Retail pricing began Wednesday for the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s $230 million sale of single family mortgage revenue bonds. The institutional pricing will be Thursday.

The sale consists of three series -- $124 million of taxable and $6 million of non-taxable serial bonds, and $100 million of non-taxable term bonds.

Morgan Stanley is lead manager, with Wells Fargo Securities the co-lead manager.

Moody’s Investors Service rated the bonds Aa2 with a stable outlook. It has the same rating for all outstanding debt under the single family mortgage revenue bonds program. Updated ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings were not available.

According to Moody’s, the Aa2 rating “reflects the program's sound financial position.”  Moody’s cited its asset-to debt-ratio of about 1.09 times, favorable portfolio performance and satisfactory mortgage insurance provisions.

“All of these factors in combination are expected to enable this program to continue to strengthen over time,” Moody’s said.
Sales of securities fund the programs and operations of the agency, which the Pennsylvania legislature created in 1972. Since its founding, the agency has generated $10.5 billion of funding for more than 147,000 single-family home mortgage loans and 83,000 rental units, it said on its website. A 14-member board governs the agency. The mortgage loan program was enacted in 1981.

One of its programs, the Homeowner’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, was closed in July 2011 but resurrected in August with money from a lawsuit settlement that the nation’s attorneys general made with five of the nation’s mortgage services: Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Financial Inc.

The program offers loans to people who have fallen behind on monthly mortgage payments. “The program is expected to be fully funded and operational for the foreseeable future,” the agency said in its preliminary official statement on the bond sale.

Ballard Spahr LLP is bond counsel, while Reed Smith LLP is representing the underwriters. The agency’s chief counsel, Rebecca Peace, is also advising.

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