First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Rochester, N.Y., has signed an agreement to acquire Sibley Mortgage Corp., also based in Rochester.

The deal will place First Federal among the 50 largest mortgage servicers, with a portfolio of more than $9 billion of loans.

Thomas N. Borshoff, chairman and CEO of First Federal, said the purchase was the first in "a series of acquisitions directed at accelerating our national presence in the mortgage banking business."

A letter of intent had been signed late last year.

Steven B. Ashley, chairman of Sibley, will join First Federal's board of directors.

Mr. Ashley, who was president of the Mortgage Bankers Association last year, also was nominated recently to the board of directors of the Federal National Mortgage Association.

Sibley has a $1.6 billion mortgage servicing portfolio. It has residential lending offices in Rochester, Buffalo, White Plains, and Syracuse, N.Y., and in Cincinnati.

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The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. reported that the 30-year mortgage rate averaged 8.26% for the week ended April 28.

That was up slightly from the previous week's average of 8.24%. A year before, the average was 8.32%.

The average rate for one-year, Treasury-indexed, adjustable-rate mortgages was 6.30% in the week ended April 28, down from 6.32% the week before but up from 5.15% from the year before.

The average rate for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, a popular refinancing loan, was 7.80%, unchanged from the previous week. A year ago, the rate for 15-year loans was 7.85%.

Robert Van Order, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said last week's interest rates reflected the quiet markets.

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Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., Washington, said it had named Donald R. Phoenix director of its southern district.

Mr. Phoenix will supervise the nonprofit group's operations in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Previously, he had worked for Great Southern Federal Savings Bank and Carver State Bank of Savannah, Ga.

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