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IPO / M&AMortgage

UHM acquires Amerifirst, strengthening its presence in five states

The companies said the acquisition brings together two leading USDA rural development lenders in the Midwest

Ohio-based Union Home Mortgage (UHM) struck a deal to acquire Michigan-based Amerifirst Home Mortgage, the companies confirmed on Wednesday.    

Founded in 1970, UHM is a full-service retail, wholesale and consumer-direct independent mortgage banking company. The lender originated $4.68 billion in mortgage loans over the last 12 months, according to the mortgage tech platform Modex. It has 557 active loan officers, 168 branches and licenses in 49 states. 

UHM said that acquiring Amerifirst, a lender founded in 1983 by Mark Jones and David Gahm, is expected to strengthen its presence in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina and California.  

“We are excited for this opportunity to grow our company and brand. This will lift our combined companies and have a long-term positive effect on all Partners & business lines of Union Home Mortgage Corp.,” Bill Cosgrove, UHM’s president and CEO, wrote in an email to partners that was reviewed by HousingWire. 

HousingWire sent requests for comments to representatives of both companies but has not received a response. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Inside Mortgage Finance first reported on the deal.

The companies said the acquisition brings together two leading USDA rural development lenders in the Midwest.  

UHM said it has been the leader of the USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program in Ohio for three consecutive years. The program provides eligible applicants with mortgage options that require no money down when purchasing a primary residence. Amerifirst is the top lender of the program in Michigan.  

According to the Modex data, Amerifirst Financial Corporation produced $1.77 billion in mortgage loans in the last 12 months. The company has 277 loan officers and 72 branches with businesses in 28 states. 

“UHM has built a platform that is really unique and powerful in our industry. Coming together made all the sense in the world,” Jones and Gahm said in a statement.

The deal’s announcement comes after Amerifirst conducted a round of layoffs in its office in Portage, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) filed with the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. 

 “We anticipate that approximately 59 employees will have a final date of employment with the Company on February 12, 2023, or within 14 days thereafter,” DeDe Tuggle, Amerifirst payroll and benefits manager, wrote in a letter to the department.

The layoffs will affect 29 administrative support workers, 22 “professionals,” seven first/mid-level officials and managers, and one senior-level employee, according to the WARN Notice. 

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