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Securitized profits: understanding gain on sale accounting.



* Securitizations in the mortgage industry are collateralized with home or commercial mortgage loans and are packaged into mortgage-backed securities Mortgage-backed securities (MSBs)

Securities backed by a pool of mortgage loans.
 (MBS See Mb/sec.

MBS - mobile broadband services
) that are sold to institutional investors Institutional Investor

A non-bank person or organization that trades securities in large enough share quantities or dollar amounts that they qualify for preferential treatment and lower commissions.
 seeking to realize higher returns on investment-grade debt instruments compared with other securities of similar credit quality.

* Mortgage bankS generate revenue through interest income, the sale of loans and loan servicing Loan servicing is the process by which a mortgage bank or subservicing firm collects the timely payment of interest and principal from borrowers. The level of service varies depending on the type loan and the terms negotiated between the firm and the investor seeking their services.  income. Loan sales are usually structured as whole loan sales, loans securitized securitized

Of, related to, or being debt securities that are secured with assets. For example, mortgage purchase bonds are secured by mortgages that have been purchased with the bond issue's proceeds.
 and accounted for as a sale, and loans securitized and accounted for as financing.

* A gain on sale of loans can be either a cash gain or a non-cash gain. When the sale is accounted for as financing, no gain is recognized. When loans are securitized and accounted for as financing, a company recognizes interest income on the mortgage loans and interest expense on the debt securities (as well as ancillary fees) over the life of the securitization Securitization

The process of creating a financial instrument by combining other financial assets and then marketing them to investors.

Mortgage backed securities are a perfect example of securitization.

May also be spelled as "securitisation.
, instead of recognizing a gain or loss upon closing of the transaction.

* In recording a gain on the sale of loans securitized and accounted for as a sale, two accounting estimates need to be made: (1) the value of the retained interest Retained interest (also colloquially known as a payout penalty) is future, currently unpaid, interest that some lenders add to the remaining principal of a loan to determine a payout figure in the event that the loan is terminated before the completion of the original term.  and, if applicable, (2) the value of the mortgage servicing Mortgage servicing

The collection of monthly payments and penalties, record keeping, payment of insurance and taxes, and possible settlement of default , involved with a mortgage loan.
 rights. Both require the projection of future cash flows that are derived from loans that underlie the MBS. The fair values of each of these assets are based on a series of key assumptions that can significantly impact their fair value and are determined by management judgment.

* In the recent past many banks followed a business model of originating mortgage loans and then passing all or most of the risk to the capital markets. This model is now less popular, but securitization is by no means dead. The segregation of risk to allow a greater degree of leverage is what the world of finance is all about and will continue to be in the future, albeit in potentially different forms.


In the wake of the subprime meltdown meltdown

Occurrence in which a huge amount of thermal energy and radiation is released as a result of an uncontrolled chain reaction in a nuclear power reactor. The chain reaction that occurs in the reactor's core must be carefully regulated by control rods, which absorb
, many investors in struggling mortgage banking companies have been asking themselves how these companies could have been recording such huge profits on the sales of bad loans. The answer is simple. These companies were required by existing accounting guidance to record a gain or loss on the sales of these loans based upon future estimates of economic conditions, interest rates and borrower default rates.

A proper appreciation of gain on sale accounting requires an understanding of the basic definition of a securitization. Asset-backed finance expert Richard A. Graft defines a securitization as "the process by which loans, consumer installment contracts installment contract n. an agreement in which payments of money, delivery of goods or performance of services are to be made in a series of payments, deliveries or performances, usually on specific dates or upon certain happenings. , leases, receivables, and other relatively illiquid Illiquid

An asset or security that cannot be converted into cash very quickly (or near prevailing market prices).

A house is a good example of an illiquid asset.
See also: Cash, Liquidity


In the context of finance.
 assets with common features are packaged into interest-bearing securities with marketable investment characteristics."

Securitizations in the mortgage industry are collateralized with home or commercial mortgage loans and are packaged into mortgage-backed securities (MBS). MBS are sold to various institutional investors that seek to realize higher returns on an investment-grade debt instrument compared with other securities with similar credit quality.


Mortgage banks commonly originate, finance, securitize Securitize

The practice of a company selling accounts receivables or other debts owed to it. The third party that buys the debt assumes ownership of it and the responsibility for collecting the debts, and keeps the repayments when made.
, sell and service various types of mortgage loans secured by some type of real estate, typically a single-family residence. Subprime mortgage banks lend to borrowers who do not meet the underwriting Underwriting

1. The process by which investment bankers raise investment capital from investors on behalf of corporations and governments that are issuing securities (both equity and debt).

