Industry News

Credit lines calling the subprime tune

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As subprime lenders continue to fold their tents, either shutting down or being acquired (most often by secondary market firms), those who remain in business are learning that Wall Street and other funding sources are securely in the driver's seat. "The credit line (providers) are calling the tune; they're our partners now," shrugs one monoline originator, pleased to still be in operation but not a little bitter about the loss of autonomy demanded in return for continued financial support. "Wall Street tells us what to do; what kinds of products to originate, then our loan officers tell the brokers and they tell the consumers," he says, adding: "These guys are not cutting us any slack." And, for good reason, perhaps, as last week there were in excess of 300 rating agency downgrades of MBS, asset-backed securities supported by home equity loans, and collateralized debt obligations containing residential and commercial MBS.  In the new, "take-no-prisoners" environment, the rules o...