Magnetar Echoes Livinglies call for Alignment of Investors, Servicers and Borrowers

see Magnetar%20Mortage%20Recovery%20Backstop%20Whitepaper%20Jun09.pdf

Magnetar Mortage Recovery Backstop Whitepaper Jun09

Two things jump out at me with this paper from June, 2009.

First it is obvious that the “real money” investors are defined as those seeking low risk and willing to take lower yield. The fact that they are called “Real Money Investors” underscores my point about the identity of the creditor. Those “traditional” investors are no longer available to buy the mortgage backed securities or any other resecuritized derivative package based upon mortgage backed securities. Legal restrictions requiring the securities to be investment grade would prevent them from jumping back in even if they wanted to do so, which they obviously don’t.

Thus the inevitable conclusion drawn almost a year ago and borne out by history, is that the fair market value of the securities, trading as pennies on the dollar, is reflective of a lack of demand for mortgage backed securities no matter how high the yield (i.e., no matter how low the price).

Second there is a growing realization that the interests of the investor and the borrowers are actually aligned in many ways and that the solution to mortgage modification, principal reduction, and other aspects of the mortgage mess and the foreclosure crisis lies in recognizing certain realities and then dealing with them in an equitable manner. The properties were never worth the amount of the appraisal in most instances and now they are worth even less than they were when the loan deals were closed. The securities were also “appraised” far too high thus creating a giant yield spread premium for the investment bank-created seller of mortgage backed securities.

In my opinion, based upon a sampling of the data available, it is entirely possible that the “true” fair market value of those securities in the best of circumstances is probably less than 40% of the initial offering price. It is this well-hidden analysis that is not getting the attention of the Obama administration and which completely explains why servicers are obstructing modifications under instruction from investment banking intermediaries like the “Trustee”.

Leaving the servicers and other parties as the middlemen “in the middle” to sort this out is another license to steal creating another mark-up applied against both borrowers and investors as the “real money” parties. The status quo is what is causing the stagnation in lieu of recovery. Until everyone accepts basic notions of “real party in interest” and eliminates those who don’t fit that description, the moral hazards will remain and escalate.

As concluded in this paper, either judicial or executive intervention is required to kick the middlemen out of the way and let the light in. When investors and borrowers are able to compare notes and work with each other the figures for both will be enhanced, foreclosures will decline, losses will be taken, and yes it is highly probable that the number of investor lawsuits will proliferate against those who defrauded them.

The lender is identified as the investor in this paper (indirectly) and the party who defrauded them is not some greedy borrower with stars in his eyes, it was the usual suspect — a financial wizard making a sales pitch that was so complex, the buyer basically was forced to rely upon the integrity of the investment banking house for appropriate pricing. That is where the system fell apart. Moral hazard escalated to moral mess.

Garfield Continuum White Paper Explains Economics of Securitization of Residential Mortgages

SEE The Economics and Incentives of Yield Spread Premiums and Credit Default Swaps

March 23, 2010: Editor’s Note: The YSP/CDS paper is intentionally oversimplified in order to demonstrate the underlying economics of securitization as it was employed in the last decade.

To be clear, there are several things I was required to do in order to simplify the financial structure for presentation that would be understandable. Even so, it takes careful study and putting pencil to paper in order to “get it.”

In any reasonable analysis the securitization scheme was designed to cheat investors and borrowers in their respective positions as creditors and debtors. The method used was deceit, producing (a) an asymmetry of information and (b) a trust relationship wherein the trust was abused by the sellers of the financial instruments being promoted.

So before I get any more comments about it, here are some clarifying comments about my method.

1. The effects of amortization. The future values of the interest paid are overstated in the example and the premiums or commissions are over-stated in real dollars, but correct as they are expressed in percentages.

2. The effects of present values: As stated in the report, the future value of interest paid and the future value of principal received are both over-statements as they would be expressed in dollars today. Accordingly, the premium, commission or profit is correspondingly higher in the example than it would be in real life.

