Guaranteed Rate acquires DTC lender Owning Corporation

Fresh off its acquisition of Stearns, Guaranteed Rate has picked up Owning Corporation, a direct-to-consumer mortgage lender.

The acquisition gives Guaranteed Rate, best known for its retail prowess, another engine to boost its growth in the direct-to-consumer channel.

Terms of the deal with Orange, California-based Owning were not disclosed.

According to Guaranteed Rate, Owning’s direct-to-consumer platform processed over $20 billion in total loan volume in 2020.

“We’re actively seeking strategic acquisition opportunities to strengthen our position in growth channels,” said Guaranteed Rate’s President and CEO Victor Ciardelli in a statement. “The addition of Owning complements our existing Consumer Direct business, building on our momentum and further accelerating expansion in that segment.”


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Like virtually all residential mortgage lenders, Chicago-based Guaranteed Rate had its best-ever year in 2020, originating about $73 billion in mortgages.

In early January, it acquired Stearns Holdings, a multichannel lender who originated about $20 billion in 2020.

With the acquisitions of Stearns and Owning, Guaranteed Rate now has a stable of profitable joint-ventures, some of the nation’s top-producing retail loan officers, access to the wholesale channel and a stronger direct-to-consumer platform to grow its refi business.

Guaranteed Rate, founded in 2001 in Chicago, is now firmly a top-10 mortgage lender in the U.S. It grew nearly 100% in 2020. Last year, the mortgage firm also had two loan originators produce over $1 billion in mortgages: Ben Cohen and Shant Banosian.

According to the NMLS, Owning has 62 loan officers and was formed in 2018. The company appears to be only licensed in California. It specializes in low-rate mortgage refinances, in which it originates a loan with no closing costs, including appraisal, credit report, escrow and title. The firm also has a zero down purchase mortgage program in California and several programs that appear related to iBuying.

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