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What happened to the Ameriquest Mortgage Company?

from: Mortage & Debt Facts

The Ameriquest Mortgage Company was one of the leading lenders in the United States lending scene. Founded in 1979 in California as a bank then called Long Beach Savings and Loan, it was converted to become a mortgage lender in 1994 and was renamed Long Beach Mortgage Co. The business had two divisions with its retail part being privately run and called Ameriquest Capital. Its wholesale part was publicly traded and was called Long Beach Mortgage.

The Ameriquest Mortgage Company was a private company owned by Mr. Roland Arnall of ACC Capital Holdings. By 1999, Washington Mutual bought Long Beach Mortgage. In 2007, Citigroup acquired the wholesale division of the Ameriquest Mortgage Company.

It was one of the first mortgage companies to employ computers in doing business. This was an effective way of speeding up the processing of loans. Ameriquest Mortgage Company’s services included providing business solutions, direct loans, seeking alternatives for effective business relations and providing financial and educational means to its customers.

When Ameriquest Mortgage Company was still engaged in business, they used to offer two types of mortgages. These were the Fixed Rate Mortgage and Adjustable Rate Mortgage. Fixed Rate Mortgage has a fixed interest rate and only a single monthly payment for principal and interest for the entire loan period. The Adjustable Rate Mortgage was viable for people who tolerated high risk and wanted lower initial monthly payments.

The company was well-known in the United States since it was well advertised through television, blimps, and its sponsorships of concerts and NASCAR drivers. They even had a slogan stating that they were the proud sponsor of the American dream.

Ameriquest was also widely known for its community programs and charitable works. They believed that homeownership, youth development and financial literacy were the building blocks of ideal communities. And with this belief, they created specialized programs for each block. For financial literacy, Ameriquest created programs that help young people to develop planning and money management skills. Homeownership programs invested efforts to provide low income families a chance to own their very own homes. Youth development supported educational services and geared programs to give young adults the tools in becoming productive people.

During the later part of 1995, Ameriquest got into trouble with its customers since they complained of fraudulent mortgage services. By 1996, the company, in its attempt to save its tarnished image, agreed to a $325 million settlement for the customers. And although it was seen as a victory for their customers, it did little to reduce the damage done since most properties were up for foreclosure already. At present, Ameriquest Mortgage Company is no longer accepting loan applications since its sale to Citigroup in 1997.

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