Freedom Mortgage in Mount Laurel, N.J., has acquired the mortgage banking business of Sterling Bancorp in Montebello, N.Y. 

Freedom will handle new mortgage requests from Sterling National Bank customers through the newly acquired team, the mortgage banker said in a press release Monday.

Sterling Bancorp's noninterest income from mortgage banking was $2.4 million in the second quarter, down from $2.5 million a year earlier, according to the company's 10-Q filing. The decline was due to lower mortgage refinance activity in 2016.

The filing disclosed that Sterling reached an agreement to sell the unit during the second quarter but did not disclose the buyer's name or the price.

Sterling had stand-alone loan production offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Great Neck, N.Y., according to the 10-Q, in addition to origination activities out of its retail banking branches.

Besides exiting the mortgage business, Sterling previously reached an agreement to sell its trust operations.

Sterling said in its press release that the sale continues its strategy "of focusing on commercial middle market clients by reallocating its capital and human resource investments where it can provide the most value to clients and shareholders."

Sterling is remaining in the mortgage warehouse lending business.

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