Acquisition Affects RMBS

New York-Following the sale of IndyMac Federal Bank, Fitch Ratings re-evaluated a pool of reverse mortgage assets recently acquired by OneWest Bank.

Fitch said Financial Freedom Acquisition LLP residential primary specialty-reverse servicer assets were assigned a 'RPS3' rating.

The rating represents a new evaluation of these assets from the previous 'RPS3-' that reflected "the limited operating history of OneWest Bank," Fitch said.

The said reverse mortgage servicing assets changed hands after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced the completion of the sale of IndyMac to OneWest Bank, a newly created subsidiary of investor consortium OneWest Bank Group LLC.

Fitch said a thorough review of FFA assets shows the servicer continues to demonstrate an ability to adequately manage its reverse mortgage portfolio.

FFA of Irvine, Calif., operates its servicing platform from Austin, Texas, and Kalamazoo, Mich. As of February 2009, it serviced approximately 163,000 loans with a UBP of $23.1 billion. Fitch will monitor the potential effect of ownership change on the FFA servicing platform.

IndyMac Mortgage Services, now a division of OneWest Bank, received the following residential primary servicer ratings at 'RPS2-' for its prime product, 'RPS3+' for alt-A and 'RPS3+' for its subprime prodcut.

IndyMac's residential special servicer rating was at 'RSS3+' as the company continues to operate its servicing platform from the three aforementioned locations.

The rating agency said it completed FFA's reverse servicing assets' operational review in January 2009 prior to the sale.

The review indicated, "Although the company experienced some operational challenges and disruptions during the past year, they continue to be a capable servicer with a demonstrated ability to adequately manage their reverse mortgage portfolio."

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