Company Quick10K Filing
Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust
10-K 2020-12-31 Filed 2021-03-11
10-Q 2020-09-30 Filed 2020-11-06
10-Q 2020-06-30 Filed 2020-08-14
10-Q 2020-03-31 Filed 2020-05-15
10-K 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-03-17
10-Q 2019-09-30 Filed 2019-11-13
10-Q 2019-06-30 Filed 2019-08-13
10-Q 2019-03-31 Filed 2019-05-14
10-K 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-03-29
10-Q 2018-09-30 Filed 2018-11-13
10-Q 2018-06-30 Filed 2018-08-10
10-Q 2018-03-31 Filed 2018-05-14
10-K 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-03-16
10-Q 2017-09-30 Filed 2017-11-14
10-Q 2017-06-30 Filed 2017-08-11
10-Q 2017-03-31 Filed 2017-05-12
10-K 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-03-29
10-Q 2016-09-30 Filed 2016-11-14
10-Q 2016-06-30 Filed 2016-08-12
10-Q 2016-03-31 Filed 2016-05-13
10-K 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-03-11
10-Q 2015-09-30 Filed 2015-11-12
10-Q 2015-06-30 Filed 2015-08-11
10-Q 2015-03-31 Filed 2015-05-15
10-K 2014-12-31 Filed 2015-04-24
10-Q 2014-09-30 Filed 2014-11-14
10-Q 2014-06-30 Filed 2014-08-08
10-Q 2014-03-31 Filed 2014-05-12
10-K 2013-12-31 Filed 2014-03-13
10-Q 2013-09-30 Filed 2013-11-14
10-Q 2013-06-30 Filed 2013-08-13
10-Q 2013-03-31 Filed 2013-05-15
8-K 2020-06-23
8-K 2020-05-28
8-K 2020-04-22
8-K 2020-03-26
8-K 2020-03-26
8-K 2019-12-05
8-K 2019-11-20
8-K 2019-10-29
8-K 2019-10-18
8-K 2019-09-11
8-K 2019-05-30
8-K 2019-05-23
8-K 2019-03-15
8-K 2019-01-28
8-K 2018-12-11
8-K 2018-11-21
8-K 2018-10-25
8-K 2018-10-19
8-K 2018-10-04
8-K 2018-09-26
8-K 2018-09-12
8-K 2018-08-21
8-K 2018-06-22
8-K 2018-05-31
8-K 2018-04-05
8-K 2018-02-14
8-K 2018-01-19

BSPRT 10K Annual Report

Part I
Item 1. Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
Item 2. Properties.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure.
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures.
Item 9B. Other Information.
Part III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance.
Item 11. Executive Compensation.
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services.
Part IV
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules.
Item 16. Form 10 - K Summary.
Note 1 - Organization and Business Operations
Note 2 - Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Note 3 - Commercial Mortgage Loans
Note 4 - Real Estate Securities
Note 5 - Real Estate Owned
Note 6 - Leases
Note 7 - Debt
Note 8 - Earnings per Share
Note 9 - Stock Transactions
Note 10 - Commitments and Contingencies
Note 11 - Related Party Transactions and Arrangements
Note 12 - Share - Based Compensation
Note 13 - Fair Value of Financial Instruments
Note 14 - Derivative Instruments
Note 15 - Offsetting Assets and Liabilities
Note 16 - Segment Reporting
Note 17 - Income Taxes
Note 18 - Summary of Quarterly Results of Operations (Unaudited)
Note 19 - Subsequent Events
EX-3.1 bsprt-exhibit31xcharter.htm
EX-10.11 bsprt-ex1011xjpmamendmentn.htm
EX-10.29 bsprt-ex1029xsblamendmentn.htm
EX-21 bsprt-exhibit21_12312020.htm
EX-23.1 bsprt-exhibit231_123120201.htm
EX-31.1 bsprt-exhibit311_12312020.htm
EX-31.2 bsprt-exhibit312_12312020.htm
EX-32 bsprt-exhibit32_12312020.htm

Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust Earnings 2020-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
 OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from _________ to __________
Commission file number: 000-55188
BENEFIT STREET PARTNERS REALTY TRUST, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter) 
Maryland46-1406086
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
9 West 57th Street, Suite 4920, New YorkNY
10019
(Address of principal executive offices)(Zip Code)
(212) 588-6770 
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(b) of the Act
Title of Each ClassTrading SymbolsName of exchange on which registered
None
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act:
Common stock, $0.01 par value per share
(Title of Class)
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o No x 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. x Yes ¨ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). x Yes ¨ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company", and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer  Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicated by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes x No



There is no established public market for the registrant's shares of common stock. On November 2, 2020, the board of directors of the registrant, upon the recommendation of the registrant’s external advisor, unanimously approved and established an estimated net asset value (“NAV”) per share of the registrant’s common stock of $17.88. The estimated NAV per share is based upon the estimated value of the registrant’s assets less the registrant’s liabilities as of September 30, 2020. For a full description of the methodologies used to value the registrant’s assets and liabilities in connection with the calculation of the estimated NAV per share, see Part II, Item 5, “Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.”
The number of outstanding shares of the registrant's common stock on February 28, 2021 was 44,135,876 shares.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant's definitive proxy statement to be delivered to stockholders in connection with the registrant's 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K. The registrant intends to file its proxy statement within 120 days after its fiscal year end.


BENEFIT STREET PARTNERS REALTY TRUST, INC.

FORM 10-K
Year Ended December 31, 2020


Page

i


Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are forward-looking statements. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust, Inc. ("we," "our," "us," or the "Company") and members of our management team, as well as the assumptions on which such statements are based, and generally are identified by the use of words such as "may," "will," "seeks," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "plans," "intends," "should" or similar expressions. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. Further, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results over time, unless required by law.
Our forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause actual outcomes or results to differ materially from those indicated in these statements, and thus our investors should not place undue reliance on these statements. We believe these factors include but are not limited to those described under the section entitled “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report, as such factors may be updated from time to time in our periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), which are accessible on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. These factors include:
our business and investment strategy;
our ability to make investments in a timely manner or on acceptable terms;
the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;
current credit market conditions and our ability to obtain long-term financing for our investments in a timely manner and on terms that are consistent with what we project when we invest;
the effect of general market, real estate market, economic and political conditions, including the recent economic slowdown and dislocation in the global credit markets;
our ability to make scheduled payments on our debt obligations;
our ability to generate sufficient cash flows to make distributions to our stockholders;
our ability to generate sufficient debt and equity capital to fund additional investments;
our ability to refinance our existing financing arrangements;
the degree and nature of our competition;
the availability of qualified personnel;
we may be deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the "Investment Company Act"), and thus subject to regulation under the Investment Company Act; and
our ability to maintain our qualification as a real estate investment trust ("REIT").
All forward-looking statements should be read in light of the risks identified in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.    


ii

Table of Contents
PART I
Item 1. Business
Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust, Inc. (the “Company”) is a real estate finance company that primarily originates, acquires and manages a diversified portfolio of commercial real estate debt investments secured by properties located within and outside the United States. The Company was incorporated in Maryland on November 15, 2012 and commenced business operations on May 14, 2013. We made a tax election to be treated as a real estate investment trust (a "REIT") for U.S. federal income tax purposes commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013. We believe that we have qualified as a REIT and we intend to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT. Substantially all of our business is conducted through Benefit Street Partners Realty Operating Partnership, L.P. (the “OP”), a Delaware limited partnership. We are the sole general partner and directly or indirectly hold all of the units of limited partner interests in the OP. In addition, the Company, through a subsidiary which is treated as a taxable REIT subsidiary (a “TRS”), is indirectly subject to U.S. federal, state and local income taxes.
The Company has no direct employees. Benefit Street Partners L.L.C. serves as our advisor ("Advisor") pursuant to an amended and restated advisory agreement, executed on January 19, 2018 (the "Advisory Agreement"). The Advisor, an investment adviser registered with the SEC, is a credit-focused alternative asset management firm.
Established in 2008, our Advisor's credit platform manages funds for institutions and high-net-worth investors across various credit funds and complementary strategies including high yield, levered loans, private/opportunistic debt, liquid credit, structured credit and commercial real estate debt. These strategies complement each other as they all leverage the sourcing, analytical, compliance, and operational capabilities that encompass the platform. The Advisor manages the Company's affairs on a day-to-day basis. The Advisor receives compensation fees and reimbursements for services related to the investment and management of the Company's assets and the operations of the Company. The advisor is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc., which together with its various subsidiaries operates as "Franklin Templeton”.
The Company invests in commercial real estate debt investments, which may include first mortgage loans, subordinated mortgage loans, mezzanine loans and participations in such loans. The Company also originates conduit loans which the Company intends to sell through its TRS into commercial mortgage-backed securities ("CMBS") securitization transactions.
The Company also invests in commercial real estate securities and properties. Real estate securities may include CMBS, senior unsecured debt of publicly traded REITs, debt or equity securities of other publicly traded real estate companies and collateralized debt obligations ("CDOs"). Property investments, other than properties owned in connection with a foreclosure, are generally subject to triple net leases.
Investment Objectives
We plan to implement policies and strategies to achieve our primary investment objectives:
to pay attractive and stable cash distributions to stockholders; and
to preserve and return stockholders’ invested capital.
Investment Strategies and Policies
We have four investment strategies. One strategy is to originate, acquire and manage a diversified portfolio of commercial real estate debt, including first mortgage loans, subordinate loans, mezzanine loans and participations in such loans. We expect that our portfolio of debt investments will be secured by real estate located within and outside the United States and diversified by property type and geographic location. The second strategy is to invest in commercial real estate securities, such as CMBS, senior unsecured debt of publicly-traded REITs and CDO notes. The third strategy is to originate conduit loans and sell them through our TRS business into CMBS securitization transactions. The fourth strategy represents real estate acquired by the Company through foreclosure and deed in lieu of foreclosure, and purchases of real estate that generally are, or will be, subject to a triple net lease.
