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Subprime Lender New Century To File Annual Report Late

Subprime mortgage lender New Century Financial said Friday it won't be able to file its 2006 annual report on time, and plans to request an extension from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In early February, New Century announced it would restate financial results for the quarters ending March 31, June 30 and Sept. 30, 2006, to correct accounting errors for losses to buy back bad loans.

As a result, New Century's stock plunged from the $30 range and continues to be pressured by rising concern about the default rates of home buyers with shaky credit histories.

There are increasing signs of trouble in the subprime lending market. On Tuesday, Fremont General also said it would delay its annual filing. That decision sparked a selloff of Fremont shares.

The sector, which makes mortgage loans to borrowers with weak credit, has seen an increase in delinquencies in recent months, and concerns are rising that the deterioration in the subprime sector could spread to higher-quality loans.