Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Oregon-based Umpqua Holdings, has set up a new construction lending department within its mortgage division to accelerate the lending activity and help consumers receive the funds to build custom or manufactured homes, and complete major home remodels.

Umpqua Bank has trained 31 of its construction loan officers to receive the certification necessary to issue required types of construction loans.

Umpqua Bank said that the loan can be rolled into an Umpqua Bank mortgage, following the conclusion of construction. The bank’s centralized mortgage division ensures a smooth transition between all stages of the construction loan process including bank’s in-house funds disbursement which expedites payment requests.

Umpqua Bank’s mortgage division funded custom construction loans in Oregon, Northern California and Southwest Washington during 2009. The program will be expanded into the Puget Sound and Northern Nevada regions in 2010.

Ron Stroble, executive vice president of mortgage division at Umpqua Bank, said: “While many financial institutions have cut back or eliminated their construction lending departments, Umpqua Bank has continued to invest in custom loans because they are in demand and we want to provide the best possible service to our customers.

“Our goal is to make the construction loan process as seamless as possible. Our loan officers work closely with the builder and borrower throughout the typical nine-to-12 month-long loan process and until the custom home construction is complete.”