Wells Fargo Funding Inc. and Countrywide Institutional Mortgage Services Group have agreed to purchase mortgages from 32 community banks that are part of a joint venture put together by a for-profit subsidiary of America's Community Bankers.The trade group launched ACB Mortgage LLC in February to act as a negotiating agent with investors to get the best secondary-market execution. "We anticipate that this new venture will immediately benefit" from Countrywide's and Wells Fargo's inclusion, said Deborah Whiteside, president of ACB Mortgage. CIMSG president Doug Jones said a "coordinated execution" involving ACB Mortgage and Countrywide "is designed to offer product solutions and help community banks become more successful in today's environment of declining market shares, reduced margins, and increased competition."

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