This excerpt taken from the WYN 8-K filed Jul 19, 2006.
The profitability of our vacation ownership business from our financing of customers purchases of vacation ownership interests may be adversely affected by interest rate risk and risks associated with customer default.
In connection with our vacation ownership business, we generally provide financing at a fixed interest rate for significant portions of the aggregate purchase prices of vacation ownership interests we sell to customers. If interest rates were to increase significantly, we may not increase the interest rate offered to finance purchases of vacation ownership interests by the same amount of the interest rate increase. As a result, the spread between our rate of borrowing and the interest rate we charge our customers would decrease, and such decrease would adversely affect our profitability from financing activities. Conversely, if interest rates were to decrease and remain at historically low levels for extended periods, the likelihood of early prepayments would increase as customers may seek alternative financing sources. If customers prepaid their loans and refinanced at lower interest rates, our profitability from financing activities would decrease.
Our principal source of funding cash requirements for the vacation ownership business is borrowing against and selling the vacation ownership contract receivables that arise from our financing of customers purchases of vacation ownership interests. When we finance the sale of a vacation ownership interest, we receive contract receivables at a fixed interest rate. We have revolving credit facilities under which we borrow against the vacation ownership contract receivables until the receivables qualify to be securitized. Once the vacation ownership contract receivables qualify to be securitized, we sell them and use the proceeds of the sales to repay our revolving credit facilities and, as a result of such repayment, replenish our ability to borrow under the revolving credit facilities to finance new vacation ownership contract receivables.
Our revolving credit facilities are, and are expected to continue to be, at variable interest rates. Any significant increase in interest rates on our borrowing against vacation ownership contract receivables or significant increase in prepayment rates on the current vacation ownership contract receivables could have a material adverse effect on the cost of borrowing under our credit facilities. Any adverse change in the securitization markets or significant declines in the credit qualities of our vacation ownership contract receivables could result in our having insufficient borrowing availability under our credit facilities to maintain our operations at current levels.
In addition, we face certain credit risks related to our consumer financing of vacation ownership interests. Purchasers of vacation ownership interests who finance a portion of the purchase price present a risk of default.
The average expected cumulative gross default rate of our portfolio of vacation ownership contract receivables is approximately 16.3%. The actual rate of such defaults may exceed our average expected cumulative gross default rate as a result of various factors, some of which are beyond our control, including general economic conditions. Consequently, the profitability of our vacation ownership business may be adversely affected. Despite the risk of default for purchasers of vacation ownership interests, we do not verify all potential purchasers credit histories prior to offering each potential purchaser the opportunity to finance a portion of the purchase price of the vacation ownership interests, but, in some instances, we obtain credits scores from potential purchasers who wish to obtain financing on more favorable terms. To reduce the potential adverse effect on Wyndham Worldwide caused by purchasers of vacation ownership interests who finance a portion of their purchases but subsequently default, we obtain security interests in the vacation ownership interests purchased by our customers, but the value we recover from the secured vacation ownership interests is not, in all instances, sufficient to cover the outstanding debt.