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Heritage Oaks Bancorp exits consumer mortgage biz

Heritage Oaks Bancorp has exited the consumer mortgage business, citing market conditions, rising interest rates and increasing housing prices.

The Paso Robles, Calif.-based company said in its Jan. 30 earnings release that it will stop certain business activities such as originating and selling consumer mortgage loans beginning Feb. 1, with all mortgage origination-related operations expected to terminate on or about April 30. Home equity lines of credit and home equity loans will continue to be offered and the company will still service existing consumer mortgage loans that are within its loan portfolio, as well as mortgage customers with loans that are in process of origination prior to Feb. 1.

The move does not involve the sale of existing mortgage assets.

In addition, the company is in the process of making a referral arrangement for Heritage Oaks Bank customers to continue to have access to consumer mortgage products through another bank, where Heritage expects many of its current consumer mortgage team members will join effective Feb. 1.

In addition, all contractual commitments to customers and investors that are in process prior to Feb. 1 will be honored, and the company expects the majority of existing loan applications in process prior to Feb. 1 to close within 90 days.

Heritage Oaks Bancorp reported fourth-quarter 2016 net income available to common shareholders of $4.6 million, or 13 cents per share, compared to $3.5 million or 10 cents per share for the same period a year ago, and $4.2 million or 12 cents per share for the third quarter of 2016. For the full year 2016, net income available to common shareholders was $16.9 million, or 49 cents per share, compared to $15.3 million, or 44 cents per share, for the full year 2015.