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Thursday, February 26, 2009

S&P May Downgrade $140 Billion in Prime Jumbos

by Calculated Risk on 2/26/2009 05:58:00 PM

From Reuters: S&P may cut $140 bln of prime jumbo mortgage deals (ht Brian)

Standard & Poor's said on Thursday it may downgrade 3,279 prime tranches of jumbo residential mortgage-backed deals with a market value of around $140 billion, after increasing its loss expectations for deals issued in 2006 and 2007.
More details from S&P (no link):
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today placed its ratings on 3,279 classes from 209 U.S. first-lien prime jumbo residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) transactions issued in 2006 and 2007 on CreditWatch with negative implications. The affected classes totaled approximately $172.02 billion of original par amount, and have a current principal balance of $139.96 billion.
The CreditWatch placements reflect an increase in projected losses for prime jumbo transactions from these vintage years ... Our revised loss projections reflect an increase in our loss severity assumption to 40% from 30% for prime jumbo transactions issued in 2006 and 2007. This change is based on our belief that the influence of continued foreclosures, distressed sales, an increase in carrying costs for properties in inventory, costs associated with foreclosures, and more declines in home sales will depress prices further and lead loss severities higher than we had previously assumed. Additionally, there has been a persistent rise in the level of delinquencies among the prime mortgage loans supporting these transactions. ...

We anticipate reviewing and resolving these CreditWatch actions over the next several weeks.
Just more downgrades coming ...