FREDDIE MAC (FHLMC) 10-K 2010
UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
(Amendment No. 1)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009
Commission File Number: 000-53330
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). o Yes o No
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrants knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. Large accelerated filer o Accelerated filer x Non-accelerated filer (Do not check if a smaller reporting company) o Smaller reporting company o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No x
The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold on June 30, 2009 (the last business day of the registrants most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was $401.9 million.
As of February 11, 2010, there were 648,377,977 shares of the registrants common stock outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE: The information required by Part III (Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14) will be filed in an amendment on Form 10-K/A on or before April 30, 2010.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Freddie Mac, or the Company, is filing this Amendment No. 1 on Form 10-K/A to its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, or the Form 10-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, on February 24, 2010 to include the conformed signature of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, or PwC, which was inadvertently omitted from the Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm included in Item 8 of the Form 10-K. At the time of the February 24, 2010 filing of the Form 10-K with the SEC, the Company was in possession of the manually signed original of PwCs report, but the conformed signature was inadvertently omitted from the Form 10-K. The Company is, thus, amending Item 8 of Form 10-K for the sole purpose of including the aforementioned conformed signature.
Because the amendment to Item 8 only incorporates the conformed signature of PwC on the Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm, the date of such report remains as originally filed. In accordance with SEC rules, we are including in this Form 10-K/A the entire text of Item 8 and revising Item 15 and the Exhibit Index to include new certifications of our chief executive officer and chief financial officer.
This Form 10-K/A continues to speak as of the date of the Form 10-K and no attempt has been made to modify or update disclosures in the original Form 10-K except as noted above. This Form 10-K/A does not reflect events occurring after the filing of the Form 10-K or modify or update any related disclosures and any information not affected by the amendments contained in this Form 10-K/A is unchanged and reflects the disclosure made at the time of the filing of the Form 10-K with the SEC.
REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
To the Board of Directors and Stockholders of Freddie Mac:
In our opinion, the accompanying consolidated balance sheets and the related consolidated statements of operations, of cash flows, and of equity (deficit) present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Freddie Mac, a stockholder-owned government-sponsored enterprise (the Company), and its subsidiaries at December 31, 2009 and 2008, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2009 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Also in our opinion, the Company did not maintain, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2009, based on criteria established in Internal Control Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) because a material weakness in internal control over financial reporting related to disclosure controls and procedures that do not provide adequate mechanisms for information known to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that may have financial statement disclosure ramifications to be communicated to management, existed as of that date. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the companys annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The material weakness referred to above is described in the accompanying Managements Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting. We considered this material weakness in determining the nature, timing, and extent of audit tests applied in our audit of the 2009 consolidated financial statements, and our opinion regarding the effectiveness of the Companys internal control over financial reporting does not affect our opinion on those consolidated financial statements. The Companys management is responsible for these financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting included in managements report referred to above. Our responsibility is to express opinions on these financial statements and on the Companys internal control over financial reporting based on our audits (which was an integrated audit in 2009). We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audits of the financial statements included examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.
We have also audited in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) the supplemental consolidated fair value balance sheets of the Company as of December 31, 2009 and 2008. As explained in Note 18: Fair Value Disclosures, the supplemental consolidated fair value balance sheets have been prepared by management to present relevant financial information that is not provided by the historical-cost consolidated balance sheets and is not intended to be a presentation in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. In addition, the supplemental consolidated fair value balance sheets do not purport to present the net realizable, liquidation, or market value of the Company as a whole. Furthermore, amounts ultimately realized by the Company from the disposal of assets or amounts required to settle obligations may vary significantly from the fair values presented. In our opinion, the supplemental consolidated fair value balance sheets referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the information set forth therein as described in Note 18: Fair Value Disclosures.
As explained in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, in September 2008, the Company was placed into conservatorship by the FHFA. The U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) has committed financial support to the Company and management continues to conduct business operations pursuant to the delegated authorities from FHFA during conservatorship. The Company is dependent upon the continued support of Treasury and FHFA. As discussed in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company adopted as of April 1, 2009 an amendment to the accounting standards for investments in debt and equity securities which changed how it recognizes, measures and presents other-than-temporary impairment for debt securities and, as of January 1, 2008, changed how it defines, measures and discloses the fair value of assets and liabilities and elected to measure certain financial instruments and other items at fair value that are not required to be measured at fair value.
A companys internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A companys internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (i) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (ii) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (iii) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the companys assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
/s/ PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
February 23, 2010
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EQUITY (DEFICIT)
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements.
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
NOTE 1: SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Freddie Mac was chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1970 to stabilize the nations residential mortgage market and expand opportunities for home ownership and affordable rental housing. Our statutory mission is to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the U.S. housing market. Our participation in the secondary mortgage market includes providing our credit guarantee for residential mortgages originated by mortgage lenders and investing in mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities. Through our credit guarantee activities, we securitize mortgage loans by issuing PCs to third-party investors. We also resecuritize mortgage-related securities that are issued by us or Ginnie Mae as well as private, or non-agency, entities by issuing Structured Securities to third-party investors. We also guarantee multifamily mortgage loans that support housing revenue bonds issued by third parties and we guarantee other mortgage loans held by third parties. Securitized mortgage-related assets that back PCs and Structured Securities that are held by third parties are not reflected as assets on our consolidated balance sheets. As discussed in Securitization Activities through Issuances of Guaranteed PC and Structured Securities, our Structured Securities represent beneficial interests in pools of PCs and certain other types of mortgage-related assets. We earn management and guarantee fees for providing our guarantee and performing management activities (such as ongoing trustee services, administration of pass-through amounts, paying agent services, tax reporting and other required services) with respect to issued PCs and Structured Securities. Our management activities are essential to and inseparable from our guarantee activities. We do not provide or charge for the activities separately. The management and guarantee fee is paid to us over the life of the related PCs and Structured Securities and reflected in earnings as management and guarantee income is accrued.
Basis of Presentation
Our financial reporting and accounting policies conform to GAAP. We are operating under the basis that we will realize assets and satisfy liabilities in the normal course of business as a going concern and in accordance with the delegation of authority from FHFA to our Board of Directors and management. Certain amounts in prior periods consolidated financial statements have been reclassified to conform to the current presentation. We evaluate the materiality of identified errors in the financial statements using both an income statement, or rollover, and a balance sheet, or iron-curtain, approach, based on relevant quantitative and qualitative factors.
Net income (loss) includes certain adjustments to correct immaterial errors related to previously reported periods. For 2009, we evaluated subsequent events through February 23, 2010.
The preparation of financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect (a) the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and (b) the reported amounts of revenues and expenses and gains and losses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Our estimates and judgments include, but are not limited to the following:
During 2009, we enhanced our methodology for estimating the reserve for losses on mortgage loans held-for-investment and the reserve for guarantee losses on PCs. These enhancements were made to reduce the number of adjustments that were required in the previous process that arose as a result of dramatic changes in market conditions in recent periods. The new process allows us to incorporate a greater number of loan characteristics by giving us the ability to better integrate into the modeling process our understanding of home price changes at a more detailed level and forecast their impact on incurred losses. Additionally, these changes allow us to better assess incurred losses of modified loans by incorporating specific
expectations related to these types of loans into our model. Several of the more significant characteristics include estimated current loan-to-value ratios, original FICO scores, geographic region, loan product, delinquency status, loan age, sourcing channel, occupancy type, and unpaid principal balance at origination. We estimate that these changes in methodology decreased our provision for credit losses and increased net income by approximately $1.4 billion or $0.43 per diluted common share for 2009. Because of the number of characteristics incorporated into the enhanced model, the interdependencies in the calculations, and concurrent implementation of these enhancements, we are not able to attribute the dollar impact of this change to the individual changes in the new model. See NOTE 7: MORTGAGE LOANS AND LOAN LOSS RESERVES for additional information on our loan loss reserves.
Consolidation and Equity Method of Accounting
The consolidated financial statements include our accounts and those of our subsidiaries. The equity and net earnings attributable to the noncontrolling interests in our consolidated subsidiaries are reported separately on our consolidated balance sheets as noncontrolling interests in total equity (deficit) and in the consolidated statements of operations as net (income) loss attributable to noncontrolling interests. All material intercompany transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.
For each entity with which we are involved, we determine whether the entity should be considered a subsidiary and thus consolidated in our financial statements. These subsidiaries include entities in which we hold more than 50% of the voting rights or over which we have the ability to exercise control. Accordingly, we consolidate our two majority-owned REITs, Home Ownership Funding Corporation and Home Ownership Funding Corporation II. Other subsidiaries consist of VIEs in which we are the primary beneficiary.
A VIE is an entity (a) that has a total equity investment at risk that is not sufficient to finance its activities without additional subordinated financial support provided by another party or (b) where the group of equity holders does not have (i) the ability to make significant decisions about the entitys activities, (ii) the obligation to absorb the entitys expected losses or (iii) the right to receive the entitys expected residual returns. We consolidate entities that are VIEs when we are the primary beneficiary. We are considered the primary beneficiary of a VIE when we absorb a majority of its expected losses, receive a majority of its expected residual returns (unless another enterprise receives this majority), or both. We determine if we are the primary beneficiary when we become involved in the VIE or when there is a change to the governing documents. If we are the primary beneficiary, we also reconsider this decision when we sell or otherwise dispose of all or part of our variable interests to unrelated parties or if the VIE issues new variable interests to parties other than us or our related parties. Conversely, if we are not the primary beneficiary, we also reconsider this decision when we acquire additional variable interests in these entities. Prior to 2008, we invested as a limited partner in qualified LIHTC partnerships that are eligible for federal income tax credits and deductible operating losses and that mostly are VIEs. We are the primary beneficiary for certain of these LIHTC partnerships and consolidate them on our consolidated balance sheets as discussed in NOTE 5: VARIABLE INTEREST ENTITIES.
We use the equity method of accounting for entities over which we have the ability to exercise significant influence, but not control, such as (a) entities that are not VIEs and (b) VIEs in which we have significant variable interests but are not the primary beneficiary. We report our recorded investment as part of low-income housing tax credit partnership equity investments on our consolidated balance sheets and recognize our share of the entitys losses in the consolidated statements of operations as non-interest income (loss), with an offset to the recorded investment. Our share of losses is recognized only until the recorded investment is reduced to zero, unless we have guaranteed the obligations of or otherwise committed to provide further financial support to these entities. We review these investments for impairment on a quarterly basis and reduce them to fair value when a decline in fair value below the recorded investment is deemed to be other than temporary. Our review considers a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the severity and duration of the decline in fair value, remaining estimated tax credits and losses in relation to the recorded investment, our intent and ability to hold the investment until a recovery can be reasonably estimated to occur, our ability to use the losses and credits to offset income, and our ability to realize value via sales of our LIHTC investments.
In applying the equity method of accounting to the LIHTC partnerships where we are not the primary beneficiary, our obligations to make delayed equity contributions that are unconditional and legally binding are recorded at their present value in other liabilities on the consolidated balance sheets. In addition, to the extent our recorded investment in qualified LIHTC partnerships differs from the book basis reflected at the partnership level, the difference is amortized over the life of the tax credits and included in our consolidated statements of operations as part of non-interest income (loss) low-income housing tax credit partnerships. Impairment losses under the equity method for these LIHTC partnerships are also included in our consolidated statements of operations as part of non-interest income (loss) low-income housing tax credit partnerships.
We no longer invest in LIHTC partnerships because we do not expect to be able to use the underlying federal income tax credits or the operating losses generated from LIHTC partnerships as a reduction to our taxable income because of our inability to generate sufficient taxable income. Furthermore, we are not able to realize any value through a sale to a third party as a result of a restriction imposed by Treasury. As a result, we wrote down the carrying value of our LIHTC investments to zero as of December 31, 2009. See NOTE 5: VARIABLE INTEREST ENTITIES for additional information.
Cash and Cash Equivalents and Statements of Cash Flows
Highly liquid investment securities that have an original maturity of three months or less are accounted for as cash equivalents. In addition, cash collateral we obtain from counterparties to derivative contracts where we are in a net unrealized gain position is recorded as cash and cash equivalents. The vast majority of the cash and cash equivalents balance is interest-bearing in nature.
We adopted the accounting standards related to the fair value option for financial assets and financial liabilities on January 1, 2008, which requires, among other things, the classification of trading securities cash flows based on the purpose for which the securities were acquired. Upon adoption, we classified our trading securities cash flows as investing activities because we intend to hold these securities for investment purposes. Prior to our adoption, we classified cash flows on all trading securities as operating activities. As a result, the operating and investing activities on our consolidated statements of cash flows have been impacted by this change.
In the consolidated statements of cash flows, cash flows related to the acquisition and termination of derivatives other than forward commitments are generally classified in investing activities, without regard to whether the derivatives are designated as a hedge of another item. Cash flows from commitments accounted for as derivatives that result in the acquisition or sale of mortgage securities or mortgage loans are classified in either: (a) operating activities for mortgage loans classified as held-for-sale, or (b) investing activities for trading securities, available-for-sale securities or mortgage loans classified as held-for-investment. Cash flows related to purchases of mortgage loans held-for-sale are classified in operating activities until the loans have been securitized and retained as available-for-sale PCs in the same period as they are purchased, at which time the cash flows are classified as investing activities. When mortgage loans held-for-sale are sold or securitized, proceeds from sale or securitization and any related gain or loss are classified in operating activities. All cash inflows associated with our investments in mortgage-related securities issued by us that are classified as available-for-sale (i.e., payments, maturities, and proceeds from sales) are classified as investing activities.
Cash flows related to management and guarantee fees, including upfront, guarantee-related payments, are classified as operating activities, along with the cash flows related to the collection and distribution of payments on the mortgage loans underlying PCs. Upfront, guarantee-related payments are discussed further below in Securitization Activities through Issuances of Guaranteed PCs and Structured Securities Cash Payments at Inception.
When we have the right to purchase mortgage loans from PC pools, we recognize the mortgage loans as held-for-investment with a corresponding payable to the trust. For periods prior to the third quarter of 2009, the right to purchase the loans was included in net cash provided by investing activities and the increase in the payable to the trust was included in net cash used by operating activities. We determined that the recognition of these mortgage loans should be reflected as a non-cash activity. We revised our consolidated statements of cash flows for the year ended December 31, 2008 to reflect this correction. This revision resulted in an increase to the cash used for operating activities by $518 million and a decrease to the cash used for investing activities by $518 million for 2008. Management concluded that this revision is not material to our previously issued consolidated financial statements.
Cash collateral accepted from counterparties that we do not have the right to use is recorded as restricted cash in our consolidated balance sheets. Restricted cash also includes cash held on deposit at the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation.
Securitization Activities through Issuances of Guaranteed PCs and Structured Securities
We securitize substantially all of the single-family mortgages we have purchased and issue mortgage-related securities called PCs that can be sold to investors or held by us. Guarantor swaps are transactions where financial institutions exchange mortgage loans for PCs backed by these mortgage loans. Multilender swaps are similar to guarantor swaps, except that formed PC pools include loans that are contributed by more than one other party or by us. We issue PCs and Structured Securities through various swap-based exchanges significantly more often than through cash-based exchanges. We also issue and transfer Structured Securities to third parties in exchange for PCs and non-Freddie Mac mortgage-related securities.
Our PCs are pass-through securities that represent undivided beneficial interests in trusts that own pools of mortgages we have purchased. For our fixed-rate PCs, we guarantee the timely payment of interest and principal. For our ARM PCs, we guarantee the timely payment of the weighted average coupon interest rate for the underlying mortgage loans. We do not guarantee the timely payment of principal for ARM PCs; however, we do guarantee the full and final payment of principal. In exchange for providing this guarantee, we receive a contractual management and guarantee fee and other upfront credit-related fees.
Other investors purchase our PCs, including pension funds, insurance companies, securities dealers, money managers, commercial banks, foreign central banks and other fixed-income investors. PCs differ from U.S. Treasury securities and other fixed-income investments in two primary ways. First, PCs can be prepaid at any time because homeowners can pay off the underlying mortgages at any time prior to a loans maturity. Because homeowners have the right to prepay their mortgage, the securities implicitly have a call option that significantly reduces the average life of the security as compared to the contractual maturity of the underlying loans. Consequently, mortgage-related securities generally provide a higher nominal yield than certain other fixed-income products. Second, PCs are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, as are U.S. Treasury securities. However, we guarantee the payment of interest and principal on all our PCs, as discussed above.