We will seek to create and maintain a portfolio of commercial real estate investments that generate stable income to enable us to pay attractive and consistent cash distributions to our stockholders. Our focus on originating and acquiring commercial real estate debt instruments emphasizes the payment of current returns to investors and preservation of invested capital as our primary investment objectives.
1

Table of Contents
Commercial Real Estate Debt
We originate, fund, acquire and structure commercial real estate debt, including first mortgage loans, mezzanine loans, bridge loans, and other loans related to commercial real estate. We may also acquire some equity participations in the underlying collateral of commercial real estate debt. We structure, underwrite, and originate most of our investments. We use conservative underwriting criteria to focus on risk adjusted returns based on several factors, which may include the leverage point, debt service coverage and sensitivity, lease sustainability studies, market and economic conditions, quality of the underlying collateral and location, reputation and track record of the borrower, and a clear exit or refinancing plan for the borrower. Our underwriting process involves comprehensive financial, structural, operational, and legal due diligence to assess any risks in connection with making such investments so that we can optimize pricing and structuring. By originating loans directly, we are able to structure and underwrite loans that satisfy our standards, establish a direct relationship with the borrower, and utilize our own documentation. Described below are some of the types of loans we may originate or acquire. In addition, although we generally prefer the benefits of new origination, market conditions can create situations where holders of commercial real estate debt may be in distress and are therefore willing to sell at prices that compensate the buyer for the lack of control typically associated with directly structured investments.
First Mortgage Loans
We primarily focus on first mortgage loans. First mortgage loans generally finance the acquisition, refinancing or rehabilitation of commercial real estate. First mortgage loans may be either short (one-to-five years) or long (up to ten years) term, may be fixed or floating rate, and are predominantly current-pay loans. We may originate or acquire current-pay first mortgage loans backed by properties that fit our investment strategy. We may selectively syndicate portions of these loans, including senior or junior participations that will effectively provide permanent financing or optimize returns which may include retained origination fees.
First mortgage loans typically provide for a higher recovery rate and lower defaults than other debt positions due to the lender's favorable control position, which at times can include control of the entire capital structure. Because of these attributes, this type of investment typically receives favorable treatment from third-party rating agencies and financing sources, which should increase the liquidity of these investments. However, these loans typically generate lower returns than subordinate debt, such as subordinate loans and mezzanine loans, commonly referred to as B-notes.
B-notes
B-notes consist of subordinate mortgage loans, including structurally subordinated first mortgage loans and junior participations in first mortgage loans or participations in these types of assets. Like first mortgage loans, these loans generally finance the acquisition, refinancing, rehabilitation or construction of commercial real estate. Subordinated mortgage loans or B-notes may be either short (one-to-five years) or long (up to ten years) term, may be fixed or floating rate, and are predominantly current-pay loans. We may originate or acquire current-pay subordinated mortgage loans or B-notes backed by high quality properties that fit our investment strategy. We may create subordinated mortgage loans by tranching our directly originated first mortgage loans generally through syndications of senior first mortgages or buy such assets directly from third party originators. Due to the limited opportunities in this part of the capital structure, we believe there are certain situations that allow us to directly originate or to buy subordinated mortgage investments from third parties on favorable terms.
Bridge Loans
We may offer bridge financing products to borrowers who are typically seeking short-term capital to be used in an acquisition, development or refinancing of a given property. From the borrower’s perspective, shorter term bridge financing is advantageous because it allows time to improve the property value through repositioning without encumbering it with restrictive long-term debt. The terms of these loans generally do not exceed three years.
Mezzanine Loans
Mezzanine loans are secured by one or more direct or indirect ownership interests in an entity that directly or indirectly owns commercial real estate and generally finance the acquisition, refinancing, rehabilitation or construction of commercial real estate. Mezzanine loans may be either short (one-to-five years) or long (up to ten years) term and may be fixed or floating rate. We may originate or acquire mezzanine loans backed by properties that fit our investment strategy. We may own such mezzanine loans directly or we may hold a participation in a mezzanine loan or a sub-participation in a mezzanine loan. These loans are predominantly current-pay loans (although there may be a portion of the interest that accrues) and may provide for participation in the value or cash flow appreciation of the underlying property as described below. With the credit market disruption and resulting dearth of capital available in this part of the capital structure, we believe that the opportunities to both directly originate and to buy mezzanine loans from third parties on favorable terms will continue to be attractive.
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Equity Participations or “Kickers”
We may pursue equity participation opportunities in connection with our commercial real estate debt originations if we believe that the risk-reward characteristics of the loan merit additional upside participation related to the potential appreciation in value of the underlying assets securing the loan. Equity participations can be paid in the form of additional interest, exit fees, percentage of sharing in refinance or resale proceeds or warrants in the borrower. Equity participation can also take the form of a conversion feature, sometimes referred to as a "kicker," which permits the lender to convert a loan or preferred equity investment into common equity in the borrower at a negotiated premium to the current net asset value of the borrower. We expect to generate additional revenues from these equity participations as a result of excess cash flows being distributed or as appreciated properties are sold or refinanced.
Commercial Real Estate Securities
In addition to our focus on origination of and investments in commercial real estate debt, we may also acquire commercial real estate securities, such as CMBS, unsecured REIT debt, CDO notes, and equity investments in entities that own commercial real estate.
CMBS
CMBS are securities that are collateralized by, or evidence ownership interests in, a single commercial mortgage loan or a partial or entire pool of mortgage loans secured by commercial properties. CMBS are generally pass-through certificates that represent beneficial ownership interests in common law trusts whose assets consist of defined portfolios of one or more commercial mortgage loans. They are typically issued in multiple tranches whereby the more senior classes are entitled to priority distributions of specified principal and interest payments from the trust’s underlying assets. The senior classes are often securities which, if rated, would have ratings ranging from low investment grade “BBB-” to higher investment grades “A,” “AA” or “AAA.” The junior, subordinated classes typically would include one or more non-investment grade classes which, if rated, would have ratings below investment grade “BBB.” Losses and other shortfalls from expected amounts to be received on the mortgage pool are borne first by the most subordinate classes, which receive payments only after the more senior classes have received all principal and/or interest to which they are entitled. We may invest in senior or subordinated, investment grade or non-investment grade CMBS, as well as unrated CMBS.
Unsecured Publicly-Traded REIT Debt Securities
We may also choose to acquire senior unsecured debt of publicly-traded equity REITs that acquire and hold real estate. Publicly-traded REITs may own large, diversified pools of commercial real estate properties or they may focus on a specific type of property, such as shopping centers, office buildings, multifamily properties and industrial warehouses. Publicly-traded REITs typically employ moderate leverage. Corporate bonds issued by these types of REITs are usually rated investment grade and benefit from strong covenant protection.
CDO Notes
CDOs are multiple class debt notes, secured by pools of assets, such as CMBS, mezzanine loans, and unsecured REIT debt. Like typical securitization structures, in a CDO, the assets are pledged to a trustee for the benefit of the holders of the bonds. CDOs often have reinvestment periods that typically last for five years, during which time, proceeds from the sale of a collateral asset may be invested in substitute collateral. Upon termination of the reinvestment period, the static pool functions very similarly to a CMBS securitization where repayment of principal allows for redemption of bonds sequentially.
Commercial Real Estate Equity Investments
We may acquire: (i) equity interests (including preferred equity) in an entity (including, without limitation, a partnership or a limited liability company) that is an owner of commercial real property (or in an entity operating or controlling commercial real property, directly or through affiliates), which may be structured to receive a priority return or is senior to the owner's equity (in the case of preferred equity); (ii) certain strategic joint venture opportunities where the risk-return and potential upside through sharing in asset or platform appreciation is compelling; and (iii) private issuances of equity securities (including preferred equity securities) of public companies. Our commercial real estate equity investments may or may not have a scheduled maturity and are expected to be of longer duration (five-to-ten year terms) than our typical portfolio investment. Such investments are expected to be fixed rate (if they have a stated investment rate) and may have accrual structures and provide other distributions or equity participations in overall returns above negotiated levels.
Conduit Loans
The Company originates conduit loans which the Company intends to sell through its TRS into CMBS securitization transactions at a profit. The Conduit loans are typically fixed-rate commercial real estate loans and are long (up to ten years) term, and are predominantly current-pay loans.
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Other Possible Investments
Although we expect that most of our investments will be of the types described above, we may make other investments. We may invest in whatever types of interests in real estate-related assets that we believe are in our best interest which may include the commercial real property underlying our debt investments as a result of a loan workout, foreclosure or similar circumstances.
Investment Process
Our Advisor has the authority to make all the decisions regarding our investments consistent with the investment guidelines and borrowing policies approved by our board of directors and subject to the direction and oversight of our board of directors. With respect to investments in commercial real estate debt, our board of directors has adopted investment guidelines that our Advisor must follow when acquiring such assets on our behalf without the approval of our board of directors. We will not, however, purchase assets in which our Advisor, any of our directors or any of their affiliates has an interest without a determination by a majority of our directors (including a majority of the independent directors) not otherwise interested in the transaction that such transaction is fair and reasonable to us and at a price to us no greater than the cost of the asset to the affiliated seller, unless there is substantial justification for the excess amount and such excess is reasonable. Our investment guidelines and borrowing policies may be altered by a majority of our directors without approval of our stockholders. Our Advisor may not alter our investment guidelines or borrowing policies without the approval of a majority of our directors, including a majority of our independent directors.
