McCalla Raymer McCalla Raymer’s Atlanta headquarters in Roswell, Georgia.
Photo: John Disney/Daily Report

Atlanta-based real estate closing and foreclosure firm McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce has expanded into 10 states—adding New York, New Jersey, California and Nevada—with the acquisition of a large portion of default services firm Buckley Madole.

“2017 was an exciting year for MRLP, and we are thrilled to end it with this expansion,” said Marty Stone, managing partner of McCalla Raymer.

This is McCalla Raymer’s third large-scale combination with default firms in the last year and a half, expanding the Atlanta-based firm’s territory from Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi to Illinois, then Connecticut and now these additional four states.

The deal adds locations in Iselin, New Jersey; New York City; Long Beach, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Tampa, Florida.

Marty Stone Marty Stone

Stone said the expansion is a continuation of his firm’s pursuit of greater economies of scale and additional business from big, national mortgage lenders as the default services business consolidates.

“Foreclosures are at a 10-year low as a result of the economy improving. Lots of firms around the country have been going after these deals,” Stone said.

Another Atlanta-based firm serving mortgage lenders and servicers, Aldridge & Connors, similarly expanded in 2015, merging with San Diego-based Pite Duncan to become Aldridge Pite.

Six Buckley Madole shareholders have joined McCalla Raymer as partners, including name principals Larry Buckley and Luke Madole. The other new partners are Michael Gonzales, Rich Haber, Anthony Risalvato and Adam Womack.

About 100 total employees joined McCalla Raymer with the combination, including 15 to 20 lawyers, Stone said.

The former Buckley Madole firm is now Bonial & Associates, led by Hilary Bonial in Dallas. Its website lists 21 lawyers.

“We’ve known the principals at Buckley Madole for a long time,” Stone said. “We knew they were looking to see something different and this seemed like a good time.”

“They knew we’d completed the deals with the Leibert and Pierce firms, so that we knew how to get this done,” he added.

McCalla Raymer doubled in size last year when the firm combined with Chicago foreclosure firm Pierce & Associates, forming McCalla Raymer Pierce.

The deal, effective May 2016, created a firm with about 125 lawyers and 650 total employees—with 75 lawyers and 320 employees from McCalla Raymer, Stone told the Daily Report at the time.

That added Illinois to the Atlanta-based firm’s Southeastern footprint.

Then, effective Feb. 1 of this year, McCalla Raymer Pierce combined with another default services firm, Hunt Leibert Jacobson, based in Hartford, Connecticut, becoming McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce.

McCalla Raymer handles mortgage closings, foreclosures, bankruptcies, evictions, related litigation as well as regulatory compliance and legislative issues for mortgage lenders.

“We’re primarily a real estate firm with a focus on default—foreclosures and bankruptcy,” Stone said, adding that the firm offers services in 30 areas.

Stone declined to name clients, but according to public notices currently filed for Fulton County, they include Amerisave Mortgage Co., The Bank of New York Mellon, Cadence Bank, Citigroup Mortgage Loan Trust, Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., The Huntington National Bank, U.S. Bank N.A., Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and Wilmington Trust.

Stone did not rule out more combinations but said integrating the new recruits is the focus for now. “We want to focus on making sure we get all the different offices from Buckley Madole into our group, and making sure it’s transparent to our clients,” he said.

“If in 2018 another opportunity comes along that would be a good deal, we would consider it. But with 10 states—I’m perfectly fine with this footprint for the foreseeable future,” Stone said.