Pacific Guaranty Mortgage Co. said it would merge with Chicago's Prism Mortgage Co. to form the nation's largest independently owned mortgage broker and a top-20 retail loan originator.

The combined companies originated $3.6 billion in loans last year and more than $2 billion in the four months ended in April. Each company is closing $600 million in mortgage loans a month, said William Osenton, president of Pacific Guaranty.

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