Borrowing Strategies and Policies
Our financing strategy primarily includes the use of secured repurchase agreement facilities for loans, securities and securitizations. We have also raised capital through private placements of our equity securities. In addition to our current mix of financing sources, we may also access additional forms of financings, including credit facilities, and public or private secured and unsecured debt issuances by us or our subsidiaries.
We expect to use additional debt financing as a source of capital. We intend to employ reasonable levels of borrowing in order to provide more cash available for investment and to generate improved returns. We believe that careful use of leverage will help us to achieve our diversification goals and potentially enhance the returns on our investments. Our board of directors reviews our aggregate borrowings at least quarterly.
Income Taxes
We elected to be taxed as a REIT under Sections 856 through 860 of the Internal Revenue Code commencing with the taxable year ended December 31, 2013. In general, as a REIT, if we meet certain organizational and operational requirements and distribute at least 90% of our "REIT taxable income" (determined before the deduction of dividends paid and excluding net capital gains) to our stockholders in a year, we will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax to the extent of the income that we distribute. We believe that we currently qualify and we intend to continue to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"). If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year and statutory relief provisions were not to apply, we will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on our income at regular corporate tax rates for the year in which we do not qualify and the succeeding four years. Even if we qualify for taxation as a REIT, we may be subject to certain U.S. federal, state and local taxes on our income and property and U.S. federal income and excise taxes on our undistributed income.
We pay income taxes on our Conduit segment, which is conducted by our wholly-owned TRS. The income taxes on the Conduit segment are paid at the U.S. federal and applicable state levels.
Competition
Our net income depends, in large part, on our ability to originate investments that provide returns in excess of our borrowing cost. In originating these investments, we compete with other mortgage REITs, specialty finance companies, savings and loan associations, banks, mortgage bankers, insurance companies, mutual funds, institutional investors, investment banking firms, private funds, other lenders, governmental bodies, and other entities, many of which have greater financial resources and lower costs of capital available to them than we have. In addition, there are numerous mortgage REITs with asset acquisition objectives similar to ours, and others may be organized in the future, which may increase competition for the investments suitable for us. Competitive variables include market presence and visibility, size of loans offered and underwriting standards. To the extent that a competitor is willing to risk larger amounts of capital in a particular transaction or to employ more liberal underwriting standards when evaluating potential loans than we are, our investment volume and profit margins for our investment portfolio could be impacted. Our competitors may also be willing to accept lower returns on their investments and may succeed in buying or underwriting the assets that we have targeted. Although we believe that we are well positioned to compete effectively in each facet of our business, there is enormous competition in our market sector and there can be no assurance that we will compete effectively or that we will not encounter increased competition in the future that could limit our ability to conduct our business effectively.
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Employees
As of December 31, 2020, we had no direct employees. Our executive officers serve as officers of our Advisor and are employed by an affiliate of our Advisor. The employees of the Advisor and other affiliates of the Advisor perform a full range of real estate services for us, including origination, acquisitions, accounting, legal, asset management, wholesale brokerage, and investor relations services. We are dependent on these affiliates for services that are essential to us, including asset acquisition decisions, and other general administrative responsibilities. In the event that any of these companies were unable to provide these services to us, we would be required to provide such services ourselves or obtain such services from other sources.
Government Regulation
Our operations are subject, in certain instances, to supervision and regulation by U.S. and other governmental authorities, and may be subject to various laws and judicial and administrative decisions imposing various requirements and restrictions, which, among other things: (i) regulate credit-granting activities; (ii) establish maximum interest rates, finance charges and other charges; (iii) require disclosures to customers; (iv) govern secured transactions; and (v) set collection, foreclosure, repossession and claims-handling procedures and other trade practices. We intend to conduct our business so that neither we nor any of our subsidiaries are required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act.
In our judgment, existing statutes and regulations have not had a material adverse effect on our business. In recent years, legislators in the United States and in other countries have said that greater regulation of financial services firms is needed, particularly in areas such as risk management, leverage, and disclosure. While we expect that additional new regulations in these areas will be adopted and existing ones may change in the future, it is not possible at this time to forecast the exact nature of any future legislation, regulations, judicial decisions, orders or interpretations, nor their impact upon our future business, financial condition, or results of operations or prospects.
Impact of COVID-19
Refer to “Covid-19 Pandemic” in Part II, Item 7, “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of the impact COVID-19 is having on our business and results of operations and financial condition.
Available Information
We electronically file annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports, and proxy statements, with the SEC. We also filed with the SEC a registration statement in connection with our dividend reinvestment plan ("DRIP") securities offerings. The SEC maintains an internet address at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy statements and information statements, and other information, which may be obtained free of charge. In addition, copies of our filings with the SEC may be obtained from the website maintained for us at www.bsprealtytrust.com. Access to these filings is free of charge. We are not incorporating our website or any information from the website into this Form 10-K.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Risks Related to an Investment in Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust, Inc.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is materially and adversely affecting our financial condition, operating results and cash flows and the operations and financial performance of many of the borrowers underlying our real estate-related assets, and we expect the adverse impacts will continue in the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had, and another pandemic or public health crisis in the future could have, repercussions across domestic and global economies and financial markets. The global impact of the COVID-19 outbreak evolved rapidly and many governmental authorities, including state and local governments in regions in which our borrowers own properties, have reacted by instituting government restrictions, border closings, quarantines, “shelter-in-place” orders and “social distancing” guidelines which have forced many of our borrowers to suspend or significantly restrict their business activities, and has resulted in a dramatic increase in national unemployment and corporate bankruptcies, with particularly adverse impacts on the retail, including restaurants, and hospitality sectors.
The COVID-19 pandemic is materially and adversely affecting our financial condition, operating results and cash flows and the operations and financial performance of many of the borrowers underlying our real estate-related assets, and we expect the adverse impacts will continue in the future. Specifically, the COVID-19 pandemic has:
significantly disrupted the financial markets for the assets in our real estate securities portfolio, resulting in significant decreases in market values for these assets and significant market volatility. This has resulted in margin calls from our lenders, which we have thus far satisfied, and could result in future margin calls which, if not satisfied, could result in the liquidation of some of our assets at significant losses.
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resulted in a decline in the value of commercial real estate generally, and significant declines in certain assets classes, including hospitality and retail, which has negatively impacted the value of our commercial mortgage loan portfolio, and could continue to negatively impact the value in the future, potentially materially.
negatively impacted the financial stability of many of our borrowers, which has and is expected to continue to result in an increase in the number of our borrowers who become delinquent or default on their loans, or who seek to defer payment on or to amend the terms of their loans. Borrowers in the hospitality and retail sector have been particularly adversely impacted.
increased the cost and decreased the availability of debt capital, including as a result of dislocations in the commercial mortgage-backed securities market, which has currently made raising capital through CDO or CLO securitizations impracticable, and as a result of lenders permitting significantly lower advance rates on our repurchase agreements.
as a result of the decline in the market value of the loans in our CDOs and CLOs, we may not meet certain interest coverage tests, over-collateralization coverage tests or other tests that could result in a change in the priority of distributions, which could result in the reduction or elimination of distributions to the subordinate debt and equity tranches we own until the tests have been met or certain senior classes of securities have been paid in full. Accordingly, we may experience a reduction in our cash flow from those interests which may adversely affect our liquidity and therefore our ability to fund our operations or address maturing liabilities on a timely basis.
resulted in a general decline in business activity which if continued will result in a decline in demand for mortgage financing, which could adversely affect our ability to make new investments or to redeploy the proceeds from repayments of our existing investments.
The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our or our borrowers’ operations will depend on future developments which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, including the scope, severity and duration of the pandemic, including any resurgences, the speed and effectiveness of vaccine and treatment developments and the direct and indirect economic effects of the pandemic and containment measures. The inability of our borrowers to meet their loan obligations and/or borrowers filing for bankruptcy protection would reduce our cash flows, which would impact our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders. The rapid development and fluidity of this situation precludes any prediction as to the full adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, many risk factors set forth in this Annual Report on Form 10-K should be interpreted as heightened risks as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We may be unable to maintain or increase cash distributions over time, or may decide to reduce the amount of distributions for business reasons.
There are many factors that can affect the amount and timing of cash distributions to stockholders. The amount of cash available for distributions is affected by many factors, such as the cash provided by the Company's investments and obligations to repay indebtedness as well as many other variables. There is no assurance that the Company will be able to pay or maintain the current level of distributions or that distributions will increase over time. In certain prior periods, distributions have been in excess of cash flows from operations. Distributions in excess of earnings will decrease the book value and NAV per share of common stock. The Company cannot give any assurance that returns from the investments will be sufficient to maintain or increase cash available for distributions to stockholders. Actual results may differ significantly from the assumptions used by the board of directors in establishing the distribution rate to stockholders. The Company may not have sufficient cash from operations to make a distribution required to qualify for or maintain our REIT status, which may materially adversely affect the value of common stock or Series A Convertible Preferred Stock (the “Series A Preferred Stock”) or Series C Convertible Preferred Stock (the “Series C Preferred Stock”), and together with the Series A Preferred Stock, (the "Preferred Stock").
No established trading market for our shares currently exists, and as a result, it will be difficult for you to sell our shares. If our shares are listed they may trade below our estimated NAV per share or our GAAP book value per share.
