Class B-2 of Empire Funding Home Loan Owner Trust, series 1998-1, has been removed from Rating Watch Negative by Fitch Ratings.The rating agency affirmed the BB rating on the class, as well as the ratings on 37 other classes in nine Empire Funding transactions. The collateral consists primarily of closed-end, fixed-rate junior-lien loans with original loan-to-value ratios of greater than 100%, Fitch reported. The loans were originated or acquired by Empire Funding, which filed for bankruptcy in May 2000. Ocwen Financial Corp. bought Empire Funding's assets in January 2001 and is currently the primary servicer of the transactions, the rating agency said.

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