Originator Amstar Mortgage Corp., Houston, has laid off most of the staff at its corporate headquarters and its parent company said it will eventually divest the company to concentrate on more profitable ventures.In a statement, the company blamed large lenders that owe Amstar Mortgage substantial money but are now in or will need to seek bankruptcy protection. The statement also said Amstar is speaking with an unnamed company about managing its branches so service can be maintained. Amstar Mortgage has 116 branches, was licensed in 31 states and originated over $1 billion in loans a year.

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