Subprime lender Master Financial, Orange, Calif., closed its wholesale division late Wednesday, and another top-ranked funder -- People's Choice Financial Corp. -- pulled a key registration statement with securities regulators, suggesting that it too is in deep financial trouble.Sources told MortgageWire that People's Choice -- headed by former Aames Financial executive Neil Kornsweit -- is talking to a potential investor about a sale. The Irvine, Calif.-based company had hoped to go public. At deadline time, executives at both subprime shops could not be reached for comment. A Master Financial e-mail message provided to MW by a source states, "It is with the deepest regret that I have to announce that we are ceasing operations in our wholesale sub-prime origination unit effective today. This comes as a result of a continued strain in the secondary market and lack of liquidity for the loans we, as an industry, produce."

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