In return for providing our guarantee for the payment of principal and interest on the security, we may earn a management and guarantee fee that is paid to us over the life of an issued PC, representing a portion of the interest collected on the underlying loans. We recognize the fair value of our contractual right to receive management and guarantee fees as a guarantee asset at the inception of an executed guarantee. We recognize a guarantee asset, which performs similar to an interest-only security, only when an explicit management and guarantee fee is charged. To estimate the fair value of most of our guarantee asset, we obtain dealer quotes on proxy securities with collateral similar to aggregated characteristics of our portfolio. For the remaining portion of our guarantee asset, we use an expected cash flow approach including only those cash flows expected to result from our contractual right to receive management and guarantee fees, discounted using market input assumptions extracted from the dealer quotes provided on the more liquid products. See NOTE 4: RETAINED INTERESTS IN MORTGAGE-RELATED SECURITIZATIONS for more information on how we determine the fair value of our guarantee asset.
Subsequently, we account for a guarantee asset like a debt instrument classified as a trading security. As such, we measure the guarantee asset at fair value with changes in the fair value reflected in earnings as gains (losses) on guarantee asset. Cash collections of our contractual management and guarantee fee reduce the value of the guarantee asset and are reflected in earnings as management and guarantee income.
Our guarantee obligation represents the recognized liability associated with our guarantee of PCs and Structured Securities net of cumulative amortization. Prior to January 1, 2008, we recognized a guarantee obligation at the fair value of our non-contingent obligation to stand ready to perform under the terms of our guarantee at inception of an executed guarantee. Upon adoption of an amendment to the accounting standards for fair value measurements and disclosures on January 1, 2008, we began measuring the fair value of our newly-issued guarantee obligations at their inception using the practical expedient provided by the initial measurement guidance for guarantees. Using the practical expedient, the initial guarantee obligation is recorded at an amount equal to the fair value of compensation we received in the related securitization transaction. As a result, we no longer record estimates of deferred gains or immediate, day one, losses on most guarantees. However, all unamortized amounts recorded prior to January 1, 2008 will continue to be deferred and amortized using the static effective yield method. The guarantee obligation is reduced by the fair value of any primary loan-level mortgage insurance (which is described below under Credit Enhancements) that we receive.
Subsequently, we amortize our guarantee obligation into earnings as income on guarantee obligation using a static effective yield method. The static effective yield is calculated and fixed at inception of the guarantee based on forecasted unpaid principal balances. The static effective yield is subsequently evaluated and adjusted when significant changes in economic events cause a shift in the pattern of our economic release from risk (hereafter referred to as the loss curve). We established triggers that identify significant shifts in the loss curve, which include increases or decreases in prepayment speeds, and increases or decreases in home price appreciation/depreciation. These triggers are based on objective measures (i.e., defined percentages which are designed to identify symmetrical shifts in the loss curve) applied consistently period to period. When a trigger is met, a cumulative catch-up adjustment is recognized to true up the cumulative amortization to the amount that would have been recognized had the shift in the loss curve been included in the original effective yield calculation. The new effective yield is applied prospectively based on the revised cash flow forecast and can subsequently
change when another trigger is met indicating another significant shift in the loss curve. The resulting recorded amortization reflects our economic release from risk under changing economic scenarios.
As additional consideration, we may receive the following types of seller-provided credit enhancements related to the underlying mortgage loans. These credit enhancements are initially measured at fair value and recognized as follows: (a) pool insurance is recognized as an other asset; (b) recourse and/or indemnifications that are provided by counterparties to guarantor swap or cash purchase transactions are recognized as an other asset; and (c) primary loan-level mortgage insurance is recognized at inception as a component of the recognized guarantee obligation. The fair value of the credit enhancements is estimated using an expected cash flow approach intended to reflect the estimated amount that a third party would be willing to pay for the contracts. Recognized credit enhancement assets are subsequently amortized into earnings as other non-interest expense under the static effective yield method in the same manner as our guarantee obligation. Recurring insurance premiums are recorded at the amount paid and amortized over their contractual life.
Reserve for Guarantee Losses on Participation Certificates
When appropriate, we recognize a contingent obligation to make payments under our guarantee when it is probable that a loss has been incurred and the amount of loss can be reasonably estimated. See Allowance for Loan Losses and Reserve for Guarantee Losses below for information on our contingent obligation, when it is recognized, and how it is initially and subsequently measured.
Deferred Guarantee Income or Losses on Certain Credit Guarantees
Prior to January 1, 2008, because the recognized assets (the guarantee asset and any credit enhancement-related assets) and the recognized liability (the guarantee obligation) were valued independently of each other, net differences between these recognized assets and liability existed at inception. If the amounts of the recognized assets exceeded the recognized liability, the excess was deferred on our consolidated balance sheets as a component of guarantee obligation and referred to as deferred guarantee income, and is subsequently amortized into earnings as income on guarantee obligation using a static effective yield method consistent with the amortization of our guarantee obligation. If the amount of the recognized liability exceeded the recognized assets, the excess was expensed immediately to earnings as a component of non-interest expense losses on certain credit guarantees.
Cash Payments at Inception
When we issue PCs, we often exchange buy-up and buy-down fees with the counterparties to the exchange, so that the mortgage loan pools can fit into PC coupon increments. PCs are issued in 50 basis point coupon increments, whereas the mortgage loans that underlie the PCs are issued in 12.5 basis point coupon increments. Buy-ups are upfront cash payments made by us to increase the management and guarantee fee we will receive over the life of an issued PC, and buy-downs are upfront cash payments made to us to decrease the management and guarantee fee we receive over the life of an issued PC. The following illustrates how buy-ups and buy-downs impact the management and guarantee fees.
We may also receive upfront, cash-based payments as additional compensation for our guarantee of mortgage loans, referred to as delivery fees. These fees are charged to compensate us for any additional credit risk not contemplated in the management and guarantee fee initially negotiated with customers.
Cash payments that are made or received at inception of a swap-based exchange related to buy-ups, buy-downs or delivery fees are included as a component of our guarantee obligation and amortized into earnings as a component of income on guarantee obligation over the life of the guarantee. Certain pre-2003 deferred delivery and buy-down fees received by us were recorded as deferred income as a component of other liabilities and are amortized through management and guarantee income.
We account for a portion of PCs that we issue through our multilender swap program in the same manner as transfers that are accounted for as cash auctions of PCs if we contribute mortgage loans as collateral. The accounting for the remaining portion of such PC issuances is consistent with the accounting for PCs issued through a guarantor swap transaction.
We issue single-class Structured Securities and multi-class Structured Securities. We create Structured Securities primarily by using PCs or previously issued Structured Securities as collateral. Similar to our PCs, we guarantee the payment of principal and interest to the holders of the tranches of our Structured Securities. For Structured Securities that we issue to third parties in exchange for PCs, we receive a transaction fee (measured at the amount received), but we generally do not recognize any incremental guarantee asset or guarantee obligation because the underlying collateral is a guaranteed PC; therefore, there is no incremental guarantee asset or obligation to record. Rather, we defer and amortize into earnings as other non-interest income on a straight-line basis that portion of the transaction fee that we receive equal to the estimated fair value of our future administrative responsibilities for issued Structured Securities. These responsibilities include ongoing trustee services, administration of pass-through amounts, paying agent services, tax reporting and other required services. We estimate the fair value of these future responsibilities based on quotes from third-party vendors who perform each type of service and, where quotes are not available, based on our estimates of what those vendors would charge.
The remaining portion of the transaction fee relates to compensation earned in connection with structuring-related services we rendered to third parties and is allocated to the Structured Securities we retain, if any, and the Structured Securities acquired by third parties, based on the relative fair value of the Structured Securities. The fee allocated to any Structured Securities we retain is deferred as a carrying value adjustment of retained Structured Securities and is amortized using the effective interest method over the estimated lives of the Structured Securities. The fee allocated to the Structured Securities acquired by third parties is recognized immediately in earnings as other non-interest income.
Structured Securities that we issue to third parties in exchange for non-Freddie Mac mortgage-related securities are referred to as Structured Transactions. We recognize a guarantee asset, to the extent a management and guarantee fee is charged, and we recognize our guarantee obligation at fair value. We do not receive transaction fees for these transactions.
Structured Transactions can generally be segregated into two different types. In one type, we purchase single-class pass-through securities, place them in a securitization trust, guarantee the principal and interest, and issue the Structured Transaction. For other Structured Transactions, we purchase only the senior tranches from a non-Freddie Mac senior-subordinated securitization, place these senior tranches into a securitization trust, provide a guarantee of the principal and interest of the senior tranches, and issue the Structured Transaction.
Cash-Based Sales Transactions
Sometimes we issue PCs and Structured Securities through cash-based sales transactions. Cash-based sales involve the transfer of loans or PCs that we hold into PCs or Structured Securities. Upon completion of a transfer of loans or PCs that qualifies as a sale in accordance with the accounting standards for transfer and servicing of financial assets, we derecognize all assets sold and recognize all assets obtained and liabilities incurred.
We continue to carry on our consolidated balance sheets any retained interests in securitized financial assets. Such retained interests may include our right to receive management and guarantee fees on PCs or Structured Transactions, which is classified on our consolidated balance sheets as a guarantee asset. The carrying amount of all such retained interests is determined by allocating the previous carrying amount of the transferred assets between assets sold and the retained interests based upon their relative fair values at the date of transfer. Other retained interests include PCs or Structured Securities that are not transferred to third parties upon the completion of a securitization or resecuritization transaction.
Upon sale of a PC, we recognize a guarantee obligation representing our non-contingent obligation to stand ready to perform under the terms of our guarantee. The resulting gain (loss) on sale of transferred PCs and Structured Securities is reflected in our consolidated statements of operations as a component of gains (losses) on investment activity.
Freddie Mac PCs and Structured Securities included in Mortgage-Related Securities
When we own Freddie Mac PCs or Structured Securities, we do not derecognize any components of the guarantee asset, guarantee obligation, reserve for guarantee losses, or any other outstanding recorded amounts associated with the guarantee transaction because our contractual guarantee obligation to the unconsolidated securitization trust remains in force until the trust is liquidated, unless the trust is consolidated. We continue to account for the guarantee asset, guarantee obligation, and reserve for guarantee losses in the same manner as described above, and investments in Freddie Mac PCs and Structured Securities, as described in greater detail below. Whether we own the security or not, our guarantee obligation and related credit exposure does not change. Our valuation of these securities is consistent with the legal structure of the guarantee transaction, which includes our guarantee to the securitization trust. As such, the fair value of Freddie Mac PCs and Structured Securities held by us includes the implicit value of the guarantee. See NOTE 18: FAIR VALUE DISCLOSURES, for disclosure of the fair values of our mortgage-related securities, guarantee asset, and guarantee obligation. Upon subsequent sale of a Freddie Mac PC or Structured Security, we continue to account for any outstanding
recorded amounts associated with the guarantee transaction on the same basis as prior to the sale of the Freddie Mac PC or Structured Security, because the sale does not result in the retention of any new assets or the assumption of any new liabilities.
Due to PC Investors
Beginning December 2007 we introduced separate legal entities, or trusts, into our securities issuance process for the purpose of managing the receipt and payments of cash flow of our PCs and Structured Securities. In connection with the establishment of these trusts, we also established a separate custodial account in which cash remittances received on the underlying assets of our PCs and Structured Securities are deposited. These cash remittances include both scheduled and unscheduled principal and interest payments. The funds held in this account are segregated and are not commingled with our general operating funds nor are they presented within our consolidated balance sheets. As securities administrator, we invest the cash held in the custodial account, pending distribution to our PC and Structured Securities holders, in short-term investments and are entitled to trust management fees on the trusts assets which are recorded as other non-interest income. The funds are maintained in this separate custodial account until they are due to the PC and Structured Securities holders on their respective security payment dates.
Prior to December 2007, we managed the timing differences that exist for cash receipts from servicers on assets underlying our PCs and Structured Securities and the subsequent pass-through of those payments on PCs owned by third-party investors. In those cases, the PC balances were not reduced for payments of principal received from servicers in a given month until the first day of the next month and we did not release the cash received (principal and interest) to the PC investors until the fifteenth day of that next month. We generally invested the principal and interest amounts we received in short-term investments from the time the cash was received until the time we paid the PC investors. In addition, for unscheduled principal prepayments on loans underlying our PCs and Structured Securities, these timing differences resulted in expenses, since the related PCs continued to bear interest due to the PC investor at the PC coupon rate from the date of prepayment until the date the PC security balance is reduced, while no interest was received from the mortgage on that prepayment amount during that period. The expense recognized upon prepayment was reported in interest expense due to Participation Certificate investors. We report coupon interest income amounts relating to our investment in PCs consistent with the method used for PCs held by third-party investors.
Upon loan acquisition, we classify the loan as either held for sale or held for investment. Mortgage loans that we have the ability and intent to hold for the foreseeable future are classified as held for investment. Held-for-investment mortgage loans are reported at their outstanding unpaid principal balances, net of deferred fees and cost basis adjustments (including unamortized premiums and discounts). These deferred items are amortized into interest income over the estimated lives of the mortgages using the effective interest method. We use actual prepayment experience and estimates of future prepayments to determine the constant yield needed to apply the effective interest method. For purposes of estimating future prepayments, the mortgages are aggregated by similar characteristics such as origination date, coupon and maturity. We recognize interest on mortgage loans on an accrual basis, except when we believe the collection of principal or interest is not probable.
Mortgage loans not classified as held for investment are classified as held for sale. Held for sale mortgages are reported at the lower of cost or fair value, with gains and losses reported in other gains (losses) on investments. Premiums and discounts on loans classified as held for sale are not amortized during the period that such loans are classified as held for sale. Beginning in the third quarter of 2008, we elected the fair value option for multifamily mortgage loans that were purchased through our Capital Market Execution program to reflect our strategy in this program. Thus, these multifamily mortgage loans are measured at fair value on a recurring basis. Gains or losses on these loans related to sales or changes in fair value are reported in other gains (losses) on investments.
If we decide not to sell a mortgage loan classified as held for sale, and instead have the ability and intent to hold that loan for the foreseeable future or until maturity or payoff, the mortgage loan is reclassified from held for sale to held for investment on the date of change in our intent and ability. At the date of reclassification to held for investment, the mortgage loan is recorded at the lower of cost or fair value. Any difference between the new carrying amount of the loan and its outstanding principal balance at that time is treated as a premium or discount and amortized to income over the remaining life of the loan using the effective interest method.
Allowance for Loan Losses and Reserve for Guarantee Losses
We maintain an allowance for loan losses on mortgage loans held-for-investment and a reserve for guarantee losses on PCs, collectively referred to as our loan loss reserves, to provide for credit losses when it is probable that a loss has been incurred. The held-for-investment loan portfolio is reported net of the allowance for loan losses on the consolidated balance sheets. The reserve for guarantee losses is a liability account on our consolidated balance sheets. Increases in loan loss
reserves are reflected in earnings as the provision for credit losses, while decreases are reflected through charging-off such balances (net of recoveries) when realized losses are recorded or as a reduction in the provision for credit losses. For both single-family and multifamily mortgages where the original terms of the mortgage loan agreement are modified, resulting in a concession to the borrower experiencing financial difficulties, losses are recorded as charge-offs at the time of modification and the loans are subsequently accounted for as troubled debt restructurings.
We estimate credit losses related to homogeneous pools of single-family and multifamily loans when it is probable that a loss has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated in accordance with the accounting standards for contingencies. We also estimate credit losses for impaired loans in accordance with the subsequent measurement requirements in the accounting standards for receivables. The loans evaluated include single-family loans and multifamily loans whose contractual terms have previously been modified due to credit concerns (including troubled debt restructurings), and certain loans that were deemed impaired based on management judgment. When evaluating loan impairments and establishing the loan loss reserves, we consider available evidence, such as the fair value of collateral for collateral dependent loans, and third-party credit enhancements. Determining the adequacy of the loan loss reserves is a complex process that is subject to numerous estimates and assumptions requiring significant judgment. Loans not deemed to be impaired are grouped with other loans that share common characteristics for evaluation of impairment in accordance with the accounting standards for contingencies.