3. The effects of isolating a single loan versus the reality of a pool of loans. The examples used are not meant to convey the impression that any single loan was securitized by itself. Thus the example of the investment and the loan are hypothetical wherein an average jumbo loan is isolated from the pool from one of the lower tranches and an average bond is isolated from a pool of investors, and the isolated the loan is allocated to in part to only one of the many investors who in real life, would actually own it.

The following is the conclusion extracted directly from the white paper:

Based upon the foregoing facts and circumstances, it is apparent that the securitization of mortgages over the last decade has been conducted on false premises, false representations, resulting in intentional and inevitable negative outcomes for the debtors and creditors in virtually every transaction. The clear provisions for damages and other remedies provided under the Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act are sufficient to make most homeowners whole if they are applied. Since the level 2 yield spread premium (resulting from the difference in money advanced by the creditor (investor) and the money funded for mortgages) also give rise to claim from investors, it will be up to the courts how to apportion the the actual money damages. Examination of most loans that were securitized indicates that they are more than offset by undisclosed profits, kickbacks, fees, premiums, and rebates. The balance of “damages” due under applicable federal lending and securities laws will require judicial intervention to determine apportionment between debtors and creditors.

Securitization and TILA Audits: You Can’t Do One without the Other

Article below submitted From the desk of Brad Keiser:

Editor’s note: This is a perfect example of why ignoring the complexities of securitization leaves all the red meat on the table. The commingling of funds that is cited in the article below is exactly what I have I have been talking about , exactly why the pretender lenders balk at a full accounting, and exactly why a full forensic analysis (like the one Brad will be presenting later this  month) is essential if you are going to battle.

see: Brad Keiser\’s Forensic Analysis Workshop

It is not enough to know about securitization. You must understand what effect it had on the transaction. It sounds counter-intuitive to say that when you know the homeowner has not made a  payment, the obligation might still be considered performing and NOT in default because the payments were made to the creditor.

This does not automatically  mean that you get a free house. But it does mean that the real creditor who has advanced the money, the creditor that the debtor owes money to, is the real party in interest and they might no longer be secured depending upon the nature of the payment and the handling of the accounts — which is why I think that accountants would be ideal candidates for Brad’s workshop.

Securitized loans are not a separate animal from the discrepancies that are revealed in TILA audits. They impact the TILA audit in a way that dwarfs all other factors. Like the fact that the $5,000 yield spread premium paid to the mortgage broker is just a small fraction of the yield spread pocketed by the investment banking crowd behind the curtain.

And what about the very significant impact of those spreads and premiums combined with the impact of a reset on the life of the loan, and the false appraisal? The APR is misstated in virtually every securitized loan not by small amounts or fractions but by multiples of more than 100% of the loan principal in some cases.

Moody’s warns on GMAC mortgage bond servicing
Thu Mar 4, 2010 3:07pm EST
Related News

* Moody’s upgrades GMAC on US Tsy capital infusion
Fri, Feb 5 2010

NEW YORK, March 4 (Reuters) – Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday said it may downgrade portions of 125 residential mortgage bonds based on unusual “cash management arrangements” of GMAC Mortgage LLC, which services loans in the securities.

The rating company said GMAC commingled cash flows from multiple bonds in a single custodial account, Moody’s said in a statement. This allowed GMAC to use cash from loans in one bond for principal and interest payments on another, it said.

By allowing the commingling, it “increases the likelihood that some RMBS deals may not be able to recover the amounts ‘borrowed’ by the servicer to fund advances or another RMBS deal if a servicer bankruptcy were to occur,” Moody’s said.

This could give rise to competing claims in a bankruptcy proceeding, the rater said.

Downgrades based on mortgage servicing, rather than credit, may add to concerns of bond investors who have been long accustomed to harsh rating cuts as delinquencies and foreclosures increase losses.

GMAC Mortgage is a unit of Residential Capital LLC. Residential Capital is owned by GMAC Inc.

For some commentary see this link:
http://market-ticker.denninger.net/

Brad Keiser

(513)289-5353

Yield Spread Premiums Prove Appraisal Fraud: The Key to Understanding The Mortgage Mess

OK I’m upping the ante here with some techno-speak. But I’ll try to make it as simple as possible.

