and the company that sold it its Web address are suing each other for allegedly violating terms of a marketing agreement made last year.

First Mortgage Network Inc. of Sunrise, Fla. bought the domain name from Inc. of Alameda, Calif., on Jan. 1, 1999, for $200,000 and 20,000 shares of stock, plus fees on all loans funded through the Web site, regardless of origin, up to $1.8 million. The Florida company also changed its name to at that time.

This contract also laid out a complicated 10-year marketing agreement under which would pay up to $2.5 million a year to for applications funded through's Web site or its other marketing efforts, said.

The fee structure was amended last June 30, calling for the Florida company to pay for all completed applications, not just funded loans. paid $1.5 million immediately, discharging the $1.8 million obligation, and agreed to pay $80 per application fed to it by

Then in early March, announced that it had stopped marketing mortgages directly to consumers and would pursue a business-to-business strategy by forming partnerships with real estate brokers and home builders who steered customers to the online lender.

On May 18, sued, claiming breach of contract and asking for declaratory relief. alleged that had failed to keep up its end of the marketing agreement and was asking for inappropriate compensation for the applications it delivered.

Michael D. Ehrenstein,'s lawyer, said, "This case is in its earliest stages, and there is a lot more to come." He declined to comment further. argues that it should only have to pay the $80 "if the application fee has been paid, if the application document at a minimum includes the applicant's name and Social Security number, address of the property to be financed, loan amount, and loan purpose," according to its lawsuit. contends "that it is entitled to a fee of $80 for every loan application, even if incomplete," that came from or its affiliates,'s complaint says. countersued on May 31, arguing that by changing its business strategy had breached its contract.

The countersuit complained that by forming partnerships with home brokers and builders, is violating its contractual obligation to use the site "as its exclusive site for direct-to-consumer lending."

Through these partnerships, complained, the Florida company is or will be "acting in direct contravention of the conflict-of-interest clause contained in the parties' agreements."

Though has the right to change its business strategy, the complaint said, this does not alter its contractual obligations.

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