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Corporate Mortgage News
M e r g e r s, a c q u i s i t i o n s and private and public offerings. Other corporate activity including executive appointments, bankruptcies name changes.

Acquisition, Collapse & Regulatory Actions

Recent acquisitions and corporate activity

July 1, 2008


A California credit union collapsed and an Ohio bank expanded its mortgage operations with the acquisition of another bank. Dozens of other financial institutions are dealing with a host of legal and regulatory actions, while a hard-money wholesale lender is streamlining operations with the help of a third party.

Titan Lenders Corp. will provide back office fulfillment services for LJL Funding LLC, a press release yesterday said. Titan specializes in closing, funding, and post closing services, while LJL funds hard-money loans for mortgage brokers.

Franklin Bank Corp. said Monday that it appointed Andy Black to serve as interim chief executive officer, replacing interim CEO Lewis S. Ranieri. Ranieri stepped in during May when founder and CEO Anthony J. Nocella was relieved of the post following the disclosure of faulty accounting in the bank's lending business.

Vestin Realty Mortgage I Inc. and Vestin Realty Mortgage II Inc. have suspended dividends, two 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday said. The real estate investment trusts said the moves were temporary, though no reinstatement date is projected. The actions were blamed on a reduction in expected operating results due to real estate write downs, growth in non-performing assets and legal expenses from multiple lawsuits.

The two REITs invest in commercial mortgages, among other things.

PHH Corp. increased its mortgage repurchase facility with The Royal Bank of Scotland plc to $1.5 billion from $1.0 billion on Thursday, a filing today with the SEC said. The expiration date was extended to June 25, 2009, from Oct. 30, 2008, and will automatically renew for an additional 364-day term. PHH Mortgage is required to maintain at least $3.0 billion in mortgage repurchase or warehouse facilities.

Thornburg Mortgage Inc. today said it received approval to extend the deadline for of its preferred stock tender offer to Sept 30. Upon the successful completion of the tender offer, the annual interest rate on senior subordinated secured notes due in 2015 will be lowered to 12 percent from 18 percent, saving the company around $69 million per year.

A securities class-action lawsuit was filed against Fifth Third Bancorp in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on behalf of shareholders, according to an announcement Monday by Finkelstein Thompson LLP. The law firm claims misleading and false statements by the Cincinnati-based bank about its tier-1 capital artificially inflated the price of its shares between Oct. 19, 2007. and June 17, 2008.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation yesterday announced it issued cease-and-desist orders against Family Bank and Trust Co., Palos Hills, Ill.; Oxford Bank, Oxford, Mich.; Pinnacle Bank, Beaverton, Ore.; and Earthstar Bank, Southampton, Penn.

FDIC reported it issued removal-and-prohibition orders against Bank of the West, San Francisco; Hebron Savings Bank, Hebron, Md.; BancorpSouth Bank, Tupelo, Miss.; Empire Bank, Springfield, Mo.; Royal Bank America, Narberth, Penn.; Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and First Trust and Savings Bank, Oneida, Tenn.

Civil money penalties were issued against Darby Bank and Trust Company, Vidalia, Ga.; Centier Bank, Whiting, Ind.; BancorpSouth Bank, Tupelo, Miss.; Royal Bank America, Narberth, Penn.; RidgeStone Bank, Brookfield, Wis.; and Choice Bank, Oshkosh, Wis., FDIC said. A modification was issued against Ocean Bank, Miami.

FDIC also said it terminated cease-and-desist orders against Great Eastern Bank of Florida, Miami; Beardstown Savings s.b., Beardstown, Ill.; and Prime Alliance Bank, Woods Cross, Utah.

On Monday, the Federal Reserve Board announced the termination of cease-and-desist orders issued in 2006 against Bank of York, York, Ala., and First BanCorp, Santurce, Puerto Rico.

Freddie Mac said today it was notified by Republic Mortgage Insurance Co. the Moody's Investors Service downgraded the mortgage insurer. The company has 60 days to submit a remediation plan to Freddie, at which point the secondary lender will determine whether to take any action on Republic's approval as a Type I insurer.

Sterlent Credit Union has been ordered to liquidate by the California Department of Financial Institutions and the National Credit Union Administration, an announcement Thursday said. The credit union has agreed to sell certain assets and liabilities to Patelco Credit Union of San Francisco.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based institution, which was originally founded in 1936 as EBTEL Federal Credit Union, had $95 million in assets and reported a $4.9 million loss last year. Sue Raines was president and chief executive officer of Sterlent, which had 13,600 members.

The collapse of Sterlent follows the acquisition of Kaiperm Federal Credit Union, which reported a $2.2 million first-quarter loss, by Alliant Credit Union.

First Place Financial Corp. announced Monday that it acquired OC Financial Inc. OC's assets on March 31 were $69 million, including $43 million in loans, an SEC filing indicated.

"First Place has built formidable mortgage and commercial lending operations in the Columbus, Ohio market area," Steven R. Lewis, president and CEO of Warren, Ohio-based First Place said in the statement. "OC Financial's presence provides us with a retail deposit hub to support and expand our lending operations and to lead our efforts to expand our retail franchise into very attractive markets."

Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of

e-mail: [email protected]

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