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Mortgage Sector Still Reorganizing

Mortgage Sector Still Reorganizing

Recent mergers, acquisitions and corporate activity

July 6, 2007

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
The mortgage industry shakeout continued this week, with one company completing the sale of its mortgage operations, another receiving regulatory approval to acquire a struggling subprime lender and yet another announcing a formal government investigation.

American Mortgage Acceptance Co. increased its loan agreement borrowing from Centerline Holding Co. to $80 million from $50 million. The line-of-credit American uses to finance its investments, and for purposes, bears and interest at LIBOR plus 300 basis points and the term was extended until June 30, 2008, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Titan Lenders Corp. recently announced the launch of its mortgage back office outsource operations. The closing, post closing and mortgage fulfillment services provider said its services and solutions are automated by Cerberyx, a Web-based information management tool providing a window into a lender’s entire pipeline from application through sale of the loan and enables timely delivery, sale and purchase of loans.

Effective Sunday, The Signature Bank merged into and will operate its locations under the name of BancorpSouth Bank, according to an announcement. The move follows BancorpSouth Inc.’s acquisition of City Bancorp in March.

On Monday, North Carolina-based Cooperative Bankshares Inc. finished acquiring Bank of Jefferson, a press release stated. The merger allows Cooperative to carry through its strategic goal to expand in South Carolina, the headquarters state of Bank of Jefferson.

In Milwaukee, Wis., Marshall & Ilsley Corp. announced that it completed its purchase of Minnesota-based Excel Bank Corp.

Missouri-based Commerce Bancshares Inc. acquired Commerce Bank in Denver, Colo., for $29.5 million in cash. The mergers gives Bancshares its first location in Colorado, a news release stated.

Huntington Bancshares Inc. announced that it closed on the $3.3 billion acquisition of Sky Financial Group Inc. on Sunday. Based on deposit shares, the merger makes Huntington the third-largest in Ohio and Indianapolis, gives it a “nice” entrance into Western Pennsylvania, and makes it the 24th-largest U.S.-based bank. Marty Adams, former head of Sky, was appointed as Huntington’s president and chief operating officer.

Fremont General Corp. announced that it completed selling its commercial real estate lending business and outstanding commercial real estate loan portfolio to iStar Financial Inc. Additionally, Fremont said it appointed Alan W. Faigin as interim president and chief executive officer of Fremont Investment & Loan, replacing Kyle R. Walker, until he is succeeded by Carl B. Webb when the company receives regulatory approval of the proposed minority investment in Fremont by an investor group led by Gerald J. Ford.

On Saturday, Opteum Financial Services LLC completed the sale of substantially all assets related to its retail mortgage loan origination business, and certain other assets associated with corporate staff functions, for $1.5 million plus the assumption of approximately $4 million in lease obligations and other liabilities, according to a news release.

A few days later, Opteum changed its name to Orchid Island TRS LLC due to Saturday’s purchase agreement requirements by and among Metrocities Mortgage LLC – Opteum Division, Opteum Financial Services, LLC and Opteum Inc., a separate press release stated.

This week also held Credit-Based Asset Servicing and Securitization LLC’s announcement that it has received conditional approval from the state of New York for one of its subsidiary’s to acquire Fieldstone Investment Corp. While the companies have received all other consents required under the merger agreement, they are working to obtain final approval from the state and expect to close the deal in mid-July.

The SEC has begun a formal investigation of New Century Financial Corp.

The subprime lender, which collapsed earlier this year after being overwhelmed with repurchase requests and warehouse margin calls, announced in March that the agency had begun a preliminary investigation.

The SEC is likely investigating stock sales by former top executives before the company announced errors in its accounting of the allowance for repurchase losses.

 

Coco Salazar is an associate editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.e-mail: MortgageWriter@aol.com


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