Florida company buying St. Paul-based Green Tree Creditby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A Florida firm is buying Green Tree Credit Solutions, the St. Paul-based company specializing in collecting payments from homeowners behind on their mortgages.
Walter Investment Management of Tampa will pay about $1 billion for Green Tree. Walter is an asset manager, mortgage portfolio owner and mortgage servicer specializing in so-called credit challenged assets.
The Florida firm likes the prospects for Green Tree's businesses helping lenders collect payments from troubled borrowers.
"The unique opportunity this presented matched perfectly with our strategy objectives for Walter," said Mark O'Brien, Walter's CEO. "The two companies are very similar in their business lines, operational strategy, philosophy, and culture and provides a very real opportunity for both cost and revenue synergies."
Walter expects to save $30 million a year from combining the two firms' operations. Walter has not indicated how that may affect Green Tree employees, but Green Tree says it expects job growth, not layoffs — at least in St. Paul. The company currently has about 1,900 employees nationwide, about 400 in St. Paul.
The market for servicing delinquent home loans is expected to see strong growth, as many Americans continue to struggle to make home loan payments.