Single-Family Loan Portfolio
We estimate loan loss reserves on homogeneous pools of single-family loans using a statistically based model that evaluates a variety of factors. The homogeneous pools of single-family mortgage loans are determined based on common underlying characteristics, including current LTV ratios and trends in house prices, loan product type and geographic region. In determining the loan loss reserves for single-family loans at the balance sheet date, we evaluate factors including, but not limited to:
Our loan loss reserves reflect our best estimates of incurred losses. Our loan loss reserve estimate includes projections related to strategic loss mitigation activities, including loan modifications for troubled borrowers, and projections of recoveries through repurchases by seller/servicers of defaulted loans due to failure to follow contractual underwriting requirements at the time of the loan origination. At an individual loan level, our estimate also considers the effect of home price changes on borrower behavior and the impact of our loss mitigation actions, including our temporary suspensions of foreclosure transfers and our loan modification efforts. We apply estimated proceeds from primary mortgage insurance that is contractually attached to a loan and other credit enhancements entered into contemporaneous with and in contemplation of a guarantee or loan purchase transaction as a recovery of our recorded investment in a charged-off loan, up to the amount of loss recognized as a charge-off. Proceeds from credit enhancements received in excess of our recorded investment in charged-off loans are recorded in REO operations expense in the consolidated statements of operations when received.
Our reserve estimate also reflects our best projection of defaults we believe are likely to occur as a result of loss events that have occurred through December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively. However, the continued deterioration in the national housing market during 2009, the uncertainty in other macroeconomic factors, and uncertainty of the success of modification efforts under HAMP and other loss mitigation programs makes forecasting of default rates increasingly imprecise. The inability to realize the benefits of our loss mitigation plans, a lower realized rate of seller/servicer repurchases, further declines in home prices, deterioration in the financial condition of our mortgage insurance counterparties, or default rates that exceed our current projections would cause our losses to be higher than those currently estimated.
We validate and update the model and factors to capture changes in actual loss experience, as well as changes in underwriting practices and in our loss mitigation strategies. We also consider macroeconomic and other factors that impact the quality of the loans underlying our portfolio including regional housing trends, applicable home price indices, unemployment and employment dislocation trends, consumer credit statistics and the extent of third party insurance. We determine our loan loss reserves based on our assessment of these factors.
Multifamily Loan Portfolio
We estimate loan loss reserves on the multifamily loan portfolio based on available evidence, including but not limited to, the fair value of collateral underlying the impaired loans, evaluation of the repayment prospects, and the adequacy of third-party credit enhancements. We also consider the value of collateral underlying individual loans based on property-specific and market-level risk characteristics including apartment vacancy and rental rates. In determining our loan loss reserve estimate, we utilize available economic data related to commercial real estate as well as estimates of loss severity and cure rates. The cure rate is the percent of delinquent loans that are able to return to a current payment status. For those loans we identify as having deteriorating underlying characteristics such as LTV ratio and DSCRs, we then evaluate each individual property, using estimates of property value to determine if a specific reserve is needed for each loan. Although we use the most recently available results of our multifamily borrowers to assess a propertys values, there is a lag in reporting as they prepare their results in the normal course of business.
We classify loans as non-performing and place them on nonaccrual status when we believe collectibility of interest and principal on a loan is not reasonably assured. We consider non-performing loans as those: (a) loans whose contractual terms have been modified due to the financial difficulties of the borrower (including troubled debt restructurings), and (b) loans that are more than 90 days past due, and (c) multifamily loans at least 30 days past due that are deemed impaired based on management judgment. Serious delinquencies are those single-family and multifamily loans that are 90 days or more past due or in foreclosure.
A loan is considered impaired when it is probable to not receive all amounts due (principal and interest), in accordance with the contractual terms of the original loan agreement. Impaired loans include single-family loans, both performing and non-performing, that are troubled debt restructurings and delinquent or modified loans purchased from PC pools whose fair value was less than acquisition cost at the date of purchase. Multifamily impaired loans include loans whose contractual terms have previously been modified due to credit concerns (including troubled debt restructurings), loans that are at least 90 days past due, and loans at least 30 days past due that are deemed impaired based on management judgment. Single-family loans are aggregated and measured for impairment based on similar risk characteristics. For impaired multifamily loans, impairment is measured based on the fair value of the loan level underlying collateral as the repayment of these loans is generally provided from the cash flows of the underlying collateral and any credit enhancements associated with the impaired loan. Except for cases of fraud and other unusual circumstances, multifamily loans are non-recourse to the borrower so only the cash flows of the underlying property serve as the source of funds for repayment of the loan.
We have the option to purchase mortgage loans out of PC pools under certain circumstances, such as to resolve an existing or impending delinquency or default. From time to time, we reevaluate our delinquent loan purchase practices and alter them if circumstances warrant. Through November 2007, our general practice was to automatically purchase the mortgage loans out of pools after the loans were 120 days delinquent. Effective December 2007, we purchase loans from pools when (a) loans are modified, (b) foreclosure sales occur, (c) the loans are delinquent for 24 months, or (d) the loans are 120 days or more delinquent and the cost of guarantee payments to PC holders, including advances of interest at the PC coupon, exceeds the expected cost of holding the non-performing mortgage loan. On February 10, 2010 we announced that we will purchase substantially all of the single-family mortgage loans that are 120 days or more delinquent from our PCs and Structured Securities. See NOTE 22: SUBSEQUENT EVENTS for additional information. According to the initial measurement requirements in accounting standards for loans and debt securities acquired with deteriorated credit quality, loans that are purchased from PC pools are recorded on our consolidated balance sheets at the lesser of our acquisition cost
or the loans fair value at the date of purchase and are subsequently carried at amortized cost. The initial investment includes the unpaid principal balance, accrued interest, and a proportional amount of the recognized guarantee obligation and reserve for guarantee losses recognized for the PC pool from which the loan was purchased. The proportion of the guarantee obligation is calculated based on the relative percentage of the unpaid principal balance of the loan to the unpaid principal balance of the entire pool. The proportion of the reserve for guarantee losses is calculated based on the relative percentage of the unpaid principal balance of the loan to the unpaid principal balance of the loans in the respective reserving category for the loan (i.e., book year and delinquency status). We record realized losses on loans purchased when, upon purchase, the fair value is less than the acquisition cost of the loan. Gains related to non-accrual loans with deteriorated credit quality acquired from PC pools, which are either repaid in full or are collected in whole or in part when a loan goes to foreclosure are reported in recoveries on loans impaired upon purchase. For impaired loans where the borrower has made required payments that return to current status, the basis adjustments are recognized as interest income over time, as periodic payments are received. Gains resulting from the prepayment of currently performing loans with deteriorated credit quality acquired from PC pools are also reported in mortgage loan interest income.
Investments in Securities
Investments in securities consist primarily of mortgage-related securities. We classify securities as available-for-sale or trading. On January 1, 2008, we elected the fair value option for certain available-for-sale mortgage-related securities, including investments in securities that (a) can contractually be prepaid or otherwise settled in such a way that we may not recover substantially all of our recorded investment or (b) are not of high credit quality at the acquisition date, which are identified as within the scope of the accounting standards for investments in beneficial interests in securitized financial assets. Subsequent to our election, these securities were classified as trading securities. See Recently Adopted Accounting Standards for further information. We currently have not classified any securities as held-to-maturity although we may elect to do so in the future. Securities classified as available-for-sale are reported at fair value with changes in fair value included in AOCI, net of taxes, or gains (losses) on investments. Securities classified as trading are reported at fair value with changes in fair value included in gains (losses) on investments. See NOTE 18: FAIR VALUE DISCLOSURES for more information on how we determine the fair value of securities.
We record forward purchases and sales of securities that are specifically exempt from the requirements of derivatives and hedging accounting, on a trade date basis. Securities underlying forward purchases and sales contracts that are not exempt from the requirements of derivatives and hedging accounting are recorded on the contractual settlement date with a corresponding commitment recorded on the trade date.
In connection with transfers of financial assets that qualify as sales under the accounting standards for transfer and servicing of financial assets, we may retain individual securities not transferred to third parties upon the completion of a securitization transaction. These securities may be backed by mortgage loans purchased from our customers or PCs and Structured Securities. The new Structured Securities we acquire in these transactions are classified as available-for-sale or trading. Our PCs and Structured Securities are considered guaranteed investments. Therefore, the fair values of these securities reflect that they are considered to be of high credit quality and the securities are not subject to credit-related impairments. They are subject to the credit risk associated with the underlying mortgage loan collateral. Therefore, our exposure to credit losses on the loans underlying our retained securitization interests is recorded within our reserve for guarantee losses on PCs. See Allowance for Loan Losses and Reserve for Guarantee Losses above for additional information.
For most of our investments in securities, interest income is recognized using the retrospective effective interest method. Deferred items, including premiums, discounts and other basis adjustments, are amortized into interest income over the estimated lives of the securities. We use actual prepayment experience and estimates of future prepayments to determine the constant yield needed to apply the effective interest method. We recalculate the constant effective yield based on changes in estimated prepayments as a result of changes in interest rates and other factors. When the constant effective yield changes, an adjustment to interest income is made for the amount of amortization that would have been recorded if the new effective yield had been applied since the mortgage assets were acquired.
For certain securities investments, interest income is recognized using the prospective effective interest method. We specifically apply this accounting to beneficial interests in securitized financial assets that (a) can contractually be prepaid or otherwise settled in such a way that we may not recover substantially all of our recorded investment, (b) are not of high credit quality at the acquisition date, or (c) have been determined to be other-than-temporarily impaired. We recognize as interest income (over the life of these securities) the excess of all estimated cash flows attributable to these interests over their book value using the effective yield method. We update our estimates of expected cash flows periodically and recognize changes in calculated effective yield on a prospective basis.
On April 1, 2009, we prospectively adopted an amendment to the accounting standards for investments in debt and equity securities, which provides additional guidance in accounting for and presenting impairment losses on debt securities. See Recently Adopted Accounting Standards Change in the Impairment Model for Debt Securities for further information regarding this amendment.
We conduct quarterly reviews to identify and evaluate each available-for-sale security that has an unrealized loss, in accordance with the amendment to the accounting standards for investments in debt and equity securities. An unrealized loss exists when the current fair value of an individual security is less than its amortized cost basis. The evaluation of unrealized losses on our available-for-sale portfolio for other-than-temporary impairment contemplates numerous factors. We perform an evaluation on a security-by-security basis considering all available information. For available-for-sale securities, a critical component of the evaluation for other-than-temporary impairments is the identification of credit-impaired securities, where we do not expect to receive cash flows sufficient to recover the entire amortized cost basis of the security. Our analysis regarding credit quality is refined where the current fair value or other characteristics of the security warrant. The relative importance of this information varies based on the facts and circumstances surrounding each security, as well as the economic environment at the time of assessment. See NOTE 6: INVESTMENTS IN SECURITIES Evaluation of Other-Than-Temporary Impairments for a discussion of important factors we considered in our evaluation.
The amount of the total other-than-temporary impairment related to a credit-related loss is recognized in net impairment of available-for-sale securities in our consolidated statements of operations. Unrealized losses on available-for-sale securities that are determined to be temporary in nature are recorded, net of tax, in AOCI.
For available-for-sale securities that are not deemed to be credit impaired, we perform additional analysis to assess whether we intend to sell or would more likely than not be required to sell the security before the expected recovery of the amortized cost basis. In most cases, we asserted that we have no intent to sell and that we believe it is not more likely than not that we will be required to sell the security before recovery of its amortized cost basis. Where such an assertion has not been made, the securitys decline in fair value is deemed to be other than temporary and is recorded in earnings.
Prior to January 1, 2008, for certain securities that (a) can contractually be prepaid or otherwise settled in such a way that we may not recover substantially all of our recorded investment or (b) are not of high credit quality at the acquisition date, other-than-temporary impairment was defined in accordance with the accounting standards for investments in beneficial interests in securitized financial assets as occurring whenever there was an adverse change in estimated future cash flows coupled with a decline in fair value below the amortized cost basis. When a security was deemed to be other-than-temporarily impaired, the cost basis of the security was written down to fair value, with the loss recorded to gains (losses) on investment activity. Based on the new cost basis, the deferred amounts related to the impaired security were amortized over the securitys remaining life in a manner consistent with the amount and timing of the future estimated cash flows. The security cost basis was not changed for subsequent recoveries in fair value.
On January 1, 2008, for available-for-sale securities identified as within the scope of the accounting standards for investments in beneficial interests in securitized financial assets, we elected the fair value option to better reflect the valuation changes that occur subsequent to impairment write-downs recorded on these instruments. By electing the fair value option for these instruments, we reflect valuation changes through our consolidated statements of operations in the period they occur, including increases in value. For additional information on our election of the fair value option, see Recently Adopted Accounting Standards and NOTE 18: FAIR VALUE DISCLOSURES.
Gains and losses on the sale of securities are included in other gains (losses) on investments, including those gains (losses) reclassified into earnings from AOCI. We use the specific identification method for determining the cost of a security in computing the gain or loss.
Repurchase and Resale Agreements
We enter into repurchase and resale agreements primarily as an investor or to finance our security positions. Such transactions are accounted for as secured financings when the transferor does not relinquish control.
Debt Securities Issued
Debt securities that we issue are classified on our consolidated balance sheets as either short-term (due within one year) or long-term (due after one year), based on their remaining contractual maturity. The classification of interest expense on debt securities as either short-term or long-term is based on the original contractual maturity of the debt security.
Debt securities other than foreign-currency denominated debt are reported at amortized cost. Deferred items including premiums, discounts, and hedging-related basis adjustments are reported as a component of debt securities, net. Issuance costs are reported as a component of other assets. These items are amortized and reported through interest expense using the effective interest method over the contractual life of the related indebtedness. Amortization of premiums, discounts and
issuance costs begins at the time of debt issuance. Amortization of hedging-related basis adjustments is initiated upon the termination of the related hedge relationship.
On January 1, 2008, we elected the fair value option on foreign-currency denominated debt securities and report them at fair value. The change in fair value of foreign-currency denominated debt for 2008 was reported as gains (losses) on debt recorded at fair value in our consolidated statements of operations. Upfront costs and fees on foreign-currency denominated debt are recognized in earnings as incurred and not deferred. For additional information on our election of the fair value option, see Recently Adopted Accounting Standards and NOTE 18: FAIR VALUE DISCLOSURES. Prior to 2008, foreign-currency denominated debt issuances were recorded at amortized cost and translated into U.S. dollars using foreign exchange spot rates at the balance sheet dates and any resulting gains or losses were reported in non-interest income (loss) foreign-currency gains (losses), net.
When we repurchase or call outstanding debt securities, we recognize a gain or loss related to the difference between the amount paid to redeem the debt security and the carrying value, including any remaining unamortized deferred items (e.g., premiums, discounts, issuance costs and hedging-related basis adjustments). The balances of remaining deferred items are reflected in earnings in the period of extinguishment as a component of gains (losses) on debt retirement. Contemporaneous transfers of cash between us and a creditor in connection with the issuance of a new debt security and satisfaction of an existing debt security are accounted for as either an extinguishment of the existing debt security or a modification, or debt exchange, of an existing debt security. If the debt securities have substantially different terms, the transaction is accounted for as an extinguishment of the existing debt security with recognition of any gains or losses in earnings in gains (losses) on debt retirement, the issuance of a new debt security is recorded at fair value, fees paid to the creditor are expensed, and fees paid to third parties are deferred and amortized into interest expense over the life of the new debt obligation using the effective interest method. If the terms of the existing debt security and the new debt security are not substantially different, the transaction is accounted for as a debt exchange, fees paid to the creditor are deferred and amortized over the life of the modified debt security using the effective interest method, and fees paid to third parties are expensed as incurred. In a debt exchange, the following are considered to be a basis adjustment on the new debt security and are amortized as an adjustment of interest expense over the remaining term of the new debt security: (a) the fees associated with the new debt security and any existing unamortized premium or discount; (b) concession fees on the existing debt security; and (c) hedge gains and losses on the existing debt security.
We account for our derivatives pursuant to the accounting standards for derivatives and hedging. Derivatives are reported at their fair value on our consolidated balance sheets. Derivatives in an asset position, including net derivative interest receivable or payable, are reported as derivative assets, net. Similarly, derivatives in a net liability position, including net derivative interest receivable or payable, are reported as derivative liabilities, net. We offset fair value amounts recognized for the right to reclaim cash collateral or the obligation to return cash collateral against fair value amounts recognized for derivative instruments executed with the same counterparty under a master netting agreement. Changes in fair value and interest accruals on derivatives are recorded as derivative gains (losses) in our consolidated statements of operations.
