Neighborhood Housing Services of America last week set the stage for a more active secondary market in low-income mortgages with a $75 million securitization deal.
"Its a good thing to see an entity like Neighborhood Housing Services, that can make these loans across the country," said Pam Berkowitz, a director at Standard & Poor's Corp., which gave the deal an AA rating.
A more efficient market is being created for such transactions, Ms. Berkowitz said. "We anticipate different types of affordable-housing securitizations in the future."
Neighborhood Housing purchased the loans from 187 nonprofit community- based housing and community development organizations. Neighborhood Housing has been selling unrated notes to private investors since 1974.
Allstate Insurance Co., State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., United Services Auto Association, and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. invested in the securities.
Standard & Poor's evaluated the loans just as it would standard mortgage-backed transactions, said Wendy Dolber, managing director at the rating agency. Ms. Dolber said Neighborhood Housing is "an active, hands-on sponsor, so you can get a fair amount of comfortability with the underwriting."
The loans will be serviced by Norwest Mortgage Corp., which "adds strength to the transaction," Ms. Dolber said. A professional servicer is "not typical" in affordable-housing securitizations, she said.
"We are proud that these securities have been elevated to an investment grade," Neighborhood Housing trustee Roger Joslin said.
Mary Lee Widener, the organization's president, said the rating "opens the door to new and expanded investment in communities that are typically overlooked and underserved."
The association expects to double its investment pace now that its transaction has been rated. It has made $300 million of loans in the last 20 years.
NEW YORK-Prominent analyst Peter Rubinstein has joined Prudential Securities Inc. as senior vice president in charge of asset-backed securities research.
Mr. Rubinstein, 48, was a vice president at Chase Securities Inc. He also has been a senior vice president at Paine Webber and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. At both firms he was in charge of nonagency residential mortgage research.
Mr. Rubinstein is credited with comprehensive research on new asset classes, such as high loan-to-value loans.
At Prudential he will report to Shrikant Ramamurthy and William Lissenden, the co-heads of taxable fixed-income research.