In a big year for the mortgage industry, GMAC Mortgage Group may have had the biggest year of all.

The Horsham, Pa.-based unit of General Motors Acceptance Corp. bought a $28 billion loan servicing portfolio from Wells Fargo & Co. in April and a $38 billion portfolio from Capstead Mortgage Corp., Dallas, in October. Wells, which no longer originates its own loans, was retreating further from the mortgage business, while Capstead had been stung by an $11.8 million loss on the portfolio in the third quarter.

The deals launched GMAC into fifth place nationally in loan servicing and made it a member of the exclusive $100 billion servicing club, ahead of Fleet, Homeside, and Washington Mutual. The club now appears to be closed, at least for awhile, with a former member, GE Capital Mortgage, falling further to $83.3 billion.

The next member may be First Nationwide Mortgage, Frederick, Md., which reached $86.4 billion at yearend after a gain of 40.9%. Turning the trick for the company was the acquisition of Cal Fed and Golden State, two big California s&ls.

The 57.5% increase in servicing by GMAC was the highest among the top 25 servicers. On the originations side, GMAC was in 18th place but had the second-largest increase, 173.6%, among the top 20 originators.

On average, the top 100 loan originators had gains of 89.55%, well above the average for the whole industry of 68.86%, resulting in a dramatic increase in market share of the top 100 to 78.67%, from 68.61% last year. On the servicing side, the top 100 had a market share of 68.2%, up from 62.08% a year earlier.

The gains clearly exceeded runoff from refinancings. As shown in the table below, the replenishment rates for almost every lender exceeded the runoff from their portfolios by a large margin. The 50 servicers with the largest replenishments had rates averaging 75%, against just 50% in 1997.

The replenishment rates, a relatively new statistic, is calculated by dividing originations for the year by the average size of the servicing portfolio.

The companies with the biggest servicing portfolios were well down in the list in terms of replenishment rate. Norwest Mortgage, the No. 2 servicer, was No. 36 in replenishment rate at about 48%, while Countrywide, No. 3 in servicing, was in 40th place at 46%, and No. 4 Chase Manhattan was in 41st place at 44%.

Bank of America Mortgage, the No. 1 servicer, did not make the top 50 in replenishment rate and was far below the industry average at 26%. Nor did GMAC Mortgage, the No. 5 servicer, with a very low 12.65%. The GMAC unit had a runoff rate of about 18%, indicating that it got all of its servicing growth through acquisition.

Indeed, GMAC Mortgage's origination capacity seems small relative to the size of its servicing portfolio.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.