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Bank Buying Texas Mortgage Banker

FORT WORTH, Texas — Abilene-based First Financial Bank said Wednesday it is buying Fort Worth-based 4Trust Mortgage, a residential mortgage loan origination company in Dallas-Fort Worth since 2000.

The deal is expected to close by May 31, the two companies said. After that date, mortgage loan closings in the process of being set up through 4Trust will be done through First Financial Mortgage.

Scott Dueser, First Financial’s president, chief executive officer and chairman, said the acquisition will double the bank’s mortgage business.

4Trust currently makes about $200 million in mortgage loans a year, he said.

All of 4Trusts’ 37 employees, as well as its four owners, will become employees of First Financial, he said.

Troy Fore, president and CEO of 4Trust, will become president of First Financial Mortgage, the bank’s mortgage division, and will be in charge of the bank’s entire mortgage lending division, Dueser said.

First Financial Mortgage headquarters will be in the new bank that First Financial is building at the northwest corner of Forest Park Boulevard and Rosedale Street. 4Trust’s office in North Richland Hills will be moved to First Financial’s Southlake branch.

First Financial has 62 branch locations throughout Texas. In Fort Worth, it is currently at 550 Bailey Ave., but plans to move in July when it completes its new, four-story, 36,800-square-foot building in Fort Worth South.

4Trust has had a business relationship with First Financial since 2008, and Dueser said he is impressed with the way it does business and treats its customers.

“We’ve been talking for years,” Dueser said. “The timing was right. 4Trust is one of the top mortgage companies in Fort Worth and will bring us a nice percentage of the market. It’s very positive for both companies.”

Likewise, Fore said he has always been impressed with the way the bank treats its customers and employees.

“They’re great people. Joining with First Financial will mean expanded products and services,” Fore said.

First Financial bought the 1.3-acre site in November 2012, but the start of construction was delayed until June, 2014. In the new building, First Financial will occupy the first and second floors, the mortgage division will be on the third floor, and the fourth floor is for lease.

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