Atlanta-based SouthStar Funding LLC has ceased mortgage lending operations, according to a statement posted on the nonconforming lender's website.A former company official told MortgageWire that senior management was let go on March 30 and that operations ceased April 2. An e-mail notice was sent to employees from president Kirk Smith, the source said. The company offered wholesale financing for the residential nonconforming mortgage market, offering subprime, alternative-A, interest-only, and payment-option adjustable-rate mortgages as well as home equity lines of credit. "SouthStar Funding, LLC sincerely regrets that it was necessary to cease its mortgage lending operations," the website statement says. "The recent unprecedented downturn and policy changes in the mortgage industry necessitated this action." Calls to the company's headquarters for comment went unanswered as of MortgageWire's deadline. SouthStar can be found online at http://www.southstar.com.

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