Two nonconventional mortgage lenders are entering the equity markets.

Ditech Funding, a high-loan-to-value lender in Irvine, Calif., Monday filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The size of the offering was not disclosed in the filing.

PaineWebber will be lead underwriter, the filing said. Ditech has been rumored to be going public for almost a year now-but poor stock performance in the sector may have stalled the company's filing, observers said.

United Financial Mortgage Corp., Oak Brook, Ill., completed a $5.2 million public offering last week and began trading on the Chicago Stock Exchange.

The retail, wholesale, and commercial mortgage lender offered 800,000 shares at $6.50 a share on May 29 and was trading at $7 by midday Tuesday.

United Financial reported nine-month income of $5.3 million at Jan. 31. The company's public offering is just the first step in a larger investment plan, said chief executive Joseph Khoshabe.

The family-run business, founded in 1986, lends through five offices and a nationwide broker network. The company is looking for a larger national presence, said chief financial officer Steve Khoshabe.

United, Ditech, and BNC Mortgage Co. have tapped the equity markets recently after several months of investor uninterest in the subprime sector.

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