Great Oak Lending Partners has announced that it has merged with 1st Maryland Mortgage Corporation of Damascus, Md. The merger makes Great Oak a direct lender with the ability to fund up to $25 million a month in loans. Great Oak was ranked number one in Maryland for reverse mortgage production and volume for the fiscal second quarter of 2010 by RMInsight, a provider of data and analysis for the reverse mortgage industry. It has also been recognized as one of the fastest-growing reverse mortgage companies nationwide. Great Oak provides traditional mortgages on new homes and investment properties, as well as refinancing and reverse mortgages. The merger combines 1st Maryland Mortgage’s seven employees with Great Oak’s 58 full-time employees. The new company plans to hire an additional 20-30 people by the end of the year. As part of the merger, Joshua Shein was promoted to president and chief executive officer of the new company. The combined company will be called 1st Maryland Mortgage, but will operate under the name Great Oak Lending Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “This merger will allow us to meet all of our customers’ needs in-house, from underwriting to closing to funding loans,” Shein said. “These additional services and our predicted growth over the coming months reinforce our position as a major player in the mortgage industry.” Great Oak Lending has three offices in Maryland and operates in seven other states. The company plans to be operating in another seven states by the end of the year. For more information, visit www.greatoaklending.com or www.greatoakreverse.com.