Opteum Inc., Vero Beach, Fla., is no longer accepting applications in Opteum Financial Services' conduit and wholesale channels and will exit those lines of business.The company blames deterioration in the secondary market for closed loans and continuing weakness in consumer demand for mortgage products and services. "Recently, some secondary-market investors in closed mortgage loans have changed their terms and have delayed settling whole-loan trades involving certain alt-A mortgage product," said Jeffrey J. Zimmer, chairman, president, and chief executive of Opteum Inc. "This has forced OFS to re-market loans in respect of which it believed it had already obtained purchasing commitments, and has resulted in an estimated $22 million pretax loss associated with mortgage loans originated by OFS." Mr. Zimmer said the company decided to exit the conduit and wholesale origination businesses because it believes that the adverse market environment may continue for some time. OFS will keep open its retail operation, consisting of 24 offices in Georgia, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. The parent company, structured as a real estate investment trust, can be found on the Web at http://www.opteum.com.

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