American Business Financial Services Inc. said Monday that it would buy New Jersey Mortgage Investment Corp., Roseland, N.J., the oldest mortgage bank in the nation.,

"The acquisition represents a natural extension of American Business Financial Services' strategy of retail franchise development, and offers a springboard from which we can further expand our operations throughout the United States," said Anthony J. Santilli, chairman of American Business.

Terms of the acquisition, which included a subsidiary, Federal Leasing Corp., were not disclosed.

Founded in 1938, the New Jersey company was the first to receive a charter by the Federal Housing Administration to make loans the agency insured.

New Jersey Mortgage now specializes in nonconforming home equity loans and operates in 19 states. Its leasing subsidiary leases capital equipment for industrial and commercial use nationwide.

American Business, which reported earnings of $3.2 million on revenues of $11.2 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, would make the purchase with cash and stock. The company did not say how much it plans to pay.

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