We evaluate whether financial instruments that we purchase or issue contain embedded derivatives. In connection with the adoption of an amendment to derivatives and hedging accounting regarding certain hybrid financial instruments on January 1, 2007, we elected to measure newly acquired or issued financial instruments that contain embedded derivatives at fair value, with changes in fair value recorded in our consolidated statements of operations. At December 31, 2009 and 2008, we did not have any embedded derivatives that were bifurcated and accounted for as freestanding derivatives.
At December 31, 2009 and 2008, we did not have any derivatives in hedge accounting relationships; however, there are amounts recorded in AOCI related to terminated or de-designated cash flow hedge relationships. These deferred gains and losses on closed cash flow hedges are recognized in earnings as the originally forecasted transactions affect earnings. If it becomes probable the originally forecasted transaction will not occur, the associated deferred gain or loss in AOCI would be reclassified to earnings immediately.
The changes in fair value of the derivatives in cash flow hedge relationships are recorded as a separate component of AOCI to the extent the hedge relationships are effective, and amounts are reclassified to earnings when the forecasted transaction affects earnings.
REO is initially recorded at fair value less estimated costs to sell and is subsequently carried at the lower-of-cost-or-fair-value less estimated costs to sell. When we acquire REO, losses arise when the carrying basis of the loan (including accrued interest) exceeds the fair value of the foreclosed property, net of estimated costs to sell and expected recoveries
through credit enhancements. Losses are charged-off against the allowance for loan losses at the time of acquisition. REO gains arise and are recognized immediately in earnings at disposition when the fair market value of the foreclosed property less costs to sell and credit enhancements exceeds the carrying basis of the loan (including accrued interest). Amounts we expect to receive from third-party insurance or other credit enhancements are recorded when the asset is acquired. The receivable is adjusted when the actual claim is filed, and is a component of accounts and other receivables, net on our consolidated balance sheets. Material development and improvement costs relating to REO are capitalized. Operating expenses on the properties are included in REO operations income (expense). Estimated declines in REO fair value that result from ongoing valuation of the properties are provided for and charged to REO operations income (expense) when identified. Any gains and losses from REO dispositions are included in REO operations income (expense).
We use the asset and liability method to account for income taxes in accordance with the accounting standards for income taxes. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized based upon the expected future tax consequences of existing temporary differences between the financial reporting and the tax reporting basis of assets and liabilities using enacted statutory tax rates. To the extent tax laws change, deferred tax assets and liabilities are adjusted, when necessary, in the period that the tax change is enacted. Valuation allowances are recorded to reduce net deferred tax assets when it is more likely than not that a tax benefit will not be realized. The realization of these net deferred tax assets is dependent upon the generation of sufficient taxable income or upon our intent and ability to hold available-for-sale debt securities until the recovery of any temporary unrealized losses. On a quarterly basis, our management determines whether a valuation allowance is necessary. In so doing, our management considers all evidence currently available, both positive and negative, in determining whether, based on the weight of that evidence, it is more likely than not that the net deferred tax assets will be realized. Our management determined that, as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, it was more likely than not that we would not realize the portion of our net deferred tax assets that is dependent upon the generation of future taxable income. This determination was driven by recent events and the resulting uncertainties that existed as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively. For more information about the evidence that management considers and our determination of the need for a valuation allowance, see NOTE 15: INCOME TAXES.
We account for tax positions taken or expected to be taken (and any associated interest and penalties) so long as it is more likely than not that it will be sustained upon examination, including resolution of any related appeals or litigation processes, based on the technical merits of the position. We measure the tax position at the largest amount of benefit that is greater than 50% likely of being realized upon ultimate settlement. See NOTE 15: INCOME TAXES for additional information.
Income tax benefit (expense) includes (a) deferred tax benefit (expense), which represents the net change in the deferred tax asset or liability balance during the year plus any change in a valuation allowance, if any, and (b) current tax benefit (expense), which represents the amount of tax currently payable to or receivable from a tax authority including any related interest and penalties plus amounts accrued for unrecognized tax benefits (also including any related interest and penalties). Income tax benefit (expense) excludes the tax effects related to adjustments recorded to equity.
We record compensation expense for stock-based compensation awards based on the grant-date fair value of the award and expected forfeitures. Compensation expense is recognized over the period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the stock-based compensation award. The recorded compensation expense is accompanied by an adjustment to additional paid-in capital on our consolidated balance sheets. The vesting period for stock-based compensation awards is generally three to five years for options, restricted stock and restricted stock units. The vesting period for the option to purchase stock under the Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or ESPP, was three months. See NOTE 12: STOCK-BASED COMPENSATION for additional information.
The fair value of options to purchase shares of our common stock, including options issued pursuant to the ESPP, is estimated using a Black-Scholes option pricing model, taking into account the exercise price and an estimate of the expected life of the option, the market value of the underlying stock, expected volatility, expected dividend yield, and the risk-free interest rate for the expected life of the option. The fair value of restricted stock and restricted stock unit awards is based on the fair value of our common stock on the grant date.
Incremental compensation expense related to the modification of awards is based on a comparison of the fair value of the modified award with the fair value of the original award before modification. We generally expect to settle our stock-based compensation awards in shares. In limited cases, an award may be cash-settled upon a contingent event such as involuntary termination. These awards are accounted for as an equity award until the contingency becomes probable of occurring, when the award is reclassified from equity to a liability. We initially measure the cost of employee service received in exchange for a stock-based compensation award of liability instruments based on the fair value of the award at
the grant date. The fair value of that award is remeasured subsequently at each reporting date through the settlement date. Changes in the fair value during the service period are recognized as compensation cost over that period.
Excess tax benefits are recognized in additional paid-in capital. Cash retained as a result of the excess tax benefits is presented in the consolidated statements of cash flows as financing cash inflows. The write-off of net deferred tax assets relating to unrealized tax benefits associated with recognized compensation costs reduces additional paid-in capital to the extent there are excess tax benefits from previous stock-based awards remaining in additional paid-in capital, with any remainder reported as part of income tax benefit (expense). A valuation allowance was established against the net deferred assets relating to unrealized tax benefits associated with recognized compensation costs since we determined that it was more likely than not that sufficient future taxable income of an appropriate nature (ordinary income versus capital gains) would not be generated to realize the benefits for the net deferred tax assets.
Earnings Per Common Share
Because we have participating securities, we use the two-class method of computing earnings per common share. The two-class method is an earnings allocation formula that determines earnings per share for common stock and participating securities based on dividends declared and participation rights in undistributed earnings. Our participating securities consist of vested options to purchase common stock as well as vested and unvested restricted stock units that earn dividend equivalents at the same rate when and as declared on common stock.
Basic earnings per common share is computed as net income available to common stockholders divided by the weighted average common shares outstanding for the period. The weighted average common shares outstanding for our basic earnings per share calculation includes the weighted average number of shares during 2008 that are associated with the warrant for our common stock issued to Treasury as part of the Purchase Agreement. This warrant is included since it is unconditionally exercisable by the holder at a minimal cost of $0.00001 per share. Diluted earnings per common share is determined using the weighted average number of common shares during the period, adjusted for the dilutive effect of common stock equivalents. Dilutive common stock equivalents reflect the assumed net issuance of additional common shares pursuant to certain of our stock-based compensation plans that could potentially dilute earnings per common share.
Comprehensive income is the change in equity, on a net of tax basis, resulting from transactions and other events and circumstances from non-owner sources during a period. It includes all changes in equity during a period, except those resulting from investments by stockholders. We define comprehensive income as consisting of net income plus changes in the unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale securities, the effective portion of derivatives accounted for as cash flow hedge relationships and changes in defined benefit plans.
We have three business segments for financial reporting purposes for all periods presented on our consolidated financial statements under the accounting standards for segment reporting. Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current period financial statements. See NOTE 17: SEGMENT REPORTING for additional information.
Recently Adopted Accounting Standards
FASB Accounting Standards Codification
On September 30, 2009, we adopted an amendment to the accounting standards on the GAAP hierarchy. This amendment changes the GAAP hierarchy used in the preparation of financial statements of non-governmental entities. It establishes the FASB Accounting Standards Codificationtm as the source of authoritative accounting principles recognized by the FASB to be applied by non-governmental entities in the preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP in the United States. Rules and interpretive releases of the SEC under authority of federal securities laws are also sources of authoritative GAAP for SEC registrants. Our adoption of this amendment had no impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Measuring Liabilities at Fair Value
In August 2009, the FASB amended guidance on the fair value measurement of liabilities. This amendment clarifies the valuation techniques permitted in measuring fair value of liabilities in circumstances in which a quoted price in an active market for the identical liability is not available. The amendment also provides that, in measuring the fair value of a liability in situations where a restriction prevents the transfer of the liability, companies are not required to make a separate input or adjust other inputs to reflect the existence of such a restriction. It also clarifies that quoted prices for the identical liability when traded as an asset in an active market are Level 1 fair value measurements, when no adjustments to the quoted price of the asset are required. The amendment is effective for the reporting periods, including interim periods, beginning after
August 28, 2009 with early adoption permitted. We adopted this amendment on October 1, 2009 and the adoption had no impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Change in the Impairment Model for Debt Securities
On April 1, 2009 we prospectively adopted an amendment to the accounting standards for investments in debt and equity securities, which provides additional guidance in accounting for and presenting impairment losses on debt securities. This amendment changes the recognition, measurement and presentation of other-than-temporary impairment for debt securities, and is intended to bring greater consistency to the timing of impairment recognition and provide greater clarity to investors about the credit and non-credit components of impaired debt securities that are not expected to be sold. It also changes (a) the method for determining whether an other-than-temporary impairment exists, and (b) the amount of an impairment charge to be recorded in earnings. To determine whether an other-than-temporary impairment exists, we assess whether we intend to sell or more likely than not will be required to sell the security prior to its anticipated recovery. The entire amount of other-than-temporary impairment related to securities which we intend to sell or for which it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell, is recognized in our consolidated statements of operations as net impairment on available-for-sale securities recognized in earnings. For securities that we do not intend to sell or for which it is more likely than not that we will not be required to sell, but for which we do not expect to recover the securities amortized cost basis, the amount of other-than-temporary impairment is separated between amounts recorded in earnings or AOCI. Other-than-temporary impairment amounts related to credit loss are recognized in net impairment of available-for-sale securities recognized in earnings and the amounts attributable to all other factors are recorded to AOCI.
As a result of the adoption, we recognized a cumulative-effect adjustment, net of tax, of $15.0 billion to our opening balance of retained earnings (accumulated deficit) on April 1, 2009, with a corresponding adjustment of $(9.9) billion, net of tax, to AOCI. The cumulative adjustment reclassifies the non-credit component of previously recognized other-than-temporary impairments from retained earnings to AOCI. The difference between these adjustments of $5.1 billion primarily represents the release of the valuation allowance previously recorded against the deferred tax asset that is no longer required upon adoption of this amendment. See NOTE 6: INVESTMENTS IN SECURITIES for further disclosures regarding our investments in securities and other-than-temporary impairments.
We prospectively adopted an amendment to the accounting standards for subsequent events on April 1, 2009. This Statement establishes general standards of accounting for and disclosure of events that occur after the balance sheet date but before financial statements are issued or are available to be issued. In particular, this statement sets forth (a) the period after the balance sheet date during which management of a reporting entity should evaluate events or transactions that may occur for potential recognition or disclosure in the financial statements, (b) the circumstances under which an entity should recognize events or transactions occurring after the balance sheet date in its financial statements, and (c) the disclosures that an entity should make about events or transactions that occurred after the balance sheet date. It also requires entities to disclose the date through which subsequent events have been evaluated and whether that date is the date that financial statements were issued or the date they were available to be issued. The adoption of this amendment did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Determining Whether Instruments Granted in Share-Based Payment Transactions Are Participating Securities
On January 1, 2009, we retrospectively adopted an amendment to the accounting standards for earnings per share. The guidance in this amendment applies to the calculation of earnings per share for share-based payment awards with rights to dividends or dividend equivalents. It clarifies that unvested share-based payment awards that contain nonforfeitable rights to dividends or dividend equivalents (whether paid or unpaid) are participating securities and shall be included in the computation of earnings per share pursuant to the two-class method. Our adoption of this amendment did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
We adopted an amendment to the accounting standards for consolidation regarding noncontrolling interests in consolidated financial statements on January 1, 2009. After adoption, noncontrolling interests (referred to as a minority interest prior to adoption) are classified within equity (deficit), a change from their previous classification between liabilities and stockholders equity (deficit). Income (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interests is included in net income (loss), although such income (loss) continues to be deducted to measure earnings per share. The amendment also requires retrospective application of expanded presentation and disclosure requirements. The adoption of this amendment did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Disclosure about Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities
We adopted an amendment to the accounting standards for derivatives and hedging on January 1, 2009. This amendment changes and expands the disclosure provisions for derivatives and hedging. It requires enhanced disclosures about (a) how and why we use derivative instruments, (b) how derivative instruments and related hedged items are accounted for, and (c) how derivative instruments and related hedged items affect our financial position, financial performance and cash flows. The adoption of this amendment enhanced our disclosures of derivative instruments and hedging activities in NOTE 13: DERIVATIVES but had no impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Other Changes in Accounting Principles
At December 31, 2008, we adopted an amendment to the impairment guidance of investments in beneficial interests in securitized financial assets, which aligns the impairment guidance for debt securities within the scope of the accounting standards for investments in beneficial interests in securitized financial assets with that for other available-for-sale or held-for-maturity debt securities; however, it does not change the interest income recognition method prescribed by the accounting standards for investments in beneficial interests in securitized financial assets. The adoption of this amendment did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Effective January 1, 2008, we adopted an amendment to the accounting standards for fair value measurements and disclosures, which defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value in GAAP and expands disclosures about fair value measurements. This amendment defines fair value as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date (also referred to as exit price). The adoption of this amendment did not cause a cumulative effect adjustment to our GAAP consolidated financial statements on January 1, 2008. This amendment also changed the initial measurement requirements for guarantees to provide for a practical expedient in measuring the fair value at inception of a guarantee. Upon adoption of this amendment on January 1, 2008, we began measuring the fair value of our newly-issued guarantee obligations at their inception using the practical expedient provided by the initial measurement requirements for guarantees. Using the practical expedient, the initial guarantee obligation is recorded at an amount equal to the fair value of compensation received, inclusive of all rights related to the transaction, in exchange for our guarantee. As a result, we no longer record estimates of deferred gains or immediate day one losses on most guarantees.
Effective January 1, 2008, we adopted an amendment to the measurement date provisions in accounting requirements for defined benefit pension and other post retirement plans. In accordance with the standard, we are required to measure our defined plan assets and obligations as of the date of our consolidated balance sheet, which necessitated a change in our measurement date from September 30 to December 31. The transition approach we elected for the change was the 15-month approach. Under this approach, we continued to use the measurements determined in our 2007 consolidated financial statements to estimate the effects of the change. Our adoption did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
On January 1, 2008, we adopted the accounting standard related to the fair value option for financial assets and financial liabilities, which permits entities to choose to measure many financial instruments and certain other items at fair value that are not required to be measured at fair value. The effect of the first measurement to fair value was reported as a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings (accumulated deficit). We elected the fair value option for foreign-currency denominated debt and certain available-for-sale mortgage-related securities, including investments in securities identified as within the scope of the accounting standards for investments in beneficial interests in securitized financial assets. Our election of the fair value option for the items discussed above was made in an effort to better reflect, in the financial statements, the economic offsets that exist related to items that were not previously recognized as changes in fair value through our consolidated statements of operations. As a result of the adoption, we recognized a $1.0 billion after-tax increase to our beginning retained earnings (accumulated deficit) at January 1, 2008, representing the effect of changing our measurement basis to fair value for the above items with the fair value option elected. During the third quarter of 2008, we elected the fair value option for certain multifamily held-for-sale mortgage loans. For additional information on the election of the fair value option, see NOTE 18: FAIR VALUE DISCLOSURES.
