Lehman Brothers is seriously considering merging its two subprime wholesale shops -- BNC Mortgage and Finance America, both of Irvine, Calif. -- industry sources have told MortgageWire.An announcement concerning the fate of BNC and FA is expected late Tuesday or Wednesday morning. In May, Lehman Brothers fired the chief executive and other top officers at Finance America without public explanation. Industry executives said FA had quality control and underwriting problems. Lehman then named Kelly Monahan, president of BNC Mortgage, to manage both Finance America and BNC. (Both shops are based in Irvine, not far from each other.) A Lehman spokesman denied to National Mortgage News in May that the investment banker would merge the two. On Tuesday Mr. Monahan declined to comment, but said he would be free to speak on Wednesday.

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