LendingTree buys mortgage lender

September 9, 2004

Enters purchase agreement with Web-based HomeLoanCenter.com

Inman News

Online lending and real estate exchange LendingTree has agreed to acquire HomeLoanCenter.com, an Internet-based direct mortgage lender.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Irvine, Calif.-based HomeLoanCenter.com is a branchless retail consumer-direct lender. The company has built on online loan origination platform that gives consumers access to a variety of loan products.

LendingTree's online lending exchange includes more than 200 lenders, while its real estate services arm includes more than 700 real estate brokers and 10,000 real estate agents. The company draws traffic to LendingTree.com through aggressive Web and television advertising, marked by the "When banks compete, you win" slogan.

Despite the purchase of a direct lender, the company will continue to offer consumers multiple competing offers, according to LendingTree founder and CEO Doug Lebda.

"HomeLoanCenter.com has built an impressive online loan origination platform, and we believe its innovative and successful approach to automating the mortgage lending process will be a great benefit to our consumers," Lebda said. "This acquisition will help us to increase our profit per customer, have greater input over the consumer experience, more effectively cross-sell our Realty Services offering, and gain market share."

HomeLoanCenter.com's founder and CEO Anthony Hsieh, along with HomeLoanCenter.com President Tomo Yebisu, will remain with the company. Hsieh will report to Lebda.

The transaction is expected to close in the next three to four months.

LendingTree is owned by media conglomerate InterActiveCorp, which also owns ServiceMagic, Expedia and Hotels.com, Citysearch, Match.com, Ticketmaster and the Home Shopping Network

Copyright 2004 Inman News

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