Heartland Financial USA Inc. has announced a significant addition to its residential mortgage lending capabilities with the hiring of a mortgage banking team of professionals and executives in the Phoenix, Arizona market. Operating under the brand, National Residential Mortgage, the unit had previously operated as a profitable division of a recently-failed Arizona thrift. Heartland’s National Residential unit is staffed with 24 employees, including management, loan originators, processors, closers, secondary marketing specialists and other support staff.
National Residential is now offering mortgage lending services at Heartland’s Arizona Bank & Trust subsidiary, with planned expansion into other Heartland and non-Heartland markets likely over time. Administrative and back office support will be organized within a division of the company’s lead bank, Dubuque Bank and Trust.
National Residential is led by Jeff Walton, an experienced mortgage banker with more than 26 years in the mortgage banking industry. Walton’s experience includes the positions of senior managing director of Bear Stearns Residential Mortgage and president of the mortgage divisions of First National Bank of Arizona and First National Bank of Nevada. Walton will be responsible for the oversight of mortgage functions such as operations, underwriting, sales, technology, products and pricing.
“Recent legislative changes have opened the door to new opportunities in mortgage lending for local banking companies like Heartland," said Lynn B. Fuller, Heartland’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As non-bank competitors in this space are beginning to disappear, we see significant opportunity in the future by expanding residential loan origination as a gateway retail product and a strategic line of business."
For more information, visit www.htlf.com.