Chicago-based Guaranteed Rate, a top 10 U.S. mortgage lender, acquired Sirva’s shares at Premia Relocation Mortgage and now has full ownership of the business, the companies announced on Friday. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Premia, which provides a relocation mortgage service for employees moving across the country or to other countries, has a digital platform called DigitalMove. According to the mortgage data company Modex, Michigan-based Premia has three branches, 21 active loan officers, and originated about $670 million in mortgages in the last 12 months.
“With this change in place, we can provide our customers with an even wider range of products and specialized services,” Victor Ciardelli, Guaranteed Rate’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “The increased investment in technology and additional resources GRI brings will enhance and strengthen an already established foundation.”
Premia‘s production represents a small share of G-Rate’s origination volume, which reached $7 billion in the first three months of 2023. It fell 58.8% compared to the same period of last year but was enough to give Guaranteed Rate the sixth position among the largest mortgage lenders in the country, according to Inside Mortgage Finance (IMF).
Guaranteed Rate inherited Premia, a joint venture with Sirva, when it acquired multi-channel lender Stearns Holdings for an undisclosed sum in January 2021, bringing in a $20 billion lender that gave the company direct access to the wholesale channel, a network of talented underwriters and compliance specialists and several highly profitable joint ventures.
One year after the acquisition, G-Rate closed Stearns wholesale channel and laid off hundreds of employees. In a letter to brokers about shutting down the Stearns wholesale channel, Ciardelli wrote that the company had decided to focus on leveraging its “industry-leading purchase platform augmented by the best loan officers in the business.”
In May 2023, G-Rate adopted the technology company Gateless‘s Smart Underwrite solution, which aims to significantly reduce the time and effort involved in the origination process, potentially leading to faster, if not instant, borrower approvals.
Before that, the company expanded its program to approve loans within 24 hours nationwide. Dubbed the “Same Day Mortgage,” it aimed at giving a competitive edge to first-time buyers who are competing against the all-cash buyers who make up 28% of home purchases, the lender said.