Having grown its second-lien mortgage business over the last few years, Tennessee-based Union Planters is considering the securitization market for what will be the company's first subprime home-equity deal.

Planters recently amended an S-3 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which would allow access to the public market. Up to this point, Union Planters has kept its loans on balance sheet.

"It's a business line that we've been relatively successful in, and the ability to push it off balance sheet is primarily the reason we're putting a shelf together," said a source at the company.

Although Planters has issued securitizations via Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in the past, the source said that Planters has not chosen an underwriter, should it decide to come to market. Union Planters has been a sporadic issuer in the securitization market, closing three reperforming residential mortgage deals since 1998. Planters most recently priced a $121 million deal in July, 2000. MDSW managed all three deals.

In early February, Planters completed the acquisition Jefferson Savings Bancorp. Union Planters is a multi-state bank holding company, with more than 800 offices, primarily located in the southeastern United States. According to the company's most recent filing, Union Planters has $34 billion in assets under management.

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