Fitch Expects to Rate Freddie Mac's STACR 2016-DNA4; Presale Issued

NEW YORK--()--Fitch Ratings expects to rate Freddie Mac's risk-transfer transaction, Structured Agency Credit Risk Debt Notes Series 2016-DNA4 (STACR 2016-DNA4) as follows:

--$177,000,000 class M-1 notes 'BBBsf'; Outlook Stable;

--$177,000,000 class M-2 notes 'BBB-sf'; Outlook Stable;

--$177,000,000 class M-2F exchangeable notes 'BBB-sf'; Outlook Stable;

--$177,000,000 class M-2I notional exchangeable notes 'BBB-sf'; Outlook Stable;

--$177,000,000 class M-3A notes 'BBsf'; Outlook Stable;

--$177,000,000 class M-3AF exchangeable notes 'BBsf'; Outlook Stable;

--$177,000,000 class M-3AI notional exchangeable notes 'BBsf'; Outlook Stable;

--$177,000,000 class M-3B notes 'Bsf'; Outlook Stable;

--$354,000,000 class M-3 exchangeable notes 'Bsf'; Outlook Stable;

The following classes will not be rated by Fitch:

--$23,602,630,840 class A-H reference tranche;

--$71,448,746 class M-1H reference tranche;

--$71,448,746 class M-2H reference tranche;

--$71,448,745 class M-3AH reference tranche;

--$71,448,746 class M-3BH reference tranche;

--$31,000,000 class B notes;

--$217,448,746.13 class B-H reference tranche.

The 'BBBsf' rating for the M-1 notes reflects the 4.00% subordination provided by the 1.00% class M-2 notes, the 1.00% class M-3A notes, the 1.00% class M-3B and the 1.00% class B notes. The 'BBB-sf' rating for the M-2 notes reflects the 3.00% subordination provided by the 1.00% class M-3A notes, the 1.00% class M-3B notes and the 1.00% class B notes. The notes are general unsecured obligations of Freddie Mac ('AAA'/Outlook Stable) subject to the credit and principal payment risk of a pool of certain residential mortgage loans held in various Freddie Mac-guaranteed MBS.

STACR 2016-DNA4 represents Freddie Mac's twelfth risk transfer transaction applying actual loan loss severity (LS) issued as part of the Federal Housing Finance Agency's Conservatorship Strategic Plan for 2013-2017 for each of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to demonstrate the viability of multiple types of risk-transfer transactions involving single-family mortgages.

The objective of the transaction is to transfer credit risk from Freddie Mac to private investors with respect to a $24.84 billion pool of mortgage loans currently held in previously issued MBS guaranteed by Freddie Mac where principal repayment of the notes is subject to the performance of a reference pool of mortgage loans. As loans liquidate or other credit events occur, the outstanding principal balance of the debt notes will be reduced by the actual loan's LS percentage related to those credit events, which includes borrower's delinquent interest.

While the transaction structure simulates the behavior and credit risk of traditional RMBS senior-subordinate securities, Freddie Mac will be responsible for making monthly payments of interest and principal to investors. Because of the counterparty dependence on Freddie Mac, Fitch's expected rating on the M-1, M-2, M-2F, M-2I, M-3A, M-3AF, M-3AI, M-3B and M-3 notes will be based on the lower of: the quality of the mortgage loan reference pool and credit enhancement (CE) available through subordination, and Freddie Mac's Issuer Default Rating. The M-1, M-2, M-3A, M-3B and B notes will be issued as uncapped LIBOR-based floaters and will carry a 12.5-year legal final maturity.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

High-Quality Mortgage Pool (Positive): The reference mortgage loan pool consists of 106,116 high-quality mortgage loans totalling $24.844 billion that were acquired by Freddie Mac between Jan. 1, 2016 and March 31, 2016. The pool consists of loans with original loan-to-value ratios (LTVs) of over 60% and less than or equal to 80% with a weighted average (WA) original combined LTV of 76%. The WA debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 35.4% and credit score of 748 reflect the strong credit profile of post-crisis mortgage originations.

