KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to FREED ABS TRUST 2020-2CP

NEW YORK--()--Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to three classes of notes issued by FREED ABS Trust 2020-2CP (“FREED 2020-2CP”), a consumer loan asset-backed securities transaction.

The financial impact of COVID-19 has resulted in rising unemployment, which can adversely impact the performance of the subject pool and unsecured consumer loans in general. Owing to KBRA’s expectations of high and rising unemployment, KBRA increased its base case default assumptions for the subject pool in a manner that was consistent with a recent portfolio review of the sector detailed in the following report: U.S. Unsecured Consumer ABS Securities on Watch Report. The review resulted with the FREED 2019-2 Class A and Class B notes placed on Watch Developing and the Class C notes placed on Watch Downgrade. For the FREED 2020-1 (“FREED 2020-FP1”) the Class A notes were placed on Watch Developing and Class B and Class C notes were placed on Watch Downgrade.

The collateral in the FREED 2020-2CP deal includes approximately $221.8 million of C+ loans, as of the April 30, 2020 cutoff date. The preliminary ratings reflect the initial credit enhancement levels ranging from 45.00% for the Class A notes to 15.50% for the Class C notes.

This transaction represents the sixth overall ABS securitization collateralized by unsecured consumer loans originated through Freedom Financial Asset Management. Freedom Financial Network (“FFN”), the parent company to FFAM, is a San Mateo, CA based company with operations in Tempe, AZ. FFN was founded in 2002 and offers consumer debt settlement services such as: consumer education, installment loans, and debt restructuring, through its three subsidiary companies (“Freedom Debt Relief, LLC (“FDR”), FFAM, and bills.com) and a fund (“Freedom Consumer Credit Fund” or “FCCF”). Since 2002 two private equity firms, Vulcan Capital, and Stone Point Capital have invested in Pantheon Partners, LLC which is the parent holding company of FFN.

KBRA applied its Global Consumer Loan ABS Rating Methodology and Global Structured Finance Counterparty Methodology as part of its analysis of the transaction’s underlying collateral pool, the proposed capital structure and FFAM’s historical gross data. KBRA also conducted an operational assessment of FFAM, as well as a review of the transaction’s legal structure and transaction documents. KBRA will also review the operative agreements and legal opinions for the transaction prior to closing.

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Disclosures

Further information on key credit considerations, sensitivity analyses that consider what factors can affect these credit ratings and how they could lead to an upgrade or a downgrade, and ESG factors (where they are a key driver behind the change to the credit rating or rating outlook) can be found in the full rating report referenced above.

A description of all substantially material sources that were used to prepare the credit rating and information on the methodology(ies) (inclusive of any material models and sensitivity analyses of the relevant key rating assumptions, as applicable) used in determining the credit rating is available in the U.S. Information Disclosure Form located here.

Information on the meaning of each rating category can be located here.

Further disclosures relating to this rating action are available in the U.S. Information Disclosure Form referenced above. Additional information regarding KBRA policies, methodologies, rating scales and disclosures are available at www.kbra.com.

About KBRA

KBRA is a full-service credit rating agency registered as an NRSRO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, KBRA is designated as a designated rating organization by the Ontario Securities Commission for issuers of asset-backed securities to file a short form prospectus or shelf prospectus. KBRA is also recognized by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners as a Credit Rating Provider and is a certified Credit Rating Agency (CRA) with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). Kroll Bond Rating Agency Europe Limited is registered with ESMA as a CRA.

Contacts

Analytical Contacts
Alla Mikhalevsky, CFA, Director (Lead Analyst)
+1 (646) 731-3356
amikhalevsky@kbra.com

Brendan Carter, Director
+1 (646) 731-3315
bcarter@kbra.com

Michael Pettigrew, Analyst
+1 (646) 731-1208
mpettigrew@kbra.com

Rosemary Kelley, Senior Managing Director (Rating Committee Chair)
+1 (646) 731-2337
rkelley@kbra.com

Business Development Contact
Ted Burbage, Managing Director
+1 (646) 731-3325
tburbage@kbra.com

Contacts

Analytical Contacts
Alla Mikhalevsky, CFA, Director (Lead Analyst)
+1 (646) 731-3356
amikhalevsky@kbra.com

Brendan Carter, Director
+1 (646) 731-3315
bcarter@kbra.com

Michael Pettigrew, Analyst
+1 (646) 731-1208
mpettigrew@kbra.com

Rosemary Kelley, Senior Managing Director (Rating Committee Chair)
+1 (646) 731-2337
rkelley@kbra.com

Business Development Contact
Ted Burbage, Managing Director
+1 (646) 731-3325
tburbage@kbra.com