Effective December 31, 2007, we retrospectively changed our method of accounting for our guarantee obligation: 1) to a policy of no longer extinguishing our guarantee obligation when we purchase all or a portion of a guaranteed PC and Structured Security from a policy of effective extinguishment through the recognition of a Participation Certificate residual and 2) to a policy that amortizes our guarantee obligation into earnings in a manner that corresponds more closely to our economic release from risk under our guarantee than our former policy, which amortized our guarantee obligation according to the contractual expiration of our guarantee as observed by the decline in the unpaid principal balance of securitized mortgage loans. While our previous accounting was acceptable, we believe the adopted method of accounting for our guarantee obligation is preferable in that it significantly enhances the transparency and understandability of our financial
results, promotes uniformity in the accounting model for the credit risk retained in our primary credit guarantee business, better aligns revenue recognition to the release from economic risk of loss under our guarantee, and increases comparability with other similar financial institutions. Comparative financial statements of prior periods have been adjusted to apply the new methods, retrospectively. The changes in accounting principles resulted in an increase to our total equity (deficit) of $1.1 billion at December 31, 2007.
On October 1, 2007, we adopted a modification to the accounting standards on derivatives and hedging with regard to offsetting amounts related to derivatives, which permits a reporting entity to offset fair value amounts recognized for the right to reclaim cash collateral or the obligation to return cash collateral against fair value amounts recognized for derivative instruments executed with the same counterparty under a master netting agreement. We elected to reclassify net derivative interest receivable or payable and cash collateral held or posted, on our consolidated balance sheets, to derivative assets, net and derivative liability, net, as applicable. Prior to reclassification, these amounts were recorded on our consolidated balance sheets in accounts and other receivables, net, accrued interest payable, other assets and short-term debt, as applicable. The change resulted in a decrease to total assets and total liabilities of $8.7 billion at the date of adoption, October 1, 2007, and $7.2 billion at December 31, 2007. The adoption of this modification had no effect on our consolidated statements of operations.
On January 1, 2007, we adopted an amendment to the accounting standards for income taxes, which clarifies the accounting for uncertainty in income taxes recognized in an enterprises financial statements. This amendment provides a single model to account for uncertain tax positions and clarifies accounting for income taxes by prescribing a minimum threshold that a tax position is required to meet before being recognized in the financial statements. This amendment also provides guidance on derecognition, measurement, classification, interest and penalties, accounting in interim periods, disclosure and transition. As a result of adoption, we recorded a $181 million increase to retained earnings (accumulated deficit) at January 1, 2007. See NOTE 15: INCOME TAXES for additional information.
On January 1, 2007, we adopted an amendment to the accounting standards for derivatives and hedging for certain hybrid financial instruments. This amendment permits the fair value measurement for any hybrid financial instrument with an embedded derivative that otherwise would require bifurcation. In addition, this statement requires an evaluation of interests in securitized financial assets to identify instruments that are freestanding derivatives or that are hybrid financial instruments containing an embedded derivative requiring bifurcation. We adopted this amendment prospectively, and, therefore, there was no cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle. In connection with the adoption of this amendment on January 1, 2007, we elected to measure newly acquired interests in securitized financial assets that contain embedded derivatives requiring bifurcation at fair value, with changes in fair value reflected in our consolidated statements of operations. See NOTE 6: INVESTMENTS IN SECURITIES for additional information.
Recently Issued Accounting Standards, Not Yet Adopted Within These Consolidated Financial Statements
Accounting for Multiple-Deliverable Arrangements
In October 2009, the FASB issued an amendment to the accounting standards on revenue recognition for multiple-deliverable revenue arrangements. This amendment changes the criteria for separating consideration in multiple-deliverable arrangements and establishes a selling price hierarchy for determining the selling price of a deliverable. It eliminates the residual method of allocation and requires that arrangement consideration be allocated at the inception of the arrangement to all deliverables using the relative selling price method. This amendment is effective prospectively for revenue arrangements entered into or materially modified in fiscal years beginning on or after June 15, 2010, with earlier adoption permitted. We do not expect the adoption of this amendment will have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
Accounting for Transfers of Financial Assets and Consolidation of VIEs
In June 2009, the FASB issued two new accounting standards that amend guidance applicable to the accounting for transfers of financial assets and the consolidation of VIEs. The guidance in these standards is effective for fiscal years beginning after November 15, 2009. The accounting standard for transfers of financial assets is applicable on a prospective basis, while the accounting standard relating to consolidation of VIEs must be applied to all entities within its scope as of the date of adoption.
We use separate securitization trusts in our securities issuance process for the purpose of managing the receipts and payments of cash flow of our PCs and Structured Securities. Prior to January 1, 2010, these trusts met the definition of QSPEs and were not subject to consolidation analysis. Effective January 1, 2010, the concept of a QSPE was removed from GAAP and entities previously considered QSPEs are now required to be evaluated for consolidation. Based on our evaluation, we determined that, under the new consolidation guidance, we are the primary beneficiary of our single-family PC trusts and certain Structured Transactions. Therefore, effective January 1, 2010, we consolidated on our balance sheet the assets and liabilities of these trusts at their unpaid principal balances. As such, we will prospectively recognize on our
consolidated balance sheets the mortgage loans underlying our issued single-family PCs and certain Structured Transactions as mortgage loans held-for-investment by consolidated trusts, at amortized cost. Correspondingly, we will also prospectively recognize single-family PCs and certain Structured Transactions held by third parties on our consolidated balance sheets as debt securities of consolidated trusts held by third parties.
The cumulative effect of these changes in accounting principles as of January 1, 2010 is a net decrease of approximately $11.7 billion to total equity (deficit), which includes the changes to the opening balances of AOCI and retained earnings (accumulated deficit). This net decrease is driven principally by: (1) the elimination of deferred premiums, purchase price adjustments and positive mark-to-market fluctuations (inclusive of deferred tax amounts) related to investment securities issued by securitization trusts we are required to consolidate as we will initially recognize the underlying mortgage loans at their unpaid principal balance; (2) the elimination of the guarantee asset and guarantee obligation established for guarantees issued to securitization trusts we are required to consolidate; and (3) the difference between the application of our corporate non-accrual policy to delinquent mortgage loans consolidated as of January 1, 2010 and the prior reserve for uncollectible interest relating to investment securities issued by securitization trusts we are required to consolidate.
The effects of these changes are summarized in Table 1.1 below. Table 1.1 also illustrates the approximate impact on our consolidated balance sheets upon our adoption of these changes in accounting principles.
Table 1.1 Impact of the Change in Accounting for Transfers of Financial Assets and Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities
Prospective adoption of these changes in accounting principles will also significantly impact the presentation of our consolidated statements of operations. These impacts are discussed in the sections that follow:
Line Items That No Longer Will Be Separately Presented
Line items that no longer will be separately presented on our consolidated statements of operations include:
Line Items That Will Be Significantly Impacted and Still Separately Presented
Line items that will be significantly impacted and that will continue to be separately presented on our consolidated statements of operations include:
Newly Created Line Items
The line item that will be added to our consolidated statements of operations is as follows:
NOTE 2: CONSERVATORSHIP AND RELATED DEVELOPMENTS
Entry Into Conservatorship
On September 6, 2008, the Director of FHFA placed us into conservatorship. On September 7, 2008, the then Secretary of the Treasury and the then Director of FHFA announced several actions taken by Treasury and FHFA regarding Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. These actions included the following:
We continue to operate under the conservatorship that commenced on September 6, 2008, conducting our business under the direction of FHFA as our Conservator. We are also subject to certain constraints on our business activities by Treasury due to the terms of, and Treasurys rights under, the Purchase Agreement. The conservatorship and related developments have had a wide-ranging impact on us, including our regulatory supervision, management, business, financial condition and results of operations. Upon its appointment, FHFA, as Conservator, immediately succeeded to all rights, titles, powers and privileges of Freddie Mac, and of any stockholder, officer or director of Freddie Mac with respect to Freddie Mac and its assets, and succeeded to the title to all books, records and assets of Freddie Mac held by any other legal custodian or third party. During the conservatorship, the Conservator delegated certain authority to the Board of Directors to oversee, and to management to conduct, day-to-day operations so that the company can continue to operate in the ordinary course of business.
Our business objectives and strategies have in some cases been altered since we entered into conservatorship, and may continue to change. Based on our charter, public statements from Treasury and FHFA officials and guidance given to us by our Conservator we have a variety of different, and potentially competing, objectives, including:
These objectives create conflicts in strategic and day-to-day decision making that will likely lead to suboptimal outcomes for one or more, or possibly all, of these objectives. We regularly receive direction from our Conservator on how to pursue our objectives under conservatorship, including direction to focus our efforts on assisting homeowners in the housing and mortgage markets. The Conservator and Treasury also did not authorize us to engage in certain business activities and transactions, including the sale of certain assets, some of which we believe may have had a beneficial impact on our results of operations or financial condition, if executed. Our inability to execute such transactions may adversely affect our profitability, and thus contribute to our need to draw additional funds from Treasury. However, we believe that the increased support provided by Treasury pursuant to the December 2009 amendment to the Purchase Agreement, described below, is sufficient to ensure that we maintain our access to the debt markets, and maintain positive net worth and liquidity to continue to conduct our normal business activities over the next three years.
Certain changes to our business objectives and strategies are designed to provide support for the mortgage market in a manner that serves public mission and other non-financial objectives, but may not contribute to our profitability. Our efforts to help homeowners and the mortgage market, in line with our public mission, may help to mitigate our credit losses, but some of these efforts are expected to have an adverse impact on our near and long-term financial results. As a result, in some cases the objectives of reducing the need to draw funds from Treasury and returning to long-term profitability will be subordinated as we provide this assistance. There is significant uncertainty as to the ultimate impact that our efforts to aid the housing and mortgage markets will have on our future capital or liquidity needs and we cannot estimate whether, and the extent to which, costs we incur in the near term as a result of these efforts, which for the most part we are not reimbursed for, will be offset by the prevention or reduction of potential future costs.
Management is continuing its efforts to identify and evaluate actions that could be taken to reduce the significant uncertainties surrounding our business, as well as the level of future draws under the Purchase Agreement; however, our ability to pursue such actions may be limited by market conditions and other factors. Any actions we take related to the uncertainties surrounding our business and future draws will likely require approval by FHFA and Treasury before they are implemented. In addition, FHFA, Treasury or Congress may have a different perspective than management and may direct us to focus our efforts on supporting the mortgage markets in ways that make it more difficult for us to implement any such actions.
In a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Congressional Banking and Financial Services Committees dated February 2, 2010, the Acting Director of FHFA stated that minimizing our credit losses is our central goal and that we will be limited to continuing our existing core business activities and taking actions necessary to advance the goals of the conservatorship. The Acting Director stated that FHFA does not expect we will be a substantial buyer or seller of mortgages for our mortgage-related investments portfolio, except for purchases of delinquent mortgages out of PC pools. The Acting Director also stated that permitting us to engage in new products is inconsistent with the goals of the conservatorship.
The Conservator, acting on our behalf, and Treasury entered into the Purchase Agreement on September 7, 2008. Under the Purchase Agreement, as amended in December 2009, Treasury made a commitment to provide up to $200 billion in funding under specified conditions. The $200 billion cap on Treasurys funding commitment will increase as necessary to accommodate any cumulative reduction in our net worth during 2010, 2011 and 2012. Pursuant to the Purchase Agreement, on September 8, 2008 we issued to Treasury one million shares of senior preferred stock with an initial liquidation preference equal to $1,000 per share (for an aggregate initial liquidation preference of $1 billion), and a warrant for the purchase of our common stock. The terms of the senior preferred stock and warrant are summarized in separate sections in NOTE 10: FREDDIE MAC STOCKHOLDERS EQUITY (DEFICIT). We did not receive any cash proceeds from Treasury as a result of issuing the senior preferred stock or the warrant.
The senior preferred stock and warrant were issued to Treasury as an initial commitment fee in consideration of the commitment from Treasury to provide funds to us under the terms and conditions set forth in the Purchase Agreement. In addition to the issuance of the senior preferred stock and warrant, beginning on March 31, 2011, we are required to pay a quarterly commitment fee to Treasury. This quarterly commitment fee will accrue beginning on January 1, 2011. The fee, in an amount to be mutually agreed upon by us and Treasury and to be determined with reference to the market value of Treasurys funding commitment as then in effect, must be determined on or before December 31, 2010, and will be reset every five years. Treasury may waive the quarterly commitment fee for up to one year at a time, in its sole discretion, based on adverse conditions in the U.S. mortgage market. We may elect to pay the quarterly commitment fee in cash or add the amount of the fee to the liquidation preference of the senior preferred stock.
Under the terms of the Purchase Agreement, Treasury is entitled to a dividend of 10% per year, paid on a quarterly basis (which increases to 12% per year if not paid timely and in cash) on the aggregate liquidation preference of the senior preferred stock, consisting of the initial liquidation preference of $1 billion plus funds we receive from Treasury and any dividends and commitment fees not paid in cash. To the extent we draw on Treasurys funding commitment, the liquidation preference of the senior preferred stock is increased by the amount of funds we receive. The senior preferred stock is senior in liquidation preference to our common stock and all other series of preferred stock. In addition, beginning on March 31, 2011, we are required to pay a quarterly commitment fee to Treasury as discussed above.
The Purchase Agreement provides that, on a quarterly basis, we generally may draw funds up to the amount, if any, by which our total liabilities exceed our total assets, as reflected on our GAAP consolidated balance sheet for the applicable fiscal quarter (referred to as the deficiency amount), provided that the aggregate amount funded under the Purchase Agreement may not exceed the maximum amount of Treasurys commitment. The Purchase Agreement provides that the deficiency amount will be calculated differently if we become subject to receivership or other liquidation process. The deficiency amount may be increased above the otherwise applicable amount upon our mutual written agreement with Treasury. In addition, if the Director of FHFA determines that the Director will be mandated by law to appoint a receiver for us unless our capital is increased by receiving funds under the commitment in an amount up to the deficiency amount (subject to the maximum amount that may be funded under the agreement), then FHFA, in its capacity as our Conservator, may request that Treasury provide funds to us in such amount. The Purchase Agreement also provides that, if we have a deficiency amount as of the date of completion of the liquidation of our assets, we may request funds from Treasury in an amount up to the deficiency amount (subject to the maximum amount that may be funded under the agreement). Any amounts that we draw under the Purchase Agreement will be added to the liquidation preference of the senior preferred stock. No additional shares of senior preferred stock are required to be issued under the Purchase Agreement.
Purchase Agreement Covenants
The Purchase Agreement provides that, until the senior preferred stock is repaid or redeemed in full, we may not, without the prior written consent of Treasury:
The covenants also apply to our subsidiaries.
The Purchase Agreement also provides that we may not own mortgage assets with an unpaid principal balance in excess of: (a) $900 billion on December 31, 2009; or (b) on December 31 of each year thereafter, 90% of the aggregate amount of mortgage assets we are permitted to own as of December 31 of the immediately preceding calendar year, provided that we are not required to own less than $250 billion in mortgage assets. Under the Purchase Agreement, we also may not incur indebtedness that would result in the par value of our aggregate indebtedness exceeding 120% of the amount of mortgage assets we are permitted to own on December 31 of the immediately preceding calendar year. The mortgage asset and indebtedness limitations will be determined without giving effect to any change in the accounting standards related to transfers of financial assets and consolidation of VIEs or any similar accounting standard. Therefore, these limitations will not be affected by our implementation of the changes to the accounting standards for transfers of financial assets and consolidation of VIEs, under which we will be required to consolidate our single-family PC trusts and certain of our Structured Transactions in our financial statements as of January 1, 2010.
In addition, the Purchase Agreement provides that we may not enter into any new compensation arrangements or increase amounts or benefits payable under existing compensation arrangements of any named executive officer or other executive officer (as such terms are defined by SEC rules) without the consent of the Director of FHFA, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury.
We are required under the Purchase Agreement to provide annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K to Treasury in accordance with the time periods specified in the SECs rules. In addition, our designated representative (which, during the conservatorship, is the Conservator) is required to provide quarterly certifications to Treasury concerning compliance with the covenants contained in the Purchase Agreement and the accuracy of the representations made pursuant to the agreement. We also are obligated to provide prompt notice to Treasury of the occurrence of specified events, such as the filing of a lawsuit that would reasonably be expected to have a material adverse effect.