Actual Loss Severities (Neutral): This will be Freddie Mac's twelfth actual loss risk transfer transaction in which losses borne by the noteholders will not be based on a fixed LS schedule. The notes in this transaction will experience losses realized at the time of liquidation or loan modification which will include both lost principal and delinquent interest.

12.5-Year Hard Maturity (Positive): The M-1, M-2, M-3A, and M-3B notes benefit from a 12.5-year legal final maturity. Thus, any credit events on the reference pool that occur beyond year 12.5 are borne by Freddie Mac and do not affect the transaction. In addition, credit events that occur prior to maturity with losses realized from liquidations or loan modifications that occur after the final maturity date will not be passed through to noteholders. This feature more closely aligns the risk of loss to that of the 10-year, fixed LS STACRs where losses were passed through when a credit event occurred; that is, loans became 180-days delinquent with no consideration for liquidation timelines. The credit ranged from 8% at the 'Asf' rating category to 14% at the 'Bsf' rating category.

Solid Lender Review and Acquisition Processes (Positive): Fitch found that Freddie Mac has a well-established and disciplined process in place for the purchase of loans and views its lender-approval and oversight processes for minimizing counterparty risk and ensuring sound loan quality acquisitions as positive. Loan quality control (QC) review processes are thorough and indicate a tight control environment that limits origination risk. Fitch has determined Freddie Mac to be an above-average aggregator for its 2013 and later product. The lower risk was accounted for by Fitch by applying a lower default estimate for the reference pool.

Advantageous Payment Priority (Positive): The payment priority of the M-1 class will result in a shorter life and more stable CE than mezzanine classes in private-label (PL) RMBS, providing a relative credit advantage. Unlike PL mezzanine RMBS, which often do not receive a full pro rata share of the pool's unscheduled principal payment until year 10, the M-1 class can receive a full pro rata share of unscheduled principal immediately, as long as a minimum CE level is maintained, and the cumulative net loss and the delinquency test are within a certain threshold. Additionally, unlike PL mezzanine classes, which lose subordination over time due to scheduled principal payments to more junior classes, the M-2, M-3A, M-3B and B classes will not receive any scheduled or unscheduled principal allocations until the M-1 class is paid in full. The B class will not receive any scheduled or unscheduled principal allocations until the M-3B class is paid in full.

Solid Alignment of Interests (Positive): While the transaction is designed to transfer credit risk to private investors, Fitch believes the transaction benefits from a solid alignment of interests. Freddie Mac will retain credit risk in the transaction by holding the senior reference tranche A-H, which has 5% of loss protection, as well as a minimum of 50% of the first-loss B tranche, sized at 100 basis points (bps). Initially, Freddie Mac will retain an approximately 29% vertical slice/interest in the M-1, M-2, M-3A, and M-3B tranches.

Receivership Risk Considered (Neutral): Under the Federal Housing Finance Regulatory Reform Act, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) must place Freddie Mac into receivership if it determines that the government-sponsored enterprise's (GSE) assets are less than its obligations for longer than 60 days following the deadline of its SEC filing. As receiver, FHFA could repudiate any contract entered into by Freddie Mac if it is determined that such action would promote an orderly administration of Freddie Mac's affairs. Fitch believes that the U.S. government will continue to support Freddie Mac, as reflected in its current rating of the GSE. However, if, at some point, Fitch views the support as being reduced and receivership likely, the rating of Freddie Mac could be downgraded and ratings on the M-1, M-2, M-3A, and M-3B notes, along with their corresponding MAC notes, could be affected.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Fitch's analysis incorporates sensitivity analyses to demonstrate how the ratings would react to steeper market value declines (MVDs) than assumed at both the MSA and national levels. The implied rating sensitivities are only an indication of some of the potential outcomes and do not consider other risk factors that the transaction may become exposed to or be considered in the surveillance of the transaction.

