General Electric -- which four years ago dumped its 'A' paper mortgage unit and is in the process of getting out of mortgage insurance -- has agreed to buy WMC Mortgage, Woodland Hills, Calif., the nation's 12th largest subprime funder.GE's consumer finance division is acquiring the online wholesale lender for an undisclosed amount from Apollo Management LP, New York, a group headed by famed bargain hunger Leo Black. Mr. Black bought WMC back in 1997 when it was called Weyerhaeuser Mortgage and was funding mostly conventional loans. According to figures compiled by National Mortgage News WMC services $2.4 billion in loans, ranking 29th among all subprime servicers. As MortgageWire went to press on Wednesday, officials from both GE and WMC could not be reached for comment. One former GE Mortgage Insurance official said of his former employer: "I don't know what their motivation is."

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