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Countrywide, WaMu & Pulaski Brands Abandoned

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Two formerly huge names in residential mortgage lending have been retired as several smaller firms also adopt new brands.

The company formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans now operates as Bank of America Home Loans. In a news release today, parent Bank of America Corp. said the new brand was launched nationally.

“The Bank of America Home Loans brand represents the combined operations of Bank of America’s mortgage and home-equity business and Countrywide Home Loans,” the statement said.

The move marks one of the final phases of the Charlotte, N.C.-based institution’s July 2008 acquisition of Countrywide Financial Corp.

More than 700 California branches of Washington Mutual Bank were re-branded as “Chase — California’s new bank,” a statement last month said. Parent JPMorgan Chase & Co. acquired WaMu on Sept. 25, 2008, as the Seattle-based thrift faced collapse.

JPMorgan said the re-branding effort will cost $375 million. By the end of this year, all former WaMu branches are expected to be re-branded.

Pulaski Bank and Trust Co. will be renamed IBERIABANK fsb on May 4, parent IBERIABANK Corp. announced on April 4. In addition, Pulaski Mortgage Co. will be renamed IBERIABANK Mortgage Co.

Pulaski, as well as Pocahontas Bancorp Inc., was originally acquired by Lafayette, La.-based IBERIABANK in early 2007. Some of ANB Financial, N.A., assets and liabilities were acquired in May 2008 by IBERIABANK.

“Our assimilation of the three Arkansas-based financial institutions has progressed extremely well,” IBERIABANK Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Daryl G. Byrd said in the announcement. “We have retained and recruited talent and expanded our client relationships as we tripled our distribution system and folded these organizations under the Pulaski name.”

Byrd said that the company is in position for rapid growth under its thrift charter.

California Reverse Mortgage Co. has completed its re-branding as Generation Mortgage Co., a January press release said. Atlanta-based Generation acquired California Reverse in 2006.

BMC Mortgage Services Inc. announced late last year that it changed its name to Southwest Bank Mortgage. BMC was acquired by parent Southwest Bank in December 2007. Cue Lipscomb and Marshall Boyd serve as co-presidents of the mortgage unit.

MFA Mortgage Investments Inc. changed its name to MFA Financial Inc., a recent press release said. The New York-based investment firm focuses primarily on high quality, higher coupon hybrid and adjustable-rate mortgage-backed securities assets.

Fair Isaac Corp. re-branded itself as FICO last month, taking advantage of the acronym that has become synonymous with credit score.

Global West Resources, Inc. said this month that it is in the processing of renaming itself We Save Homes Inc. The Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based modification company has hired an investors relations firm.

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