A small footnote in yesterday's ASF 2008 program should have caught my eye -- an issuer presentation from former subprime high-flyer Accredited Home Lenders was on the schedule. Reuters' Al Yoon didn't miss the session, however, and found out that Accredited is planning a surprise return to the subprime mortgage bond market:
Accredited has originated about $86 million in non-prime loans since November, with $50 million of that in January, Accredited founder Jim Konrath said on Monday. The company, which produced as much as $2 billion a month during the housing boom, is also eyeing a return to the asset-backed securities market that remains frozen in the aftermath of soaring defaults on risky U.S. loans, he said. "We want to build a portfolio to test the market," Konrath told investors at the American Securitization Forum's meeting in Las Vegas. "Is there an ability to sell bonds without a deep discount (in the future)?" he asked.
Accredited had stopped origination activity last August, as the subprime crisis hit full stride; it was acquired in October by private equity investor Lone Star Funds in a tumultuous deal that ended up being worth roughly $296 million. According to Reuters, the company said it expects to "test the market" by selling only the top-rated bonds in a securitization, while holding onto all subordinate and residual classes that likely won't sell under current market conditions.