2. The process of issuing insurance policies.
 guidelines that would typically permit their loan to be sold to Fannie Mae Fannie Mae: see Federal National Mortgage Association.  or Freddie Mac Freddie Mac: see Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. , such as a high loan-to-value ratio Loan-to-value ratio (LTV)

The ratio of money borrowed on a property to the property's fair market value.
, absence of income documentation, a short credit history, a high level of consumer debt, or historic credit difficulties. The banks charge a higher interest rate to these borrowers because the loans are at greater risk of default.

A warehouse facility is a line of credit extended by a financial institution to fund the purchase or origination of new mortgages. Mortgage banks rely on these facilities to fund continuing operations continuing operations

Parts of a business that are expected to be maintained as an ongoing segment of an overall business operation. Income and losses from continuing operations are reported separately if any segments have been discontinued during the
 during the short period after a loan is originated, usually two to four months, until the mortgage is sold or securitized. When the loan is sold or securitized, the proceeds from the disposition are used to repay the warehouse facility.

Mortgage banks generate revenue in three ways:

Interest income. Interest income is generated over the life of loans that have been securitized in structures requiring financing treatment (as opposed to sale treatment) for accounting purposes; loans held for investment; loans held for sale; and loans held for securitization.

The sale of loans. A gain or loss is recorded when a company sells the loans.

Loan servicing income. Loan servicing income represents all contractual and ancillary servicing revenue for loans a company may service for others, net of amortization of mortgage servicing rights, if applicable.


Loan sales have historically been structured in three ways:

Whole loan sales. A company sells all rights, title and interest to a pool of loans in exchange for cash that equals the loans' market value. The loans can be sold with servicing retained (the company continues to service the loans for the purchaser) or servicing released (the purchaser services the loans).

Loans securitized and accounted for as a sale. A company sells or transfers a pool of loans to a trust and may or may not hold a residual interest Residual Interest

A type of interest payment received by investors in a real estate mortgage investment conduit (REMIC).

Investors receive interest payments after all required regular interest has been paid to investors within higher priority tranches.
 for the right to receive a portion of future cash flows. A residual interest is an on-balance-sheet asset that represents a retained beneficial interest in a securitization. Servicing can either be released or retained but is generally retained.

Loans securitized and accounted for as a financing. The loans remain on the company's balance sheet, retained interests are not created, and debt securities issued in the securitization replace the warehouse debt originally associated with the securitized loans. Servicing can either be released or retained but is generally retained.

In the first two instances, the transaction is structured as a sale for legal and accounting purposes. In the last instance, the transaction is legally structured as a sale, but for accounting purposes is recognized as a financing and accounted for using the guidance of FASB Statement FASB Statement

A standard set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board regarding a financial accounting and reporting method. Essentially, FASB statements determine the acceptable accounting practices that Certified Public Accountants use in reporting
 no. 140, Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets Financial assets

Claims on real assets.
 and Extinguishments of Liabilities--a replacement of FASB Statement No. 125.


A gain on the sale of loans can be either a cash gain or a non-cash gain. When the sale is accounted for as a financing, no gain is recognized. When loans are securitized and accounted for as a financing, a company recognizes interest income on the mortgage loans and interest expense on the debt securities as well as ancillary fees over the life of the securitization, instead of recognizing a gain or loss upon closing of the transaction. No servicing right is created for this type of transaction.

When a gain is recorded by a company, it is recognized at the time of sale. The gain on sale of a pool of loans is determined by allocating the carrying value Carrying Value

Also know as "book value," it is a company's total assets minus intangible assets and liabilities, such as debt.

This is different than market value, as it can be higher or lower depending on the circumstances.
 of the underlying loans between the loans sold and the interests the company continues to hold, based on their relative fair values. The gain on sale is the difference between the proceeds received from the sale and the cost allocated to the loans sold. The proceeds include cash and other assets other assets

Assets of relatively small value. For financial reporting purposes, firms frequently combine small assets into a single category rather than listing each item separately.
 obtained (primarily mortgage servicing rights) less any liabilities incurred (that is, liabilities for representations and warranties or other recourse provisions).

Cash gains are recorded when whole loans are sold and when no interests in the loans or mortgage servicing rights are retained. The cash gain is the difference between the cash proceeds and the cost basis of the loans on the company's books. No estimation of the fair value for retained interests and mortgage servicing rights is required. Non-cash gains are recorded when the company retains an interest in the loans sold and/or retains the mortgage servicing rights for the loans. This requires the company to determine the fair value of the retained interest and mortgage servicing rights generated by the transaction.