The Company's charter does not require the board of directors to seek stockholder approval to liquidate our assets by a specified date, nor does our charter require us to list our shares for trading on a national securities exchange by a specified date or otherwise pursue a transaction to provide liquidity to our stockholders. There is no established trading market for our shares and our shares are not currently listed on a national securities exchange. Until our shares are listed, if ever, our stockholders may have difficulty selling their shares. If our shares are eventually listed, they may trade at prices significantly below our estimated NAV per share and our most recent GAAP book value due to, among other things, significant selling pressure from legacy stockholders that had previously been unable to sell or the market perception that such selling pressure will occur. To address this risk the Company could delay the ability of legacy stockholders to sell all of their shares upon a successful listing. Because of the illiquid nature of our shares, investors should purchase our shares only as a long-term investment and be prepared to hold them for an indefinite period of time.
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Our share repurchase program (the "SRP"), which is subject to numerous restrictions, may be canceled at any time and should not be relied upon as a means of liquidity.
The Company has a SRP that may enable investors to sell their shares to us in limited circumstances. Share repurchases are made at the sole discretion of the board of directors. In its sole discretion, the board of directors could amend, suspend or terminate our SRP upon 30 days prior written notice to stockholders. Further, the SRP includes numerous restrictions that would limit the ability to sell shares. For example, the SRP has historically been limited to the proceeds from our DRIP which has frequently resulted in us not satisfying all SRP requests for a given semester. Due to the foregoing, our SRP should not be relied upon as a means of liquidity.
Our business could suffer in the event our Advisor or any other party that provides us with services essential to our operations experiences system failures or cyber-incidents or a deficiency in cybersecurity.
Despite system redundancy, the implementation of security measures and the existence of a disaster recovery plan for the internal information technology systems of our Advisor and other parties that provide us with services essential to our operations, these systems are vulnerable to damage from any number of sources, including computer viruses, unauthorized access, energy blackouts, natural disasters, terrorism, war and telecommunication failures. Any system failure or accident that causes interruptions in our operations could result in a material disruption to our business.
A cyber-incident is considered to be any adverse event that threatens the confidentiality, integrity or availability of information resources. More specifically, a cyber-incident is an intentional attack or an unintentional event that can result in third parties gaining unauthorized access to systems to disrupt operations, corrupt data or steal confidential information. As reliance on technology in our industry has increased, so have the risks posed to the systems of our Advisor and other parties that provide us with services essential to our operations, both internal and outsourced. In addition, the risk of a cyber-incident, including by computer hackers, foreign governments and cyber terrorists, has generally increased as the number, intensity and sophistication of attempted attacks and intrusions from around the world have increased. Even the most well protected information, networks, systems and facilities remain potentially vulnerable because the techniques used in such attempted attacks and intrusions evolve and generally are not recognized until launched against a target, and in some cases are designed not to be detected and, in fact, may not be detected.
The remediation costs and lost revenues experienced by a victim of a cyber-incident may be significant and significant resources may be required to repair system damage, protect against the threat of future security breaches or to alleviate problems, including reputational harm, loss of revenues and litigation, caused by any breaches.
Although the Advisor and other parties that provide us with services essential to our operations intend to continue to implement industry-standard security measures, there can be no assurance that those measures will be sufficient, and any material adverse effect experienced by the Advisor and other parties that provide us with services essential to our operations could, in turn, have an adverse impact on us.
Risks Related to Conflicts of Interest
The Advisor faces conflicts of interest relating to purchasing commercial real estate-related investments, and such conflicts may not be resolved in our favor, which could adversely affect our investment opportunities.
We rely on the Advisor and the executive officers and other key real estate professionals at our Advisor to identify suitable investment opportunities for us. Although there are restrictions in the Advisory Agreement we have entered into with the Advisor with respect to the Advisor’s ability to manage another REIT that competes with us, or to provide any services related to fixed-rate conduit lending to another person, the Advisor and its employees are not otherwise restricted from engaging in investment and investment management activities unrelated to us. Some investment opportunities that are suitable for us may also be suitable for other investment vehicles managed by the Advisor or its affiliates. Thus, the executive officers and real estate professionals of the Advisor could direct attractive investment opportunities to other entities or investors. Such events could result in us investing in assets that provide less attractive returns, which may reduce our ability to make distributions.
The Advisor and its employees face competing demands relating to their time, and this may cause our operating results to suffer.
The Advisor and its employees are engaged in investment and investment management activities unrelated to us. Because these persons have competing demands on their time and resources, they may have conflicts of interest in allocating their time between our business and these other activities. If this occurs, the returns on our investments may suffer.
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Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure
The limit on the number of shares a person may own may discourage a takeover that could otherwise result in a premium price to our stockholders.
The Company's charter, with certain exceptions, authorizes the board of directors to take such actions as are necessary and desirable to preserve our qualification as a REIT. Unless exempted by the board of directors, no person or entity may own more than 7.9% in value of the aggregate of our outstanding shares of stock or more than 7.9% (in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive) of any class or series of shares of our stock determined after applying certain rules of attribution. This restriction may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of us, including an extraordinary transaction (such as a merger, tender offer or sale of all or substantially all our assets) that might provide a premium price for holders of our common stock.
Certain provisions of Maryland law could inhibit a change in control of our Company.
Certain provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law (“MGCL”) may have the effect of inhibiting a third party from making a proposal to acquire us or of impeding a change in control under circumstances that otherwise could provide the holders of shares of our common stock with the opportunity to realize a premium over the then-prevailing market price of such shares, including:
“business combination” provisions that, subject to limitations, prohibit certain business combinations between us and an “interested stockholder” (defined generally as any person who beneficially owns 10% or more of our then outstanding voting power of our shares or an affiliate or associate of ours who, at any time within the two-year period prior to the date in question, was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of our then outstanding voting shares) or an affiliate thereof for five years after the most recent date on which the stockholder becomes an interested stockholder, and thereafter imposes special appraisal rights and special stockholder voting requirements on these combinations; and
“control share” provisions that provide that “control shares” of our company (defined as shares which, when aggregated with other shares controlled by the stockholder, entitle the stockholder to exercise one of three increasing ranges of voting power in electing directors) acquired in a “control share acquisition” (defined as the direct or indirect acquisition of ownership or control of “control shares”) have no voting rights except to the extent approved by our stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, excluding all interested shares.
Pursuant to the MGCL, our board of directors has exempted any business combination involving our Advisor or any affiliate of our Advisor. Consequently, the five-year prohibition and the super-majority vote requirements will not apply to business combinations between us and our Advisor or any affiliate of our Advisor.
In addition, the Company's bylaws contain a provision exempting from the control share provisions any and all acquisitions of our stock by any person. There can be no assurance that this provision will not be amended or eliminated at any time in the future.
In addition, the “unsolicited takeover” provisions of Title 3, Subtitle 8 of the MGCL permit the Board, without shareholder approval and regardless of what is currently provided in the charter or bylaws, to implement certain takeover defenses, including adopting a classified board or increasing the vote required to remove a director. Such takeover defenses may have the effect of inhibiting a third-party from making an acquisition proposal for us or of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of us under the circumstances that otherwise could provide our common stockholders with the opportunity to realize a premium over the then-current market price.
The value of our common stock may be reduced if we are required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act.
We are not registered, and do not intend to register ourselves, our operating partnership or any of our subsidiaries, as an investment company under the Investment Company Act. If we become obligated to register ourselves, our operating partnership or any of our subsidiaries as an investment company, the registered entity would have to comply with a variety of substantive requirements under the Investment Company Act imposing, among other things, limitations on capital structure and restrictions on specified investments.
Although we monitor the portfolio of the Company, the operating partnership and its subsidiaries periodically and prior to each acquisition and disposition, any of these entities may not be able to maintain an exclusion from the definition of investment company. If the Company, the operating partnership or any subsidiary is required to register as an investment company but fails to do so, the unregistered entity would be prohibited from engaging in our business, and criminal and civil actions could be brought against such entity. In addition, the contracts of such entity would be unenforceable unless a court required enforcement, and a court could appoint a receiver to take control of the entity and liquidate its business.
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Although our Advisor is responsible for calculating our estimated per share NAV, our Advisor will consider independent valuations of our investments, the accuracy of which our Advisor will not independently verify.
In calculating our estimated per share NAV, our Advisor will include the net value of our commercial real estate debt and other commercial real estate-related investments, taking into consideration valuations of investments obtained from our independent valuer. Although our Advisor is responsible for the accuracy of the NAV calculation and will provide our independent valuer with our valuation guidelines, which have been approved by our board of directors, our Advisor will not independently verify the appraised value of our investments. As a result, the appraised value of a particular investment may be greater or less than its potential realizable value, which would cause our estimated NAV to be greater or less than the potential realizable NAV.
The estimated per share NAV that we published does not reflect changes in our NAV since such date and does not represent the actual value of your shares on any given day.
The Company expects that our investments will only be valued annually for purposes of establishing our estimated per share NAV. The Company may experience events affecting our investments that may have a material impact on our NAV. For example, if a material borrower becomes insolvent or if investment conditions deteriorate generally, the value of an investment may materially change. Our NAV per share as published will not reflect such subsequent events. As a result, the NAV per share published after the announcement of a material event may differ significantly from our actual NAV per share. The resulting potential disparity may benefit repurchasing or non-repurchasing stockholders, depending on whether NAV is overstated or understated.
Risks Related to Our Financing Strategy
The Company uses leverage in connection with our investments, which increases the risk of loss associated with our investments.
We finance the origination and acquisition of a portion of our investments with repurchase agreements, collateralized loan obligations ("CLO") and other borrowings. Although the use of leverage may enhance returns and increase the number of investments that we can make, it may also substantially increase the risk of loss. Our ability to execute this strategy depends on various conditions in the financing markets that are beyond our control, including liquidity and credit spreads. We may be unable to obtain additional financing on favorable terms or, with respect to our debt and other investments, on terms that parallel the maturities of the debt originated or other investments acquired, if we are able to obtain additional financing at all. If our strategy is not viable, we will have to find alternative forms of long-term financing for our assets, as secured revolving credit facilities and repurchase facilities may not accommodate long-term financing. This could subject us to more restrictive recourse borrowings and the risk that debt service on less efficient forms of financing would require a larger portion of our cash flows, thereby reducing cash available for distribution, for our operations and for future business opportunities. If alternative financing is not available, we may have to liquidate assets at unfavorable prices to pay off such financing or pay significant fees to extend our financing arrangements. The return on our investments and cash available for distribution may be reduced to the extent that changes in market conditions cause the cost of our financing to increase relative to the income that we can derive from the assets we originate or acquire.