The warrant we issued to Treasury includes, among others, the following covenants: (a) our SEC filings under the Exchange Act will comply in all material respects as to form with the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations thereunder; (b) we may not permit any of our significant subsidiaries to issue capital stock or equity securities, or securities convertible into or exchangeable for such securities, or any stock appreciation rights or other profit participation rights; (c) we may not take any action that will result in an increase in the par value of our common stock; (d) we may not take any action to avoid the observance or performance of the terms of the warrant and we must take all actions necessary or appropriate to protect Treasurys rights against impairment or dilution; and (e) we must provide Treasury with prior notice of specified actions relating to our common stock, such as setting a record date for a dividend payment, granting subscription or purchase rights, authorizing a recapitalization, reclassification, merger or similar transaction, commencing a liquidation of the company or any other action that would trigger an adjustment in the exercise price or number or amount of shares subject to the warrant.
The Purchase Agreement provides that the Treasurys funding commitment will terminate under any of the following circumstances: (i) the completion of our liquidation and fulfillment of Treasurys obligations under its funding commitment at that time; (ii) the payment in full of, or reasonable provision for, all of our liabilities (whether or not contingent, including mortgage guarantee obligations); and (iii) the funding by Treasury of the maximum amount of the commitment under the Purchase Agreement. In addition, Treasury may terminate its funding commitment and declare the Purchase Agreement null and void if a court vacates, modifies, amends, conditions, enjoins, stays or otherwise affects the appointment of the
Conservator or otherwise curtails the Conservators powers. Treasury may not terminate its funding commitment under the Purchase Agreement solely by reason of our being in conservatorship, receivership or other insolvency proceeding, or due to our financial condition or any adverse change in our financial condition.
Waivers and Amendments
The Purchase Agreement provides that most provisions of the agreement may be waived or amended by mutual written agreement of the parties; however, no waiver or amendment of the agreement is permitted that would decrease Treasurys aggregate funding commitment or add conditions to Treasurys funding commitment if the waiver or amendment would adversely affect in any material respect the holders of our debt securities or Freddie Mac mortgage guarantee obligations.
Third-party Enforcement Rights
In the event of our default on payments with respect to our debt securities or Freddie Mac mortgage guarantee obligations, if Treasury fails to perform its obligations under its funding commitment and if we and/or the Conservator are not diligently pursuing remedies in respect of that failure, the holders of these debt securities or Freddie Mac mortgage guarantee obligations may file a claim in the United States Court of Federal Claims for relief requiring Treasury to fund to us the lesser of: (i) the amount necessary to cure the payment defaults on our debt and Freddie Mac mortgage guarantee obligations; and (ii) the lesser of: (a) the deficiency amount; and (b) the maximum amount of the commitment less the aggregate amount of funding previously provided under the commitment. Any payment that Treasury makes under those circumstances will be treated for all purposes as a draw under the Purchase Agreement that will increase the liquidation preference of the senior preferred stock.
Government Support for our Business
We are dependent upon the continued support of Treasury and FHFA in order to continue operating our business. We also receive substantial support from the Federal Reserve. Our ability to access funds from Treasury under the Purchase Agreement is critical to keeping us solvent and avoiding the appointment of a receiver by FHFA under statutory mandatory receivership provisions.
Significant recent developments with respect to the support we receive from the government include the following:
We had positive net worth at December 31, 2009 as our assets exceeded our liabilities by $4.4 billion. Therefore, we did not require additional funding from Treasury under the Purchase Agreement. However, we expect to make additional draws under the Purchase Agreement in future periods due to a variety of factors that could adversely affect our net worth.
Based on the current aggregate liquidation preference of the senior preferred stock, Treasury is entitled to annual cash dividends of $5.2 billion, which exceeds our annual historical earnings in most periods. Continued cash payment of senior preferred dividends combined with potentially substantial quarterly commitment fees payable to Treasury beginning in 2011 (the amounts of which must be determined by December 31, 2010) will have an adverse impact on our future financial condition and net worth. As a result of additional draws and other factors: (a) the liquidation preference of, and the dividends we owe on, the senior preferred stock would increase and, therefore, we may need additional draws from Treasury in order to pay our dividend obligations; (b) there is significant uncertainty as to our long-term financial sustainability; and
(c) there are likely to be significant changes to our capital structure and business model beyond the near-term that we expect to be decided by Congress and the Executive Branch.
There is significant uncertainty as to whether or when we will emerge from conservatorship, as it has no specified termination date, and as to what changes may occur to our business structure during or following our conservatorship, including whether we will continue to exist. Our future structure and role are currently being considered by the President and Congress. We have no ability to predict the outcome of these deliberations. However, we are not aware of any immediate plans of our Conservator to significantly change our business structure in the near-term.
See NOTE 9: DEBT SECURITIES AND SUBORDINATED BORROWINGS and NOTE 10: FREDDIE MAC STOCKHOLDERS EQUITY (DEFICIT) for more information on the terms of the conservatorship and the agreements described above.
Housing Finance Agency Initiative
On October 19, 2009, we entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Treasury, FHFA and Fannie Mae, which sets forth the terms under which Treasury and, as directed by FHFA, we and Fannie Mae, would provide assistance, through three separate initiatives, to state and local HFAs so that the HFAs can continue to meet their mission of providing affordable financing for both single-family and multifamily housing. FHFA directed us and Fannie Mae to participate in the HFA initiative on a basis that is consistent with the goals of being commercially reasonable and safe and sound. Treasurys participation in these assistance initiatives does not affect the amount of funding that Treasury can provide to Freddie Mac under the terms of our senior preferred stock purchase agreement with Treasury.
From October 19, 2009 to December 31, 2009, we, Treasury, Fannie Mae and participating HFAs entered into definitive agreements setting forth the respective parties obligations under this initiative. The initiatives are as follows:
Treasury will bear the initial losses of principal up to 35% of total principal for these two initiatives combined, and thereafter Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae each will be responsible only for losses of principal on the securities that it issues to the extent that such losses are in excess of 35% of all losses under both initiatives. Treasury will bear all losses of unpaid interest. Under both initiatives, we and Fannie Mae were paid fees at the time bonds were securitized and also will be paid on-going fees.
The third initiative under the HFA initiative is described below:
Related Parties as a Result of Conservatorship
As a result of our issuance to Treasury of the warrant to purchase shares of our common stock equal to 79.9% of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding, on a fully diluted basis, we are deemed a related party to the U.S. government. Except for the transactions with Treasury discussed above in Government Support for our Business and Housing Finance Agency Initiative Temporary Credit and Liquidity Facilities Initiative and New Issue Bond Initiative as well as in NOTE 9: DEBT SECURITIES AND SUBORDINATED BORROWINGS, and NOTE 10: FREDDIE MAC STOCKHOLDERS EQUITY (DEFICIT), no transactions outside of normal business activities have occurred between us and the U.S. government during the year ended December 31, 2009. In addition, we are deemed related parties with Fannie Mae as both we and Fannie Mae have the same relationships with FHFA and Treasury. All transactions between us and Fannie Mae have occurred in the normal course of business.
NOTE 3: FINANCIAL GUARANTEES AND MORTGAGE SECURITIZATIONS
As discussed in NOTE 1: SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES, we securitize substantially all the single-family mortgage loans we have purchased and issue securities which we guarantee. We enter into other financial agreements, including credit enhancements on mortgage-related assets and derivative transactions, which also give rise to financial guarantees. Table 3.1 below presents our maximum potential amount of future payments, our recognized liability and the maximum remaining term of these guarantees.
Table 3.1 Financial Guarantees
Guaranteed PCs and Structured Securities
We issue two types of mortgage-related securities: PCs and Structured Securities and we refer to certain Structured Securities as Structured Transactions. See NOTE 1: SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES for a discussion of our Structured Transactions. We guarantee the payment of principal and interest on issued PCs and Structured Securities that are backed by pools of mortgage loans. For our fixed-rate PCs, we guarantee the timely payment of interest at the applicable PC coupon rate and scheduled principal payments for the underlying mortgages. For our ARM PCs, we guarantee the timely payment of the weighted average coupon interest rate and the full and final payment of principal for the underlying mortgages. We do not guarantee the timely payment of principal for ARM PCs. To the extent the interest rate is modified and reduced for a loan underlying a fixed-rate PC, we pay the shortfall between the original contractual interest rate and the modified interest rate. To the extent the interest rate is modified and reduced for a loan underlying an ARM PC, we only guarantee the timely payment of the modified interest rate and we are not responsible for any shortfalls between the original contractual interest rate and the modified interest rate. When our Structured Securities consist of re-securitizations of PCs, our guarantee and the impacts of modifications to the interest rate of the underlying loans operate in the same manner as PCs. We establish trusts for all of our issued PCs pursuant to our master trust agreement and we serve a role to the trust as administrator, trustee, guarantor, and master servicer of the underlying loans. We do not perform the servicing directly on the loans within PCs; however, we assist our seller/servicers in their loss mitigation activities on loans within PCs that become delinquent, or past due. During 2009 and 2008, we executed foreclosure alternatives on approximately 143,000 and 88,000 single-family mortgage loans, respectively, including those loans held by us on our consolidated balance sheets. Foreclosure alternatives include modifications with and without concessions to the borrower, forbearance agreements, pre-foreclosure sales and repayment plans. Our practice is to purchase these loans from the trusts when foreclosure sales occur, they are modified, or in certain other circumstances. See NOTE 8: REAL ESTATE OWNED for more information on properties acquired under our financial guarantees. See NOTE 7: MORTGAGE LOANS AND LOAN LOSS RESERVES and NOTE 19: CONCENTRATION OF CREDIT AND OTHER RISKS for credit performance information on loans we own or have securitized, information on our purchases of loans under our financial guarantees and other risks associated with our securitization activities.
During 2009 and 2008 we issued $471.7 billion and $352.8 billion of our PCs and Structured Securities backed by single-family mortgage loans and the vast majority of these were in guarantor swap securitizations where our primary involvement is to guarantee the payment of principal and interest, so these transactions are accounted for in accordance with the accounting standards for guarantees at time of issuance. We also issued approximately $2.5 billion and $0.7 billion of PCs and Structured Securities backed by multifamily mortgage loans during 2009 and 2008, respectively. At December 31, 2009 and 2008, we had $1,854.8 billion and $1,807.6 billion of issued and outstanding PCs and Structured Securities, respectively, of which $374.6 billion and $424.5 billion, respectively, were held as investments in mortgage-related securities on our consolidated balance sheets. In 2009, we entered into an agreement with Treasury, FHFA and Fannie Mae, which sets forth the terms under which Treasury and, as directed by FHFA, we and Fannie Mae, would provide guarantees on securities
issued by state and local HFAs, which are backed by both single-family and multifamily mortgage loans. As of December 31, 2009, we had issued guarantees on HFA securities with $3.5 billion in unpaid principal balance and we had commitments to issue an additional $4.1 billion of these guarantees in January 2010. For additional information regarding the HFA initiative see NOTE 2: CONSERVATORSHIP AND RELATED DEVELOPMENTS Housing Finance Agency Initiative.
The assets that underlie issued PCs and Structured Securities as of December 31, 2009 consisted of approximately $1,832.3 billion in unpaid principal balance of mortgage loans or mortgage-related securities and $22.5 billion of cash and short-term investments, which we invest on behalf of the PC trusts until the time of payment to PC investors. As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, there were $1,736 billion and $1,800.6 billion, respectively, of securities we issued in resecuritization of our PCs and other previously issued Structured Securities. These resecuritized securities do not increase our credit-related exposure and consist of single-class and multi-class Structured Securities backed by PCs, other previously issued Structured Securities, interest-only strips, and principal-only strips. In addition, there were $30.0 billion and $25.5 billion of Structured Transactions outstanding at December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively, including the HFA securities noted above. See NOTE 1: SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES Recently Issued Accounting Standards, Not Yet Adopted Within These Consolidated Financial Statements for information on how amendments to the accounting standards for transfers of financial assets and consolidation of VIEs impacts our accounting for PCs and Structured Securities, effective January 1, 2010.
Our guarantee obligation represents the recognized liability associated with our guarantee of PCs and Structured Securities net of cumulative amortization. In addition to our guarantee obligation, we recognized a reserve for guarantee losses on PCs that totaled $32.4 billion and $14.9 billion at December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.
At inception of an executed guarantee, we recognize a guarantee obligation at fair value. Subsequently, we amortize our guarantee obligation under the static effective yield method. We continue to determine the fair value of our guarantee obligation for disclosure purposes as discussed in NOTE 18: FAIR VALUE DISCLOSURES.
We recognize guarantee assets and guarantee obligations for PCs in conjunction with transfers accounted for as sales, as well as, beginning on January 1, 2003, for guarantor swap transactions that do not qualify as sales, but are accounted for as guarantees. For certain of those transfers accounted for as sales, we may sell the majority of the securities to a third party and also retain a portion of the securities on our consolidated balance sheets. See NOTE 4: RETAINED INTERESTS IN MORTGAGE-RELATED SECURITIZATIONS for further information on these retained financial assets. At December 31, 2009 and 2008, approximately 95% and 93%, respectively, of our guaranteed PCs and Structured Securities were issued since January 1, 2003 and had a corresponding guarantee asset or guarantee obligation recognized on our consolidated balance sheets.
Other Mortgage-Related Guarantees and Liquidity Guarantees
We provide long-term stand-by agreements to certain of our customers, which obligate us to purchase delinquent loans that are covered by those agreements. These financial guarantees of non-securitized mortgage loans totaled $5.1 billion and $10.6 billion at December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively. During 2009 and 2008, several of these agreements were terminated, in whole or in part, at the request of the counterparties to permit a significant portion of the performing loans previously covered by the long-term standby commitments to be securitized as PCs or Structured Transactions, which totaled $5.7 billion and $19.9 billion in issuances of these securities during 2009 and 2008, respectively. We also had outstanding financial guarantees on multifamily housing revenue bonds that were issued by third parties of $9.2 billion at both December 31, 2009 and 2008. In addition, as part of the HFA initiative, we provided guarantees for certain variable-rate single-family and multifamily housing revenue bonds which totaled $0.8 billion at December 31, 2009. At December 31, 2009, we had commitments to settle $3.0 billion of additional guarantees under the HFA initiative.
As part of certain other mortgage-related guarantees, we also provide commitments to advance funds, commonly referred to as liquidity guarantees, which require us to advance funds to enable third parties to purchase variable-rate multifamily housing revenue bonds, or certificates backed by such bonds, that cannot be remarketed within five business days after they are tendered to their holders. These amounts are included in Table 3.1 Financial Guarantees within PCs and Structured Securities and other mortgage-related guarantees depending on the type of mortgage-related guarantee to which they relate. In addition, as part of the HFA initiative, we together with Fannie Mae provide liquidity guarantees for certain variable-rate single-family and multifamily housing revenue bonds, under which Freddie Mac generally is obligated to purchase 50% of any tendered bonds that cannot be remarketed within five business days. No liquidity guarantees were outstanding at December 31, 2009 and 2008.
Derivative instruments primarily include written options, written swaptions, interest-rate swap guarantees and guarantees of stated final maturity Structured Securities. Derivative instruments also include short-term default and other guarantee commitments that we account for as derivatives.
We guarantee the performance of interest-rate swap contracts in certain circumstances. As part of a resecuritization transaction, we may transfer certain swaps and related assets to a third party and guarantee that interest income generated from the assets will be sufficient to cover the required payments under the interest-rate swap contracts. In some cases, we guarantee that a borrower will perform under an interest-rate swap contract linked to a customers adjustable-rate mortgage. In connection with certain resecuritization transactions, we may also guarantee that the sponsor of certain securitized multifamily housing revenue bonds will perform under the interest-rate swap contract linked to the variable-rate certificates we issued, which are backed by the bonds.
In addition, we issued credit derivatives that guarantee the payments on (a) multifamily mortgage loans that are originated and held by state and municipal housing finance agencies to support tax-exempt multifamily housing revenue bonds; (b) pass-through certificates which are backed by tax-exempt multifamily housing revenue bonds and related taxable bonds and/or loans; and (c) the reimbursement of certain losses incurred by third party providers of letters of credit secured by multifamily housing revenue bonds.
