Company Announcements

Stearns Plan of Reorganization Confirmed by Court

Stearns Expects to Emerge from Chapter 11 in Early November

SANTA ANA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 24, 2019-- Stearns Holdings, LLC (“Stearns” or the “Company”), the parent company of Stearns Lending, LLC, a leading provider of residential mortgage lending services in Wholesale, Retail and Strategic Alliances sectors, today announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (“the Court”) has confirmed the Company’s Plan of Reorganization (the “Plan”). The Company expects to complete its restructuring process and successfully emerge from Chapter 11 in early November.

Upon emergence, Stearns will reduce its debt by more than $150 million and Blackstone (“Blackstone,” NYSE: BX), as the owner of the reorganized Company, will contribute substantial new capital to fund payments to creditors made on the effective date of the Plan. Blackstone’s contribution includes $65 million to be paid to holders of Stearns’ prepetition notes and additional funds to satisfy certain unsecured claims.

“The Court’s confirmation of our Plan enables us to emerge from this process with a capital structure that matches the strong operating performance of our business and repositions Stearns for future growth,” said David Schneider, Chief Executive Officer of Stearns Lending. “I want to thank our 2,700 employees for maintaining an incredible focus on providing our customers the high-quality service they expect from Stearns throughout this process. We remain firmly committed to our mission of helping homebuyers find the best loans for their current and future needs and are proud to have served our customers and honored our commitments to our business partners without interruption throughout this process.”

Mr. Schneider added, “I look forward to working closely with Blackstone and the rest of the Board and management team to grow and enhance the Stearns platform for the benefit of our customers. Together, I am confident we will successfully complete this process in the next few weeks as we celebrate the Company’s 30th anniversary next month and enter our next decade positioned for long-term success.”

Additional information is available on the restructuring page of the Company’s website at www.stearnsrestructuring.com. In addition, court filings and other documents related to the court proceedings are available on a separate website administered by the Company’s claims agent, Prime Clerk, at https://cases.primeclerk.com/stearns. Information is also available by calling toll-free at 844-234-1461 or 917-942-6399 for calls originating outside of the U.S. or emailing Stearnsinfo@primeclerk.com.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as legal advisor to Stearns, PJT Partners is serving as its financial advisor and Alvarez & Marsal is serving as its restructuring advisor.

About Stearns Lending, LLC

Stearns Lending, LLC is a leading provider of mortgage lending services in Wholesale, Retail, Strategic Alliances, Non-Delegated Correspondent and Financial Institutions sectors throughout the United States.

Stearns Lending is an equal housing lender and is licensed to conduct business in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, Stearns Lending is an approved HUD (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development) lender; a Single Family Issuer for Ginnie Mae (Government National Mortgage Association); an approved Seller/Servicer for Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association); and an approved Seller/Servicer for Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation). Stearns Lending is also approved as a VA (United States Department of Veterans Affairs) lender, a USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) lender, and is an approved lending institution with FHA (Federal Housing Administration). Stearns Lending, LLC is located at 4 Hutton Centre Drive, 10th Floor, Santa Ana, CA 92707. Company NMLS# 1854.

About Blackstone

Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our asset management businesses, with $545 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information and “Safe Harbor” Statement

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the expected timing, completion, financial benefits and other effects of the proposed comprehensive financial restructuring plan and related transactions. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “could” and “should,” and other words of similar meaning. These forward-looking statements express management’s current expectations or forecasts of future events and, by their nature, are subject to risks and uncertainties and there are a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such statements. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date of this news release, and neither Stearns nor Blackstone undertakes an obligation to release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or conditions after the date of this news release.

Source: Stearns Holdings, LLC

Company Contact
Stearns Lending, LLC
Steve Smith, Chief Financial Officer
(714) 513-7060
ssmith@stearns.com

Media Contact
Michael Freitag / Jon Keehner
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
(212) 355-4449