers on 2009-02-02. Gonzales et al v. Realty Mortgage Corporation covers claims for wages between October 2007 and September 30, 2008, alleging loan officers not exempt as "outside sales" received no compensation and/or did not receive overtime pay to which they were entitled. According to the amended complaint filed 2009-02-03, total claims exceed $75,000; exact figures were not broken out.

An email was sent to Underwriters, Processors and the Closing Department on 2008-12-23. It reads, in part:

"If we do not clean up our act we are really not going to have to worry about it because our investors are now tracking weekly our loans to see if they are insured within 30 days and we are spending time putting together reports on why we are not meeting our deadlines. Since this has been an ongoing problem, we have now been put on Countrywide and Chase's Executive's Watchlist. I think you all know this is our two largest investors and if they go away so do we."

Update - 2009-02-05: Realty Mortgage Corp. shut down its retail operations with a brief email sent to employees on 2009-02-03:

"It is with a sad heart that I must announce the immediate closure of Realty Mortgage Corporation. This decision has not come lightly or easily for either Tommy and I. Therefore we will discontinue the funding of loans immediately. Additional information will be disseminated through your respective managers and via mailings to your home address."

The Clarion Ledger reported more than 300 employees were affected and 20 offices were closed when a line-of-credit with Countrywide used for payroll and day-to-day operations was frozen. Operations Manager Sally Wood was quoted as saying "Not only are we not able to close loans, we're not able to pay our vendors, our payroll or any of our obligations." According to the article, Realty Mortgage Corp. had up to 600 employees at one time and did business in more than 40 states.

We received one opinion that a bankruptcy may be coming, but to date there has been nothing filed per public records. Meanwhile, the company is working to find another lender. From the Clarion Ledger's article:

"This awesome group of people came to work (Wednesday) for nothing, knowing they were not going to be paid," Wood said. "They wanted to do anything they could to assist the owners in coming up with an alternate plan."

Original Listing - 2009-01-23:Realty Mortgage Corp. based out of Flowood, MS has shutdown its wholesale channel. The official announcement released 2009-01-22 was brief: "Due to current market conditions Realty Mortgage will no longer accept locks through the wholesale channel. This is effective immediately."

A number of sources indicated the closure was due to the loss of a warehouse line with Countrywide. However, it appears to us that this has more to do with an investor's retraction from purchasing TPO (or third-party originated) paper based on the way one broker reported loans are being handled:

"Realty is not funding on any loans currently in the pipeline or honoring locks. Also if loan has closed and not funded it will not be funded."

Another poster on our Discussion Forums noted "The retail side is alive and well and producing in near record numbers." This has been confirmed by multiple sources. Retail Branch Managers were sent a brief email about the wholesale shutdown and told, "Realty Mortgage is committed to Retail and this decision has no impact on your branch operation." According to their retail web site, there were 10 additional branches in central and southeastern states. They are licensed in 21 states, and also offer an "affiliate" or "net branch" opportunity for retail originators through an additional channel.

Total volume across all of Realty Mortgage's origination channels averaged over $149 million per month in 2007. We spoke briefly with CEO Tommy Taylor, who told us the wholesale side had been doing around $50 million per month but declined to comment any further. Other sources indicated Chase's withdrawal as an investor for wholesale was a key factor. There have been no reports of layoffs associated with the wholesale shutdown at this time.

As always, we welcome your input should you be able to provide additional details. We will update this listing as more information becaomes available.


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Comments:

cooper at 12:54 2009-02-05 said:
Locally they opened up a "net branch" a couple months ago, staffed with remnants from a subprime office. We got a USDA/RD deal last night, borrower was called by the office and told they did declare BK and could no longer work on his loan. Permalink
Kingfish at 14:15 2009-02-05 said:
Lot of good people worked there, had a good reputation locally, sorry to see this happen.

Here is another story from the Clarion-Ledger to show how sloppy the business reporting there is as they engaged in some fear-mongering on the housing market.

http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2009/01/irresponsible-reporting-at-clarion.html 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.