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Countrywide and 1st USA Realty today announced the formation of Ameriwest Home Loans, a mortgage company that will serve consumers in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Ameriwest Home Loans will be an operating series of Countrywide Mortgage Ventures and will have five Arizona locations, including Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale and Tempe. 1st USA Realty opened in 1995 and currently employs more than 1,500 agents, according to a press statement. Countrywide Mortgage Ventures was founded in 2001 to facilitate joint ventures between Countrywide Home Loans and various homebuilders, real estate companies and financial services companies. The company is headquartered in Calabasas, Calif. *** What's your opinion? Send your Letter to the Editor to