Members of the National Home Equity Mortgage Association have "overwhelmingly" approved the group's merger into the Mortgage Bankers Association.Reached last month, the pact calls for the merger to be effective on or before Nov. 1. "The cooperation between the associations has been great," said NHEMA's general counsel, Maurice Shevin. "NHEMA's officers and counsel are working through the details with MBA for concluding the merger as efficiently as possible." According to Mr. Shevin, the MBA will begin corresponding this week with NHEMA's 250-member companies -- half of which are already MBA members -- to welcome them to the fold. "This merger means that NHEMA and MBA will be able to act cohesively as 'one' mortgage industry to give great strength and direction to what had been somewhat of a fragmented industry," the Birmingham, Ala.-based attorney told Mortgage Wire. Under the merger, NHEMA will become the Nonprime Council of the MBA. The council "should be a giant, unifying force for the nonprime segment of the industry to carry forward its membership education and public affairs functions," Mr. Shevin said. The organizations can be found online at http://www.mortgagebankers.org and http://www.nhema.org.

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