Interest Rate Roundup

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

American Home Mortgage bombshell...

Now we know why American Home Mortgage shares haven't traded in the last day and a half. The company is in a whole heap of financial trouble, per the following comments from its just released update (I've bolded some of the more important parts):

"American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. today reported that it is working diligently to determine how best to resolve the liquidity issues that have recently developed with respect to its business. These issues are primarily the result of the unprecedented disruption now occurring generally in the secondary mortgage market.

"American Home Mortgage noted that this disruption has fueled concerns in the market regarding credit risk, causing many market participants to suspend the purchase of loans from a variety of originators including American Home. Accordingly, American Home is currently experiencing a hindering of access to its traditional credit facilities. Additionally, American Home's lenders have initiated margin calls in response to the decline in the collateral value of certain of the Company's loans and securities held in its portfolio. The Company has received and paid very significant margin calls in the last three weeks and has substantial unpaid margin calls pending. Further pressure on the Company's liquidity presently exists due to its warehouse lenders effectively reducing, in this environment, their advance rate on new loans made by the Company.

"Based on the foregoing, the Company at present is unable to borrow on its credit facilities and was unable to fund its lending obligations yesterday of approximately $300 million. It does not anticipate funding approximately $450 to $500 million today.

"American Home Mortgage emphasized that it is seeking the course of resolution, in this environment, that is least disruptive to its business and to the many thousands of home buyers to whom it has committed to provide mortgages. The Company has retained Milestone Advisors and Lazard to assist in evaluating its strategic options and advising with respect to the sourcing of additional liquidity including the orderly liquidation of its assets."

AHM last traded at $10.47. An early price indication shows the stock potentially trading for between $1 and $4.

UPDATE at 2:30 p.m.: AHM trading at $1.44, down 86%. Ouch.


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