A growing number of local governements are considering not making lease payments on their outstanding certificates of participation, a trend that is shaking confidence in lease securities and "could lead to a rising number of rating downgrades," Standard & Poor's Corp. warns in today's issues of Credit Week.

In particular, possible defaults on outstanding certificates issues that have been openly considered in recent months in Brevard County, Fla,m and Florence County, S.C. -- if they materialize -- would send "shock waves" through the municipal insurance industry and the certificates market nationwide, writes vice preisdent Sally Rutherford, the agency's leading lease analyst.

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