ContiMortgage Corp.'s president is stepping down, according to industry insiders.

They said Mitchell Heffernan would leave the Horsham, Pa.-based home lender within the next several months because his contract was expiring and he and the company could not agree on the terms of an extension.

Mr. Heffernan did not return phone calls requesting comment.

He has presided over a significant expansion at the subsidiary of Continental Grain Co. ContiMortgage has ventured forcefully and successfully into securitizing home equity loans through a new unit, ContiFinancial Services Corp.

Two other prominent originators of second mortgages have made top-level changes this month.

The CIT Group/Consumer Finance, a unit of CIT Group, owned by Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank Ltd. and Chemical Banking Corp., announced that Thomas Hallman, former president and director of Globe Mortgage Co.'s national production division, had been named president and chief executive. He replaced Jeff Larson.

And Nations Financial Holding Corp. appointed Bob D. Sessoms as president. He had been at Ford Motor Co.'s consumer finance subsidiary, Associates Corporation of North America. Nations Financial is a unit of NationsBank Corp.

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MBNA Corp., the financial services giant, has begun to offer home equity loans to its vast network of affinity group customers.

MBNA America Bank, a subsidiary of the Newark, Del., company, recently signed a deal to buy and service second mortgages originated by California Federal Bank.

MBNA does business with 3,900 membership groups and financial institutions.

An MBNA spokesman said that it was a "natural extension to offer home equity products to those customers."

The spokesman said MBNA had been expanding its relationships with its customers. It recently began offering them deposit products in addition to credit cards.

A limited number of customers will be offered home equity loans, he said. "We are just starting to really do this."

MBNA was the third-largest credit card lender in the nation as of February with about $18 billion in outstandings, according to The Nilson Report, a card industry newsletter.

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