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Nonpaying loans rise at Downey

December 15, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Downey Financial Corp., the Newport Beach savings and loan company that has drawn the attention of billionaire Gerald J. Ford, said nonperforming assets rose last month.

Assets that aren't collecting income anymore rose to nearly 3.7% of total loans in November from 2.7% in October, Downey said in a regulatory filing Friday. The selected data were filed in response to investor requests, Downey said.

Ford's Hilltop Holdings Inc. bought a 6.8% stake and invited Downey in November to talk about a "business combination," then cut its holdings this month to 4.9%. Downey lost $23 million in the third quarter, its first loss since 1996, as housing markets weakened.

Ford, the former chief executive of Golden State Bancorp, is listed by Forbes magazine as one of the world's richest men.

Downey shares fell $2.06, or 6.3%, to $30.92. The stock has lost 57% of its value this year.

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