Michigan First Purchases Mortgage Firm, Launches CUSO
The $705 million Michigan First Credit Union purchased a mortgage originator to launch a mortgage CUSO, the credit union announced Aug. 29.
The 97,000-member credit union, headquartered in Lathrup Village, Mich., purchased Watson Group Financial to form Michigan First Mortgage.
“We knew this partnership would be the right fit, because all involved are focused on serving the customer first and providing a truly superior, personal level of support throughout the mortgage process,” Michigan First President/CEO Michael Poulos said. “Structurally, Michigan First Mortgage will provide a full range of mortgage loans, including leveraging portfolio lending through the credit union, which gives us more flexibility in working with families than traditional mortgage companies.”
The new CUSO began with 30 employees and two branches in Waterford and Lansing, the credit union said, adding it will open a new office in Brighton to expand the credit union’s reach.
“As the mortgage market shifts from a refinance focus back to home buying, we’re ready to help families take the next steps toward a new home or their first home,” said Brian Seibert, president of Michigan First Mortgage and a co-founder of Watson Group Financial. “It’s rare in our industry to have the opportunity where we can work directly with a lender – and it means we’re able to bring together our decades of industry leadership, experience and community connections with Michigan First’s lending resources and deep roots in Southeast Michigan.”
The new CUSO will offer mortgage loans with both conventional and governmental mortgage insurance as well as make loans destined only for its own books, the credit union announced. This will enable the credit union to have more flexibility in mortgage lending, Michigan First said.