A robust secondary market does not currently exist in which to value the retained interest in the loans held by a company The fair value, therefore, is most commonly based upon an estimate of discounted net future cash flows that include assumptions related to future interest rates, future credit losses and future prepayment speed Prepayment speed

Also called speed, the estimated rate at which mortgagors pay off their loans ahead of schedule, critical in assessing the value of mortgage pass-through securities.
. Net future cash flow equals the interest and prepayment penalties Prepayment penalty

A fee a borrower pays a lender when the borrower repays a loan before its scheduled time of maturity.
 paid by loan holders, less payments to other applicable parties, estimated credit losses, mortgage insurance fees, guarantee fees and trustee fees. In addition, the receipt of such cash flows may be delayed to the extent that the loan sale agreement does not require cash flows to be paid to the company until they exceed certain levels specified in such agreements.

Effective for fiscal years beginning after Sept. 15, 2006, companies adopted FASB Statement no. 156, Accounting for Servicing of Financial Assets, which amends AMENDS. A satisfaction, given by a wrong doer to the party injured for a wrong committed. 1 Lilly's Reg. 81.
     2. By statute 24 Geo. II. c. 44, in England, and by similar statutes in some of the United States, justices of the peace, upon being notified of an
 Statement no. 140. Statement no. 156 changes the prescribed accounting for, and reporting of, the recognition and measurement of separately recognized servicing assets and liabilities. Upon Statement no. 156's adoption, a company must first record servicing rights at fair value. Then it may choose to either subsequently measure its mortgage servicing rights at fair value and report changes in fair value in earnings, or amortize amortize

To write off gradually and systematically a given amount of money within a specific number of time periods. For example, an accountant amortizes the cost of a long-term asset by deducting a portion of that cost against income in each period.
 its mortgage servicing rights in proportion to and over the estimated net servicing income or loss and periodically assess the servicing rights for impairment Impairment

1. A reduction in a company's stated capital.

2. The total capital that is less than the par value of the company's capital stock.

1. This is usually reduced because of poorly estimated losses or gains.

 or the need for an increased obligation.

In the event of impairment, an adjustment is recognized on the company's income statement. Before Statement no. 156 was adopted, a company was required to hold mortgage servicing rights on its balance sheet at the lower of cost or market lower of cost or market

A method for determining an asset's value such that either the original cost or the current replacement cost, whichever is lowest, is used for financial reporting purposes.
 and amortize them in proportion to and over the estimated net servicing income or loss. When a transaction is structured as a securitization and accounted for as a financing, no mortgage servicing rights are recorded.

Unlike retained interests, mortgage servicing rights do have a secondary market. The problem is market prices are not always readily available and can be from service brokers, third-party market appraisers and market transactions a company has direct knowledge of. Therefore, these "market prices" are most commonly used to validate an internally generated valuation model. One typical valuation model for estimating the fair value of mortgage servicing rights is based upon the present value of estimated net future cash flows related to contractually specified services, which may also include the rights to prepayment penalties.

Key assumptions that are used to value mortgage servicing rights include prepayment speeds and discount rates. Changes in fair value of the mortgage servicing rights consist of two primary components: (1) a reduction in fair value due to the realization of expected cash flows from the mortgage servicing rights and (2) a change in value resulting from changes in discount rates and prepayment speed assumptions, primarily due to changes in interest rates and other market factors (see Exhibit 1).


As noted above, in recording a gain on the sale of loans securitized and accounted for as a sale, two accounting estimates need to be made: (1) the value of the retained interest and, if applicable, (2) the value of the mortgage servicing rights. Both require the projection of future cash flows that are derived from loans that underlie the MBS. The fair value of each of these assets is based on a series of key assumptions that can significantly impact their fair value and are determined by management judgment. Similar to the valuation issues that have historically plagued hedge fund hedge fund, in finance, a highly speculative, largely unregulated investment device. Originating in the 1950s, the funds "hedge" by offsetting "short" positions (borrowing a security and then selling it at a higher price before repaying the lender) against "long"  and private equity investments, any security that lacks a robust secondary market is complex and difficult to value and results can fall in a range of reasonably acceptable and justifiable jus·ti·fi·a·ble  
Having sufficient grounds for justification; possible to justify: justifiable resentment.


In addition, when a company chooses to sell its loans to a third party, typically it enters into agreements in which it will buy back the loans within six to 18 months. For example, an obligation to repurchase the loan can occur if (a) the loan is repaid prematurely, (b) an early payment default occurs or (c) the loan violates any other representation and warranty the company provided to the buyer. To account for this uncertainty, a company reserves a certain amount on its balance sheet, called a repurchase reserve, which it can draw upon to buy back the loan. This reserve is also based upon a series of estimates such as the percentage of losses and the severity of the losses on the loans sold.