Lenders may require us to enter into restrictive covenants relating to our operations, which could limit our ability to make distributions.
When providing financing, a lender may impose restrictions on us that affect our distribution and operating policies, and our ability to incur additional borrowings. Financing agreements that we may enter into may contain covenants that limit our ability to further incur borrowings, restrict distributions or that prohibit us from discontinuing insurance coverage or replacing our Advisor. Certain limitations would decrease our operating flexibility and our ability to achieve our operating objectives, including making distributions.
In a period of rising interest rates, our interest expense could increase while the interest we earn on our fixed-rate assets would not change, which would adversely affect our profitability.
Our operating results depend in large part on differences between the income from our assets, reduced by any credit losses and financing costs. Income from our assets may respond more slowly to interest rate fluctuations than the cost of our borrowings. Consequently, changes in interest rates, particularly short-term interest rates, may significantly influence our net income. Increases in these rates will tend to decrease our net income and the market value of our assets. Interest rate fluctuations resulting in our interest expense exceeding the income from our assets would result in operating losses for us and may limit our ability to make distributions to our stockholders. In addition, if we need to repay existing borrowings during periods of rising interest rates, we could be required to liquidate one or more of our investments at times that may not permit realization of the maximum return on those investments, which would adversely affect our profitability.
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We may not be able to access financing sources on attractive terms, if at all, which could dilute our existing stockholders and adversely affect our ability to grow our business.
We will require outside capital to significantly grow our business. We have and may continue to raise equity capital through private placements to institutions and other investors. Because our common stock is not traded on a securities exchange, in order to consummate these private placements, we have and may continue to have to sell our common stock and Preferred Stock, on an as-converted basis, at prices that reflect a significant discount to our book value per share. Sales of common stock at less than our book value per share and sales of Preferred Stock that is convertible at less than our book value per share will dilute the value of common stock held by our existing shareholders. In addition, our business may be adversely affected by disruptions in the debt and equity capital markets and institutional lending market, including the lack of access to capital or prohibitively high costs of obtaining or replacing capital. If we cannot obtain sufficient debt and equity capital on acceptable terms, our business and our ability to operate could be severely impacted.
We use short-term borrowings, such as credit facilities and repurchase agreements to finance our investments, which require us to provide additional collateral in the event the lender determines there is a decrease in the fair value of our collateral, and these calls for collateral could significantly impact our liquidity position.
We use short-term borrowing through repurchase agreements, credit facilities and other arrangements that put our assets and financial condition at risk. We may need to use such short-term borrowings for extended periods of time to the extent we are unable to access long-term financing. Repurchase agreements economically resemble short-term, variable-rate financing and usually require the maintenance of specific loan-to-collateral value ratios. If the market value of the assets subject to a repurchase agreement decline, we may be required to provide additional collateral or make cash payments to maintain the loan-to-collateral value ratio. If we are unable to provide such collateral or cash repayments, the lender may accelerate the loan or we would be required to liquidate the collateral. In a weakening economic environment, or in an environment of widening credit spreads, we would generally expect the value of the commercial real estate debt or securities that serve as collateral for our short-term borrowings to decline, and in such a scenario, it is likely that the terms of our short-term borrowings would require us to provide additional collateral or to make partial repayment, which amounts could be substantial.
Further, such borrowings may require us to maintain a certain amount of cash reserves or to set aside unleveraged assets sufficient to maintain a specified liquidity position that would allow us to satisfy our collateral obligations. In addition, such short-term borrowing facilities may limit the length of time that any given asset may be used as eligible collateral, and these short-term borrowing arrangements may also be restricted to financing certain types of assets, such as first mortgage loans, which could impact our asset allocation. As a result, we may not be able to leverage our assets as fully as we would like, which could reduce our return on assets. In the event that we are unable to meet these collateral obligations, our financial condition could deteriorate rapidly.
Risks Related to Our Investments
Our commercial real estate debt investments are subject to the risks typically associated with commercial real estate.
Our commercial real estate debt and commercial real estate securities generally are directly or indirectly secured by a lien on real property. The occurrence of a default on a commercial real estate debt investment could result in our acquiring ownership of the property. We do not know whether the values of the properties ultimately securing our commercial real estate debt and loans underlying our securities will remain at the levels existing on the dates of origination of these loans and the dates of origination of the loans ultimately securing our securities, as applicable. If the values of the properties drop, our risk will increase because of the lower value of the security and reduction in borrower equity associated with such loans. In this manner, real estate values could impact the values of our debt and security investments. Therefore, our commercial real estate debt and securities investments are subject to the risks typically associated with real estate.
Our operating results may be adversely affected by a number of risks generally incident to holding real estate debt, including, without limitation:
natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and floods;
acts of war or terrorism, including the consequences of terrorist attacks;
adverse changes in national and local economic and real estate conditions;
adverse changes in economic and market conditions related to pandemics and health crises, such as COVID-19;
an oversupply of (or a reduction in demand for) space in the areas where particular properties securing our loans are located and the attractiveness of particular properties to prospective tenants;
changes in interest rates and availability of permanent mortgage funds that my render the sale of property difficult or unattractive;
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changes in governmental laws and regulations, fiscal policies and zoning ordinances and the related costs of compliance therewith and the potential for liability under applicable laws;
costs of remediation and liabilities associated with environmental conditions affecting properties;
the potential for uninsured or underinsured property losses; and
periods of high interest rates and tight money supply.
The value of each property securing our loans is affected significantly by its ability to generate cash flow and net income, which in turn depends on the amount of rental or other income that can be generated net of expenses required to be incurred with respect to the property. Many expenses associated with properties (such as operating expenses and capital expenses) cannot be reduced when there is a reduction in income from the properties.
These factors may have a material adverse effect on the ability of our borrowers to pay their loans and the ability of the borrowers on the underlying loans securing our securities to pay their loans, as well as on the value and the return that we can realize from assets we acquire and originate.
Delays in liquidating defaulted commercial real estate debt investments could reduce our investment returns.
If we originate or acquire commercial real estate debt investments and there are defaults under those debt investments, we may not be able to repossess and sell the properties securing the commercial real estate debt investment quickly. Foreclosure of a loan can be an expensive and lengthy process that could have a negative effect on our return on the foreclosed loan. Borrowers often resist foreclosure actions by asserting numerous claims, counterclaims and defenses, including but not limited to, lender liability claims, in an effort to prolong the foreclosure action. In some states, foreclosure actions can take several years or more to resolve. At any time during the foreclosure proceedings, the borrower may file for bankruptcy, which would have the effect of staying the foreclosure action and further delaying the foreclosure process. The resulting time delay could reduce the value of our assets in the defaulted loans. Furthermore, an action to foreclose on a property securing a loan is regulated by state statutes and regulations and is subject to the delays and expenses associated with lawsuits if the borrower raises defenses or counterclaims. In the event of default by a borrower, these restrictions, among other things, may impede our ability to foreclose on or sell the property securing the loan or to obtain proceeds sufficient to repay all amounts due to us on the loan. In addition, we may be forced to operate any foreclosed properties for a substantial period of time, which could be a distraction for our management team and may require us to pay significant costs associated with such property.
Subordinate commercial real estate debt that we originate or acquire could constitute a significant portion of our portfolio and may expose us to greater losses.
We acquire and originate subordinate commercial real estate debt, including subordinate mortgage and mezzanine loans and participations in such loans. These types of investments could constitute a significant portion of our portfolio and may involve a higher degree of risk than the type of assets that will constitute the majority of our commercial real estate debt investments, namely first mortgage loans secured by real property. In the event a borrower declares bankruptcy, we may not have full recourse to the assets of the borrower or the assets of the borrower may not be sufficient to satisfy the first mortgage loan and our subordinate debt investment. If a borrower defaults on our subordinate debt or on debt senior to ours, or in the event of a borrower bankruptcy, our subordinate debt will be satisfied only after the senior debt is paid in full. Where debt senior to our debt investment exists, the presence of intercreditor arrangements may limit our ability to amend our debt agreements, assign our debt, accept prepayments, exercise our remedies (through “standstill periods”) and control decisions made in bankruptcy proceedings relating to our borrowers. As a result, we may not recover some or all of our investment. In addition, real properties with subordinate debt may have higher loan-to-value ratios than conventional debt, resulting in less equity in the real property and increasing the risk of loss of principal and interest.
We may be subject to risks associated with construction lending, such as declining real estate values, cost overruns and delays in completion.
Our commercial real estate debt portfolio may include loans made to developers to construct prospective projects. The primary risks to us of construction loans are the potential for cost overruns, the developer’s failing to meet a project delivery schedule and the inability of a developer to sell or refinance the project at completion in accordance with its business plan and repay our commercial real estate loan due to declining real estate values. These risks could cause us to have to fund more money than we originally anticipated in order to complete the project. We may also suffer losses on our commercial real estate debt if the developer is unable to sell the project or refinance our commercial real estate debt investment.
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Jurisdictions with one action or security first rules or anti-deficiency legislation may limit the ability to foreclose on the property or to realize the obligation secured by the property by obtaining a deficiency judgment.
