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Lender Nets More Branches

Amstar adds AL, CA & IL brokers

January 25, 2007


photo of Coco Salazar

Three mortgage brokers have joined a growing network branches with a Texas-based lender.

Amstar Mortgage added three new branches in Mobile, Ala., Santa Ana, Calif., and Chicago, Ill., parent Amstar Financial Holdings Inc. announced.

"We are constantly looking to grow Amstar by adding quality branches to the Amstar brand," Senior Vice President Dan Canessa said in the announcement. "Each new branch broadens our name recognition and revenue base. We are pleased to welcome these new branches to the Amstar team and look forward to working with them."

The new offices reportedly follow a record net quarterly increase of branches -- 23 -- during the fourth quarter 2006 and are a small fraction of the company's goal of increasing to over 250 its current network of 149 branches, company spokesman Michael Wayland told MortgageDaily.com. Branches retained from last year amount to 38.

In fiscal 2006, Amstar branches averaged approximately $11 million in mortgage closings, according to the announcement. As a whole, the company closed $1.7 billion last year, Wayland said.

Amstar branches generally employ from one to more than 20 people, Wayland said, adding that the company currently has a staff of about 700. About 30 work in offices that were opened in the fourth quarter and have hires pending.

The Houston-based company provides the independently-managed branches with benefits, in-house accounting, legal counsel, among other things, the spokesman said. Additionally, Amstar is licensed in 31 states and Washington, D.C., does business with more than 250 lenders and correspondents, and is approved to originate FHA, VA and Rural Development loans, along with conventional and subprime loans, according to the announcement.

Amstar is currently working on expanding in a couple of other states, "but the goal is to be in any state that has interest," with the exception of Georgia due to its laws, Wayland said.

Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

e-mail: [email protected]

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