Empire of America Realty Credit Corp., a sizable mortgage bank, is for sale by its owners, according to an industry source.

The Buffalo-based company is owned by Carbadon Corp., a joint venture of Cargill Inc., the commodities giant, Gordon Investments, a Canadian merchant banking firm, and a venture capital pool affiliated with Prudential Securities.

There are no known bidders for the company.

Empire of America is said to have originated $4 billion in home loans last year and has a servicing portfolio of $6.8 billion.

The source said that Cohane Rafferty Securities, acting as the broker for the sale, is asking about $100 million for Empire.

In 1991, Carbadon paid about $40 million for the company after its parent was seized by the Resolution Trust Corp., the source said.

Nationwide Originations

The home loans in the servicing portfolio have an average interest rate of "under 9%" and the delinquency rate is "in the 3% range," the source said.

Empire has 14 wholesale production branches that originate loans around the country.

The three large corporations are exiting the mortgage business in the hope of making a tidy profit in only two years, the source said.

"They've more than doubled their money," the source said.

Other industry experts said Cargill's exit indicated that Carbadon's principals decided that the mortgage market is at its peak.

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