In the event of any default under our commercial real estate debt investments and in the loans underlying our commercial real estate securities, we bear the risk of loss of principal and nonpayment of interest and fees to the extent of any deficiency between the value of the collateral and the principal amount of the loan. Certain states in which the collateral securing our commercial real estate debt and securities is located may have laws that prohibit more than one judicial action to enforce a mortgage obligation, requiring the lender to exhaust the real property security for such obligation first or limiting the ability of the lender to recover a deficiency judgment from the obligor following the lender’s realization upon the collateral, in particular if a non-judicial foreclosure is pursued. These statutes may limit the right to foreclose on the property or to realize the obligation secured by the property.
Investments in non-conforming or non-investment grade rated loans or securities involve greater risk of loss.
Some of our investments may not conform to conventional loan standards applied by traditional lenders and either will not be rated or will be rated as non-investment grade by the rating agencies. The non-investment grade ratings for these assets typically result from the overall leverage of the loans, the lack of a strong operating history for the properties underlying the loans, the borrowers’ credit history, the properties’ underlying cash flow or other factors. As a result, these investments may have a higher risk of default and loss than investment grade rated assets. Any loss we incur may be significant and may reduce distributions and adversely affect the value of our common stock.
Insurance may not cover all potential losses on the properties underlying our investments which may harm the value of our assets.
We generally require that each of the borrowers under our commercial real estate debt investments obtain comprehensive insurance covering the mortgaged property, including liability, fire and extended coverage. However, there are certain types of losses, generally of a catastrophic nature, such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes that may be uninsurable or not economically insurable. We may not require borrowers to obtain certain types of insurance if it is deemed commercially unreasonable. Inflation, changes in building codes and ordinances, environmental considerations and other factors also might make it infeasible to use insurance proceeds to replace a property if it is damaged or destroyed. Under such circumstances, the insurance proceeds, if any, might not be adequate to restore the economic value of the property, which might impair our security and decrease the value of the property.
We invest in CMBS, which may include subordinate securities, which entails certain risks.
We invest in a variety of CMBS, which may include subordinate securities that are subject to the first risk of loss if any losses are realized on the underlying mortgage loans. CMBS entitle the holders thereof to receive payments that depend primarily on the cash flow from a specified pool of commercial or multifamily mortgage loans. Consequently, CMBS will be adversely affected by payment defaults, delinquencies and losses on the underlying commercial real estate loans. Furthermore, if the rental and leasing markets deteriorate, it could reduce cash flow from the loan pools underlying our CMBS investments. The CMBS market is dependent upon liquidity for refinancing and will be negatively impacted by a slowdown in the new issue CMBS market.
Additionally, CMBS is subject to particular risks, including lack of standardized terms and payment of all or substantially all of the principal only at maturity rather than regular amortization of principal. Additional risks may be presented by the type and use of a particular commercial property. For example, special risks are presented by hospitals, nursing homes, hospitality properties and certain other property types. Commercial property values and net operating income are subject to volatility, which may result in net operating income becoming insufficient to cover debt service on the related commercial real estate loan, particularly if the current economic environment deteriorates. The repayment of loans secured by income-producing properties is typically dependent upon the successful operation of the related real estate project rather than upon the liquidation value of the underlying real estate. Furthermore, the net operating income from and value of any commercial property are subject to various risks. The exercise of remedies and successful realization of liquidation proceeds relating to CMBS may be highly dependent upon the performance of the servicer or special servicer. Expenses of enforcing the underlying commercial real estate loans (including litigation expenses) and expenses of protecting the properties securing the commercial real estate loans may be substantial. Consequently, in the event of a default or loss on one or more commercial real estate loans contained in a securitization, we may not recover a portion or all of our investment.
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The CMBS in which we may invest are subject to the risks of the mortgage securities market as a whole and risks of the securitization process.
The value of CMBS may change due to shifts in the market’s perception of issuers and regulatory or tax changes adversely affecting the mortgage securities market as a whole. Due to our investment in subordinate CMBS, we are also subject to several risks created through the securitization process. Our subordinate CMBS are paid interest only to the extent that there are funds available to make payments. To the extent the collateral pool includes delinquent loans, there is a risk that the interest payment on subordinate CMBS will not be fully paid. Subordinate CMBS are also subject to greater credit risk than those CMBS that are senior and generally more highly rated.
We may not control the special servicing of the mortgage loans underlying the CMBS in which we invest and, in such cases, the special servicer may take actions that could adversely affect our interests.
Overall control over the special servicing of the underlying mortgage loans of the CMBS may be held by a directing certificate holder, which is appointed by the holders of the most subordinate class of such CMBS. We ordinarily do not have the right to appoint the directing certificate holder. In connection with the servicing of the specially serviced mortgage loans, the related special servicer may, at the direction of the directing certificate holder, take actions that could adversely affect our interests.
We may invest in collateralized debt obligations ("CDOs") and such investments involve significant risks.
We may invest in CDOs, which are multiple class securities secured by pools of assets, such as CMBS, subordinate mortgage and mezzanine loans and REIT debt. Like typical securities structures, in a CDO, the assets are pledged to a trustee for the benefit of the holders of the bonds. Like CMBS, CDO notes are affected by payments, defaults, delinquencies and losses on the underlying commercial real estate loans. CDOs often have reinvestment periods that typically last for five years during which proceeds from the sale of a collateral asset may be invested in substitute collateral. Upon termination of the reinvestment period, the static pool functions very similarly to a CMBS where repayment of principal allows for redemption of bonds sequentially. To the extent we invest in the equity securities of a CDO, we will be entitled to all of the income generated by the CDO after the CDO pays all of the interest due on the senior securities and its expenses. However, there will be little or no income or principal available to the holders of CDO equity securities if defaults or losses on the underlying collateral exceed a certain amount. In that event, the value of our investment in any equity class of a CDO could decrease substantially. In addition, the equity securities of CDOs are generally illiquid and often must be held by a REIT and because they represent a leveraged investment in the CDO’s assets, the value of the equity securities will generally have greater fluctuations than the values of the underlying collateral.
Adjustable-rate commercial real estate loans may entail greater risks of default to us than fixed-rate commercial real estate loans.
Adjustable-rate commercial real estate loans we originate or acquire or that collateralize our commercial real estate securities may have higher delinquency rates than fixed-rate loans. Borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgage loans may be exposed to increased monthly payments if the related interest rate adjusts upward from the initial fixed-rate or a low introductory rate, as applicable, in effect during the initial period of the loan to the rate computed in accordance with the applicable index and margin. This increase in borrowers’ monthly payments, together with any increase in prevailing market interest rates, after the initial fixed-rate period, may result in significantly increased monthly payments for borrowers with adjustable-rate loans, which may make it more difficult for the borrowers to repay the loan or could increase the risk of default of their obligations under the loan.
Changes in interest rates could negatively affect the value of our investments, which could result in reduced income or losses and negatively affect the cash available for distribution.
We may invest in fixed-rate CMBS and other fixed-rate investments. Under a normal yield curve, an investment in these instruments will decline in value if long-term interest rates increase. We will also invest in floating-rate investments, for which decreases in interest rates will have a negative effect on interest income. Declines in fair value may ultimately reduce income or result in losses to us, which may negatively affect cash available for distribution.
Hedging against interest rate exposure may adversely affect our income, limit our gains or result in losses, which could adversely affect cash available for distribution to our stockholders.
We may enter into interest rate swap agreements or pursue other interest rate hedging strategies. Our hedging activity will vary in scope based on interest rate levels, the type of investments held, and other changing market conditions. Interest rate hedging may fail to protect or could adversely affect us because, among other things:
interest rate hedging can be expensive, particularly during periods of rising and volatile interest rates;
available interest rate hedging may not correspond directly with the interest rate risk for which protection is sought;
the duration of the hedge may not match the duration of the related liability or asset;
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our hedging opportunities may be limited by the treatment of income from hedging transactions under the rules determining REIT qualification;
the credit quality of the party owing money on the hedge may be downgraded to such an extent that it impairs our ability to sell or assign our side of the hedging transaction;
the party owing money in the hedging transaction may default on its obligation to pay; and
we may purchase a hedge that turns out not to be necessary.
Any hedging activity we engage in may adversely affect our income, which could adversely affect cash available for distribution. Therefore, while we may enter into such transactions to seek to reduce interest rate risks, unanticipated changes in interest rates may result in poorer overall investment performance than if we had not engaged in any such hedging transactions. In addition, the degree of correlation between price movements of the instruments used in a hedging strategy and price movements in the portfolio positions being hedged or liabilities being hedged may vary materially. Moreover, for a variety of reasons, we may not be able to establish a perfect correlation between hedging instruments and the investment being hedged. Any such imperfect correlation may prevent us from achieving the intended hedge and expose us to risk of loss.
Many of our investments are illiquid and we may not be able to vary our portfolio in response to changes in economic and other conditions, which may result in losses to us.
Many of our investments are illiquid. As a result, our ability to sell commercial real estate debt, securities or properties in response to changes in economic and other conditions, could be limited, even at distressed prices. The Internal Revenue Code also places limits on our ability to sell properties held for fewer than four years. These considerations could make it difficult for us to dispose of any of our assets even if a disposition were in the best interests of our stockholders. As a result, our ability to vary our portfolio in response to further changes in economic and other conditions may be relatively limited, which may result in losses to us.
Some of our investments will be carried at estimated fair value as determined by us and, as a result, there may be uncertainty as to the value of these investments.
Some of our investments will be in the form of securities that are recorded at fair value but have limited liquidity or are not publicly-traded. The fair value of these securities and potentially other investments that have limited liquidity or are not publicly-traded may not be readily determinable. We estimate the fair value of these investments on a quarterly basis. Because such valuations are inherently uncertain, may fluctuate over short periods of time and may be based on numerous estimates and assumptions, our determinations of fair value may differ materially from the values that would have been used if a readily available market for these securities existed. The value of our common stock could be adversely affected if our determinations regarding the fair value of these investments are materially higher than the values that we ultimately realize upon their disposal.