YIELD is the percentage or dollar return on investment. For example,

  1. if you buy a bond for $1,000 and the interest rate is 5%, the yield is 5%.
  2. You are expecting to receive $50 per year in interest, which is your yield, assuming the bond is repaid in full when it is due.
  3. Another example is if you buy the same bond for $900.
  4. The interest rate is still 5% which means it still pays $50 per year in interest. But instead of investing $1,000, you have invested $900 and you are still getting $50 per year in interest.
  5. Your yield has increased because $50 is more than 5% of $900.
  6. In fact, it is a yield of 5.55% (yield base). You compute it by dividing the dollar amount of the interest paid ($50) by the dollar amount of the investment ($900). $50/$900=5.55%.
  7. But you are also getting repaid the full $1,000 when the bond comes due so adding to the money you get in interest is the gain you made on the bond (assuming you hold it to maturity). That difference in our example is $100, which is the difference between $900 and $1,000.
  8. If the bond is a ten year bond, for simplicity sake we will divide the extra $100 you are going to make by 10 years which means you will be getting an extra $10 per year.
  9. If you divide that extra $10 by your investment of $900 you are getting an average annual gain of 1.1%. Adding the base yield of 5.5% to the extra yield on gain of 1.1%, you get a total yield of 6.6%.
  10. The difference between the interest rate on the bond (5%) and the real yield to you as the investor (6.6%) is 1.6%, which could be expressed as a yield spread.

YIELD SPREAD can be expressed in either principal dollar terms or in interest rate. In the above example the dollar value of the yield spread is $100, being the difference between the par value of the bond (the amount that you hope will be repaid in full) and the amount you actually invested.

For decades there has been an illegal trick played between originating lenders using yield spread that resutled in an additional commission or kickback paid to the mortgage broker, commonly referred to as a yield spread premium. This occurs when the broker, with full consent of the “lender” steers the homeowner into a loan product that is more expensive than the one the homeowner would get from another more honest broker and lender.

  1. So for example, if you qualify for a 5% (interest) thirty year fixed loan, but the broker convinces you that a different loan is the only one you can qualify for or that the different loan is “better” than the other one, we shall say in our example that he steers you into a loan for 7%.
  2. The yield spread is 2% which may not sound like much, but it means everything to your loan broker and originating lender.
  3. The kickback to the broker is often several hundred or evens several thousand dollars — which is the very thing consumers were intended to be protected against in TILA (Truth in Lending Act).
  4. By not disclosing the yield spread premium he deprived you of the knowledge that you get get better terms elsewhere and he didn’t bother tell you that instead of working for you he was working for himself.
  5. Sometimes this is discovered right on the HUD statement disguised amongst the myriad of numbers that you didn’t understand when you signed the closing papers. They were required by federal law to disclose this to you and they are required to send you back the money that was paid as the kickback and for a variety of reasons it is grounds to rescind the transaction, making the Deed of Trust or mortgage unenforceable or void.
  6. The kickback is called a yield spread premium in the language of the industry. On this phase of the transaction we’ll call it Yield Spread Premium #1 or YSP1.

Now we get to the securitization part of the “loan.” If you will go back to the beginning of this article you will see that the investor was seeking and expecting $50 per year in interest. Buying the deal for $1,000 gives the investor the 5% YIELD he was seeking.

What Wall Street did was work backwards from the $50, and asked the following stupid and illegal question: What is the least amount of money we could fund in mortgages and still show the $50 in income? Answer: Anything we can get homeowners to sign.

