Carrington Holding Co. has acquired Clear Financial Solutions Limited, a residential mortgage brokerage based in Scotland, in a move that marks the U.S. mortgage conglomerate's expansion overseas.

The acquisition is the latest in a series of diversification steps by Carrington, based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., which started as an investor in mortgage-backed securities and over the years branched into servicing and originating loans.

"Considering the optimistic outlook for Scotland's real estate and mortgage markets," along with expectations for how this year's regulatory changes will reshape the mortgage lending landscape in the U.K., Carrington's entry into the market is "well-timed," said Dave Gordon, chief operating officer of Carrington Holding Company, in a press release.

For now, Gordon wrote in an e-mail, Carrington does not have any plans to expand elsewhere in Europe, or to other continents. "Plans for expansion include the U.K. only."

Carrington has been building its loan origination business for several years, he noted. The U.K. expansion "allows us to leverage our core capabilities and expand our footprint beyond the U.S."

Carrington plans "to build a presence in many of Scotland's larger metropolitan areas," Gordon wrote. It will "capitalize on existing mortgage lending business competencies" and the infrastructure of the acquired firm, which has been renamed Carrington Mortgage UK Limited. (No price was disclosed for the deal.)

In the immediate future Carrington will add new offices in Scotland and start establishing a centralized lead generation and mortgage processing operations center, according to a company spokesperson. The acquisition "will act as a springboard" for expanding Carrington's reach across the U.K.

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