In a restructuring of its mortgage business, CoreStates Financial Corp., Philadelphia, has formed CoreStates Mortgage Services Corp., a unit that will take over the origination of mortgages from a credit card subsidiary.
The unit will also retain servicing rights rather than selling loans with servicing released, as CoreStates had done in the past.
With the purchase of Independence One Bancorp earlier this year, CoreStates acquired a servicing capability and is now interested in accumulating a servicing portfolio "as a way of building shareholder value," said William F. Reynolds, senior vice president of the services unit.
The unit's own staff of loan officers will work with prospective homebuyers, real estate agencies, and CoreStates branch offices. A new service, called HomeCore Express, will be available to prequalify applicants, usually in 15 minutes or less.
Real estate companies are particularly eager to prequalify candidates so they don't waste time showing people houses more expensive than they can afford.
The unit will also provide comprehensive rate and term information to the CoreStates branch system.
"Our sales force will serve customers in 27 counties throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware," said Gary B. Suess, president and chief executive officer of the service company. He said fixed-rate, adjustable, and balloon mortgages of $30,000 to $2 million would be available.
"For personal responses to inquiries, a CMSC loan officer will respond to customer requests within two hours," Suess noted. "And our loan officers will meet with the customer at the customer's convenience, whether it's at home or in the office."
Available 24 hours a day, HomeCore Express is being offered as a free service to realty companies and provides prospective home-buyers with prequalification status at the realty office or a CoreStates branch. Prospects fill out a form that is faxed to CoreStates. Within 15 minutes, a preliminary qualification status along with the dollar amount the buyer can qualify for are faxed back.
Mr. Suess says customers as well as realty people will benefit from the quick first step in the mortgage approval process, reduced time for approvals, and 24-hour, seven-day availability.
"We expect the largest segment of users to be first-time home buyers," Mr. Suess said. He noted that prequalification was beneficial to sellers, who know they are receiving offers from qualified buyers.