Hammered by early payment defaults, OceanFirst Financial Corp., Toms River, N.J., will close its subprime mortgage affiliate, Columbia Home Loans LLC, according to a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Columbia incurred significant operating losses in the past two quarters because of EPDs and related problems, especially on loans with loan-to-value ratios of up to 100%. The thrift will take a $900,000 hit because of employee severance and lease cancellation charges related to the closure. "The discontinuation of Columbia's operation is expected to be completed within six months," the filing said. OceanFirst had hoped to sell Columbia, but talks with an interested party fell apart.

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