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PHOENIX-Thirteen years after launching Churchill Mortgage Corp., a mortgage veteran has bought the Arizona component from her California-based partner and then merged it with the commercial banking arm. As a result, Churchill Commercial Capital Inc. is now one of the top five commercial mortgage bankers in the state with a loan-servicing portfolio topping $500 million.

According to Cynthia Hammond, president of Churchill Commercial Capital, the merger means her company now handles the money side of loan servicing as well underwriting. She co-founded Churchill Mortgage Corp.’s Arizona operation with help from the firm’s owners in Southern California. As part of the agreement, the SoCal operation will continue.

Prior to the buyout, the Arizona entity served as a financial intermediary, entering into correspondent contracts with lenders to originate, underwrite and service loans. “The original intent was to build Churchill Mortgage into a full-service mortgage banking office,” Hammond tells GlobeSt.com. “But our business directions drew apart and it made more sense to take the Arizona portion away as an independent entity.”

Hammond says she’s in the process of bringing on board a new producer and analyst. In 2006, her company arranged 50 loans and did a little more than $200 million in business. “We definitely plan to do better this year,” she adds. “Buying out Churchill Mortgage will definitely help in that endeavor.”

Churchill Commercial Capital arranges loans for commercial and multifamily properties, with the average loan being $6 million to $7 million. The company offers floating rate, mezzanine and bridge loans plus arranges equity placement and joint ventures.

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