The complexities in estimating the value of multifaceted mul·ti·fac·et·ed  
Having many facets or aspects. See Synonyms at versatile.

Adj. 1. multifaceted - having many aspects; "a many-sided subject"; "a multifaceted undertaking"; "multifarious interests"; "the multifarious
 assets lacking an active secondary market, as well as appreciation for the different ways a company may account for their value, requires that financial managers who utilize this type of financing endeavor to be knowledgeable of and accept the additional financial reporting risk inherent in these transactions. Consideration should be given to using a third-party valuation of these assets or liabilities to bolster the company's fair value measurements.


In the recent past many banks followed a business model where they would originate mortgage loans and then pass all or most of the risk to the capital markets. This model is now less popular and will probably never again be utilized to the same degree. However, securitization is by no means dead. The use of securitization allows lenders to glee preference over others in relation to specific assets through a bankruptcy-remote entity The segregation of risk to allow a greater degree of leverage is what the world of finance is all about; it will continue into the future albeit in potentially different forms.

In considering the potential risks that face investors, in January 2003, PASB PASB Pan American Sanitary Bureau
PASB Polish Arabian Stud Book
PASB Pan American School of Bahia (Bahia, Brazil)
PASB Permeable Asphalt Stabilized Base
PASB Pakistan Armed Services Board
PASB Plantation Agencies Sdn.
 added a new project to its technical agenda to address the transfer of financial assets and propose amendments to Statement no. 140. FASB FASB

See: Financial Accounting Standards Board


See Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
 issued an exposure draft with proposed changes to Statement no. 140 on Aug. 11, 2005, seeking comments and also issued three FASB Staff Positions, one in April 2003, another in November 2005 and the most recent in February 2008 to provide additional guidance (see sidebar "Relevant GAAP GAAP

See: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles


See generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

FASB plans to issue an amended exposure draft on FASB Statement no. 140 in the second quarter of 2008 and, along with other considerations, FASB has indicated that it will most likely address the removal of the qualifying special purpose entity (QSPE QSPE Qualifying Special Purpose Entity ) concept in favor of a linked-presentation model. The proposed linked presentation model would require secured financings that meet certain specified criteria to present the assets and associated liabilities as linked on the face of the balance sheet with a resulting net position. This new model could potentially have a dramatic effect on the way companies currently account for securitizations.

Relevant GAAP

Below is a partial list of available resources for further research on this topic:

Current Accounting Guidance

* FASB Statement no. 140, Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Extinguishments of Liabilities--a replacement of FASB Statement No. 125, www.

* FASB Staff Position 140-1, Accounting for Accrued Interest Accrued Interest

The interest that has accumulated on a bond since the last interest payment up to but not including the settlement date.

There are two methods for calculating accrued interest:
1) 360-day year method, used for corporate and municipal bonds.
 Receivable Related to Securitized and Sold Receivables under FASB Statement No. 140, Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Extinguishments of Liabilities,

* FASB Staff Position 140-2, Clarification of the Application of Paragraphs 40(b) and 40(c) of FASB Statement No. 140,

* FASB Staff Position 140-3, Accounting for Transfers of Financial Assets and Repurchase Financing Transactions,

* FASB Statement no. 156, Accounting for Servicing of Financial Assets--an amendment of FASB Statement No. 140,

* FASB Statement no. 157, Fair Value Measurements,

Proposed Guidance

* Amendment of FASB Statement No. 140: Project Updates for the Transfers of Financial Assets. Includes a summary of decisions reached, next steps, links to the minutes of previously held board and public meetings and the history and background of the project, of financial_assets.shtml

* Exposure Draft issued on Aug. 11, 2005, Proposed Statement of Financial Accounting Standards Accounting for Transfers of Financial Assets--an amendment of FASB Statement No. 140,

Other Information

* SEC Final Rule: Asset Backed Securities; Release No. 33-8518, effective as of March 8, 2005. Details new and amended rules and forms that address the registration, disclosure and reporting requirements for asset-backed securities Asset-backed security

A security that is collateralized by loans, leases, receivables, or installment contracts on personal property, not real estate.

asset-backed security

A debt security collateralized by specific assets.
 under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,

* Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) is an industry trade group representing securities firms, banks, and asset management companies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.  (SIFMA SIFMA Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
SIFMA Socialized Industrial Forest Management Agreement
) MBS and Securitized Products Division,

