REFA (Real Estate Finance Associates) is a national organization of independent mortgage banking firms. Created in 1979, REFA evolved from the pioneering James W. Rouse & Company, the commercial mortgage banking affiliate of the prominent regional mall developer. Through membership in REFA, information is shared on a real-time basis concerning capital market investors, in addition to the ability to obtain real estate market information throughout most of North America. The REFA member firms frequently assist one another when real estate owners from one market own properties in different markets. There are currently ten REFA companies, or groups of companies, nationally with 24 offices in all, with representation in key cities across the United States. The combined offices originated $6.6 Billion in debt/equity transactions in 2015 and serviced loan portfolios totaling more than $15 Billion at year end.