FirstPlus Financial Group is shedding business units to raise cash.

The Dallas-based lender said last week that it had sold its consumer finance unit for $51 million, and sources said Mego Mortgage Corp. has bought a chunk of FirstPlus' telemarketing group in Nevada.

FirstPlus had no comment about a sale of its telemarketing group.

FirstPlus Consumer Finance is one of the four businesses that FirstPlus said it would sell when it restructured the company in October.

The unit was bought by Thaxton Investment Corp., a company privately held by Jim Thaxton, head of Thaxton Group Inc. in Lancaster, S.C.

The consumer finance group had an "entirely different business" than FirstPlus' core high-loan-to-value loans, said a FirstPlus spokesman. The unit makes personal loans for $800 to $1,000 in 12 states.

Thaxton is holding back $4 million of the purchase price, FirstPlus said, and the final price could be reduced.

Thaxton Group, a once fast-growing insurer and financial services firm, took massive losses in 1997 on higher-than-expected repossessions. The company's stock has been removed from the OTC bulletin board.

Thaxton makes loans in the Southeast as TICO Credit, Paragon Mortgage, CFT Financial Group, and Eagle Premium Finance. Company executives did not return calls for comment.

In October, FirstPlus said it would sell all its noncore assets, including a division in the United Kingdom and its servicing business. A deal with Coast-to-Coast Financial for FirstPlus' servicing unit disintegrated last month.

Mego Mortgage, Atlanta, has bought the facilities and signed on employees for some of FirstPlus' Nevada telemarketing group, several sources said. Mego executives refused to comment.

Mego has been struggling to reestablish itself in the nonconforming mortgage market after it took large losses in recent years and its stock price slid.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.