UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
¥ QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2011
n TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission File No.: 0-50231
Federal National Mortgage Association
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
From the report…
Challenges to the MERS System could pose counterparty, operational, reputational and legal risks for us.
MERSCORP, Inc. is a privately held company that maintains an electronic registry (the “MERS System”) that tracks servicing rights and ownership of loans in the United States. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”), a wholly owned subsidiary of MERSCORP, Inc., can serve as a nominee for the owner of a mortgage loan and, in that role, become the mortgagee of record for the loan in local land records. Fannie Mae seller/servicers may choose to use MERS as a nominee; however, we have prohibited servicers from initiating foreclosures on Fannie Mae loans in MERS’s name. Approximately half of the loans we own or guarantee are registered in MERS’s name and the related servicing rights are tracked in the MERS System. The MERS System is widely used by participants in the mortgage finance industry. Along with a number of other organizations in the mortgage finance industry, we are a shareholder of MERSCORP, Inc.
Several legal challenges have been made disputing MERS’s legal standing to initiate foreclosures and/or act as nominee in local land records. These challenges have focused public attention on MERS and on how loans are recorded in local land records. As a result, these challenges could negatively affect MERS’s ability to serve as the mortgagee of record in some jurisdictions. In addition, where MERS is the mortgagee of record, it must execute assignments of mortgages, affidavits and other legal documents in connection with foreclosure proceedings. As a result, investigations by governmental authorities and others into the servicer foreclosure process deficiencies discussed above may impact MERS. On April 13, 2011, federal banking regulators and FHFA announced that they were taking enforcement action against MERS to address significant weaknesses in, among other things, oversight, management supervision and corporate governance at MERS that were uncovered as part of the regulators’ review of mortgage servicers’ foreclosure processing. Failures by MERS to apply prudent and effective process controls and to comply with legal and other requirements could pose counterparty, operational, reputational and legal risks for us. If investigations or new regulation or legislation restricts servicers’ use of MERS, our counterparties may be required to record all mortgage transfers in land records, incurring additional costs and time in the recordation process. At this time, we cannot predict the ultimate outcome of these legal challenges to MERS or the impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The future of our company is uncertain.
There is significant uncertainty regarding the future of our company, including how long we will continue to be in existence, the extent of our role in the market, what form we will have, and what ownership interest, if any, our current common and preferred stockholders will hold in us after the conservatorship is terminated. On February 11, 2011, Treasury and HUD released a report to Congress on ending the conservatorships of the GSEs and reforming America’s housing finance market. The report provides that the Administration will work with FHFA to determine the best way to responsibly reduce Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s role in the market and ultimately wind down both institutions. The report also addresses three options for a reformed housing finance system. The report does not state whether or how the existing infrastructure or human capital of Fannie Mae may be used in the establishment of such a reformed system. The report emphasizes the importance of proceeding with a careful transition plan and providing the necessary financial support to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the transition period.
In April 2011, in the House of Representatives, the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises of the Financial Services Committee approved several bills relating to GSE operations. We expect that Congress will continue to hold hearings and consider legislation in 2011 on the future status of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, including proposals that would result in a substantial change to our business structure, our operations, or that involve Fannie Mae’s liquidation or dissolution. We cannot predict the prospects for the enactment, timing or content of legislative proposals regarding the future status of the GSEs. See “MD&A—Legislative and Regulatory Developments—GSE Reform” for more information about the Treasury report and Congressional proposals regarding reform of the GSEs.
Our regulator is authorized or required to place us into receivership under specified conditions, which would result in the liquidation of our assets. Amounts recovered from the liquidation may be insufficient to cover our obligations or aggregate liquidation preference on our preferred stock, or provide any proceeds to common shareholders.
FHFA has an obligation to place us into receivership if the Director of FHFA makes a written determination that our assets are less than our obligations for a period of 60 days after the filing deadline for our Form 10-K
or Form 10-Q with the SEC. Because of the credit-related expenses we expect to incur on our legacy book of business and our dividend obligation to Treasury, we will continue to need funding from Treasury to avoid triggering FHFA’s obligation. Although Treasury committed to providing us funds in accordance with the terms of the senior preferred stock purchase agreement, Treasury may not be able to make funds available to us within the required 60 days if providing the funds would cause the government to exceed its authorized debt ceiling. In addition, we could be put into receivership at the discretion of the Director of FHFA at any time for other reasons, including conditions that FHFA has already asserted existed at the time the former Director of FHFA placed us into conservatorship.
