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28 Jan 2004
MOODY'S RATES AMERIQUEST'S 2003-W10 DEAL Aaa
Approximately $700.0 Million of Mortgage-Backed Securities Rated.
New York, January 28, 2004 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned a rating of Aaa to the Class A-1,
A-2A and A-2B certificates in Ameriquest's Series 2003-W10
securitization of subprime fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages.
In addition, Moody's has assigned ratings ranging from Aa2 to Baa3
to the mezzanine and subordinated classes of certificates issued in the
transaction. The ratings are based primarily on the quality of
the loans, subordination, overcollateralization, and
excess spread. Overall, the credit quality of the loan pool,
which includes 70% adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs),
is slightly better than that of the average pool backing recent subprime
Taruna Reddy, a Moody's analyst, said that the loans backing
the certificates were originated through Ameriquest's wholesale channel
using underwriting guidelines that are slightly less stringent than those
used by Ameriquest's retail origination channel.
The credit quality of the ARM borrowers is about average, as 66%
of these borrowers had not allowed their prior mortgage to become past
due 30 or more days for a minimum of twelve months before applying for
a new loan with Ameriquest. The weighted-average loan-to-value
ratio (LTV) for the ARM loans is about 86%, with 72%
of the mortgages having an LTV greater than 80%. This LTV
distribution is weaker than average as most subprime ARM pools have a
weighted-average LTV ratio of 80% and the percentage of
borrowers with LTV ratios exceeding 80% is usually less than 50%.
The weighted-average FICO score of 612 for the ARM pool is above
average. About 40% of the ARM borrowers have a FICO score
below 600. Usually about 55% of borrowers in ARM pools have
FICO scores that are below 600.
The credit quality of the fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) pool is average
quality in terms of FICO scores and borrower quality, but weaker
than average in terms of the loan to value ratios (LTV's) for a subprime
FRM pool. Also there are no second-lien mortgages included
in the pool. The weighted-average LTV for the FRM pool is
80%, with 51% of the mortgages having an LTV greater
than 80%. For FRM subprime pools generally, the weighted-average
LTV is about 76%, with only about 35% of the loans
having LTVs above 80%.
These average LTV ratios are somehwat compensated by strong borrower quality
in the pool, as the maximum LTV ratio allowed typically increases
as the borrower's creditworthiness improves. About 72% of
the FRM borrowers fall into Ameriquest's top borrower quality category
primarily because they have made their past twelve mortgage payments on
a timely basis. The weighted-average FICO score for the
FRM pool is 630, with 25% of the borrowers having FICO scores
below 600. This is slightly better than average.
Ameriquest Mortgage Company is a specialty finance company engaged in
originating, purchasing and selling sub-prime mortgage loans.
Ameriquest originates loans through more than 200 retail outlets,
primarily through telemarketing and direct mailing efforts, and
deals with more than 3000 approved brokers. Ameriquest, a
capable servicer of sub-prime mortgage loans, with an SQ2
servicer rating by Moody's, will act as servicer for the loans in
The complete rating actions are as follows:
Issuer: Argent Securities Inc.
Securities: Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates,
Originator and Master Servicer: Ameriquest Mortgage Company
Additional information, including a New Issue Report, will
be available on http://www.moodys.com.
Jay A. Siegel
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
No Related Data.
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