Nonprime Lending Trade Group Merges with MBA

Citing the blurred distinction between prime and subprime lending as well as the large overlap in their memberships, the boards of the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Home Equity Mortgage Association have agreed to merge.

Under the pact, the MBA will form a new Nonprime Council, the leadership of which will be made up initially of current NHEMA officers and members of its executive committee.

NHEMA's full membership must still vote on the merger, but chairman Richard Kile "emphatically" recommended approval at a special meeting to be held in Washington Sept. 15.

The MBA board's unanimous vote constitutes that group's final stamp of approval. MBA chairwoman Regina Lowrie called the merger "a natural progression that will help strengthen the mortgage industry as a whole. Together, we can be one strong voice."

Commenting that NHEMA, which was founded as the National Second Mortgage Association in 1974, has served "an invaluable role" in promoting the nonprime sector, Mr. Kile said the organization "will leave the association world with a true sense of accomplishment."

NHEMA has some 250-member companies, about half of which are also members of the larger, 3,000-member-company MBA.

"I am confident that together, NHEMA and MBA will continue to provide the mantle of industry leadership that our membership has grown to expect," Mr. Kile said in a letter to his members. (c) 2006 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com