Fast-tracking loan modifications and freezing the interest rate on adjustable-rate subprime mortgages will not jeopardize the accounting and tax status of the mortgage-backed securities, according to an opinion by the Securities and Exchange Commission chief accountant. SEC chief accountant's opinion gives the green light for servicers to implement the fast-track loan modification framework endorsed by the Treasury Department, the Hope Now Alliance, and the American Securitization Forum. ASF deputy executive director Tom Deutsch welcomed the SEC's guidance. "It is imperative for subprime mortgage servicers to have confidence that implementing the fast-track loan modification segment of the ASF framework will not alter the accounting treatment of securitization trusts." SEC chief accountant Conrad Hewitt said in a letter that the vast majority of subprime loan modifications are expected to begin in early 2008. "The Office of Chief Accountant believes this is an appropriate interim step at this time to address this issue given the complexity and lack of specific guidance on the accounting and disclosure for these types of modifications." Mr. Hewitt noted, however, that the letter is not an opinion on the legality of modifying subprime mortgages.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the mortgage industry

30-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the mortgage industry