Fitch Lowers Irwin's Rating

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the servicer rating on Irwin Home Equity Corp., a servicer of home-equity and high loan-to-value ratio loans, to "RP2-" from "RP2," its previous rating.

Fitch said it completed an onsite review in March and found that Irwin Home Equity's operations "continue to perform at a level consistent with the prior year."

However, Fitch noted that a company's financial rating is an important component of the servicer review. The downgrade reflects the financial challenges facing Irwin Financial Corp., the parent company, Fitch said.

Irwin Financial Corp. lost money in the first quarter, in large part due to a $10.1 million loss at Irwin Home Equity.

Fitch said that while it does not anticipate a liquidity crunch for Irwin in the near term, it is monitoring the company's financial flexibility.

Headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., Irwin Home Equity originates, purchases, securitizes and services home-equity loans, lines of credit and high LTV home loans. At the end of last year, the company serviced 55,143 loans with a cumulative balance of $2.8 billion, which was lower than the balance a year earlier. (c) 2007 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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