By conventional standards, the deal offered a low return and comparatively high risk. But that didn't stop banks and other investors from snapping up a recent $6.5 million mortgage securitization-and asking the issuer for more.

The transaction was the first-ever securitization by Habitat for Humanity International, a Christian ministry that finances homes for the poor. The deal is one of several that mortgage lenders recently delivered to Wall Street without following traditional securitization procedures.

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