Wilshire Credit Gets Strong Ratings From Fitch

Ratings has taken the following rating actions on the U.S. residential mortgage servicer ratings for Beaverton, Ore.-headquartered Wilshire Credit Corp. (WCC): – primary servicer rating for Alt-A product upgraded to RPS1 from RPS1-; – primary servicer rating for subprime product affirmed at RPS1; – primary specialty servicer rating for second-lien product assigned RPS1; – special servicer rating affirmed at RSS1; and – U.S. residential primary servicer rating for HE/HELOC withdrawn at RPS1. The upgrade of the Alt-A rating reflects WCC's overall servicing expertise, as well as an additional year of servicing a larger amount of Alt-A product, Fitch says. The second-lien product servicer rating was assigned and the HE/HELOC servicer rating was withdrawn because WCC is servicing a substantial amount of closed-end second product but is not servicing any HELOC product at the current time. The special servicer rating is based on the company's experience in managing and liquidating nonperforming loans and real estate owned assets. The ratings also reflect the financial condition of WCC's indirect parent, Merrill Lynch & Co., which was acquired by Bank of America Corp.(BAC) in January. WCC, which focuses primarily on subprime and nonperforming products, has a redundant call center in Salem, Ore. As of Feb. 29, the shop was servicing 148,428 loans with an unpaid principal balance of over $21.2 billion, down from 158,370 loans reported at year-end 2008. The company's servicing portfolio includes more than 10,500 Alt-A loans totaling $2.14 billion, more than 64,300 subprime loans totaling $12.71 billion, more than 53,000 closed-end second loans totaling $2.25 billion and a special servicing portfolio of more than 16,800 loans totaling $3.53 billion. "The company continues to maintain its strong default management practices, focusing on enhancing loss mitigation tools and placing an emphasis on automation of loss mitigation processes," the rating agency adds. "WCC also underlined the separation of duties in its loss mitigation department by moving the loss mitigation call team into its combined customer servicer and collections call center, in an effort to focus its loss mitigation specialists on analyzing and processing the increasing volume of loan resolution requests." SOURCE: Fitch


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