Former Athas Capital staff discovering new houses

Employees from defunct Athas Capital Group are being actively swept up by other non-qualified mortgage lenders.

In recent weeks over a dozen former workers from the Calabasas Hills, California-headquartered company transitioned to Miami-based Lendmarq, according to LinkedIn postings

Lendmarq, which was founded in 2016, specializes in fix-and- flip loans, ground up construction and long term 30 year loans for investment real estate. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, over 75 employees, including underwriters and account managers, have been picked up by Hometown Equity Mortgage, LLC, which does business as theLender.

In early December, Cory Tona, owner of Hometown, noted that  “bumps” have occurred with integrating the new employees, but that it’s going better than expected.

Hometown plans to continue onboarding “as many more Athas employees as we possibly can,” Tona said in a written statement.

Other non-QM companies — including Forward Lending and Greenbox Loans — have also brought former Athas employees on board. It is uncertain at this point whether all of Athas’ former staff members have found a new home in the mortgage industry if they desired one.

The dissemination of Athas employees comes after the lender announced in October its intent to wind down business. 

The decision to shutter the company’s doors after 14 years of business was in anticipation that the market will “deteriorate even further,” executives at the non-QM lender said in a joint statement.

At the time, the lender said that it will honor any loans in its pipeline that it is legally obliged to fund, and will comply with all state and federal WARN notice requirements.

“The writing is on the wall in regards to significant challenges that our sector will continue to face for the foreseeable future,” said Alim Kassam, co-chief executive officer at Athas, in a statement. 

Forecasts for the mortgage industry have continued to be grim, as interest rates hover over 6% and expectations mount of a mild recession.

Apart from Athas, companies such as Reverse Mortgage Funding, Finance of America, and Sprout Mortgage have either fully shut their doors or moved to drastically reduce operations in the second half of 2022.

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