The American Securitization Forum lauded the Securities and Exchange Commission on its new rules that are supposed to make asset-backed securities more transparent for investors. The SEC approved a set of rules Thursday that requires issuers of ABS, which can sometimes be backed by mortgages, to disclose the history of the requests they received and repurchases they made on outstanding ABS. A second set of rules requires issuers to conduct a review of the assets underlying the securities. "We commend the commission for seeking industry input regarding reforms in the asset-backed securities market and appreciate that the final rules approved today for repurchase disclosure address our suggestions to implement a quarterly filing requirement and allow issuers with no repurchase requests to suspend quarterly filing, but instead provide an annual filing," ASF Executive Director Tom Deutsch said in a statement. The SEC permits issuers to abide by the new rule inhouse or hire third parties for the work, but that hired firm must consent to being named as an "expert" under federal securities laws. Deutsche pointed out that if the final rules require third-party due-diligence providers to take expert liability of their work, that could hurt their ability to perform the due diligence for issuers. "While the commission did announce steps attempting to alleviate this concern, it is unclear without seeing the final rules whether issuers will continue to be able to offer investors cost-effective due diligence by independent third parties," Deutsch said. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Managing Director Richard Dorfman also applauded the SEC but raised the same question Deutsche did about expert liability. "We remain concerned, however, with the expert liability issues which we raised in our comments to the SEC in November," Dorfman said. "Naming a third party conducting a due diligence review an ‘expert’ creates a liability associated with that designation which could limit the availability of these types of services, effectively preventing and/or limiting access to the valuable due diligence provided by these types of firms." Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter: @JonAPrior