Community banks that sell mortgages to Wells Fargo & Co. through a partnership with the American Bankers Association can expect the relationship to continue for at least another year.

Community Bank Mortgage LLC, a joint venture of the ABA and some of its member banks, said Monday that it has renewed its relationship with Wells Fargo Funding, the San Francisco banking company's correspondent banking unit.

Since Community Bank Mortgage was established in 2007, Wells Fargo Funding has provided a secondary market for mortgages originated by banks that are part owners of the venture. The agreement to renew the relationship was struck at the end of December and runs through the end of the year, said Deborah Whiteside, the president and chief operating officer of Community Bank Mortgage.

Ms. Whiteside said participating banks also sell loans to Countrywide Financial, which was sold to Bank of America Corp. last year.

Community Bank Mortgage negotiates with secondary lenders to secure favorable terms for its bank owners. Ms. Whiteside would not disclose the volume of loans that has been sold to Wells or other lenders since the mortgage unit's founding.

Currently 40 banks are owners of Community Bank Mortgage; Ms. Whiteside said her goal is to increase that number to 60 by the end of the year.

She said ownership makes the most "economic sense" for banks that originate at least $50 million of mortgages a year.

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