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Sunshine & Madison Mortgage Corp - Retail, Wholesale

2009-01-08

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stories: bizjournals.com, ajc.com, ajc.com, bizjournals.com, ajc.com, wsbtv.com

Update - 2009-01-30: The Atlanta Business Journal reported 62 originators and support staff formerly with Sunshine Mortgage Corp offices in Smyrna, Alpharetta and Buckhead were picked up by Fidelity Southern Corp., the holding company for Fidelity Bank in Atlanta.

"By moving quickly Fidelity Bank was able to help many former Sunshine Mortgage customers avoid losing their pending mortgages by providing the financing needed to close them," said Palmer Proctor, president of Fidelity Bank, in a news release.

Update - 2009-01-21: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran an article on 2009-01-19 advising homeowners with mortgages being serviced by Sunshine Mortgage Corp. how to manage their payments in the aftermath of the company's closure. The author wrote, "So far, Sunshine Mortgage hasn't notified its customers -- which include this reporter -- what its closure means for future payments on the mortgages it services and the company's handling of escrows."

We believe the U.S. Bank warehouse line of credit was actually frozen at Sunshine's request, and reports from former employees indicate the company had been quietly positioning to shut down at year's end. CEO Edward Terry is also shopping Toll Brothers to buy Brentwood Homes, a North Carolina builder he owns, according to a 2009-01-09 report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That article quoted an email sent by Terry to employees in October of 2008:

"I started with two people [in 1973] and today employ 220 people. During these 35 years, I have experienced several bad economic downturns and have never missed a payroll. Your jobs are safe."

Several sources have suggested that losses from the builder business were absorbed by Sunshine Mortgage Corp., ultimately leading to its demise.

Update - 2009-01-08, 5:40 PST: The Atlanta Business Journal is reporting that Sunshine Mortgage Corp. was "pursuing possible buyers, after the company failed to renew its warehouse line of credit with its bank." Local competitor Opteum Mortgage, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prospect Mortgage Co., was reported to be "in discussions to acquire part or all of Sunshine Mortgage's operations despite the closure," as noted in the article.

There's video of employees emptying their offices here and WSBTV Atlanta gives great background on Sunshine, and asks some important questions, including WHY?

Sources we spoke with indicated U.S. Bank was the warehouse lender providing Sunshine Mortgage and Madison Mortgage with their funding capacity. In phone calls to Branch Managers, Chairman Edward (Ted) Terry said there was "no capital to fund or make payroll and the company will be shut down," according to our sources. Managers were told this includes all commissions due for December closings which quite possibly represents a record month. Over 200 employees were affected by the sudden closure. Many were counting on this income to keep their own homes, and their own Branches alive.

There is more to this story, and we will continue to search for answers. We spoke with (former, he resigned) President Fred Powell and he insisted that a rumor Ted had been arrested was false. Ted has not returned our call or responded to our request for an interview. At this time the company has not issued a statement to the public they have closed down.

In our search of public records, we came across an adversary bankruptcy proceeding that referenced Madison Mortgage Corp and Gary Rhineheart in connection with the sale and transfer of 10% of the shares of stock in Madison for $1.6 million. Gary hasn't been connected to the company for a while according to sources. His answer to the complaint was filed on 2009-01-06.

Many are still looking for the reasons for this unexpected shutdown. We're looking at eBank Mortgage LLC and Brentwood Homes as possible reasons to shutter what once was a major player, with record setting current volumes, now reduced to just another number on the Implode-O-Meter.

Original Listing - 2009-01-08: According to numerous tips and employees we've spoken with, Sunshine Mortgage Corp. and its wholesale sister-company Madison Mortgage Corp. have shut down effective 2009-01-07. "Everyone is in a state of shock," one person told us. An official announcement has not yet been sent out. Employees were given verbal notice.

Based in Smyrna, GA, Sunshine Mortgage Corp had 19 branch offices in the southeast. The company averaged over $55 million per month in 2007. Located in the same building next to Sunshine's corporate office, Madison Mortgage Corp. had 16 - 17 employees and had averaged $6.5 million per month in originations for 2007. According to one source, wholesale funded $40 million in December 2008, marking the end of the best quarter they've seen in a couple years. One broker told us they were informed "loans currently locked will not fund." Another sent this comment:

"I was just told that [Edward] Terry decided he didn't want to be in the real estate business any longer. No problem with the businesses. There are a lot of angry people. They probably will not even close their pipeline. DU findings have been released back to the brokers."

The situation is quite dynamic at this point, so stay tuned as we will continue to update with more information. Feel free to email us if you have more details.


