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CU Lender Expanding, Hiring

CU Lender Expanding, HiringAmeriCU Mortgage adds Wisconsin ops, employees

March 30, 2009

By staff

A company that provides mortgage services to credit unions has expanded its operations and employment base in an apparent attempt to capitalize on the collapse of a competitor. More than 40 employees have been added and more hirings are on the way.AmeriCU Mortgage has expanded into Wisconsin.

The Troy, Mich.-based firm was approved to lend in the state by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions on March 18, an announcement yesterday said.

Since obtaining the approval, AmeriCU has reportedly hired 45 employees — including 27 mortgage professionals throughout Wisconsin. The company is actively recruiting more employees for its new Milwaukee operations center.

AmeriCU was launched in 1993 by parent Towne Mortgage Co. “to extend Towne’s community-based lending through partnerships with credit unions.” It serves credit unions across the country.

The company hit the ground running in Wisconsin — with 15 loans already closed.

“We had been watching the Wisconsin market for quite some time, looking for people who know how to meet the needs of the local community,” Chief Executive Officer Don Calcaterra Jr. said in the announcement. “While exploring an opportunity to hire mortgage professionals in Milwaukee who shared our philosophy, we made the decision to open here.”

The company was likely enticed by the March 9 collapse of Central States Mortgage, which provided mortgage lending services to the 25 credit unions that it is owned by. Central States was based in Milwaukee area.

“Their willingness to step in and work with data that came from applications that had been processed by another company as well as computer systems that were not their own helped,” Dean Wilson, the president and CEO of Focus Credit Union, was quoted as saying in yesterday’s news release.

Another company that provided mortgage services to credit unions, CU National Mortgage, notified its customers last month that it stopped processing loan originations.CU National served an estimated 35 credit unions.

And on March 20, the National Credit Union Administration Board seized U.S. Central Federal Credit Union in Lenexa, Kan., and Western Corporate Federal Credit Union in San Dimas, Calif. The two corporate credit unions provided services to the retail credit unions that owned them.

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