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Securitization. A Comprehensive Treatise on the Subject The recent sub-prime crisis made mortgage-backed securities a house-hold word. The subject is occupying borrowers and lenders, law firms and Wall Street firms, insurance companies and brokers, rating agencies and real estate appraisers, federal and state regulators. Securitization is part of the...
Securitization. A Comprehensive Treatise on the Subject The recent sub-prime crisis made mortgage-backed securities a house-hold word. The subject is occupying borrowers and lenders, law firms and Wall Street firms, insurance companies and brokers, rating agencies and real estate appraisers, federal and state regulators. Securitization is part of the financial system, whose purpose is to transfer money from savers those who postpone consumption to borrowers who need money for productive purposes, or for consumption (which creates production). The financial system offers two avenues for borrowers and savers to interact: securities markets and institutions (e.g., banks). Securitization combines both systems in new ways. The process is simple. It starts with loans, including sub-prime loans given by institutions, such as banks, and mortgage bankers. The loans are transferred to a trust or corporation (Entity). The Entity sells securities backed by the loans it holds. A servicer collects the borrowers' payments and transfers the money to the holders of the securities. Simple. Yet, the devil, as always, is in the details. The process involves various structures, difficulties of valuations, appraisals and terms. It involves different regulatory regimes. Each stage of the process raises complexity and legal issues. Securitization by Tamar Frankel (2d ed. A.T Schwing ed. 2006) (Fathom Publishing Company) is a classic: a comprehensive two volume work combining law with analysis of the different securitization structures, highlighting practical issues. It contains current judicial and legislative material, pointing to potential problems and suggesting solutions. In 1991 (first edition) Frankel noted the problem of lenders who produce loans without bearing any of the loans risks, predicted the difficulties of re-structuring securitized loans because the process severed the lenders from the borrowers, and discussed the laws of foreclosures. In addition, the treatise covers inter-bank participations of large loans, the status of the lead banks that control the contact with the large borrowers, and the rights and problems of the borrowers and the holders of the loan participations. The last chapter of the treatise deals with cross border securitization, which is of great interest to China (where the Frankel treatise is now being translated) and other countries in the Far East and Europe. The treatise is well organized, easy to use, with a detailed index. It is periodically updated. In sum, this treatise is a comprehensive source of analysis and information on the subject.
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