Ownit Mortgage Corp. suddenly shut its doors last week, surprising both the industry and its own employees - who apparently were told only the night before. The self- proclaimed top-15 subprime mortgage lender was overwhelmed with delinquencies and buyback requests, sources said, even though the company's founder and chief executive Bill Dallas less than a year ago predicted the same fate for other subprime mortgage lenders.

Ownit grew quickly, originating $8.3 billion worth of loans last year compared to only $1.1 billion in 2003. The company has billions of dollars worth of outstanding securitizations, but by press time, none had come under watch for negative rating action.

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