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Comments:

rockford at 15:33 2009-01-08 said:
This company has been in business for decades because of solid service and conservative management. They have valuable retail branches with real goodwill. The enviroment of attorneys and GSEs and lenders playing monday morning quarterback has caused Mr. Terry to say "you can have all the headaches I'm headed to the farm"! Permalink
BobbaLouie at 17:37 2009-01-08 said:
http://ml-implode.com/imploded/lender_Sunshine&MadisonMortgageCorp_2009-01-08.html
This is how Sunshine Mortgage always did things. I can remember when Ga Brokers were faced with the new Georgia Fair Lending Act (GAFLA) back around 2002 or 2003, Ted Terry decided there was going to be some kinda problems because of the new law and he was afraid of some "Boogy Man" that might get him and he stopped all loans that were in the middle of closing and/or funding and said they had to be re-underwritten, creating quite a mess for the brokers that supported this company, without any kind of warning or notice whatsoever. Looks like this pattern of behavior has repeated itself because of this psyco behavior. This was a good company at one time. Now it's just another number in Lender Implode. Permalink
rockford at 17:50 2009-01-08 said:
I think you hit the nail on the head I did not know about the 2002 incident Permalink
mortgagemess at 18:25 2009-01-08 said:
The goal of banks, with help from congress/pres/house of rep is to continue to wear down the broker shops until they are all but gone....so far at 313 they are doing a pretty good job! Don't see the banks going out of business or shutting down..they may be bought out by another or getting TARP funds from the goverment. But they are surviving. Permalink
elnoralittle at 20:20 2009-01-09 said:
Wednesday night I got the call. I couldn't breath, really just couldn't breath. I sat up through out the night watching my children sleep.

I have been with this company for 7 years. A company that I thought had integrity. It turns out that even the people you could trust the most, could be liars.

Fred Powell, Steve Copeland...are names in the press right now, I couldn't speak higher of them. They are amazing leaders in this industry and amazing people that didn't turn their backs on the staff that trusted and depended on them.

Now we all try to move forward, still with the lump in our throats trying to come out on top of this huge blow.

I am confident that the wonderful employees of Sunshine Mortgage & Madison Mortgage, will get what is justly deserved by them.

Everyone is in my prayers. I Permalink

texaslonghorn at 19:02 2009-01-10 said:
I have head numerous people say that terry should be headed to Jail. It's his company and i guess he can steal from it if he would like but do not screw your employees just for an extra dollar(or for any reason you sob). I heard that Sunshine went down to cover up issues issues at Terry's other companies(his huge huge building losses). I worked for that man for over 15 years and we always knew that you could never trust him. We just thought that as long as the company made money, we would be fine, we had no idea we had to worry about his son and his building business.

I also heard that some of the executives at corporate uncovered tt's scheme and confronted him. A few employees at the corporate office said that they witnessed a very heated conversation with Terry. They said one of the executives had his finger in terry's face and was yelling, "i know what youre doing and i know how much cash we have, you better do the right thing and pay your employees otherwise we will take you down".

Has anyone else heard anything about what is going on? Permalink

texaslonghorn at 21:10 2009-01-10 said:
Rumor has it that Fred Powell, Steve Copeland,(i worked for fred and steve for many years and completely agree with you, they are amazing leaders) Brent Harrell and Tim Riley know what is really going on and have given Ted a deadline to do what's right and make payroll. I dont know if I believe that(i hope it's true) but I did just verify that the latter two are the ones that were overheard yelling at ted at the corporate office wednesday. I never got to meet bh but i do know tr well. I have tremendous respect for both of you.

I am also confident that the employees will get what is justly deserved by them. Ted will also get what is justly deserved by him. With the many many many millions he has, why would he steal from those who worked so hard to put him where he is?

Wednesday night I got the call. I couldn't breath, really just couldn't breath. I sat up through out the night watching my children sleep.

I have been with this company for 7 years. A company that I thought had integrity. It turns out that even the people you could trust the most, could be liars.

Fred Powell, Steve Copeland...are names in the press right now, I couldn't speak higher of them. They are amazing leaders in this industry and amazing people that didn't turn their backs on the staff that trusted and depended on them.

Now we all try to move forward, still with the lump in our throats trying to come out on top of this huge blow.

I am confident that the wonderful employees of Sunshine Mortgage & Madison Mortgage, will get what is justly deserved by them.

Everyone is in my prayers. I

Permalink
elnoralittle at 21:31 2009-01-10 said:
Good Luck everyone, we will miss you. Permalink
elnoralittle at 21:43 2009-01-10 said:
http://www.wsbtv.com/video/18444560/index.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.