Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Collingwood Group Acquires GWN Consulting, LLC

The Collingwood Group is pleased to announce its acquisition of GWN Consulting, LLC (GWN), a firm specializing in Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Ginnie Mae risk management and quality control. Founded by Karen Garner, the firm's expertise includes FHA compliance, risk and claims management, Quality Control Plan review, implementation and analysis, and FHA lender and Ginnie Mae issuer approvals. GWN also has extensive experience supporting lenders' responses to FHA and HUD Office of Inspector General audits, as well as Credit Watch and Direct Endorsement Authority terminations. GWN's business will operate as part of Collingwood's Risk Management & Compliance Division, and will be managed by Collingwood's Chairman, Brian Montgomery.

"Through the acquisition of GWN Consulting, Collingwood enhances its already considerable FHA and Ginnie Mae knowledge and experience with the addition of a team of professionals with more than two centuries of combined direct HUD experience," said Brian Montgomery. GWN's founder and president, Karen Garner, has held leadership positions within FHA's Quality Assurance Division. In addition, two of the firm's principals, David Hintz and Jack Kinkaid, previously served as Mortgagee Review Board Secretaries. "The critical experience, insight, and relationships of GWN and its principals comes at a very important time for lenders and servicers that are struggling with compliance, litigation, and claims management issues related to their FHA and Ginnie Mae operations," said Montgomery. "As FHA volume has grown to historically high levels, lenders and issuers can reasonably expect a corresponding increase in the level of FHA audit and enforcement actions," Montgomery notes.

"The acquisition of GWN reflects Collingwood's continued commitment to delivering leadership in an industry fraught with uncertainty and risk. It also offers Collingwood the opportunity to substantially enhance the breadth and depth of capabilities available to current and prospective Collingwood clients," added Brian O'Reilly, President and Managing Director of The Collingwood Group. "Those capabilities will now include FHA and Ginnie Mae single family and multifamily applications and re-certifications; preparation and responses to audits or reviews; origination of servicing compliance and best practices, claims management and recoveries; program manuals and operating guides; and development of written and program training," said O'Reilly.

"We are excited to bring our extensive FHA compliance expertise to a well respected firm like The Collingwood Group," said Karen Garner. "We anticipate that 2012 will involve a continued focus on quality control for both lenders and servicers, and we look forward to assisting them in these and other areas."

About The Collingwood Group

The Collingwood Group is a Washington, DC-based business advisory firm focused on growing clients' businesses, promoting revenue growth and increasing investment returns. The firm is led by Joe Murin, former President and CEO of Ginnie Mae, and Brian Montgomery, former Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner. Both played major roles in the federal governmentʼs efforts to address the nationʼs financial crisis and restore stability and liquidity to financial markets. The firmʼs expertise spans all aspects of Agency, non-Agency and FHA/VA housing financing programs; Ginnie Mae securitization activities; domestic and international secondary market activities and issues; primary and special servicing; full asset lifecycle vendor and talent management; and all elements of portfolio due diligence, acquisition, property management and asset disposition.

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