Washington Mutual Inc., which has pledged to become the nation's biggest mortgage company, is near a deal that would lift it to second place among U.S. mortage originators and fourth in servicing.

If completed, the deal would see Wamu acquire the Fleet Mortgage Group's correspondent lending, wholesale lending, and loan servicing divisions in addition to $130 billion worth of mortgage servicing rights, a source close to the deal said. Fleet Mortgage, a unit of FleetBoston Financial Corp., is to retain its retail mortgage lending division, which has 20 banking branches in New England, New York, and New Jersey.

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