Ameritime Mortgage Co. LLC - Retail, Net Branch
We believe that Houston, TX based Ameritime Mortgage Co., LLC has ceased lending. The primary web site, www.ameritimemortgage.biz appears to have been taken down (view cached), and alternative web addresses for ".net" and ".com" sites no longer redirect to the company's site. A fourth site for branch recruits, www.ameritimelending.com (view cached), now redirects to the fan site of hip-hop artist Arch Bishop Don "Magic" Juan.
According to a former branch manager we spoke with, the call came on December 1st, 2008 that they would be shutting down. Another source familiar with the company confirmed this, and added that they had "paid all their branches all the funds that were due them." One poster on a forum thread from Broker Outpost reported "Ameritime is closed as of December 31." We were unable to determine how many branches there were, finding only this brief description of the company on NetBranchReview.com:
"Ameritime Mortgage Company is a net branch operation based in Houston, Texas. They boast the ability to fund loans in over 40 states with total production over one billion in 2006."
We spoke with President & CEO Brandon Armstrong back in December, who simply said "I'm taking a break. I'm tired of being ripped off." He wouldn't openly acknowledge information we'd received that all loan officers were gone or that production had ceased, stating their licensing was still active, they were still HUD-approved, and still paying taxes. Mr. Armstrong declined to comment on their volume or current production, and when we pressed for confirmation that Ameritime was effectively closed, he insisted repeatedly "We are still in business." Asked how having no loan officers or production constituted being in business, he answered "Tell that to the IRS."
When we mentioned the description from NetBranchReview.com, Armstrong's reply was adamant: "Ameritime is not and never was a net branch," he said. An ad on Broker Outpost leaves it up to individual interpretation:
"Ameritime Mortgage Company, LLC offers branch management in 22 states. Ameritime is known in the industry for focus on compliance and taking care of the customer. We offer three different programs to fit your needs, including a per file fee for those who want to operate individually without additional employees. Our fixed fee program is one of the most aggressive on the market. LOW reserve requirements as well. Combined with residual income from referrals and other incentive programs we offer, Branch Managers can operate their business for little or no cost!"
Since that conversation occurred, Ameritime Mortgage Company has been removed from HUD's list of approved lenders, and the State of Texas' licensee search for "Ameritime" indicates "Entity License Surrendered." We spoke with the State of Arizona's Department of Financial Institutions which reported Ameritime sent in a letter stating they "no longer would be doing business" in AZ and returned their license as of 12/31/08. The Illinois Dept. of Banking reports Ameritime's license was surrendered effective 12/13/08. Doing a licensee search on Florida's Office of Financial Regulation web site yields a list of ten offices all in "Inactive" or "Terminated" status, and Georgia's Department of Banking and Finance indicates the company's license expired. Of 52 in-state offices listed by Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation, only five were still in "Active" status. We were told Ameritime was not licensed in Nevada according to that state's Division of Mortgage Lending, and could find no active licensing info in the additional states of CA, UT, WA, OH, KY, or TN.
We would like to complete this listing with an estimate of employees, peak volume and number of branch offices. If you can provide any of those details, please don't hesitate to send us an email.
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Important: This company is on our list of lending operations that have "imploded". However, please note that "imploded" is a somewhat subjective and does not necessarily mean operations are ceased permanently: it can mean bankruptcy filing, temporary but open-ended halting of major operations, or "firesale" acquisition. All information here is provisional, and may contain inaccuracies (especially newer information). If you are planning on doing business with this company or any other one listed on this site, you should inquire with them directly on whether they can still meet your needs. Many are still operating in some capacity.