Ratings agencies Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings have downgraded or are preparing to downgrade billions in securities backed by subprime second-lien mortgages. Moody's announced Thursday it had downgraded 691 classes of mortgage-backed securities backed by second or "piggyback" loans originated in 2006 with an original face value of $19.4 billion -- or 76 percent of the securities of that type rated by Moody's in those years. Fitch Ratings said it has placed on Ratings Watch Negative for potential downgrade all classes of 58 mortgage-backed securities (MBS) transactions originated in 2005 and 2006 with outstanding balances of $12.1 billion -- all of the securities of that type rated by Fitch in those years. ...
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