Although insurance conglomerate MetLife failed to unload its residential lending division, it has found a buyer for its warehouse business, according to industry officials close to the matter.

Two warehouse officials said they were told a contract could be signed some time next week but one noted: "They didn't offer anything on the identity of a buyer."

One official described the investor as a "bank with a mortgage business."

A spokesman for MetLife declined to comment.

At yearend MetLife had roughly $1 billion in warehouse commitments and ranked about eighth nationwide, according to figures compiled by National Mortgage News and the Quarterly Data Report.

MetLife is in the process of closing the Texas-based MetLife Home Loans, which employed roughly 4,300 workers. Several hundred of MLHL's loan officers have already landed elsewhere.

MetLife, which did not like the bids offered for its lending business, for now will keep its $85 billion residential servicing portfolio. MetLife Bank is in the process of being sold to General Electric.

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