Last October, few executives would have envied Michael W. Perry. Then chief operating officer of IndyMac Mortgage Holdings, he watched his company's stock price fall as much as 46% in one day.

Meanwhile, Wall Street was suddenly pulling the plug on other real estate investment trusts and nonconforming mortgage lenders. Margin calls forced Criimi Mae Inc. into bankruptcy; Southern Pacific Funding Corp. filed when its lenders yanked their uncommitted credit lines.

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