First Mortgage Network Buying American Finance

Article excerpt

First Mortgage Network said it has agreed to acquire American Finance and Investment, an Internet lender.

The merger would increase First Mortgage's originations more than 33%, to about $160 million a month. American Finance of Fairfax, Va., would become a division of First Mortgage.

The deal pairs two companies that have been successful in niches where larger mortgage companies have foundered.

First Mortgage, based in Plantation, Fla., buys mortgages of A through D quality from a 100-member network that uses its proprietary laptop origination system. It sells the loans on the secondary market.

The company also markets technology services to mortgage bankers outside its network, and helps them build mortgage-banking divisions.

American Finance has been originating mortgages since 1994 over the Internet, phone, and fax lines. It also sources its call-center and Internet solution services to financial institutions and mortgage banks.

'First Mortgage's members include home builders, real estate companies, community banks, and credit unions, predominantly in California, Florida, and Georgia. …