For most U.S. ABS issuers, 2004 was a year of prosperity. Driven by an overabundance of demand, many issuers repeatedly tapped the primary market, pricing transactions at steadily tightening spreads. For Metris Companies, however, 2004 was a year of uncertainty and rebirth.
Coming into 2004, Metris was in the midst of a portfolio overhaul, in which it sold off parts of its credit card portfolio and allowed other customers to leave via attrition. As its portfolio was shrinking, Metris had four outstanding term credit card securitizations coming due in 2004, as well as $100 million of 10% unsecured obligations, due later in the year, which were called at par.