SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Rising interest rates, the emergence of so-called "Alt-B" mortgage collateral and changing borrower characteristics were all key subjects during last week's "Mortgage Update" panel at the American Securitization Forum's ASF 2004 conference.

Aside from the emergence of the Alt-B sector, several current trends were explored by panelists Eric Scholtz, executive vice president at GMAC-Residential Funding Corp., and Pramila Gupta, managing director at Moody's Investor Service. Other factors at play include declines in weighted average coupons, rising FICO scores, increased ARM issuance, increased loan-to-value ratios and the rise in first-time home buyers.

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