We have issued Structured Securities with stated final maturities that are shorter than the stated maturity of the underlying mortgage loans. If the underlying mortgage loans to these securities have not been purchased by a third party or fully matured as of the stated final maturity date of such securities, we may sponsor an auction of the underlying assets. To the extent that purchase or auction proceeds are insufficient to cover unpaid principal amounts due to investors in such Structured Securities, we are obligated to fund such principal. Our maximum exposure on these guarantees represents the outstanding unpaid principal balance of the underlying mortgage loans.
Servicing-Related Premium Guarantees
We provided guarantees to reimburse servicers for premiums paid to acquire servicing in situations where the original seller is unable to perform under its separate servicing agreement. The liability associated with these agreements was not material at December 31, 2009 and 2008.
Credit Protection or Credit Enhancement
In connection with our PCs, Structured Securities and other mortgage-related guarantees, we have credit protection in the form of primary mortgage insurance, pool insurance, recourse to lenders indemnification agreements with seller/servicers and other forms of credit enhancements. The total maximum amount of coverage from these credit protection and recourse agreements associated with single-family mortgage loans, excluding Structured Transactions, was $68.1 billion and $74.7 billion at December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively, and this credit protection covers $307.8 billion and $342.7 billion, respectively, in unpaid principal balances. At December 31, 2009 and 2008, we recorded $597 million and $764 million, respectively, within other assets on our consolidated balance sheets related to these credit enhancements on securitized mortgages.
Table 3.2 presents the maximum amounts of potential loss recovery by type of credit protection.
Table 3.2 Credit Protection or Credit Enhancement(1)
We have credit protection for certain of our resecuritization transactions that are backed by loans or certificates of federal agencies (such as the FHA, VA, Ginnie Mae and USDA), which totaled $3.9 billion and $4.4 billion in unpaid
principal balance as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively. Additionally, certain of our Structured Transactions include subordination protection or other forms of credit enhancement. At December 31, 2009 and 2008, the unpaid principal balance of Structured Transactions with subordination coverage was $4.5 billion and $5.3 billion, respectively, and the average subordination coverage on these securities was 17% and 19% of the balance, respectively. The remaining $19.3 billion and $18.3 billion in unpaid principal balance of single-family Structured Transactions at December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively, have pass-through structures with no additional credit enhancement.
We use credit enhancements to mitigate risk on certain multifamily mortgages and mortgage revenue bonds. The types of credit enhancements used for multifamily mortgage loans include third-party guarantees or letters of credit, cash escrows, subordinated participations in mortgage loans or structured pools, sharing of losses with sellers, and cross-default and cross-collateralization provisions. Cross-default and cross-collateralization provisions typically work in tandem. With a cross-default provision, if the loan on a property goes into default, we have the right to declare specified other mortgage loans of the same borrower or certain of its affiliates to be in default and to foreclose those other mortgages. In cases where the borrower agrees to cross-collateralization, we have the additional right to apply excess proceeds from the foreclosure of one mortgage to amounts owed to us by the same borrower or its specified affiliates relating to other multifamily mortgage loans we own that are owed to us by the same borrower of certain affiliates and also are in default. The total of multifamily mortgage loans held for investment and underlying our PCs and Structured Securities for which we have credit enhancement coverage was $10.5 billion and $10.0 billion as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively, and we had maximum coverage of $3.0 billion and $3.3 billion, respectively.
PC Trust Documents
In December 2007, we introduced trusts into our security issuance process. Under our PC master trust agreement, we established trusts for all of our PCs issued both prior and subsequent to December 2007. In addition, each PC trust, regardless of the date of its formation, is governed by a pool supplement documenting the formation of the PC trust and the issuance of the related PCs by that trust. The PC master trust agreement, along with the pool supplement, offering circular, any offering circular supplement, and any amendments, are the PC trust documents that govern each individual PC trust.
In accordance with the terms of our PC trust documents, we have the right, but are not required, to purchase a mortgage loan from a PC trust under a variety of circumstances. Through November 2007, our general practice was to purchase the mortgage loans out of PCs after the loans became 120 days delinquent. In December 2007, we changed our practice to purchase mortgages from pools underlying our PCs when:
See NOTE 22: SUBSEQUENT EVENTS for further information about our practice for purchases of mortgage loans from PC trusts. In accordance with the terms of our PC trust documents, we are required to purchase a mortgage loan from a PC trust in the following situations:
We purchase these mortgages at an amount equal to the current unpaid principal balance, less any outstanding advances of principal on the mortgage that have been paid to the PC holder.
Based on the timing of the principal and interest payments to the holders of our PCs and Structured Securities, we may have a payable due to the PC trusts at a period end. The payables due to the PC trusts were $2.4 billion and $842 million at December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.
In connection with various business transactions, we may provide indemnification to counterparties for claims arising out of breaches of certain obligations (e.g., those arising from representations and warranties) in contracts entered into in the
normal course of business. It is difficult to estimate our maximum exposure under these indemnification arrangements because in many cases there are no stated or notional amounts included in the indemnification clauses. Such indemnification provisions pertain to matters such as hold harmless clauses, adverse changes in tax laws, breaches of confidentiality, misconduct and potential claims from third parties related to items such as actual or alleged infringement of intellectual property. At December 31, 2009, our assessment is that the risk of any material loss from such a claim for indemnification is remote and there are no probable and estimable losses associated with these contracts. We have not recorded any liabilities related to these indemnifications on our consolidated balance sheets at December 31, 2009 and 2008.
NOTE 4: RETAINED INTERESTS IN MORTGAGE-RELATED SECURITIZATIONS
In connection with certain transfers of financial assets that qualify as sales, we may retain certain newly-issued PCs and Structured Securities not transferred to third parties upon the completion of a securitization transaction. These securities may be backed by mortgage loans purchased from our customers, PCs and Structured Securities, or previously resecuritized securities. These Freddie Mac PCs and Structured Securities are included in investments in securities on our consolidated balance sheets.
Our exposure to credit losses on the loans underlying our retained securitization interests and our guarantee asset is recorded within our reserve for guarantee losses on PCs and as a component of our guarantee obligation, respectively. For additional information regarding our delinquencies and credit losses, see NOTE 7: MORTGAGE LOANS AND LOAN LOSS RESERVES. Table 4.1 below presents the carrying values of our retained interests in securitization transactions as of December 31, 2009 and 2008.
Table 4.1 Carrying Value of Retained Interests
Retained Interests, Mortgage-Related Securities
We estimate the fair value of retained interests in mortgage-related securities based on independent price quotes obtained from third-party pricing services or dealer provided prices. The hypothetical sensitivity of the carrying value of retained securitization interests is based on internal models adjusted where necessary to align with fair values.
Retained Interests, Guarantee Asset
Our approach for estimating the fair value of the guarantee asset at December 31, 2009 used third-party market data as practicable. For approximately 80% of the fair value of the guarantee asset, which relates to fixed-rate loan products that reflect current market rates, the valuation approach involved obtaining dealer quotes on proxy securities with collateral similar to aggregated characteristics of our portfolio. This effectively equates the guarantee asset with current, or spot, market values for excess servicing interest-only securities. We consider these securities to be comparable to the guarantee asset in that they represent interest-only cash flows and do not have matching principal-only securities. The remaining 20% of the fair value of the guarantee asset related to underlying loan products for which comparable market prices were not readily available. These amounts relate specifically to ARM products, highly seasoned loans or fixed-rate loans with coupons that are not consistent with current market rates. This portion of the guarantee asset was valued using an expected cash flow approach, including only those cash flows expected to result from our contractual right to receive management and guarantee fees, with market input assumptions extracted from the dealer quotes provided on the more liquid products, reduced by an estimated liquidity discount.
The fair values at the time of securitization and subsequent fair value measurements at the end of a period were primarily estimated using third-party information. Consequently, we derived the assumptions presented in Table 4.2 by determining those implied by our valuation estimates, with the IRRs adjusted where necessary to align our internal models with estimated fair values determined using third-party information. However, prepayment rates are presented based on our internal models and have not been similarly adjusted. For the portion of our guarantee asset that is valued by obtaining dealer quotes on proxy securities, we derive the assumptions from the prices we are provided. Table 4.2 contains estimates of the key assumptions used to derive the fair value measurement that relates solely to our guarantee asset on financial guarantees of single-family loans. These represent the average assumptions used both at the end of the period as well as the valuation assumptions at guarantee issuance during the year presented on a combined basis.
Table 4.2 Key Assumptions Used in Measuring the Fair Value of Guarantee Asset(1)
The objective of the sensitivity analysis below is to present our estimate of the financial impact of an unfavorable change in the input values associated with the determination of fair values of these retained interests. We do not use these inputs in determining fair value of our retained interests as our measurements are principally based on third-party pricing information. See NOTE 18: FAIR VALUE DISCLOSURES for further information on determination of fair values. The weighted average assumptions within Table 4.3 represent our estimates of the assumed IRR and prepayment rates implied by market pricing as of each period end and are derived using our internal models. Since we do not use these internal models for determining fair value in our reported results under GAAP, this sensitivity analysis is hypothetical and may not be indicative of actual results. In addition, the effect of a variation in a particular assumption on the fair value of the retained interest is estimated independently of changes in any other assumptions. Changes in one factor may result in changes in another, which might counteract the impact of the change.
Table 4.3 Sensitivity Analysis of Retained Interests
Changes in these IRR and prepayment rate assumptions are primarily driven by changes in interest rates. Interest rates on conforming mortgage products declined in 2009, and resulted in a lower IRR on mortgage-related securities retained interests. Lower mortgage rates typically induce borrowers to refinance their loan. Expectations of higher interest rates resulted in a decrease in average prepayment assumptions on mortgage-related securities retained interests.
We receive proceeds in securitizations accounted for as sales for those securities sold to third parties. Subsequent to these securitizations, we receive cash flows related to interest income and repayment of principal on the securities we retain for investment. Regardless of whether our issued PC or Structured Security is sold to third parties or held by us for investment, we are obligated to make cash payments to acquire foreclosed properties and certain delinquent or impaired mortgages under our financial guarantees. Table 4.4 summarizes cash flows on retained interests related to securitizations accounted for as sales.
Table 4.4 Details of Cash Flows
In addition to the cash flow shown above, we are obligated under our guarantee to make up any shortfalls in principal and interest to the holders of our securities, including those shortfalls arising from losses incurred in our role as trustee for the master trust, which administers cash remittances from mortgages and makes payments to the security holders. See NOTE 19: CONCENTRATION OF CREDIT AND OTHER RISKS Securitization Trusts for further information on these cash flows.
Gains and Losses on Transfers of PCs and Structured Securities that are Accounted for as Sales
The gain or loss on a securitization that qualifies as a sale, is determined, in part, based on the carrying amounts of the financial assets sold. The carrying amounts of the assets sold are allocated between those sold to third parties and those held as retained interests based on their relative fair value at the date of sale. We recognized net pre-tax gains (losses) on transfers of mortgage loans, PCs and Structured Securities that were accounted for as sales of approximately $1.5 billion, $151 million and $141 million for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. We recognized higher gains in 2009 as a result of increased securitization activity in 2009 as compared to 2008 due to improved fundamentals in the securitization market. The gross proceeds associated with these sales are presented within the table above.
NOTE 5: VARIABLE INTEREST ENTITIES
We are a party to numerous entities that are considered to be VIEs. Our investments in VIEs include LIHTC partnerships and certain Structured Securities transactions. In addition, we buy the highly-rated senior securities in non-mortgage-related, asset-backed investment trusts that are VIEs. Our investments in these securities do not represent a significant variable interest in the securitization trusts as the securities issued by these trusts are not designed to absorb a significant portion of the variability in the trust. Accordingly, we do not consolidate these securities. See NOTE 1: SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES Consolidation and Equity Method of Accounting for further information regarding the consolidation practices of our VIEs.
The LIHTC Program is widely regarded as the most successful federal program for the production and preservation of rental housing affordable to low-income households. The LIHTC Program is an indirect federal subsidy used to finance the development of affordable rental housing for low-income households. Congress enacted the LIHTC Program in 1986 to provide the private market with an incentive to invest in affordable rental housing. Federal housing tax credits are awarded to developers of qualified projects. Developers then sell these credits to investors to raise capital (or equity) for their projects, which reduces the debt that the developer would otherwise have to borrow. Because the debt is lower, a tax credit property can in turn offer lower, more affordable rents.
As a nationwide investor, we supported the LIHTC market regardless of location, investing in rural areas, in central cities, in special needs projects and in difficult to develop areas. We are a strong proponent of high standards of reporting and asset management, as well as underwriting and investment criteria. Our presence in multi-investor funds enabled smaller investors to participate in much larger pools of projects and helped to attract investment capital to areas that would not otherwise have seen such investments. The LIHTC partnerships invest as limited partners in partnerships that own and operate multifamily rental properties. These properties are rented to qualified low-income tenants, allowing the properties to be eligible for federal income tax credits. Most of these LIHTC partnerships are VIEs. A general partner operates the partnership, identifying investments and obtaining debt financing as needed to finance partnership activities. There were no third-party credit enhancements of our LIHTC investments at December 31, 2009 and 2008. Although these partnerships
generate operating losses, we planned to realize a return on our investment through reductions in income tax expense that result from the tax credits, as well as the deductibility of operating losses for tax purposes.
The LIHTC partnership agreements are typically structured to meet a required 15-year period of occupancy by qualified low-income tenants. The investments in LIHTC partnerships, in which we were either the primary beneficiary or had a significant variable interest, were made between 1989 and 2007. At December 31, 2009 and 2008, we did not guarantee any obligations of these LIHTC partnerships and our exposure was limited primarily to the amount of our investment. As discussed below, we currently have no ability to use the tax credits in our own tax return and accordingly did not buy or sell any LIHTC partnership investments in 2009 or 2008.
During the third quarter of 2009, we expected that our ability to realize the carrying value in our LIHTC investments was limited to our ability to execute sales or other transactions related to our partnership interests. This determination is based upon a number of factors, including continued uncertainty in our future business structure and our inability to generate sufficient taxable income in order to use the tax credits and operating losses generated. See NOTE 15: INCOME TAXES for additional information. As a result, we determined that individual partnerships whose carrying value exceeded fair value were other-than-temporarily impaired and should be written down to their fair value. Fair value is determined based on reference to market transactions. As a result, we recognized other-than-temporary impairments on our LIHTC investments of $370 million for the three months ended September 30, 2009.
During 2009, we requested approval from Treasury pursuant to the Purchase Agreement of a proposed transaction that was designed to recover substantially all of the carrying value of our LIHTC investments. In November 2009, FHFA notified us that Treasury, based on broad overall taxpayer issues, would decline to authorize the transaction. However, we were encouraged by FHFA to consider other options that would allow us to realize the carrying value of our investments consistent with our mission and to minimize our losses from carrying these investments. We estimated that our LIHTC investments had a total fair value of $3.4 billion at December 31, 2009, absent any restriction on sale of the assets.
On February 18, 2010, we received a letter from the Acting Director of FHFA stating that FHFA has determined that any sale of the LIHTC investments by Freddie Mac would require Treasurys consent under the terms of the Purchase Agreement. The letter further stated that FHFA had presented other options for Treasury to consider, including allowing Freddie Mac to pay senior preferred stock dividends by waiving the right to claim future tax benefits of the LIHTC investments. However, after further consultation with Treasury and consistent with the terms of the Purchase Agreement, the Acting Director informed us we may not sell or transfer the assets and that he sees no other disposition options. As a result, we wrote down the carrying value of our LIHTC investments to zero as of December 31, 2009, as we will not be able to realize any value either through reductions to our taxable income and related tax liabilities or through a sale to a third party.
We recognized the write-down of the LIHTC investments as a loss of $3.4 billion for accounting purposes in our consolidated statements of operations because the value associated with the non-use of the tax credits transfers to Treasury indirectly. The write-down was recorded to low-income housing tax credit partnerships on our consolidated statements of operations. This write-down reduces our net worth at December 31, 2009 and, as such, increases the likelihood that we will require additional draws from Treasury under the Purchase Agreement and, as a consequence, increases the likelihood that our dividend obligation on the senior preferred stock will increase.
We will fulfill all contractual obligations under the LIHTC partnership agreements, and continue to hold and manage the LIHTC assets in support of multifamily affordable housing as directed by FHFA. As of December 31, 2009, we have obligations in the amount of $217 million to continue to fund our existing LIHTC partnership interests over time that we are contractually obligated to make even though we do not expect to receive any returns from these investments.
