The ABS market experienced its first early amortization of the year last week, when Mellon Bank Premium Finance Loan Master Trust, Series 2002-1 breached its 5% transferor interest 10-day average trigger, according to records filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the filing, issuer Mellon Financial Markets, reported that the event occurred on March 7, and that funds were in the process of being deposited with the trustee, Wells Fargo Bank, and monthly principal distributions would begin with the April 15 payment.

While the reason for the early amortization remains unclear, sources with knowledge of the transaction speculated that the receivables balance decline was related to reduced volume contributed by Marsh & McLennan Co. Steve Cobain, listed as the Mellon contact in the SEC filing, refused to comment and Deutsche Bank Securities, which structured and led the transaction jointly with Mellon in December 2002, did not return calls seeking comment by press time.

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