Intellectual property securitization firm The Pullman Group LLC is opening a Los Angeles office this week, with the aim of purchasing entertainment revenue streams for the purpose of repackaging them into new securitizations. Pullman will reportedly maintain offices in L.A. and New York, but will spend most of his time on the west coast. "Our plan is to purchase music and entertainment revenues, including television writing, music royalty and radio airplay royalties, bundle them up and securitize them," said company founder David Pullman. "L.A. is where these assets are," he said. Pullman added that he plans to maintain his current staff of "around a half-dozen."

Trina Wittman started last week as an associate director in the Barclays Capital asset finance group, reporting to managing director Michael Wade. In her new position, Wittman will focus on both the student loan and mortgage-related sectors of the ABS market. Prior to joining Barclays she worked in the JPMorgan Securities ABS origination group, where she had worked since 1999.

Bill Rosenblatt has joined the law firm Strook & Strook & Lavan as a partner and chair of the insurance practice group. Rosenblatt formerly was a partner at Dewey Ballentine, where he worked for 15 years. He will focus primarily on the insurance industry, including issues relating to financial guarantors and insurance companies as investors, working closely with Jeff Stern, who recently joined the firm's structured finance group.

WESCO International Inc. announced today that it closed a new $300 million receivables purchase facility via four banks, led by Wachovia Securities. The facility is made up of a $165 million one-year and $135 million three-year facility. It was not disclosed what other banks were part of the loan syndicate. The new facilities replace WESCO's previous $242 million facility.

In Secretary John Snow's testimony to the House Financial Services Committee on the Bush Administration's stance on the regulatory structure of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he said that the administration would want that Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBs) to be regulated under the new regulatory agency to be formed under the Department of the Treasury. This agency would perform regulatory oversight over the two GSEs ( see related story on p. 14).

The performance of Standard & Poor's Bank Card Credit Card Quality Index for July 2003 was generally positive. This is based on performance data distributed by issuers in August 2003. Each of the performance variables that were tracked by the index - which includes yield, payment rate, losses, delinquencies, base rate and excess spread - reported stability and/or various degrees of improvement from the previous month. S&P's Credit Card Quality Index (CCQI) monitors the performance of about $400 billion in receivables held in trusts of rated credit card-backed securities, making up almost two-thirds of the entire U.S. bankcard market.

The Senate Appropriations Committee wants to give the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) permission to start a subprime mortgage program. In allocating $36.1 billion to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Senate panel included authorization for the FHA to start a subprime program. This was part of President Bush's fiscal year 2004 budget request. The Senate provision would allow the FHA to set higher downpayment requirements for "borrowers with credit impairments." It will also charge insurance premiums of up to 1%, which is twice the normal FHA premium. Under the provision, subprime borrowers would be rewarded with a premium reduction if they make their monthly mortgage payments on time. The HUD appropriations bill passed by the House does not have a subprime program.

A Mortgage Bankers Association Survey showed the seasonally adjusted delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one- to four-unit residential properties increased 10 basis points from Q1 to 4.62%. However, versus Q2 2002, the delinquency rate dropped 15 basis points. The rise in the rate was due primarily to the increase in the number of loans in the "90 days and over" delinquency category, said the MBA. The delinquency rate in this group increased by 8 basis points. Delinquencies in the "60 to 89 days past due" gained 3 basis points while delinquencies of loans "30-59 days past due" dropped 1 basis point. The MBA said that delinquencies rose for all loan types: 4 basis points for conventional loans to 3.14%; 94 basis points for FHA loans to 12.59%; and 35 basis points for VA loans to 8.24%.

Standard & Poor's last week affirmed its Strong rankings for Litton Loan Servicing L.P. (Litton), which is a subsidiary of C-BASS LLC. The ratings were for Litton's role as a Residential Mortgage Special Servicer, Residential Mortgage Subprime Servicer, and Residential Mortgage Servicer. At the same time, Standard & Poor's raised its Residential Alternative Mortgage Servicer ranking for Litton to Strong from Above Average.

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