AmeriFirst Financial is closing shop, an executive from the Mesa, Arizona-based company confirmed. Many of its employees are said to be heading over to American Pacific Mortgage.
The lender stopped funding loans at the end of December, citing a tough market for its decision to exit the origination business after 35 years.
In over three decades, the company opened branches in 20 states, including in California, Florida and South Carolina. They offered FHA, VA and conventional loan products.
News of the shutdown first appeared in commentary by Rob Chrisman. Amerifirst Financial did not respond to a request for comment.
Dozens of employees in production were scooped up by APM, the source said. Somewhere from 80 to 120 former Amerifirst personnel made the transition. At the time of publication, APM did not respond to a request for comment.
“Very few people from ops got offered jobs, none of the accounting employees, secondary folks, or HR got hired,” the source said. “The largest DBA of Amerifirst, which was about a third of the volume, was leaving the company and the remnants of employees got offered jobs at APM.”
This is not the first instance of APM bringing on board employees from a struggling origination shop.
The California-based lender hired close to half of Finance of America’s laid off employees and about 40 of its offices in October.
Back in 2014, Guarantee Mortgage and its 120 employees incorporated into APM. Guarantee kept its name, but was integrated with the American Pacific systems.Instances of mortgage shops opting to pull the plug on their operations will likely increase going into the new year, as higher rates and economic uncertainty create unfriendly dynamics for originating loans.Apart from Amerifirst, companies like Athas Capital, Reverse Mortgage Funding and Sprout Mortgage have either fully shut their doors or moved to drastically reduce operations in the second half of 2022.