Industrywide Mortgage Ex-change Inc.'s electronic loan trading system made its debut at the Mortgage Bankers Association of America's annual conference this week in New York.
The IMX MatchMaker System allows lenders and brokers to buy and sell loans on-line through the IBM Global Network.
Stephen Fraser, founder of Industrywide Mortgage Exchange, or IMX, said more than 300 brokers in the San Francisco Bay area and 20 national wholesale lenders are using the system.
The firm gained some attention over the summer when Mark L. Korell, formerly chief executive officer of Norwest Mortgage, joined as CEO.
In the next two years, IMX hopes to have brokers in more than 20 large housing markets on the system, Mr. Fraser said. The IMX system is designed to reduce costs for wholesale lenders by eliminating the need for rate sheets.
Brokers can submit loan data on the IMX system and wait for lenders to make their bids. Once a bid has been submitted, a broker is notified on the computer and also on an alphanumeric pager, which transmits the bid data.
Two mortgage insurance companies, MGIC Investment Corp. and PMI Group, are providing contract underwriting, preapproval, and mortgage scoring for loans that are traded on the system.
Mr. Fraser said IMX is selective about which brokers may use the system. One has already been disqualified for failing to deliver on a loan commitment to a lender.
Also at the MBA convention, Resource Bancshares Mortgage Group Inc. said it has not yet decided whether to pursue a previously announced acquisition of Walsh Holding Co.
Columbia, S.C.-based Resource announced in April that it would pay almost $400 million for Walsh, a Parsippany, N.J.-based subprime lender. In June reports surfaced that Walsh was being investigated by both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the state of New Jersey for alleged involvement in a land-flipping scheme.
"We're awaiting the audited financial statements," Resource president and CEO Edward J. Sebastian told mortgage executives at a discussion of profits.
Resource has a Nov. 1 "blow-out date" for the transaction, Mr. Sebastian said, which means that both parties have to agree to extend terms of the merger agreement by then.
Sarah Rosen, lender regulation point person at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, denied recent trade press reports that she wants to leave the agency.
"I don't know where this stuff comes from," Ms. Rosen said at the convention. "Some of these people," with whom she reportedly was in discussions, "I've never even talked to," she said.
Cityscape Financial Corp., Elmsford, N.Y., has never been interested in buying Covino & Co., said Cityscape CEO Robert Grosser.
This week, Covino president Michael Covino announced that he was planning to sue Cityscape for millions of dollars because the company did not live up to terms of a merger agreement. Covino, also in Elmsford, N.Y., makes jumbo and super-jumbo loans.
Also this week, shareholders filed a class action against Cityscape, alleging that the subprime lender had violated federal securities laws.
Industry veterans here said that if they were betting, they would put their money on Joseph Reppert as new executive vice president of the MBA.
Mr. Reppert is a former member of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, and veterans said his political experience is exactly what the MBA needs now.
Warren Lasko, who has filled the post for the past 13 years, is leaving to head the association's international division.
Former MBA president Paul Reid has also been mentioned as a candidate.