Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has announced that it will rate structured finance transactions that include South Carolina loans governed by the state's predatory lending law, which took effect Jan. 1.S&P said the South Carolina High-Cost and Consumer Home Loans Act bars certain practices in connection with what it defines as "consumer home loans" and "high-cost home loans." Violations could result in liability for the originators of such loans, but the act does not explicitly impose liability on purchasers or assignees of either type of loan, S&P said. However, if a court finds that such a loan violated the act at the time it was made, the court may refuse to enforce the loan or part of the loan, rewrite or modify the loan, or award monetary damages, S&P said. For deals that include South Carolina loans, S&P will require the issuer to warrant that the loans comply with all applicable laws, and that its compliance procedures can effectively identify consumer home loans and high-cost home loans and determine that they don't violate the aforementioned act. S&P can be found online at http://www.standardandpoors.com.

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