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Amerifirst founders David Gahm (left) and Mark Jones. Amerifirst founders David Gahm (left) and Mark Jones. COURTESY PHOTO

Amerifirst Home Mortgage acquired by Ohio mortgage firm

BY Thursday, December 22, 2022 11:57am

Union Home Mortgage — a retail, wholesale and consumer-direct mortgage company based in Strongsville, Ohio — has acquired Portage-based Amerifirst Home Mortgage.

The acquisition “will expand UHM’s national reach in key markets and bring together two leading USDA mortgage lenders,” according to an announcement on the deal that comes less than two weeks after Amerifirst filed notice of plans to initiate layoffs.

“Our company lives by the mantra of ‘Promises Kept,’ which includes promises to our customers, communities and colleague Partners. Today, I am thrilled to expand the reach of that promise further,” Union Home Mortgage President and CEO Bill Cosgrove said in a statement.

Union Home Mortgage is a top 50 mortgage lender in the U.S. with more than $13 billion in lending each year. Amerifirst adds to the total, and originated $2.8 billion in lending in 2021 and $3.3 billion in 2020.

Founded in 1983 by Mark Jones and David Gahm, Amerifirst has grown from a lone branch in Kalamazoo to more than 300 loan consultants in the U.S. with concentrations in Michigan, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and California.

“We founded this company to make a meaningful difference in the lives of customers, team members and our communities. This partnership gives us the scale and ability to make an impact like never before,” Jones and Gahm said in today’s acquisition announcement. “UHM has built a platform that is really unique and powerful in our industry. Coming together made all the sense in the world.”

Amerifirst on Dec. 13 filed a notice that it planned to lay off 59 people at its Portage office early next year because of reduced demand for home mortgages resulting from rising interest rates.

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