As further described in NOTE 15: INCOME TAXES to our consolidated financial statements, we determined that it was more likely than not that a portion of our deferred tax assets, net would not be realized. As a result, we are not recognizing a significant portion of the tax benefits associated with tax credits and deductible operating losses generated by our investments in LIHTC partnerships in our consolidated financial statements.
Table 5.1 below depicts the tax credits and operating losses expected to flow from the underlying partnerships as well as our funding commitments to the partnerships over time. Generally LIHTC partnership tax credits have a one-year carryback and 20-year carryforward period.
Table 5.1 Schedule of Forecasted LIHTC Partnership Tax Credits, Forecasted Operating Losses and Funding Requirements as of December 31, 2009
At December 31, 2009 and 2008, we were the primary beneficiary of investments in six partnerships, and we consolidated these investments. The investors in the obligations of the consolidated LIHTC partnerships have recourse only to the assets of those VIEs and do not have recourse to us. In addition, the assets of each partnership can be used only to settle obligations of that partnership.
Table 5.2 represents the carrying amounts and classification of the consolidated assets and liabilities of VIEs on our consolidated balance sheets.
Table 5.2 Assets and Liabilities of Consolidated VIEs
VIEs Not Consolidated
At December 31, 2009 and 2008, we had unconsolidated investments in 187 and 189 LIHTC partnerships, respectively, in which we had a significant variable interest. The size of these partnerships at December 31, 2009 and 2008, as measured in total assets, was $9.6 billion and $10.5 billion, respectively. These partnerships are accounted for using the equity method, as described in NOTE 1: SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES. Our equity investments in these partnerships in which we had a significant variable interest were $ billion and $3.3 billion as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively, and are included in low-income housing tax credit partnership equity investments on our consolidated balance sheets. As a limited partner, our maximum exposure to loss equals the undiscounted book value of our equity investment. Our investments in unconsolidated LIHTC partnerships are funded through non-recourse non-interest bearing notes payable recorded within other liabilities on our consolidated balance sheets. We had $154 million and $347 million of these notes payable outstanding at December 31, 2009 and 2008.
Table 5.3 Significant Variable Interests in LIHTC Partnerships
NOTE 6: INVESTMENTS IN SECURITIES
Table 6.1 summarizes amortized cost, estimated fair values and corresponding gross unrealized gains and gross unrealized losses for available-for-sale securities by major security type.
Table 6.1 Available-For-Sale Securities
Available-For-Sale Securities in a Gross Unrealized Loss Position
Table 6.2 shows the fair value of available-for-sale securities in a gross unrealized loss position and whether they have been in that position less than 12 months or 12 months or greater including the non-credit-related portion of other-than-temporary impairments which have been recognized in AOCI.
Table 6.2 Available-For-Sale Securities in a Gross Unrealized Loss Position
At December 31, 2009, total gross unrealized losses on available-for-sale securities were $42.7 billion, as noted in Table 6.2. The gross unrealized losses relate to approximately 5,940 individual lots representing approximately 3,430 separate securities, including securities with non-credit-related other-than-temporary impairments recognized in AOCI. We routinely purchase multiple lots of individual securities at different times and at different costs. We determine gross unrealized gains and gross unrealized losses by specifically identifying investment positions at the lot level; therefore, some of the lots we hold for a single security may be in an unrealized gain position while other lots for that security are in an unrealized loss position, depending upon the amortized cost of the specific lot.
Evaluation of Other-Than-Temporary Impairments
We adopted an amendment to the accounting standards for investments in debt and equity securities on April 1, 2009, which provides additional guidance in accounting for and presenting impairment losses on debt securities. This amendment was effective and was applied prospectively by us in the second quarter of 2009. See NOTE 1: SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES Recently Adopted Accounting Standards Change in the Impairment Model for Debt Securities for further additional information regarding the impact of this amendment on our consolidated financial statements.
We conduct quarterly reviews to identify and evaluate each available-for-sale security that has an unrealized loss, in accordance with the amendment to the accounting standards for investments in debt and equity securities. An unrealized loss exists when the current fair value of an individual security is less than its amortized cost basis.
The evaluation of unrealized losses on our available-for-sale portfolio for other-than-temporary impairment contemplates numerous factors. We perform an evaluation on a security-by-security basis considering all available information. The relative importance of this information varies based on the facts and circumstances surrounding each security, as well as the economic environment at the time of assessment. Important factors include:
We consider available information in determining the recovery period and anticipated holding periods for our available-for-sale securities. An important underlying factor we consider in determining the period to recover unrealized losses on our available-for-sale securities is the estimated life of the security. The amount of the total other-than-temporary impairment related to credit is recorded within our consolidated statements of operations as net impairment of available-for-sale securities recognized in earnings. The credit-related loss represents the amount by which the present value of cash flows expected to be collected from the security is less than the amortized cost basis of the security. With regard to securities that we have no intent to sell and that we believe it is not more likely than not that we will be required to sell, the amount of the total other-than-temporary impairment related to non-credit-related factors is recognized, net of tax, in AOCI. Unrealized losses on available-for-sale securities that are determined to be temporary in nature are recorded, net of tax, in AOCI.
For available-for-sale securities that are not deemed to be credit impaired, we perform additional analysis to assess whether we intend to sell or would more likely than not be required to sell the security before the expected recovery of the amortized cost basis. In most cases, we have asserted that we have no intent to sell and that we believe it is not more-likely-than-not that we will be required to sell the security before recovery of its amortized cost basis. Where such an assertion has not been made, the securitys decline in fair value is deemed to be other-than-temporary and the entire charge is recorded in earnings.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Securities
These securities generally fit into one of two categories:
Unseasoned Securities We frequently resecuritize agency securities, typically unseasoned pass-through securities. In these resecuritization transactions, we typically retain an interest representing a majority of the cash flows, but consider the resecuritization to be a sale of all of the securities for purposes of assessing if an impairment is other-than-temporary. As these securities have generally been recently acquired, they generally have current coupon rates and prices close to par. Consequently, any decline in the fair value of these agency securities is relatively small and could be recovered by small interest rate changes. We expect that the recovery period would be in the near term. Notwithstanding this, we recognize other-than-temporary impairments on any of these securities that are likely to be sold. This population is identified based on our expectations of resecuritization volume and our eligible collateral. If any of the securities identified as likely to be sold are in a loss position, other-than-temporary impairment is recorded as we could not assert that we would not sell such securities prior to recovery. Any additional losses realized upon sale result from further declines in fair value subsequent to the balance sheet date. For securities that we do not intend to sell and it is more likely than not that we will not be required to sell such securities before a recovery of the unrealized losses, we expect to recover any unrealized losses by holding them to recovery.
Seasoned Securities These securities are not usually utilized for resecuritization transactions. We hold the seasoned agency securities that are in an unrealized loss position at least to recovery and typically to maturity. As the principal and interest on these securities are guaranteed and we do not intend to sell these securities and it is not more likely than not that we will be required to sell such securities before a recovery of the unrealized losses, any unrealized loss will be recovered. The unrealized losses on agency securities are primarily a result of movements in interest rates.
Non-Agency Mortgage-Related Securities Backed by Subprime, Option ARM, Alt-A and Other Loans
We believe the unrealized losses on our non-agency mortgage-related securities are a result of poor underlying collateral performance and limited liquidity and large risk premiums. With the exception of the other-than-temporarily impaired securities discussed below, we have not identified any securities that were likely of incurring a contractual principal or interest loss at December 31, 2009. As such, and based on our conclusion that we do not intend to sell these securities and it is not more likely than not that we will be required to sell such securities before a recovery of the unrealized losses, we have concluded that the impairment of these securities is temporary. We consider securities to be other-than-temporarily impaired when future losses are deemed likely.
Our review of the securities backed by subprime loans, option ARM, Alt-A and other loans includes loan level default modeling and analyses of the individual securities based on underlying collateral performance, including the collectibility of amounts that would be recovered from primary monoline insurers. In the case of monoline insurers, we also consider factors such as the availability of capital, generation of new business, pending regulatory action, ratings, security prices and credit default swap levels traded on the insurers. We consider loan level information including estimated current LTV ratios, FICO credit scores, and other loan level characteristics. We also consider the differences between the loan level characteristics of the performing and non-performing loan populations.
Table 6.3 presents the modeled default rates and severities, without regard to subordination, that are used to determine whether our senior interests in certain non-agency mortgage-related securities will experience a cash shortfall. Our proprietary default model requires assumptions about future home prices, as defaults and severities are modeled at the loan level and then aggregated. The model uses projections of future home prices at the state level. Assumptions of voluntary prepayments derived from our proprietary prepayment models are also an input; however, given the current low level of voluntary prepayments, they do not significantly affect the present value of expected losses.
Table 6.3 Significant Modeled Attributes for Certain Non-Agency Mortgage-Related Securities
In evaluating our non-agency mortgage-related securities backed by subprime, option ARM, Alt-A and other loans for other-than-temporary impairment, we noted and specifically considered that the percentage of securities that were AAA-rated and the percentage that were investment grade had decreased since acquisition. Although some ratings have declined, the ratings themselves have not been determinative that a loss is likely. While we consider credit ratings in our analysis, we believe that our detailed security-by-security analyses provide a more consistent view of the ultimate collectibility of contractual amounts due to us. As such, we have impaired securities with current ratings ranging from CCC to AAA and have determined that other securities within the same ratings were not other-than-temporarily impaired. However, we carefully consider individual ratings, especially those below investment grade, including changes since December 31, 2009.
Our analysis is conducted on a quarterly basis and is subject to change as new information regarding delinquencies, severities, loss timing, prepayments and other factors becomes available. While it is reasonably possible that, under certain conditions, defaults and loss severities on our remaining available-for-sale securities for which we have not recorded an impairment charge could exceed our subordination and credit enhancement levels and a principal or interest loss could occur, we do not believe that those conditions were likely as of December 31, 2009.
In addition, we considered fair value at December 31, 2009, as well as, any significant changes in fair value since December 31, 2009 to assess if they were indicative of potential future cash shortfalls. In this assessment, we put greater emphasis on categorical pricing information than on individual prices. We use multiple pricing services and dealers to price the majority of our non-agency mortgage-related securities. We observed significant dispersion in prices obtained from different sources. However, we carefully consider individual and sustained price declines, placing greater weight when dispersion is lower and less weight when dispersion is higher. Where dispersion is higher, other factors previously mentioned, received greater weight.
Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities
Commercial mortgage-backed securities are exposed to stresses in the commercial real estate market. We use external models to identify securities which have an increased risk of failing to make their contractual payments. We then perform an analysis of the underlying collateral on a security-by-security basis to determine whether we will receive all of the contractual payments due to us. At December 31, 2009, 53% of our commercial mortgage-backed securities were AAA-rated compared to 93% at December 31, 2008. We believe the declines in fair value are mainly attributable to the limited liquidity and large risk premiums in the commercial mortgage-backed securities market consistent with the broader credit markets rather than to the performance of the underlying collateral supporting the securities. We have identified six securities with a combined unpaid principal balance of $1.6 billion that are expected to incur contractual losses, and have recorded other-than-temporary impairment charges in earnings of $83 million during the fourth quarter of 2009. However, we view the performance of these securities as significantly worse than the vast majority of our commercial mortgage-backed securities, and while delinquencies for the remaining securities have increased, we believe the credit enhancement related to these securities is currently sufficient to cover expected losses. Since we generally hold these securities to maturity, we do not intend to sell these securities and it is not more likely than not that we will be required to sell such securities before recovery of the unrealized losses.
Obligations of States and Political Subdivisions
These investments consist of mortgage revenue bonds. The unrealized losses on obligations of states and political subdivisions are primarily a result of movements in interest rates and liquidity and risk premiums. We have concluded that the impairment of these securities is temporary based on our conclusion that we do not intend to sell these securities and it is not more likely than not that we will be required to sell such securities before a recovery of the unrealized losses, as well as the extent and duration of the decline in fair value relative to the amortized cost and a lack of any other facts or circumstances to suggest that the decline was other-than-temporary. The issuer guarantees related to these securities have led us to conclude that any credit risk is minimal.
Other-Than-Temporary Impairments on Available-For-Sale Securities
Table 6.4 summarizes our net impairments of available-for-sale securities recognized in earnings by security type and the duration of the unrealized loss prior to impairment of less than 12 months or 12 months or greater.
Table 6.4 Net Impairment of Available-For-Sale Securities Recognized in Earnings by Gross Unrealized Loss Position(1)
During 2009, we recorded net impairment of available-for-sale securities recognized in earnings of $11.2 billion. Of this amount, $6.9 billion related to impairments recognized in the first quarter of 2009, prior to the adoption of the amendment to the accounting standards for investments in debt and equity securities, on non-agency mortgage-related securities backed by subprime, option ARM, Alt-A and other loans that were likely of incurring a contractual principal or interest loss. Subsequent to our adoption of this amendment, impairments realized on non-agency mortgage-related securities backed by subprime, option ARM, Alt-A and other loans during 2009 were primarily due to the higher projections of future defaults and severities related to the collateral underlying these securities, particularly for our more recent vintages of subprime non-agency mortgage-related securities. We estimate that the future expected principal and interest shortfall on these securities will be significantly less than the likely impairment required to be recorded under GAAP, as we expect these shortfalls to be less than the recent fair value declines. Since January 1, 2007, we have incurred actual principal cash shortfalls of $107 million on impaired securities. However, many of our investments were structured so that realized losses are recognized when the investment matures. Net impairment of available-for-sale securities recognized in earnings during 2009 included $137 million related to CMBS where the present value of cash flows expected to be collected was less than the amortized cost basis of these securities.
Contributing to the impairments recognized during 2009 were certain credit enhancements related to primary monoline insurers where we have determined that it is likely a principal and interest shortfall will occur, and that in such a case there is substantial uncertainty surrounding the insurers ability to pay all future claims. We rely on monoline bond insurance, including secondary coverage, to provide credit protection on some of our securities held in our mortgage-related investments portfolio as well as our non-mortgage- related investments portfolio. See NOTE 19: CONCENTRATION OF CREDIT AND OTHER RISKS Bond Insurers for additional information. The recent deterioration has not impacted our conclusion that we do not intend to sell these securities and it is not more likely than not that we will be required to sell
such securities. Net impairment of available-for-sale securities recognized in earnings during 2009 included $185 million related to other-than-temporary impairments of non-mortgage-related asset-backed securities where we could not assert that we did not intend to sell these securities before a recovery of the unrealized losses. The decision to impair these asset-backed securities is consistent with our consideration of these securities as a contingent source of liquidity. See NOTE 1: SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES Investments in Securities for information regarding our policy on accretion of impairments.
During the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2007, we recorded $17.7 billion and $365 million, respectively, of impairment of available-for-sale securities recognized in earnings. Of the impairments recognized during 2008, $16.5 billion related to non-agency mortgage-related securities backed by subprime, option ARM, Alt-A and other loans primarily due to deterioration in the performance of the collateral underlying these loans. In addition, during 2008 we also recorded net impairment of available-for-sale securities recognized in earnings of $1.0 billion, related to our non-mortgage-related asset-backed securities where we did not have the intent to hold to a forecasted recovery of the unrealized losses.
Table 6.5 presents a roll-forward of the credit-related other-than-temporary impairment component of the amortized cost related to available-for-sale securities (1) that we have written down for other-than-temporary impairment and (2) for which the credit component of the loss is recognized in earnings. The credit-related other-than-temporary impairment component of the amortized cost represents the difference between the present value of expected future cash flows, including bond insurance, and the amortized cost basis of the security prior to considering credit losses. The beginning balance represents the other-than-temporary impairment credit loss component related to available-for-sale securities for which other-than-temporary impairment occurred prior to April 1, 2009. Net impairment of available-for-sale securities recognized in earnings is presented as additions in two components based upon whether the current period is (1) the first time the debt security was credit-impaired or (2) not the first time the debt security was credit impaired. The credit loss component is reduced if we sell, intend to sell or believe we will be required to sell previously credit-impaired available-for-sale securities. Additionally, the credit loss component is reduced if we receive cash flows in excess of what we expected to receive over the remaining life of the credit-impaired debt security or the security matures or is fully written down.
Table 6.5 Other-Than-Temporary Impairments Related to Credit Losses on Available-For-Sal