Industry News

Standard & Poor’s downgrades $3.8 billion in second loans

Ratings agency says seconds showing worse-than-expected performance

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A week after downgrading $6.39 billion in mortgage-backed securities backed by first-lien subprime loans, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services says it's downgrading $3.8 billion in securities backed by second mortgages. The downgrades of 418 classes of MBS represent 6.1 percent of the $62 billion in ratings issues on second-lien collateral for the two years ending in January 2007, Standard & Poor's said. During that time, the ratings agency noted for perspective, private-label mortgage lenders issued $2.5 trillion in MBS. Last week, Moody's Investors Service downgraded 399 securities backed by first-lien subprime mortgage loans with an original face value of more than $5.2 billion. Fitch Ratings said it was weighing downgrades on 170 securities backed by subprime mortgages valued at $7.1 billion. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told members of the Senate Banking Committee today that according to some estimates, credit losses associated with subprime mortgages could total b...