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(Editor’s note: This is the fourth in an occasional series of stories that will feature the companies and industries creating jobs in the region.)
Many in the mortgage-lending profession lost their jobs as a result of the Great Recession and related housing-bubble collapse, but the cycle has reversed in the Ocean State due largely to the refinancing boom.
Linear Title & Closing of Middletown has seen remarkable growth in its portfolio over the last few years, causing the company to increase in size in order to keep up with demand. In January 2010, the company employed 50 people. Now, Linear has a staff of about 175 and counting. Most of those jobs are local; approximately 25 were added in out-of-state offices.
“We just opened a new office in Las Vegas, Nev., and we also have offices in Texas, Arizona and California,” said Nick Liuzza, president of Linear Title & Closing. “We opened them to serve large-volume markets and keep up with demand. Our work is done electronically and on the Internet, but it is also a good business to have a physical presence in those areas.”
Aside from lending rates being at historically low levels, the hiring boom is largely due to the company’s data-processing technology that updates loan-processing documents. The ability to prepare, modify or process documents quickly has helped Linear attract large originators to its client base.
Linear processes loan documents for its clients in every state from its processing center located in Middletown. The technology has increased efficiencies so more loans can be closed, and faster. Documents can be uploaded, files checked, and one can receive an immediate status update, make revisions and address the requirements of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. All updates are done in real time.
In addition to using technology to create a “paperless mortgage,” Liuzza gives credit to another of the company’s great assets; its staff.
Originally from New Orleans, Liuzza had heard that Rhode Island is a bad environment in which to grow a new business. He completely disagrees.