Friday, February 15, 2008


Mortgage-Backed Securities. See page 4 of Super Future Equities v. Wells Fargo (2006) (3rd amended complaint, N.D. Texas) was posted on Wikipedia and has a good explanation of how mortgage securitization works, and an example of a breach-of-duty dispute. I don't know how accurate the complaint itself is; the defendants reply here.

I'm actually surprised these securities work at all, they require so much trust. A bank sells some mortgages to a trust it creates for the occasion. The trust creates certificates of various risks that get rated from AAA to BBB- that it sells publicly and from BB+ to unrated that it sells privately to various persons. Class A (not *rated* A) certificates get paid in full before any Class B certificates get paid. There is a Servicer, who processes most of the mortgages' payments to the Trust, and a Special Servicer, who processes problem mortgages, ones that are in default or some other specially defined troubled circumstances. Usually about 2% of loans are in the Special Service category. Service fees are naturally much higher for this category.

Northern Rock's trust, Granite, has a prospectus up on the web.

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