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Realogy Holdings Corp. and Guaranteed Rate, Inc. have agreed to form a new joint venture, Guaranteed Rate Affinity LLC, which is expected to begin operations in June 2017. Guaranteed Rate Affinity will originate and market its mortgage lending services to Realogy’s real estate brokerage subsidiary NRT and relocation subsidiary Cartus, as well as to other real estate brokerage and relocation companies. Guaranteed Rate will own a controlling 50.1 percent stake of Guaranteed Rate Affinity, while Realogy will own 49.9 percent.

“As we evaluated potential new options for our mortgage origination venture, Guaranteed Rate was clearly the right strategic partner to help our company-owned brokerage business and its affiliated sales associates offer an innovative and streamlined mortgage process built on best-in-class technology,” says Richard A. Smith, Realogy chairman, CEO and president. “Mortgage financing is a service we have provided for more than 20 years. We are delighted to partner with Guaranteed Rate and are excited to embark on this new relationship that will substantially enhance our service offerings to our customers.”

“This joint venture is a positive development that helps to elevate NRT’s overall agent value proposition,” says Bruce Zipf, CEO and president of NRT. “Guaranteed Rate has built one of the market’s most trusted brands through seamless technology and outstanding customer service. We look forward to working with them and allowing our independent sales associates to offer their clients access to an innovative online experience.”

“This is a unique opportunity for us to accelerate our growth on a national level by bringing our cutting-edge technology together with Realogy, a Fortune 500 company,” says Victor Ciardelli, founder and CEO of Guaranteed Rate. “This new partnership aligns deeply with our core values, especially our commitment to ‘Work with the Best of the Best.’ We appreciate the hard work and commitment of the current joint venture employees during this transition period and we look forward to having them become part of the Guaranteed Rate Affinity team.”

Guaranteed Rate is to acquire certain assets of the mortgage operations of PHH Home Loans LLC, the existing joint venture between Realogy and PHH Mortgage, including its four regional origination and processing centers, relocation division and employees. The asset purchase agreement is subject to approval by PHH Corporation shareholders and certain other closing conditions, and is expected to be completed in a series of asset sale closings. The initial closing is expected to occur in June 2017, and the final closing is expected to occur during the fourth quarter of 2017.

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