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Rating Action:

MOODY'S RATES AMERIQUEST'S AMSI 2003-IA1 DEAL Aaa

30 Oct 2003
MOODY'S RATES AMERIQUEST'S AMSI 2003-IA1 DEAL Aaa

Approximately $400.0 Million of Mortgage Backed Securities Rated.

New York, October 30, 2003 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned a rating of Aaa to the senior certificates in Ameriquest's Series 2003-IA1 securitization of subprime fixed rate mortgages. In addition, Moody's has assigned ratings ranging from Aa2 to Baa2 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 in the transaction is significantly better than that of the average pool backing recent sub-prime securitizations.

Taruna Reddy, a Moody's analyst, said that the loans backing the certificates were originated through Ameriquest's retail channel. The credit quality of the fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) pool is much stronger than an average quality sub-prime FRM pool, and is much stronger than the 2003-10 deal with lower LTV's and higher FICO's. The pool also benefits from a strong borrower quality and there are no second-lien mortgages included in the pool. The weighted-average LTV for the pool is 68% with only 27% (vs 50% for Ameriquest's average fixed-rate retail sub-prime pools) having an LTV greater than 80%. All of these loans with LTV's above 80 are uninsured which is common for a sub-prime pool. For FRM sub-prime pools generally, the weighted-average LTV is about 76%, with about 35% of the loans having LTV's above 80%. The weighted-average FICO score for the pool is 725, with only 16% of the borrowers having FICO scores below 680. Although the FICO's and LTV'S on this pool make it comparable to a prime pool the lack of insurance for the loans with LTV's greater than 80 makes it somewhat weaker.

All the loans in this pool were originated using an insured automated AVM model. Loans originated by Ameriquest can use insured AVM's instead of a full-blown appraisal if the proposed loan meets certain underwriting criteria and the AVM returns a medium or high confidence score. After this a broker, real-estate agent or appraiser does an exterior inspection of the property which provides a statement of condition and verifies and supports the accuracy of the AVM's. The insurance on the mortgage loans is provided by St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company (rated A1 by Moody's). If any of the loans in this pool default then upon liquidation of the property if the insured AVM is determined by a retroactive appraisal to have overstated the property price as of the date the loan was originally made, then the insured AVM provider is liable for the lesser of the losses of principal or the amount by which the AVM overstated the property price at origination.

In sizing the credit enhancement for this deal Moody's treated the overall appraisal risk as comparable to Ameriquest's standard practices. Although AVMs introduce more variability than site appraisals, this risk was largely offset in the aggregate by the exterior inspection and insurance requirements, plus the restrictions on confidence scores. Credit for the insurance piece was limited due to the uncertainty caused by the lack of historical data on claims vs. recissions and denials for this kind of product.

Unlike Ameriquest's regular securitizations, which have a sequential-pay feature -- where the senior class receives all mortgage principal payments and prepayments for a period of 3 years this transaction is structured with a "pro rata-pay" feature. In this structure, each rated class regardless of seniority, receives its proportionate share of principal payments from the inception of a deal and through the deal's entire life. The credit enhancement levels are higher than they would have been had the more typical sequential-pay structure been used, because the subordinate classes in the pro rata-pay structure start to amortize immediately and therefore the credit support available from subordination shrinks over time.

Ameriquest Mortgage Company is a specialty finance company engaged in originating, purchasing, selling and servicing subprime mortgage loans. Ameriquest originates loans through approximately 200 retail outlets primarily through telemarketing and direct mailing efforts and operates a wholesale division dealing with more than 3000 approved brokers. Ameriquest, a capable servicer of subprime mortgage loans will act as servicer for the loans in this transaction. Moody's Investors Service has assigned Ameriquest Mortgage Company ("AMC") a rating of SQ2 as a Primary Servicer of residential subprime mortgage loans.

The complete rating actions are as follows:

Issuer: Ameriquest Mortgage Securities Inc.,

Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2003-IA1

Originator and Master Servicer: Ameriquest Mortgage Company

ClassAmountRating

A-177,500,000Aaa

A-271,600,000Aaa

A-328,500,000Aaa

A-485,700,000Aaa

A-536,700,000Aaa

A-637,000,000Aaa

SNotionalAaa

MV-123,000,000Aa2

MF-110,000,000Aa2

M-222,000,000A2

M-38,000,000Baa2

Additional information, including a New Issue Report, will be available on http://www.moodys.com.

New York
Jay A. Siegel
Managing Director
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Taruna Reddy
Associate Analyst
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

No Related Data.
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