NovaStar Financial, Kansas City, Mo., has acquired a majority interest in PipeFire, a residential appraisal management firm headquartered in Indianapolis.

The business will now operate under the name StreetLinks National Appraisal Services.

"PipeFire is well known to us from our days as a retail lender as we used its services in our operation," said Lance Anderson, chief executive of NovaStar Financial.

"With the enhanced focus on the appraisal process as the result of the recent downturn in the housing market, we feel we can provide a valuable service to the lending community. While we cannot expect this transaction or StreetLinks to resolve the significant challenges NovaStar still faces, we view the acquisition as a positive step toward re-establishing niche operations in the residential housing market."

Steve Haslam, senior vice president of NovaStar Mortgage, will become chief executive of StreetLinks. NovaStar Financial's current business is managing its portfolio of nonconforming residential mortgage securities.

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