HarborOne expands New England mortgage business with latest acquisition

HarborOne Bank in Brockton, Mass., has acquired a mortgage lender in Maine.

The $2.7 billion-asset bank said in a press release Wednesday that it bought Cumberland County Mortgage in South Portland, Maine. HarborOne did not disclose the price it paid.

Cumberland was already providing revenue for HarborOne through a third-party mortgage originator relationship with Merrimack Mortgage, which HarborOne bought in 2015. Cumberland, which has seven employees, generated $131.6 million in loan volume in 2016.

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HarborOne is aggressively expanding its mortgage operations via acquisitions.

“This is a natural evolution for the robust mortgage business we have been building in northern New England,” HarborOne President Joseph Casey said in the release.

James Blake, HarborOne’s CEO, said in a recent interview that mortgage lending ambitions contributed to the bank’s decision to convert from a credit union in 2013.

“We wanted to expand and buy a mortgage company, but you can’t buy a mortgage company and only do business in four counties,” Blake said. Converting to a bank "has benefited us and the community by having a local lender.”

HarborOne added 33 offices in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine when it bought Merrimack.

The bank recently reported that its fourth-quarter profit fell by 45% from a year earlier, to $1.6 million, due in part to a decline in mortgage origination volumes.

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Hilary Burns

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