Competition with third parties for originating and acquiring investments may reduce our profitability.
We have significant competition with respect to our origination and acquisition of assets with many other companies, including other REITs, insurance companies, commercial banks, private investment funds, hedge funds, specialty finance companies and other investors, many of which have greater resources than us. We may not be able to compete successfully for investments. In addition, the number of entities and the amount of funds competing for suitable investments may increase. If we pay higher prices for investments or originate loans on more generous terms than our competitors, our returns will be lower and the value of our assets may not increase or may decrease significantly below the amount we paid for such assets. If such events occur, our investors may experience a lower return on their investment.
Our due diligence may not reveal all material issues relating to our origination or acquisition of a particular investment.
Before making an investment, we assess the strength and skills of the management of the borrower or the operator of the property and other factors that we believe are material to the performance of the investment. In making the assessment and otherwise conducting customary due diligence, we rely on the resources available to us and, in some cases, an investigation by third parties. This process is particularly important and subjective with respect to newly organized or private entities because there may be little or no information publicly available about the entity. Even if we conduct extensive due diligence on a particular investment, there can be no assurance that this diligence will uncover all material issues relating to such investment, or that factors outside of our control will not later arise. If our due diligence fails to identify issues specific to investment, we may be forced to write-down or write-off assets, restructure our operations or incur impairment or other charges that could result in our reporting losses. Charges of this nature could contribute to negative market perceptions about us or our shares of common stock.
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We may be unable to restructure loans in a manner that we believe maximizes value, particularly if we are one of multiple creditors in large capital structures.
In the current environment, in order to maximize value we may be more likely to extend and work out a loan, rather than pursue foreclosure. However, in situations where there are multiple creditors in large capital structures, it can be particularly difficult to assess the most likely course of action that a lender group or the borrower may take and it may also be difficult to achieve consensus among the lender group as to major decisions. Consequently, there could be a wide range of potential principal recovery outcomes, the timing of which can be unpredictable, based on the strategy pursued by a lender group and/or by a borrower. These multiple creditor situations tend to be associated with larger loans. If we are one of a group of lenders, we may be a lender on a subordinated basis, and may not independently control the decision making. Consequently, we may be unable to restructure a loan in a manner that we believe would maximize value.
We may be subject to risks associated with future advance obligations, such as declining real estate values and operating performance.
Our commercial real estate debt portfolio may include loans that require us to advance future funds. Future funding obligations subject us to significant risks that the property may have declined in value, projects to be completed with the additional funds may have cost overruns and the borrower may be unable to generate enough cash flow, or sell or refinance the property, in order to repay our commercial real estate loan due. We could determine that we need to fund more money than we originally anticipated in order to maximize the value of our investment even though there is no assurance additional funding would be the best course of action.
While we attempt to align the maturities of our liabilities with the maturities on our assets, we may not be successful in that regard which could harm our operating results and financial condition.
Our general financing strategy will include the use of “match-funded” structures. This means that we will seek to align the maturities of our liabilities with the maturities on our assets in order to manage the risks of being forced to refinance our liabilities prior to the maturities of our assets. We may fail to appropriately employ match-funded structures on favorable terms, or at all. We may also determine not to pursue a match-funded structure with respect to a portion of our financings for a variety of reasons. If we fail to appropriately employ match-funded structures, our exposure to interest rate volatility and exposure to matching liabilities prior to the maturity of the corresponding asset may increase substantially which could harm our operating results, liquidity and financial condition.
Provision for credit losses is difficult to estimate.
Our provision for credit losses is evaluated on a quarterly basis. Our determination of provision for credit losses requires us to make certain estimates and judgments. Our estimates and judgments are based on a number of factors, including projected cash flows from the collateral securing our commercial real estate debt, debt structure, including the availability of reserves and recourse guarantees, likelihood of repayment in full at the maturity of a loan, loan-to-value ("LTV"), potential for refinancing and expected market discount rates for varying property types. Our estimates and judgments may not be correct and, therefore, our results of operations and financial condition could be severely impacted.
Since the start of 2020 we have been subject to the FASB’s Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2016-13, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments. The new standard, known as the Current Expected Credit Loss (“CECL”) model, significantly changed how entities measure credit losses for most financial assets and certain other instruments that are not measured at fair value through net income. CECL amended the existing credit loss model to reflect a reporting entity's current estimate of all expected credit losses, not only based on historical experience and current conditions, but also by including reasonable and supportable forecasts incorporating forward-looking information. This measurement takes place at the time the financial asset is first added to the balance sheet and updated quarterly thereafter. This differs significantly from the prior “incurred loss” model.
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Risks Related to the Conduit Segment of the Business
We use warehouse facilities that may limit our ability to acquire assets, and we may incur losses if the collateral is liquidated.
We utilize warehouse facilities pursuant to which we accumulate mortgage loans in anticipation of a securitization financing, which assets are pledged as collateral for such facilities until the securitization transaction is consummated. In order to borrow funds to acquire assets under any additional warehouse facilities, we expect that our lenders thereunder would have the right to review the potential assets for which we are seeking financing. We may be unable to obtain the consent of a lender to acquire assets that we believe would be beneficial to us and we may be unable to obtain alternate financing for such assets. In addition, no assurance can be given that a securitization transaction would be consummated with respect to the assets being warehoused. If the securitization is not consummated, the lender could liquidate the warehoused collateral and we would then have to pay any amount by which the original purchase price of the collateral assets exceeds its sale price, subject to negotiated caps, if any, on our exposure. In addition, regardless of whether the securitization is consummated, if any of the warehoused collateral is sold before the consummation, we would have to bear any resulting loss on the sale. No assurance can be given that we will be able to obtain additional warehouse facilities on favorable terms, or at all.
We directly or indirectly utilize non‑recourse securitizations, and such structures expose us to risks that could result in losses to us.
We utilize non‑recourse securitizations of our investments in mortgage loans to the extent consistent with the maintenance of our REIT qualification and exemption from the Investment Company Act in order to generate cash for funding new investments and/or to leverage existing assets. In most instances, this involves us transferring our loans to a special purpose securitization entity in exchange for cash. In some sale transactions, we also retain a subordinated interest in the loans sold. The securitization of our portfolio investments might magnify our exposure to losses on those portfolio investments because the subordinated interest we retain in the loans sold would be subordinate to the senior interest in the loans sold, and we would, therefore, absorb all of the losses sustained with respect to a loan sold before the owners of the senior interest experience any losses. Moreover, we cannot be assured that we will be able to access the securitization market in the future, or be able to do so at favorable rates. The inability to consummate securitizations of our portfolio investments to finance our investments on a long‑term basis could require us to seek other forms of potentially less attractive financing or to liquidate assets at an inopportune time or price, which could adversely affect our performance and our ability to continue to grow our business.
The securitization market is subject to a regulatory environment that may affect certain aspects of these activities.
As a result of the dislocation of the credit markets, the securitization industry has become subject to additional regulation. In particular, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, various federal agencies have promulgated a rule that generally requires issuers in securitizations to retain 5% of the risk associated with the securities. While the rule as adopted generally allows the purchase of the CMBS B-Piece by a party not affiliated with the issuer to satisfy the risk retention requirement, current CMBS B-Pieces are generally not large enough to fully satisfy the 5% requirement. Accordingly, buyers of B-Pieces such as us may be required to purchase larger B-Pieces, potentially reducing returns on such investments. Furthermore, any such B-Pieces purchased by a party (such as us) unaffiliated with the issuer generally cannot be transferred for a period of five years following the closing date of the securitization or hedged against credit risk. These restrictions would reduce our liquidity and could potentially reduce our returns on such investments.
We enter into hedging transactions that could expose us to contingent liabilities in the future.
Subject to maintaining our qualification as a REIT, part of our investment strategy involves entering into hedging transactions that require us to fund cash payments in certain circumstances (such as the early termination of the hedging instrument caused by an event of default or other early termination event, or the decision by a counterparty to request margin securities it is contractually owed under the terms of the hedging instrument). The amount due would be equal to the unrealized loss of the open swap positions with the respective counterparty and could also include other fees and charges. These economic losses will be reflected in our results of operations, and our ability to fund these obligations will depend on the liquidity of our assets and access to capital at the time, and the need to fund these obligations could adversely impact our financial condition.
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Risks Related to Taxation
Our failure to qualify as a REIT could have significant adverse consequences to us and the value of our common stock.
We believe that we have qualified as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013. We intend to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT, but we cannot assure stockholders that we qualify as a REIT. Qualification as a REIT involves the application of highly technical and complex Code provisions for which only a limited number of judicial and administrative interpretations exist. Moreover, new tax legislation, administrative guidance or court decisions, in each instance potentially with retroactive effect, could make it more difficult or impossible for us to qualify as a REIT. Even an inadvertent or technical mistake could jeopardize our REIT status. Our qualification as a REIT depends on our satisfaction of certain asset, income, organizational, distribution, stockholder ownership and other requirements on a continuing basis.
If we were to fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year and are unable to avail ourselves of certain savings provisions set forth in the Code, we would be subject to U.S federal and applicable state and local income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates (including any applicable alternative minimum tax (which alternative minimum tax has been repealed for tax years after 2017)). Losing our REIT status would reduce our net income available for investment or distribution to stockholders because of the additional tax liability. In addition, distributions to stockholders would no longer qualify for the dividends-paid deduction, and we would no longer be required to make distributions. If this occurs, we might be required to borrow or liquidate some investments in order to pay the applicable tax. We would not be able to elect to be taxed as a REIT for four years following the year we first failed to qualify unless the IRS were to grant us relief under certain statutory provisions.
