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Mortgage PLC close to securing sale

Mortgages PLC was thought to be close to deciding on a buyer for the company last week. The sub-prime lender had initially hoped to exchange contracts by 19 October but the US attacks delayed events, putting the timetable out of sync.

Paul Howard, Mortgages PLC sales and marketing director, told Mortgage Strategy that the lender was now going through a period of due diligence. Bids for the company have been forthcoming and an announcement could be expected soon, he adds.

Sources close to the sale say that Mortgages PLC were taken aback by the level of buyer interest.

The US has so far proved to be a lucrative source of buyers for sub-prime lenders. US players Citigroup and GE Capital have already entered the UK sub-prime market through their respective acquisitions of Future Mortgages and igroup.

One source told MS: “We speak the same language. The UK and US do the same type of loans and are both in the sub-prime arena.”

One US lender keen to make a move on the UK market is Countrywide Credit Industries of Calabass, California – the largest independent residential lender in the US.

A source says Countrywide looked at Mortgages PLC and passed on the deal. A top Countrywide officer travelled to England to explore the purchase but the company ultimately decided against it. No other details were available. A positive acquisition would scotch rumours that the company will be taken apart by asset-strippers.


Repo rates to increase in 2002

A confidential research paper seen by Mortgage Strategy suggests the number of home repossessions could increase dramatically should the economy slide into recession. The research, prepared by the Federation of Information and Advice Centres (FIAC), suggests a strong economic downturn could double repossession rates from more than 21,000 this year to 45,000 by 2003. Projections […]

Housing market tumbles after &#39unsustainable&#39 growth

The world economic slowdown has taken its toll on the &#39unsustainable&#39 growth of the housing market, with prices falling last month for the first time since February. Nationwide said prices dropped by 0.5% in October, but with an average house price of £91,653 they are still 13.1% higher than a year ago. Nationwide&#39s chief economist, […]

Mortgage Brain eyed by five new lenders

Electronic trading platform Mortgage Brain is in discussions with several major lenders with a view to increasing its pool of non-equity members. Coventry, Verso, Platform Home Loans, Furness BS and Marsden BS have been in talks with Mortgage Brain over plans to join the trading platform as non-equity members. Last week, Norwich & Peterborough became […]

Estate Agents putting on the pressure

Estate agents are putting commission payments ahead of customer service, research from national accountancy group Hacker Young has revealed. First-time buyers are pressured into buying uncompetitive insurance policies and other products which they could get cheaper elsewhere. A spokesperson for Hacker Young says: “The estate agent may simply promote a product because they are gaining […]


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