Whether it was the recent Freddie Mac-wrapped Option One home equity deal, or Ford Motor Co.'s corporate bond offering, large, liquid, top-tier names have become the current rage.

Yet in the secondary ABS market, especially the mortgage-related sectors, it is extremely difficult to find top-tier paper. Dealer inventories are light, and investors owning these types of popular paper are unwilling to part company. This has contributed to a tiering which has made second- and third-tier issuers unusually cheap.

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