* American Securitization Forum,

* Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Freddie Mac, privately owned, government-sponsored organization that uses private capital to buy home mortgages as a means to help lower housing costs. ,

* Federal National Mortgage Association,

* Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA GNMA
Government National Mortgage Association


See American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

JofA article "Getting a Handle on Loan Fees," Aug. 07, page 48


Depository The place where a deposit is placed and kept, e.g., a bank, savings and loan institution, credit union, or trust company. A place where something is deposited or stored as for safekeeping or convenience, e.g., a safety deposit box.  and Lending Institutions Noun 1. lending institution - a financial institution that makes loans
financial institution, financial organisation, financial organization - an institution (public or private) that collects funds (from the public or other institutions) and invests them in
: Banks and Savings Institutions, Credit Unions, Finance Companies, and Mortgage Companies (CD-ROM CD-ROM: see compact disc.
 in full compact disc read-only memory

Type of computer storage medium that is read optically (e.g., by a laser).
, #DDLXX; online, #WDL-XX).


AICPA National Banking School, Charlottesville, Va., May 11-16 (#BSCH BSCh
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

For more information or to make a purchase or register, go to www.cpa2biz biz  
n. Informal


Informal business

Noun 1.
.corn or call the Institute at 888-777-7077.

Kenneth F. Fick, CPA/ABV, is a director in the forensic and litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.

When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation.
 practice of FTI FTI Free thyroxine index, see there  Consulting Inc. His e-mail is The views expressed in the article are held by the author and are not necessarily representative of FTI Consulting Inc.
Exhibit 1

Example of Gain on Sale Transaction

Consider the gain on a securitization where the carrying amount of
the underlying loans is $100 million. The transaction is accounted
for as a sale to a qualified special purpose entity per Statement
no. 140. and the mortgage servicing rights are retained and
accounted for at fair value with the changes in fair value reported
in earnings. An example of this would be calculated as follows:

The MBS securities are sold to investors in three classes. Class A
has the highest priority for repayment. Class B is subordinate to
Class A, and Class C is subordinate to Class B. Each security is
sold at par or discounted to account for the risks associated with
how the cash flows are prioritized. The retained interest and the
mortgage servicing rights are also fair valued.

Deal Structure
                       Notional Amount   Discount     Fair Value

Class A                 $  50,000,000    100%          $  50,000,000
Class B                 $  25,000,000    97%           $  24,250,000
Class C                 $  25,000,000    95%           $  23,750,000
Retained Interest                                      $   5,000,000
  Servicing Rights                                     $   2,000,000
                        $ 100,000,000                  $ 105,000,000

The $100M cash proceeds from the sale must now be allocated
to the carrying amount of each portion of the securitization.

Allocation             Fair Value        % of Total   Carrying
of Carrying                                           Amount

Class A                 $  50,000,000    47.62%        $  47,619,048
Class B                 $  24,250,000    23.10%        $  23,095,238
Class C                 $  23,750,000    22.62%        $  22,619,047
Retained Interest       $   5,000,000    4.76%         $   4,761,905
Mortgage Servicing
  Rights                $   2,000,000    1.90%         $   1,904,762
                        $ 105,000,000    100.00%       $ 100,000,000

After determining the value for both the securities sold or retained
and allocating the costs to each piece of the securitization, you
can now calculate the gain.

Calculation of Gain

                                  Proceeds of Sale

 Net Proceeds of the Sale of Securities:       $  98,000,000
Morttage Servicing Rights at Fair Value:       $   2,000,000
                                               $ 100,000,000

                                  Allocated Costs

         Total Allocated Carrying Amount
                     of Securities Sold:       $ (93,333,333)
   Allocated Carrying Amount of Mortgage
                       Servicing Rights:       $  (1,904,762)
                                               $  95,238,095

                             Other Costs
                      Transaction Costs:       $  (1,000,000)
                           Pre-Tax Gain:       $   3,761,905

The journal entry to represent the sale and gain would he as follows:

Journal Entry                                  Debit         Credit

Cash Less Transaction Costs):             $97,000,000
Retained Interest:                         $4,761,905
Mortgage Servicing Rights:                 $2,000,000
  Net Carrying Value of Loans:                          $100,000,000
  Pre-Tax Gain on Sale of Loans:                          $3,761,905

* Retained Interest:                         $238,095
     Equity--Other Comprehensive Income:                    $238,095

* Note: In this example, an entry is used to adjust retained
interest to fair value ($5,000,000 - $4,761,905 = $238,095).
Other alternative methods exist to make the adjustment.
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Author:Fick, Kenneth F.
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:May 1, 2008
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