Citing clarifications by the state of New Jersey, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has announced that it will permit the inclusion of additional New Jersey mortgage loans in structured finance deals rated by S&P.S&P said loans that may now be included in such deals are those defined as Home Loans, Covered Home Loans, Home Improvement Loans, and Manufactured Housing Loans under the New Jersey Home Ownership Security Act of 2002, which is to take effect Nov. 27. However, it will continue to exclude loans defined as High-Cost Home Loans because of "the potential for uncapped statutory and punitive damages," the rating agency said. S&P had announced previously that certain Covered Home Loans, Home Improvement Loans, and Manufactured Housing Loans would be excluded from S&P-rated deals. To qualify for an S&P rating, deals including such loans must carry a representation and warranty that the loans were originated in compliance with all applicable laws, and issuers will be required to show that their compliance procedures can effectively identify such loans and determine that they don't violate the aforementioned act. The rating agency can be found online at http://www.standardandpoors.com.

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