Friedman Billings Ramsey Group Inc., Arlington, Va., has decided not to pay a cash dividend for the fourth quarter, instead using the money to buy back its common stock.The company's board increased the size of the buyback from 50 million shares to 100 million shares. (FBR has already repurchased 23.6 million shares under the authorization.) Regarding its First NLC Financial Services subsidiary, the company said one of the impediments to the recapitalization deal for the subprime lender has been removed with court approval of a negotiated settlement of class-action litigation. However, FBR said it cannot predict when the other closing conditions will be met or the deal will be completed. FBR also announced that it has sold $153 million of nonprime nonsecuritized loans originated by FNLC for proceeds of $135 million. FBR will recognize an $18 million loss on the transaction in the fourth quarter. It still has $48 million of such loans, which it is in negotiations to sell. The company said it will take an additional $20 million loss from the sale of the loans, or if the sale does not go through, take a writedown for the same amount in the fourth quarter. FBR can be found on the Web at http://www.fbr.com.

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