Fitch Affirms Heller SBA Loan Trust Series 1998-1

CHICAGO--()--Fitch Ratings affirms Heller SBA Corp.'s pass-through adjustable-rate certificates, series 1998-1 as follows:

--Class A at 'BB-sf'; Outlook Negative;

--Class M-1 at 'B+sf'; Outlook Negative;

--Class M-2 at 'Bsf'; Outlook Negative;

--Class M-3 at 'B-sf'; Outlook Negative;

--Class B at 'CCCsf'; RE 100%

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The notes were affirmed reflecting the recent stable performance. However, the only form of credit enhancement remaining in the transaction is from subordination, which limited credit support given the high obligor concentrations. The Negative Outlook reflects the limited credit support afforded to the transaction in the event of future asset deterioration. Fitch maintained class B's Recovery Estimate (RE) at 100%.

METHODOLOGY

In reviewing the transactions, Fitch took into account analytical considerations outlined in Fitch's 'Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria', issued July 2015, including asset quality, credit enhancement, financial structure, legal structure, and originator and servicer quality.

Fitch's analysis focused on concentration risks within the pool, by evaluating the impact of the default of the largest performing obligors. The obligor concentration analysis is consistent with Fitch's 'Criteria for Rating US Equipment Lease and Loan ABS', dated Dec 2015. The analysis compares expected loss coverage relative to the default of a certain number of the largest obligors. The required net obligor coverage varies by rating category. The required number of obligors covered ranges from 20 at 'AAA' to five at 'B'. Fitch applied loss and recovery expectations based on collateral type and historical recovery performance to the largest performing obligors commensurate with the individual rating category. The expected loss assumption was then compared to the modeled loss coverage available to the outstanding notes given Fitch's expected losses on the currently delinquent loans. Fitch also applied the 'Criteria for Rating Caps and Limitations in Global Structured Finance Transactions' dated May 2014 in determining the ratings.

Additionally, Fitch's analysis incorporated a review of collateral characteristics, in particular, focusing on delinquent and defaulted loans within the pool. All loans over 60 days delinquent were deemed defaulted loans. The defaulted loans were applied loss and recovery expectations based on collateral type and historical recovery performance to establish an expected net loss assumption for the transaction. Fitch stressed the cashflow generated by the underlying assets by applying its expected net loss assumption. Furthermore, Fitch applied a loss multiplier to evaluate break-even cash flow runs to determine the level of expected cumulative losses the structure can withstand at a given rating level. The loss multiplier scale utilized is consistent with that of other commercial ABS transactions.

While the obligor concentration approach was the primary driver, its results were compared to the stresses loss approach and qualitative factors such the results of these approaches compared to prior reviews, recent performance, and available credit enhancement. The rating actions taken were ultimately the result of a combination of these factors. Fitch will continue to closely monitor these transactions and may take additional rating action in the event of changes in performance and credit enhancement measures.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Unanticipated increases in the frequency of defaults and loss severity could produce loss levels higher than the current projected losses and impact available loss coverage and obligor coverage. Lower loss coverage could impact ratings and rating outlooks, depending on the extent of the decline in coverage. Should performance materially deteriorate, the decline in loss coverage could negatively impact current ratings.

DUE DILIGENCE USAGE

No third party due diligence was received in connection to this review.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

Applicable Criteria

Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds (pub. 14 May 2014)

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=744158

Criteria for Rating U.S. Equipment Lease and Loan ABS (pub. 03 Dec 2015)

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=874138

Criteria for Servicing Continuity Risk in Structured Finance (pub. 17 Dec 2015)

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=875586

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria (pub. 06 Jul 2015)

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=867952

Additional Disclosures

Dodd-Frank Rating Information Disclosure Form

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/press_releases/content/ridf_frame.cfm?pr_id=1002183

Solicitation Status

https://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=1002183

Endorsement Policy

https://www.fitchratings.com/jsp/creditdesk/PolicyRegulation.faces?context=2&detail=31

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Surveillance Analyst
Thomas Kaiser, CPA, CFA, +1-312-368-3338
Associate Director
70 West Madison
Chicago, IL 60602
or
Committee Chairperson
Hylton Heard, +1-212-908-0214
Senior Director
or
Media Relations
Sandro Scenga, +1 212-908-0278 (New York)
sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Surveillance Analyst
Thomas Kaiser, CPA, CFA, +1-312-368-3338
Associate Director
70 West Madison
Chicago, IL 60602
or
Committee Chairperson
Hylton Heard, +1-212-908-0214
Senior Director
or
Media Relations
Sandro Scenga, +1 212-908-0278 (New York)
sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com