This defined stress sensitivity analysis demonstrates how the ratings would react to steeper MVDs at the national level. The analysis assumes MVDs of 10%, 20% and 30%, in addition to the model projected 24.2% at the 'BBBsf' level, 22.6% at the 'BBB-sf' level and 14.7% at the 'Bsf' level. The analysis indicates that there is some potential rating migration with higher MVDs, compared with the model projection.

Fitch also conducted defined rating sensitivities which determine the stresses to MVDs that would reduce a rating by one full category, to non-investment grade, and to 'CCCsf'. For example, additional MVDs of 11%, 11% and 35% would potentially move the 'BBBsf' rated class down one rating category, to non-investment grade, to 'CCCsf', respectively.

USE OF THIRD-PARTY DUE DILIGENCE PURSUANT TO SEC RULE 17G-10

Fitch was provided with due diligence information from the third party diligence provider. The due diligence focused on credit and compliance reviews, desktop valuation reviews and data integrity. The third party diligence provider examined selected loan files with respect to the presence or absence of relevant documents. Fitch received certifications indicating that the loan-level due diligence was conducted in accordance with Fitch's published standards. The certifications also stated that the company performed its work in accordance with the independence standards, per Fitch's criteria, and that the due diligence analysts performing the review met Fitch's criteria of minimum years of experience. Fitch considered this information in its analysis and the findings did not have an impact on our analysis.

Form ABS Due Diligence-15E was not provided to, or reviewed by, Fitch in relation to this rating action.

REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES AND ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS

A description of the transaction's representations, warranties and enforcement mechanisms (RW&Es) that are disclosed in the offering document and which relate to the underlying asset pool was not prepared for this transaction. Offering documents for U.S. credit risk transfer transactions do not typically include RW&Es that are available to investors and that relate to the asset pool underlying the security. Therefore, Fitch credit reports for U.S. credit risk transfer transactions will not typically include descriptions of RW&Es. For further information, please see Fitch's Special Report titled 'Representations, Warranties and Enforcement Mechanisms in Global Structured Finance Transactions,' dated May 2016.

Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com.

Applicable Criteria

Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds (pub. 01 Sep 2016)

https://www.fitchratings.com/site/re/886006

Global Rating Criteria for Single- and Multi-Name Credit-Linked Notes (pub. 08 Mar 2016)

https://www.fitchratings.com/site/re/878513

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria (pub. 27 Jun 2016)

https://www.fitchratings.com/site/re/883130

Rating Criteria for U.S. Residential and Small Balance Commercial Mortgage Servicers (pub. 23 Apr 2015)

https://www.fitchratings.com/site/re/864368

U.S. RMBS Cash Flow Analysis Criteria (pub. 15 Apr 2016)

https://www.fitchratings.com/site/re/880006

U.S. RMBS Loan Loss Model Criteria (pub. 12 May 2016)

https://www.fitchratings.com/site/re/880673

U.S. RMBS Master Rating Criteria (pub. 27 Jun 2016)

https://www.fitchratings.com/site/re/882350

U.S. RMBS Surveillance and Re-REMIC Criteria (pub. 17 Jun 2016)

https://www.fitchratings.com/site/re/881806

Related Research

Structured Agency Credit Risk Debt Notes, Series 2016-DNA4 (US RMBS)

https://www.fitchratings.com/site/re/887961

Additional Disclosures

Dodd-Frank Rating Information Disclosure Form

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/press_releases/content/ridf_frame.cfm?pr_id=1012052

Solicitation Status

https://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=1012052

Endorsement Policy

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

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Christine Yan
Director
+1-212-908-0838
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
Rachel Noonan
Director
+1-212-908-0224
or
Committee Chairperson
Grant Bailey
Manager Director
+1-212-908-0544
or
Media Relations:
Sandro Scenga, New York, +1 212-908-0278
Email: sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Christine Yan
Director
+1-212-908-0838
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
Rachel Noonan
Director
+1-212-908-0224
or
Committee Chairperson
Grant Bailey
Manager Director
+1-212-908-0544
or
Media Relations:
Sandro Scenga, New York, +1 212-908-0278
Email: sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com