  1. In our simple example, if they get a homeowner to sign a note calling for 10% interest, then all Wall Street needs to come up with is $500. Because 10% of $500 is $50 and $50 is what the investor was expecting.
  2. Wall Street sells the bond for $1,000 and funds $500 leaving themselves with a YIELD SPREAD PREMIUM of 5%+ or a value of $500, which is just as illegal as the kickbacks described above. We will call this YIELD SPREAD PREMIUM #2.
  3. They take $50 out of this $500 YIELD SPREAD PREMIUM and put into a reserve fund so they can pay the interest whether the homeowner pays or not. That is why they don’t want homeowners and investors to get together, because they will discover that the investor was paid the first year out of the reserve and payments from homeowners and then stopped receiving payment even though there was continued revenue.
  4. But Wall Street also had another problem. Since they had siphoned off $450 and probably sent most of it off-shore in an off balance sheet transaction (to a Structured Investment vehicle [SIV]). the time would eventually come when the investor would want his $1,000 repaid in full just like they said it would. That would leave them $450 short and possibly criminally liable for taking $1,000 to fund a $500 mortgage.
  5. So you can see that if the homeowner pays every cent owed, this is bad news to the people on Wall Street. They would be required to give the investor $1,000 when all they received from the homeowner was $500. Therefore they had to make certain that they (a) had a method of covering the difference that would give them “cover” when demand was made for the $1,000 and (b) a method of triggering that coverage.
  6. They also needed to make it as difficult as possible for investors to get together to fire the agent of the partnership (SPV) formed to issue the bonds they bought, which they did in the express terms of the bond indenture. So logistically they needed to keep investors away from investors and to keep investors away from borrowers so that none of them could compare notes.
  7. To cover the money they took from the investor they purchased insurance contracts (credit default swaps is one form). They wrote the terms themselves so that when a certain percentage of the pool failed they could declare it a failure and stop paying the ivnestors anything. The failure of the pool would trigger the insurance contracts.
  8. Under normal circumstances if you buy a car, you can insure it once and if it is wrecked you get the money for it. Imagine if you could buy insurance on it thirty times over at discounted rates. So you smash the car up and instead of receiving $30,000 for the car you receive $900,000. That is what Wall Street did with your mortgage. This was not risk taking much less excessive risk taking. It was fraud.
  9. So IF THE LOAN FAILED or was declared a failure as being part of a pool that went into failure, the insurance paid off.
  10. Hence the only way they could cover themselves for taking $1,000 on a $500 loan was by making absolutely certain the loan would fail.
  11. It wasn’t enough to use predatory loan tactics to trick people into loans that resulted in resets that were higher than their annual income. Wall Street still had the problem of people somehow making the payments anyway or getting bailed out by parents or even the government.
  12. They had to make sure the homeowner didn’t want the loan anymore and the only way to do that was to make certain that the homeowner would end up in a position wherein far more was owed on the loan than the house ever was worth and far more than it would ever be worth in the foreseeable future.
  13. They had to make sure that the federal government didn’t step in and help the homeowners, so they created a scheme wherein the federal government used all its resources to bail out Wall Street which had created the myth of losses on loan defaults for notes and mortgages they never owned. It would then become politically and economically impossible for the government to bail out the homeowners.
  14. This is why principal reduction is off the table. If these loans become performing again, insurance might not be triggered and the investors might demand the full $1,000. With insurance on the $500 loan they stand to collect $15,000. without it, they stand to lose $1000. There is no middle ground.
  15. So they needed a method to get the “market” to rise in values as much as possible to levels they were sure would be unsustainable. That was easy. They blacklisted the appraisers who wanted to practice honestly and paid appraisers, mortgage brokers and “originating lenders” (often owned by Wall Street firms) 3-10 times their normal fees to get these loans closed. They created “lenders” that were not banks or funding the loans that had no assets and then bankrupted them.
  16. With the demand for the AAA rated and insured MBS at an all-time high the demand went out to mortgage brokers not to bring them a certain number of mortgages but to bring in a certain dollar amount of obligations because Wall Street had already sold the bonds “forward” (meaning they didn’t have the underlying loans yet).
  17. With demand for loans exceeding the supply of houses, they successfully created the “market”conditions to inflate the market values on a broad scale thus giving them plausible deniability as to the appraisal fraud on any one particular house.

Whether you call it appraisal fraud or simply an undisclosed yield spread premium, the result is the same. That money is due back to the homeowner and there is a liability to the investors that they don’t know about. Why are the fund managers so timid about pressing the claims? Perhaps because they were not fooled.

%d bloggers like this: