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Rock Financial Closing Most Real World Branches

In a move that again reinforces the power of e-commerce, Rock Financial Corp. said it would take a $3.5 million to $4.5 million charge in the third quarter as it closes most of its branches and focuses on its online direct mortgage business.

Rock said it will close and consolidate 12 of its remaining 15 branch offices, adding that it hopes to offset any loss of revenues from the branch consolidation with reduced operating expenses over the next 12 months.

"With this move, our transformation from a branch-based business to one focused on the Internet and our call center is nearly complete," Daniel Gilbert, chairman and chief executive of Rock, said in a statement. "We are increasing the company's focus on our mission of becoming a market leader in online mortgage origination."

Rock also said it has launched a national advertising campaign to market RockLoans.com. The company plans to spend $20 million in the next year on marketing the business, it said.

Since launching its RockLoans.com online mortgage business in January, the company has closed $83 million in loans, according to a Reuters report.



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