N.C. mortgage firm opens Brentwood office

Lender with 100+ employees also setting up shop in Chattanooga

An on-the-move mortgage lender based in North Carolina has opened a Brentwood outpost as part of a broader push into Tennessee.

Cunningham & Co. has leased temporary space in the Office Suites Plus building on the east side of Interstate 65 but plans to soon move into offices at 103 Continental Place (pictured here) in nearby Maryland Farms. Cunningham, which employs more than 100 people across its 20-office network in North Carolina and Tennessee, has so far brought on board five people locally. Dianne Payne, who was previously with MetLife Home Loans and Magna Bank, is the company's regional manager. The Brentwood office is being managed by Charlie Thompson, who was previously a loan officer at Avenue Bank.

The move into Tennessee by Cunningham — its executives also have set up an office in Chattanooga — comes as the Nashville-area housing market is posting strong numbers and the mortgage market is returning to a level of health not seen in five years. Other lenders — including community banks such as FirstBank and InsBank — also are eyeing a market-share grab.

Cunningham is a division of Florida-based financial holding company CMC Funding. The company was founded in 1990 and earlier this year added three branches in the Tarheel State by buying Carolina Mortgage Co.