Last week, IMX Exchange, the leader in e-commerce for the wholesale mortgage industry, announced that William H. Lacy, the former chairman of Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) and former chairman and CEO of its parent company, MGIC Investment Corporation, has joined the company's board of directors. Prior to announcing his retirement, Lacy successfully led MGIC through the volatile 1980s and the 1990s culminating in record first-quarter earnings in 1999. His retirement became effective in December.

Westcorp, the Irvine, Calif.-based parent company of Western Financial Bank and WFS Financial, is getting out of the mortgage business. It has just completed the sale of its mortgage servicing assets, and will begin focusing on building a nationwide auto finance business and its FDIC-insured community bank operations. Westcorp serviced $682 million of real estate loans in 1999.

Mortgage brokers have another option for their Internet site development, as Inc. and Countrywide Home Loans have teamed up to jointly provide services. According to a press release, the venture will combine's Web site development capability with Countrywide's technical and sales service.

Fannie Mae and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are coming closer to an agreement that would allow HUD to view Fannie Mae's desktop underwriter service. HUD has claimed that the service, which is used in approving potential borrowers, unfairly discriminates against minorities. HUD had threatened Fannie Mae with fines if it did not disclose its statistical procedures for the underwriter system.

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