Ace Mortgage Hits Wall, Latest to Close
Indianapolis-based Ace Mortgage told employees on Friday that it would close up shop as the company becomes the latest victim of a mortgage crisis that has yet to resolve. The company told employees in a memor Friday that it would also close two affiliate companies, Archer Land Title company and Ace Imaging, according to a report in Indianapolis Star. Ace had mortgage offices in 15 states, according to its Web site and as recently as 2006 had 1,050 employees, 172 based in Indianapolis. The company was originally in the business of debt consolidation, which allowed customers to combine their existing home mortgage with their non tax-deductible credit card, car and student loans to obtain one lower tax-deductible mortgage payment; such loans often fell under the "subprime" credit rubric. The firm attempted to reinvent itself as an FHA wholesaler in the wake of the nation's credit crisis and the subprime market implosion, but was unable to do so, according to sources quoted on the Mortgage Lender Implode-o-Meter, a site that tracks lender failures. A company memo said only that the company was unable to secure a new line of credit to develop a mortgage banking operation to try to raise new revenue, and said Ace Holding had lost almost $45 million since January 2007. It was unclear how many employees were still left with the firm at the time of its closing. Ace Mortgage was acquired Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital Group in 2005, when its retail mortgage brokerage originated over $3 billion in residential mortgages through 22 locations in 11 states. Officials at both Roark and Ace Mortgage have declined to be interviewed through various media channels. Ace Mortgage, interestingly enough, was named in September the top workplace in Milwaukee for 2008 by The Milwaukee Business Journal, sharing the first place award with another local firm. The firm had opened the Milwaukee branch in 2006, just ahead of the national real estate crash. Write to Paul Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.