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Fitch Gives CFC Top Master Rating

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Countrywide's primary servicer rating and special servicer rating while raising the company's master servicer rating.

Fitch raised the company's master servicer rating from "RMS2+" to "RMS1-" - an increase of one notch on the company's servicer rating scale.

Fitch also affirmed Countrywide's primary servicer rating of "RPS1" for prime, alt-A, subprime, home-equity loans and home-equity lines of credit. Fitch also affirmed Countrywide's special servicer rating for managing seriously delinquent loans at "RSS1."

That is the highest rating level Fitch assigns for primary servicers. Primary servicers deal directly with the customer in managing their home loan account, while master servicers oversee primary servicers and remit payments and data to investors in mortgage-backed securities.

Countrywide Home Loans has eight servicing facilities located in Simi Valley and Lancaster, Calif.; Plano, Fort Worth and Richardson, Texas; Tempe, Ariz.; and Mumbai and Hyderabad, India. Fitch noted that the company continues to use its own integrated mortgage-related businesses to perform services traditionally performed by a vendor in the mortgage industry in an effort to gain operating efficiencies, improve quality control and improve foreclosure timelines.

Fitch also noted that within the last year Countrywide enhanced its technology platform with the implementation of a disaster recovery solution between its main data center in Simi Valley and alternate sites in Plano and Fort Worth.

In addition, Countrywide has enhanced its proprietary master servicing system to include new product types and added new technology for training and monitoring employees in its customer service centers.

The portfolio consisted of $785 billion of prime credit loans, $121 billion of subprime loans, $47 billion of HELOCs and $44 billion in alt-A product, as of Feb. 28. The company's master servicing portfolio consisted of over 86,000 loans totaling $11.9 billion and the special servicing portfolio contained 32,000 loans totaling $2.1 billion. (c) 2006 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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