Accredited Faces NASDAQ Delisting, Claims of Securities Fraud

Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co. (NASDAQ:LEND) said early Monday that its stock is subject to delisting from the NASDAQ due to the company’s failure to file its 2006 Annual Report on Form 10-K prior to expiration of the 12b-25 period on March 15, 2006. Accredited said it intends to request a hearing before the NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Panel to appeal the determination, which will stay the delisting while the company works to file its Form 10-K. In addition, Accredited revealed that a class action lawsuit was filed against the company and certain of its officers and directors. Like many similar suits facing other subprime lenders, the lawsuit generally alleges that Accredited issued “materially false and misleading” statements that caused the company’s stock to trade at artificially inflated prices. In a press statement, the company said it believes that the lawsuit has no merit and intends to defend the case vigorously. Industry sources that spoke with Housing Wire on the problems at Accredited were less confident, however. “It’s starting to look an awful lot like what New Century went through, and we all know how that’s turned out so far,” said one source, on condition of anonymity. “None of these firms will disclose how bad things really are until its far too late.” Accredited representatives could not be reached for comment prior to HW’s publishing deadline. Accredited said it is continuing to look for additional sources of liquidity, having announced last week that it sold $2.7 billion in whole loans to generate operating capital needed to continue to fund loans. Numerous other subprime lenders have said in recent weeks that they face similar liquidity problems. Most recently, C-BASS disclosed late Friday that it is having to prop up acquisition target Fieldstone Investment Corporation in response to liquidity problems at the subprime lender.

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