A receivership would terminate the conservatorship. In addition to the powers FHFA has as our conservator, the appointment of FHFA as our receiver would terminate all rights and claims that our shareholders and creditors may have against our assets or under our charter arising from their status as shareholders or creditors, except for their right to payment, resolution or other satisfaction of their claims as permitted under the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as amended by the 2008 Reform Act (together, the “GSE Act”). Unlike a conservatorship, the purpose of which is to conserve our assets and return us to a sound and solvent condition, the purpose of a receivership is to liquidate our assets and resolve claims against us.
To the extent we are placed into receivership and do not or cannot fulfill our guaranty to the holders of our Fannie Mae MBS, the MBS holders could become unsecured creditors of ours with respect to claims made under our guaranty.
In the event of a liquidation of our assets, only after payment of the secured and unsecured claims against the company (including repaying all outstanding debt obligations), the administrative expenses of the receiver and the liquidation preference of the senior preferred stock, would any liquidation proceeds be available to repay the liquidation preference on any other series of preferred stock. Finally, only after the liquidation preference on all series of preferred stock is repaid would any liquidation proceeds be available for distribution to the holders of our common stock. It is unlikely that there would be sufficient proceeds to repay the liquidation preference of any series of our preferred stock or to make any distribution to the holders of our common stock.
A decrease in the credit ratings on our senior unsecured debt would likely have an adverse effect on our ability to issue debt on reasonable terms and trigger additional collateral requirements.
Our borrowing costs and our access to the debt capital markets depend in large part on the high credit ratings on our senior unsecured debt. Credit ratings on our debt are subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the rating agencies. Actions by governmental entities impacting the support we receive from Treasury could adversely affect the credit ratings on our senior unsecured debt. While there have been no changes in our credit ratings from December 31, 2010 to May 2, 2011, on April 20, 2011, Standard & Poor’s revised its outlook on the debt issues of Fannie Mae to negative from stable. This action followed Standard & Poor’s revision to the outlook of the U.S. government’s long-term credit rating to negative from stable. Standard & Poor’s noted that the ratings on Fannie Mae and other government-related entities are constrained by the longterm sovereign rating on the U.S. government and noted that it will not raise the outlooks or ratings on these entities above the U.S. government as long as the ratings and outlook on the U.S. remain unchanged. Standard & Poor’s also stated that if it were to lower its ratings on the U.S. government, it would likely lower the ratings on the debt of Fannie Mae and other government-related entities. A reduction in our credit ratings would likely increase our borrowing costs, limit our access to the capital markets and trigger additional collateral requirements under our derivatives contracts and other borrowing arrangements. It may also reduce our earnings and materially adversely affect our liquidity, our ability to conduct our normal business operations, our financial condition and results of operations. Our credit ratings and ratings outlook are included in “MD&A—Liquidity and Capital Management—Liquidity Management—Credit Ratings.”
Deficiencies in servicer and law firm foreclosure processes and the resulting foreclosure pause may cause higher credit losses and credit-related expenses.
A number of our single-family mortgage servicers temporarily halted foreclosures in the fall of 2010 in some or all states after discovering deficiencies in their processes and the processes of their lawyers and other
service providers relating to the execution of affidavits in connection with the foreclosure process. This foreclosure pause could expand to additional servicers and states, and possibly to all or substantially all of our loans in the foreclosure process. Some servicers have lifted the foreclosure pause in some jurisdictions, while continuing the pause in others.
Although we cannot predict the ultimate impact of this foreclosure pause on our business at this time, we believe the pause has resulted in longer foreclosure timelines and higher credit-related expenses and will likely
continue to do so. The foreclosure pause could negatively affect housing market conditions and delay the recovery of the housing market. This foreclosure pause may also negatively affect the value of the privatelabel securities we hold and result in additional impairments on these securities.
The foreclosure process deficiencies have generated significant concern and are currently being reviewed by various government agencies and the attorneys general of all fifty states. Foreclosure process deficiencies
could lead to expensive or time-consuming new regulation, such as new rules applicable to the foreclosure process recently issued by courts in some states. On April 13, 2011, federal banking regulators announced enforcement actions against fourteen mortgage servicers and their parent bank holding companies to address deficiencies and weaknesses identified in the regulators’ review of the servicers’ foreclosure processing. The enforcement actions require the servicers to correct deficiencies and make improvements in their servicing and foreclosure practices. The actions also require each servicer to hire an independent firm to conduct a
comprehensive review of foreclosure actions pending during 2009 and 2010 to identify and provide remediation to borrowers who suffered financial injury as a result of wrongful foreclosures or other foreclosure process deficiencies.
The failure of our servicers or a law firm to apply prudent and effective process controls and to comply with legal and other requirements in the foreclosure process poses operational, reputational and legal risks for us. Depending on the duration and extent of the foreclosure pause and the foreclosure process deficiencies, and the responses to them, these matters could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Full report below…