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Banks Go on Subprime Offensive

By Carrick Mollenkamp, James R. Hagerty Randall Smith
Word Count: 1,130  |  Companies Featured in This Article: HSBC Holdings, New Century Financial, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup , Goldman Sachs Group, Credit Suisse Group, Bank of America , Countrywide Financial

Amid mounting defaults in the market for subprime mortgages, some big banks and mortgage companies are striking out in their efforts to wrest compensation from originators of those high-risk, high-return loans.

Led by HSBC Holdings PLC, banks and others are trying to force small mortgage lenders to buy back some of the same loans the banks eagerly bought in 2005 and 2006, by enforcing what the industry calls repurchase agreements. Squeezed by the onslaught of defaults, many originators are saying they can't afford to buy back their loans or are pursuing bankruptcy protection.

Yesterday, New Century Financial Corp., one of ...

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