Moody's Investors Services downgraded some of the debt of Prudential Insurance of America's home mortgage business last week, intensifying pressure for a quick sale.

Some $198 million of securities that are linked to 30-year, fixed-rate residential mortgages are affected by the downgrade. The New York rating agency cited high delinquency rates and high losses on liquidated loans. Moody's action dropped one class of shares to Ba2 from Ba3 and another class to Caa from B3.

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