One of the largest nonbank mortgage lenders files for IPO

AmeriHome looks to emulate recent successful public offerings by the likes of Rocket Companies and Wholesale Mortgage

AmeriHome CEO Jim Furash
AmeriHome CEO Jim Furash

AmeriHome is the latest mortgage lender hoping to cash in on the recent boom in originations and refinancings.

California-based AmeriHome filed for an initial public offering on Thursday, but did not list the size of the offering. The company said it will raise $100 million— an amount that is frequently used as a placeholder to determine filing fees. Reuters first reported the story.

AmeriHome will look to emulate the success of Rocket Companies, the parent company of Quicken Loans, which raised $1.8 billion in its August public offering. United Wholesale Mortgage last month announced its plans to go public through a merger with a special acquisition purpose company — SPAC — valuing the company at $16 billion.

AmeriHome, a residential mortgage producer and servicer, was founded in 2013 by former executives of the banking arm of failed mortgage giant Countrywide Financial. AmeriHome CEO Jim Furash was the former chief executive of Countrywide Bank.

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AmeriHome claims that it has had positive net income every month since February 2015. For the first six months of 2020, net income totaled $275 million on revenue of $442 million, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The company’s mortgage production volume totaled $53.7 billion in the second quarter, with about an equal mix of refinancings and originations.

Some industry pros and economists previously expressed concern that nonbank mortgage lenders could pose a systemic threat to the market, because they are not regulated as strictly as banks are regulated. Critics said that if the market ever turned and homeowners started defaulting on their mortgages, nonbanks would not have the capital to service those mortgages.

But amid a global pandemic that has upended economies, those companies have shown few signs of distress. Instead, business has received a boost in recent months because of record-low mortgage rates that have led to an uptick in demand for new homes. The low rates have also meant a jump in refinancings, which were up more than 200 percent in the second quarter year-over-year, according to data from Black Knight.