Big Keller Williams franchise group launches mortgage JV with Newrez

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One of Keller Williams Realty’s biggest franchise groups, Georgia Legacy Group, has teamed up with national mortgage lender and servicer Newrez to launch a joint venture, Onward Home Mortgage.

Based in Roswell, Georgia, Onward Home Mortgage is licensed in five Southeastern states — Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee — and sponsors 11 mortgage loan originators working out of three branches, according to records maintained by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.

Established in 2018, Keller Williams Georgia Legacy Group (GLG) consists of three real estate brokerages with more than 2,000 agents serving metro Atlanta: Keller Williams Realty North Atlanta (serving Alpharetta), Keller Williams Realty Consultants (serving Roswell), Keller Williams Realty Chattahoochee North (serving Peachtree Corners).

“This is a marriage of outstanding organizations that will now grow even stronger,” said Onward Home Mortgage President Kathy Vitali, in a statement Tuesday. “I am humbled and honored to lead such a talented group of professionals and can’t wait to continue getting more borrowers into the homes of their dreams.”

Kathy Vitali

Kathy Vitali

Vitali “has built strong relationships and an integrity-driven brand in the greater Georgia and Alabama areas for over 30 years,” Newrez said in announcing the joint venture. Before taking on her new role, Vitali was a senior mortgage loan consultant at another Newrez joint venture, Shelter Home Mortgage, and with Bank America. Vitali’s LinkedIn profile also lists a decade of experience as a vice president and sales manager with HomeBanc Mortgage.

Randy VandenHouten

Randy VandenHouten

“We look forward to working with such a strong and experienced partner,” Newrez executive Randy VandenHouten said in a statement.

Newrez is a partner in a number of joint ventures through its Newrez Ventures platform, formerly known as Shelter Mortgage Company, which the company says “fosters relationships with real estate brokers, builders, and relocation companies across the country” in more than 30 states.

Newrez’s other joint venture partners include Carolina One Mortgage, Coast One Mortgage, Carnegie Mortgage Partners, Guaranty Mortgage Services, Milestone Home Lending, Platinum Eagle Mortgage, Plus Relocation Mortgage, Preferred Lending Services, Sanctuary Home Mortgage, Shelter Home Mortgage, Shelter Lending Services, Shelter Mortgage Company, Summit Home Mortgage and Your Home Financial.

Based in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, Newrez itself sponsors 983 mortgage loan originators working out of 155 branch locations in 36 states, according to records maintained by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS).

New Residential Investment Corp., as the company was known at the time, acquired Caliber Home Loans and Genesis Capital in 2021 as part of a strategy to expand the company’s origination, servicing and asset management capabilities. Although the Caliber Home Loans deal included $141 billion in mortgage service rights (MSRs), most of Caliber’s loan originators were laid off after the deal closed.

Last year, New Residential Investment Corp. changed its name to Rithm Capital Corp., and continues to originate mortgages through the lending divisions of its subsidiaries Newrez and Caliber Home Loans.  In its most recent annual report to investors, Rithm said it funded $67.6 billion in mortgages last year through four channels: Correspondent ($29.3 billion), retail ($19 billion), wholesale ($11 billion) and direct to consumer ($8.3 billion).

Rithm also reported that it cut more than 6,500 workers from its payrolls last year, primarily within its mortgage originations segment, to reduce expenses. After starting out 2022 with 12,296 people on the payroll, Rithm cut its workforce by 53 percent, finishing the year with 5,723 workers.

Texas-based Caliber Homes Loans sponsors 20 mortgage loan originators at 19 active branch locations, with 751 former branch locations now inactive, according to NMLS records.

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