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PennyMac preparing loans for mortgage-backed securitization

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PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (PMT) expects to price a mortgage-backed securitization before the end of March, depending upon market conditions, and is already preparing loans to pool. Non-agency MBS volume is a mere shadow of its former self. So far this year, about $42 billion has come to market, which is well below the $1.2 trillion issued in 2005 and 2006, according to a Bloomberg report. PennyMac buys troubled mortgage debt and is led by former executives of Countrywide Financial. The company also reported quarterly results this week, earning $7.7 million, or 45 cents a share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. PennyMac said it plans to boost leverage through investment opportunities over the next few months. "These initiatives are intended to not only enhance our short-term earnings potential, but to position PMT to capitalize across the mortgage spectrum as the market converges back to a more normalized market," according to Stanford Kurland, chairman and chief executive. He was president of Countrywide until 2006. PennyMac's portfolio at the end of the third quarter included $245 million of residential mortgage whole loans and $137 million of MBS. The company also recently agreed to acquire $222 million of nonperforming whole loans from an undisclosed seller, and secured a loan for up to $100 million to purchase more nonperforming loans and REO assets. The company said its "objective is to utilize this facility to finance the aggregation of NPL investments pending sale, securitization or other liquidation." "PMT continues to pursue ways to increase its purchasing power through prudent leverage, including securitizations of nonperforming loans, with its first securitization targeted for completion in the beginning of 2011," the company said in its third-quarter release. Redwood Trust reported third-quarter earnings of $20 million, or 25 cents a share, earlier this week. In its earnings release, the real estate investment trust that specializes in jumbo mortgages said it has gathered about $160 million of loans and plans to bring another securitization to market once it accumulates about $300 million. Write to Jason Philyaw.

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