Staff Reporter

One of the nation’s largest single-family home mortgage lenders and California’s largest independent escrow company will soon join forces.

Woodland Hills-based lender Weyerhaeuser Mortgage Co. is being purchased by a joint venture of Apollo Advisors L.P. and Irvine-based escrow company Spring Mountain Escrow Inc. The sale of Weyerhaeuser (a unit of Weyerhaeuser Co., the large paper manufacturer) is expected to close on April 30. The company will be renamed WMC Mortgage.

Apollo Advisors is an investment group with offices in Century City and New York and a portfolio of more than $5 billion.

“Bundling real estate closing services will enable us to establish new relationships and opportunities for the mortgage company,” said John Flynn, president of Weyerhaeuser’s insurance services division, in a prepared statement. “The seamless delivery of closing services will shave several days and hundreds of dollars in interest from the closing process.”

In addition, the company’s equity services division plans to become involved in “securitization” the bundling and sale of loans to the investment community. “Securitization will enable us to provide better service and rates for customers and generate considerable additional income,” said Stephen M. Wright, the equity services division president, in the statement.

The post-acquisition company also plans to use its additional resources to expand its product line by offering a broader variety of residential loan programs.

Weyerhaeuser Mortgage has been in business for 44 years and has more than 60 branch offices with 1,500 employees nationwide. The company originated loans exceeding $3 billion in 1996.

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