Bank of Texas’ parent to expand mortgage servicing, brings on former Bank of America exec – Dallas Business Journal

BOK Financial, the parent company of Bank of Texas, is expanding its business of handling home loans and mortgage payments as nonbank companies that took over this business in the wake of the foreclosure crisis may be hitting a high water mark.

The company hired longtime Dallas mortgage servicing executive Lee Wardlow who had been working as a consultant since leaving Bank of America.

Large banks, like BofA, have exited much of the business since the housing market’s crash and regulators began to scrutinize and crack down on companies that were found to be mistreating struggling borrowers. As a result, companies that don’t take deposits, like Dallas’ Nationstar Mortgage and Ocwen Financial, have been vacuuming up the business in an industry largely housed in North Texas.

But banks may be on the verge of reining back in some of the market share they lost as they eye an advantage in writing new loans they can service as interest rates tick higher than their competitors with smaller balance sheets might as they rely on outside markets to fund their loans.

For the past three quarters, banks have increased their share of the market, according to data released by industry trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance last year.

BOK Financial executives could go even further and have been discussing plans to begin buying mortgage servicing rights for loans written by other firms as early as next year, the bank’s Mortgage President Glenn Brunker said in an interview. BOK currently handles more than $28 billion in mortgages.

"It’s the first time we saw that in a three-quarter cycle," Brunker said. "I think we’ll continue to see banks re-control the market."

Wardlow said he had considered taking positions with nonbank mortgage servicing companies before accepting the position at BOK.

"It was very refreshing to be able to get back into a bank environment" Wardlow said in an interview.

BOK Financial, the parent company of Bank of Texas, is expanding its business of handling home loans and mortgage payments.

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