Former Preferred Empire executive Jeffrey Appel moves to Bank of America

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Jeffrey Appel
Mortgage broker and WPIX television show host Jeffrey Appel took a new job at Bank of America last month after his former employer, Preferred Empire Mortgage, was reconfigured in a joint venture with California-based lender Wells Fargo Bank.

Appel, now a vice president at Bank of America’s home lending division, was a senior vice president at Preferred Empire Mortgage, a mortgage brokerage owned by the city’s biggest residential real estate brokerage, Prudential Douglas Elliman. In a past study, The Real Deal ranked Appel as one of the city’s top mortgage producers.

Preferred ceased operations as an entity in September and a new company, DE Capital Mortgage, was created as a joint venture between Prudential and Wells Fargo. Appel, who led a team of brokers that at its height had seven members, said although he thought the joint venture was a good decision, he opted to move to Bank of America on Oct. 13.

“I took the opportunity to see what options were out there. I found the package with Bank of America was a better fit,” he said. He now leads the five-person Appel-Evans Group at the bank.

A majority of the several dozen salespersons at Preferred have moved to DE Capital, a banking insider said.

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Appel expected to see more mortgage brokerages merge with banks, in part because in the past, third-party originators handled the majority of the loans, while now retail lenders provide more.

“That is a huge change in the way people do business,” he said.

“Mortgage brokers took it on the chin,” he said. “I think there is a perception in the public that dealing with the bank these days gets you a better deal, and I think because of the regulatory changes that have taken place, it is easier to work directly with a bank.”

He said mortgage brokers are hamstrung by the changes and that they now have fewer options to offer their customers.

Appel will continue to cohost a weekly real estate television show on WPIX, “Metro Residential,” he said.