Interest Rate Roundup

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

More mortgage firms melting down ...

Add some more mortgage firms to the casualty list ...

* HomeBanc Corp., a lender with operations around the Southeast U.S., just announced it will stop originating mortgages. The company said it can't borrow on its credit facilities and that it could no longer fund loans as of August 6. It said Countrywide will buy up certain retail loan origination assets.

* Late yesterday, mortgage REIT Luminent Mortgage Capital said it would suspend its dividend payments and push back an earnings conference call it had previously scheduled. Lenders are increasing margin calls and/or pulling back on funding the company's operations. The stock had been halted for most of the day yesterday.

I highlighted some comments from the company's CEO several days ago in this post. At the time, he said: "In my almost 30 years in the U.S. mortgage-backed securities market, I have never before seen the intensity of confusion, uncertainty and outright fear as right now."

* Another lender, Aegis Mortgage out of Houston, yesterday suspended all mortgage originations as well. The quote from a spokeswoman shows how chaotic the current market environment is: "We've just announced that we're going to have to suspend lending until we get this figured out."


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