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The Corporate Ledger

The Corporate LedgerRecent mergers, earnings and corporate activity

April 29, 2008

By SAM GARCIA

As a California company backed by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage launches, another company plans to use proceeds from an upcoming initial public offering to purchase mortgage securities. Meanwhile, regulators are busy with two other mortgage-related companies.

Wachovia Bank N.A. settled with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency allegations it harmed customers by allowing telemarketers and third party payment processors to use remotely created checks for questionable services. Some of the telemarketers have already reimbursed customers, and the remaining estimated maximum amount of potential claims is $125 million.

“The telemarketers obtained bank account information over the phone by offering consumers a range of questionable products and services such as grant writing kits, identity theft certificates, medical discount plans and vouchers for discount travel and groceries,” OCC said. “A large percentage of these RCCs were returned to Wachovia by individuals, or their financial institutions, who said the checks were never authorized or that they had never received the products or services offered by the telemarketers.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Thornburg Mortgage Inc., an SEC filing said. At issue are the Santa Fe, N.M.-based company’s restatement of financials for last year and margin calls related to its reverse repurchase agreements. The agency is also looking into the valuation, impairment and disclosures of the accounting treatment of its mortgage-backed securities addressed in the restatement.

The real estate investment trust noted that the SEC’s notice stated no violations of securities laws have yet been alleged.

Thornburg also disclosed that it has been notified the New York Stock Exchange is reviewing transactions in its common stock prior to its Jan. 9 disclosure of the impact of recent mortgage market events on its GAAP book value. In addition, it noted two departing directors have been replaced.

The recent departure of two independent directors at Residential Capital LLC prompted Moody’s Investors Service to downgrade debt ratings of the company. The independent directors were considered a key component of ResCap’s corporate governance because of their responsibility to protect the interests of creditors.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s mortgage chief Dan Sparks has quit, according to published reports. Sparks helped the firm a windfall by betting against subprime securities. Justin Gmelich and Thomas Cornacchia will replace Sparks.

Deutsche Bank reported a first quarter loss of EUR 141 million (U.S. $0.2 billion). Earnings included markdowns of EUR 2.7 billion (U.S. $4.2 billion) on leveraged loans and loan commitments, commercial real estate and predominantly Alt-A residential MBS.

American Capital Agency Corp. announced Monday plans for an initial public offering of $250 million. Proceeds will be used by the Bethesda, Md.-based company to purchase RMBS and collateralized-debt obligations backed by loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Bankers Funding Company LLC has been launched as a joint venture between Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Blue Diamond Enterprises LLC, a press release said. Blue Diamond owner Cameron Merage is also the chief executive officer of First Team Real Estate, “the number one independent real estate company in Southern California and the tenth largest by volume in the nation.”

Wells and Bankers have reportedly agreed to originate, process and fund mortgage loans collaboratively.


Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of MortgageDaily.com.

e-mail: mtgsam@aol.com

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