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Stearns Lending Announces Partnership with Certainty Home Loans

Certainty Home Loans and Stearn Lending Announce Equity Partnership

Dallas – June 29, 2018 – Stearns Lending, LLC, a leading independent mortgage bank has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire an equity interest in Certainty Home Loans, LLC, an independent mortgage lender headquartered in Plano, Texas. After the closing, Certainty’s current ownership will continue to hold a significant share of the equity. The Executive Team of Certainty will continue to be led by Jim Clapp, as President, and Doug Casbon continues as Executive Vice President, National Production Manager. Certainty will continue to operate under the same name after closing.

Founded in 2000, the company launched a rebrand and name change as of October 2, 2017. With the rebrand, Certainty Home Loans put the company’s core strength front and center, ensuring confidence, and delivering on time closings. In 2017, Certainty Home Loans originated $1.4 billion in residential loans.

"Certainty has a long track record of success and has a retail profile that is a strong complement to the existing Stearns retail platform," said David Schneider, CEO of Stearns Lending. "We believe that combining the retail platform of Certainty with Stearns’ industry-leading technology, direct access to capital markets expertise, and operational excellence will produce tremendous synergies that benefit both companies. This structure leverages the experience Stearns has with its current Joint Venture business model which currently operates under ten different brands across the country."

"The partnership with Stearns Lending brings together like-minded companies with strong leadership teams committed to operational excellence and focused on the core value that people and relationships are powerful tools in achieving success," said Jim Clapp, President of Certainty Home Loans. "This partnership allows Certainty Home Loans to further accelerate our growth plans by leveraging Stearns’ best-in-class technology platform to streamline and improve interactions with partners, customers and each other while staying true to our brand promise of providing confident closings."

The transaction is expected to close by August 31, 2018, pending regulatory approval. The specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The STRATMOR Group served as an advisor.

Media enquiries should be directed to: Jim Anderson, Certainty Home Loans Chief Marketing Officer, janderson@certaintyhomeloans.com, 678-350-9024.

About Certainty Home Loans, LLC

Certainty Home Loans, LLC NMLS# 2146 is the independent mortgage banker that delivers a confident closing, with the terms agreed upon, and the timing promised. Licensed in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia (D.C.), Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org), Certainty Home Loans strives to simplify the mortgage process through expertise, transparency and personal relationships with borrowers, Realtors, and builders. Founded in March 2000 and headquartered in Plano, Texas, Certainty Home Loans offers home purchase, refinance, renovation and reverse mortgage loans. Continuing a reputation for quality and excellence in the mortgage industry, the company has been recognized by National Professional Mortgage Magazine as a Top Mortgage Employer: 2016 - 2018; Mortgage Executive Magazine as a Top 100 Mortgage Company: 2011-2016 and as a Top 50 Company to Work for in America: 2014 - 2015.

About Stearns Lending, LLC

Stearns Lending, LLC is a leading provider of mortgage lending services in Wholesale, Retail, and Strategic Alliances sectors throughout the United States where licenses are held. The company was ranked as the #3 Wholesale Lender nationwide by Inside Mortgage Finance in June of 2018.

Stearns Lending is an equal housing lender and is licensed to conduct business in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, Stearns Lending is an approved HUD (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development) lender; a Single-Family Issuer for Ginnie Mae (Government National Mortgage Association); an approved Seller/Servicer for Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association); and an approved Seller/Servicer for Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation). Stearns Lending is also approved as a VA (United States Department of Veterans Affairs) lender, a USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) lender and is an approved lending institution with FHA (Federal Housing Administration). Stearns Lending, LLC is located at 4 Hutton Centre Drive, 10th Floor, Santa Ana, CA 92707.

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