Express America Holdings Corp., parent of Express America Mortgage, announced Wednesday that it would no longer pursue a sale of the lender.

In May, the holding company said it had retained Tri-River Capital to aid in finding a buyer.

"We believe that based upon recent decreases in loan origination volumes which have plagued the mortgage banking industry and have been caused by higher interest rates, this is not a favorable time to continue to pursue a sales transaction," said Robert W. Stallings, chairman of the Arizona-based mortgage lender.

Though Express America had been in negotiations with potential buyers, sources believe it was unable to command what it deemed a satisfactory price.

The news sent shares of the company into a tailspin in early trading - down $3.25, to $7.

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