American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc.'s residential servicer ratings have been downgraded from RPS3-minus to RPS4 by Fitch Ratings and remain on Rating Watch Negative.Affected were American Home's residential primary servicer ratings for prime product, for alt-A product, and for home equity/home equity lines of credit. The actions reflect the announcement on Aug. 6 by American Home Mortgage Investment Corp., a real estate investment trust, that it had filed a petition for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The company had announced closing its mortgage origination operations on Aug. 1, but said it would maintain both the thrift and servicing businesses. Fitch does not publicly rate AHMS's parent, but the company's financial condition is "an important component" of AHMS's servicer rating, Fitch said. The rating agency added that an RPS4 rated servicer "may not be acceptable for new residential mortgage-backed security transactions unless additional support or structural features are incorporated."

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