While many mortgage lenders are exiting the non-qualified mortgage (Non-QM) channel, at least one company has set its sights on expanding in that market.
Austin, Texas-based Stronghill Capital, a small-balance commercial lender, recently announced the launch of a new residential lending division that will expand its offerings of Non-QM and non-agency jumbo loans, as well as investor residential programs.
The announcement coincided with the appointment of industry veteran Dustin Wells as co-president for Non-QM lending. Wells will lead a new executive team focused on expanding the company from a commercial lender.
He joins Jack Cohen as co-president. Cohen was hired Jan. 30 as president and chief innovation officer.
Wells said Stronghill has “a clear purpose as we grow into the Non-QM space, and I look forward to bringing depth to Stronghill's market presence at the residential level with this dynamic leadership team. This crossover empowers our industry partners by seamlessly marrying the best B2B technology platform with our expert advice and guidance to make them more successful."
Stronghill said that through Wells' diverse background of 25 years in residential real estate, he is primed to lead its growth and improve the overall homebuying experience with a team that includes:
- Matthew Brammer, senior vice president of wholesale and correspondent sales, who has a record of sales success in helping his industry partners grow their businesses, managing the production of more than $250 million a month, the company said.
- Stephanie McInturff, senior vice president of mortgage operations and technology, is experienced at deploying solutions for B2B customers, building technology and communication platforms, Stronghill said.
- Ryan Zonana, vice president of secondary and investor reporting, has built, deployed, and scaled capital markets and pricing solutions, the company said.
Stronghill CEO John Eisinger said expanding into residential lending "is a natural extension of our small-balance lending expertise. Stronghill's aim is to help our clients achieve their personal and professional real estate investing goals.”
Eisinger said Well's experience and leadership “provide us with an advantage. We are excited to strengthen our commitment to industry partners with a complete real estate financing platform offering solutions for both residential and commercial small balance loans."
Stronghill Capital said its Non-QM loan programs will include:
- Debt Service Coverage Ratio program for 1-4 and 5-8 unit properties
- Bank Statement, Asset Depletion, Non-Agency Jumbo, and Credit Achiever
- Business and consumer-purpose entity transactions
- Support from LoanNex Pricing and Product Engine
- Ability to price loans with premium rebates back to broker/originator
Stronghill said with these new programs, it offers a one-stop concierge service for borrowers, offering residential products to increase opportunities, as well as access to commercial loan programs and experts.
Loans can close and vest in entities such as LLCs and S and C corporations, with financing solutions that meet the needs of all real estate investors, from new to seasoned, the company said.
Stronghill’s announcement comes as other Non-QM lenders have struggled or exited the market. They include First Guaranty Mortgage Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June; Sprout Mortgage, which shut down in July; and Athas Capital Group, which in November announced plans to close.