NDeX Purchases Florida Firm’s Default Servicing Operation

National Default Exchange (NDeX) will enter the Florida default servicing market through an agreement to purchase the mortgage default processing services and related title business of the Jacksonville-based James Albertelli Law Firm. NDeX is a mortgage default processing services provider in California, Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana and Georgia. It is a majority-owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Dolan Media Company, a provider of professional services and business information to the legal, financial and real estate sectors. As part of the agreement, the Albertelli firm will provide exclusive referrals of residential mortgage default and related files to NDeX for servicing. NDeX will be paid a fixed fee for each residential mortgage default and other file referred by the law firm to NDeX for servicing. The deal has an initial term of 20 years, with two 10-year automatic extensions that can be voided by either party, according to the filing. In addition, for the first two years of the deal, NDeX will exclusively provide mortgage default processing and related title services to the Albertelli firm in Florida. In acquiring the mortgage default processing services and related title business of the Albertelli firm, 91 of the firm’s employees will become NDeX employees. James Albertelli will join NDeX as executive vice president, while still remaining managing partner of the law firm. The deal gives NDeX a foothold in the growing default servicing market in Florida, said Dolan Media Company chairman, president and CEO James Dolan. “We studied the Florida market for some time before deciding on this entry point,” Dolan said. “Florida is a challenging state for our sector as there’s plenty of work to do for law firms and tremendous volume growth.” NDeX paid $7m in cash at the transaction’s closing and will pay an additional $2m in equal installments of $1m on Oct. 1, 2010 and Oct. 1, 2011, according to a filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission. NDeX may be obligated to pay the Albertelli sellers up to an additional $9m in three annual installments of up to $3m each, based on adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the acquired servicing business during the three 12-month periods ending Sept. 30, 2010, Sept. 30, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2012. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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