SEC reminds banks to disclose impacts of mortgage repurchases, foreclosure reviews
The Securities and Exchange Commission reminded bank chief financial officers that in filing 10-Q forms they are required to disclose the impacts of representations and warranties made to mortgage purchasers, according to a letter sent in October. Major banks are struggling to get an accurate estimate on how much agency and private-label mortgage-backed securities losses they will be responsible for repaying to the purchasers of those securities, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the conservator of the government-sponsored enterprises, hired a law firm last month in a possible move to pursue those losses. Public companies must file a 10-Q with the SEC 35 days after the end of a quarter to disclose relevant information regarding financial strength. According to the letter sent by the SEC, banks must disclose information within those mortgages including the ownership loan, a validity of lien securing the loan, any absence of delinquent taxes or liens against the property, the process used in including the loan in the MBS deal, and a compliance with underwriting standards. And because many banks are reviewing foreclosure processes for compliance with state law, the SEC reminded CFOs of regulations that require them to disclose any trends, demands, commitments, events or uncertainties that would have an impact on the company's operations or capital resources. "As appropriate, you should provide clear and transparent disclosure regarding your obligations relating to the various representations and warranties that you made in connection with your securitization activities and whole loan sales. In addition, you should discuss any implications of any foreclosure review, including potential delays in completing foreclosures, if applicable," according to the letter. Write to Jon Prior.