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Mortgage broker buys mortgage banker as First Priority acquires Austin Perry

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First Priority Financial Corporation, a privately held retail mortgage origination firm, has announced the intended acquisition of Austin Perry Financial Corporation, a privately held residential wholesale mortgage banker based in Santa Rosa, Calif. Funding more than 10,000 loans annually, First Priority Financial was one of few companies surviving the industry meltdown without posting any losses or going through a single layoff. Similarly, Austin Perry has earned a reputation as a cost and customer service leader in the wholesale mortgage banking arena with a similar approach to the market, quality and cost control, Austin Perry was also among the elite few who remained financially strong while the majority of their mortgage banking peers floundered or barely hung on. “Our success has always been based on doing what’s best for the consumer,” said Tim Kearns, chief executive officer of First Priority Financial. “This means operating on thin margins and delivering greater funding choices and flexibility than the rest of the industry and offering unprecedented work-flow efficiencies for originators. This mindset will never change for us and was also a driving force behind the decision to make this acquisition. The motivation to bank loans in the past was purely profit margin based and not client facing. So we stuck to brokering because it was mathematically best for our clients and loan producers. The changing lending environment makes it prudent to expand and refine banking delivery and continuing to improve upon an already fantastic brokerage channel to best serve our borrowers needs.” When asked about the acquisition, Kearns stated that building a banking division internally is the norm but is too often fraught with growing pains for which the consumer and loan producers would ultimately pay the price. “Choosing Austin Perry was the easy part,” said Kearns. “We have our loan originators rate the lender on every transaction. With over 100,000 transactions funded through virtually every lending source in America, we have the

most thorough lender rankings in existence and Austin Perry has always been one of the top lenders.” Kearns says that the company will take the same low margin, high-efficiency approach to banking that made it the leading broker in the nation. The company will continue to focus on expanding and refining the brokerage channel in tandem with the internal banking division. “We are excited to begin integrating the teams and scaling the funding operation to accommodate the expected increase in volume,” said Steve Weaver, president of Austin Perry. “The cultural fit between the two companies is hard to describe, both entities have such a strong commitment to their people and clients; It’s not something you see much anymore.” For more information, visit www.austinperry.com.

NetMore America enters the East Coast market NetMore America Inc. has announced that it has expanded into the East Coast marketplace by establishing a presence in the state of Maryland. The company received its state of Maryland Mortgage Lender Licenses from the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation and can now originate residential mortgage loans throughout Maryland. “NetMore is building a nationwide lending platform in a responsible and strategic manner by focusing on states with high potential for quality business,” said Mark Freedle, president and chief executive officer of NetMore. “Today, we believe those markets are based on the East Coast in the MidAtlantic region, which includes areas such as Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC, as well as in states such as Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our company’s model is based on superior service, risk management and creating efficiency. We will only partner with the highest quality mortgage brokers and retail branch systems in any new market we enter.” NetMore has begun originating mortgages in Maryland through its Wholesale Lending Program that conducts extensive background checks on continued on page 30

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