The failure of a mezzanine loan to qualify as a real estate asset could adversely affect our ability to qualify as a REIT.
The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") has issued Revenue Procedure 2003-65, which provides a safe harbor pursuant to which a mezzanine loan, if it meets certain requirements, will be treated by the IRS as a real estate asset for purposes of the REIT asset tests, and interest derived from such loan will be treated as qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the REIT 75% gross income test. Although the Revenue Procedure provides a safe harbor on which taxpayers may rely, it does not prescribe rules of substantive tax law. We may originate or acquire mezzanine loans that do not satisfy all of the requirements for reliance on the safe harbor set forth in the Revenue Procedure, in which case, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not challenge the tax treatment of such loans. If such a challenge were sustained, we could fail to qualify as a REIT.
Even if we qualify as a REIT, we may be subject to tax liabilities that reduce our cash flow for distribution to our stockholders.
Even if we qualify as a REIT, we may be subject to some U.S. federal, state and local taxes on our income or property. For example:
In order to qualify as a REIT, we must distribute annually at least 90% of our "REIT taxable income" (determined before the deduction of dividends paid and excluding net capital gains) to our stockholders. To the extent that we satisfy the distribution requirement but distribute less than 100% of our REIT taxable income, we will be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on our undistributed income.
We will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the amount, if any, by which distributions we pay in any calendar year are less than the sum of 85% of our ordinary income, 95% of our capital gain net income and 100% of our undistributed income from prior years.
If we have net income from the sale of foreclosure property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business or other non-qualifying income from foreclosure property, we must pay a tax on that income at the highest corporate income tax rate.
If we sell an asset, other than a foreclosure property, that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, our gain would be subject to the 100% “prohibited transaction” tax. We might be subject to this tax if we were to dispose of or securitize loans in a manner that is treated as a sale of loans for U.S. federal income tax purposes that is subject to the prohibited transaction tax.
Any TRS of ours will be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on its taxable income, and non-arm’s length transactions between us and any TRS, could be subject to a 100% tax.
We could, in certain circumstances, be required to pay an excise or penalty tax (which could be significant in amount) in order to utilize one or more relief provisions under the Code to maintain our qualification as a REIT.
Any of these taxes would decrease cash available for distribution to our stockholders.
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The failure of assets subject to repurchase agreements to qualify as real estate assets could adversely affect our ability to qualify as a REIT.
We are party to certain financing arrangements, and may in the future enter into additional financing arrangements, that are structured as sale and repurchase agreements pursuant to which we would nominally sell certain of our assets to a counterparty and simultaneously enter into an agreement to repurchase these assets at a later date in exchange for a purchase price. Economically, these agreements are financings which are secured by the assets sold pursuant thereto. We believe that we would be treated for REIT asset and income test purposes as the owner of the assets that are the subject of any such sale and repurchase agreement notwithstanding that such agreement may transfer record ownership of the assets to the counterparty during the term of the agreement. It is possible, however, that the IRS could assert that we did not own the assets during the term of the sale and repurchase agreement, in which case we could fail to qualify as a REIT.
The “taxable mortgage pool” rules may increase the taxes that we or our stockholders incur, and may limit the manner in which we effect future securitizations.
Certain of our securitizations have resulted in the creation of "taxable mortgage pools" for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a REIT, so long as we own 100% of the equity interest in a taxable mortgage pool, we generally would not be adversely affected by the characterization as a taxable mortgage pool. Certain categories of stockholders, however, such as non-U.S. stockholders eligible for treaty or other benefits, stockholders with net operating losses, and certain tax-exempt stockholders that are subject to unrelated business income tax, will be subject to increased taxes on the portion of their dividend income from us that is attributable to any "excess inclusion income" that we have generated as a result of our securitization transactions, and may generate as a result of future securitization transactions. In addition, to the extent that our common stock is owned by tax-exempt “disqualified organizations,” such as certain government-related entities and charitable remainder trusts that are not subject to tax on unrelated business income, we will incur a corporate-level tax on a portion of any excess inclusion income. In that case, we may reduce the amount of our distributions to any disqualified organization whose stock ownership gave rise to the tax. Moreover, we could face limitations in selling equity interests in these securitizations to outside investors, or selling any debt securities issued in connection with these securitizations that might be considered to be equity interests for tax purposes. These limitations may prevent us from using certain techniques to maximize our returns from securitization transactions.
The prohibited transactions tax may limit our ability to engage in transactions, including certain methods of securitizing mortgage loans that would be treated as sales for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
A REIT’s net income from prohibited transactions is subject to a 100% tax. In general, prohibited transactions are sales or other dispositions of assets, other than foreclosure property, held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business. We might be subject to the prohibited transaction tax if we were to dispose of, modify or securitize loans in a manner that is treated as a sale of the loans for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Therefore, in order to avoid the prohibited transactions tax, we may choose not to engage in certain sales or modifications of loans at the REIT level and may limit the structures we utilize for our securitization transactions, even though the sales, modifications or structures might otherwise be beneficial to us. Additionally, we may be subject to the prohibited transaction tax upon a disposition of real property. Although a safe-harbor exception to prohibited transaction treatment is available, there can be no assurance that we can comply with the safe harbor or that we will avoid owning property that may be characterized as held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business.
It may be possible to reduce the impact of the prohibited transaction tax by conducting certain activities through a TRS. However, to the extent that we engage in such activities through a TRS, the income associated with such activities may be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax.
Complying with REIT requirements may limit our ability to hedge effectively and may cause us to incur tax liabilities.
The REIT provisions of the Code may limit our ability to hedge our assets and operations. Under these provisions, any income that we generate from hedging transactions will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the REIT 75% and 95% gross income tests if the instrument hedges: (i) interest rate risk on liabilities incurred to carry or acquire real estate assets; or (ii) risk of currency fluctuations with respect to any item of income or gain that would be qualifying income under the REIT 75% or 95% gross income tests, and such instrument is properly identified under applicable U.S. Department of Treasury regulations ("Treasury Regulations"). Income from hedging transactions that do not meet these requirements will generally constitute non-qualifying income for purposes of both the REIT 75% and 95% gross income tests. As a result, we may have to limit our use of hedging techniques that might otherwise be advantageous, which could result in greater risks associated with interest rate or other changes than we would otherwise incur.
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Liquidation of assets may jeopardize our REIT qualification.
To qualify as a REIT, we must comply with requirements regarding our assets and our sources of income. If we are compelled to liquidate our investments to repay obligations to our lenders, we may be unable to comply with these requirements, ultimately jeopardizing our qualification as a REIT, or we may be subject to a 100% prohibited transaction tax on any resultant gain if we sell assets that are treated as dealer property or inventory.
Modification of the terms of our debt investments and mortgage loans underlying our CMBS in conjunction with reductions in the value of the real property securing such loans could cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT.
Our debt and securities investments may be materially affected by a weak real estate market and economy in general. As a result, many of the terms of our debt and the mortgage loans underlying our securities may be modified to avoid taking title to a property. Under the Code, if the terms of a loan are modified in a manner constituting a "significant modification," such modification triggers a deemed exchange of the original loan for the modified loan. In general, under applicable Treasury Regulations if a loan is secured by real property and other property and the highest principal amount of the loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property securing the loan determined as of the date we agreed to acquire the loan or the date we significantly modified the loan, a portion of the interest income from such loan will not be qualifying income for purposes of the REIT 75% gross income test, but will be qualifying income for purposes of the REIT 95% gross income test. Although the law is not entirely clear, a portion of the loan will likely be a non-qualifying asset for purposes of the REIT 75% asset test. The non-qualifying portion of such a loan would be subject to, among other requirements, the requirement that a REIT not hold securities possessing more than 10% of the total value of the outstanding securities of any one issuer ("10% Value Test").
IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor pursuant to which we will not be required to redetermine the fair market value of real property securing a loan for purposes of the gross income and asset tests discussed above in connection with a loan modification that is: (i) occasioned by a borrower default; or (ii) made at a time when we reasonably believe that the modification to the loan will substantially reduce a significant risk of default on the original loan. No assurance can be provided that all of our loan modifications have or will qualify for the safe harbor in Revenue Procedure 2014-51. To the extent we significantly modify loans in a manner that does not qualify for that safe harbor, we will be required to redetermine the value of the real property securing the loan at the time it was significantly modified. In determining the value of the real property securing such a loan, we generally will not obtain third-party appraisals, but rather will rely on internal valuations. No assurance can be provided that the IRS will not successfully challenge our internal valuations. If the terms of our debt investments and the mortgage loans underlying our CMBS are "significantly modified" in a manner that does not qualify for the safe harbor in Revenue Procedure 2014-51 and the fair market value of the real property securing such loans has decreased significantly, we could fail the REIT 75% gross income test, the 75% asset test and/or the 10% Value Test. Unless we qualified for relief under certain Code cure provisions, such failures could cause us to fail to continue to qualify as a REIT.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
None.
Item 2. Properties.
Our headquarters are located in a leased space at 9 West 57th Street, Suite 4920, New York, New York 10019.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
For a description of the Company’s legal proceedings, see “Note 10. Commitments and Contingencies” to our consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Not applicable.
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PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
No public trading market currently exists for the Company's shares of common stock and the Company currently has no immediate plans to list our shares of common stock on a national securities exchange. Until our shares are listed on a national securities exchange, if ever, the Company's stockholders may not sell their shares unless the buyer meets the applicable suitability and minimum purchase requirements. On November 2, 2020, the board of directors, upon the recommendation of the Audit Committee of the board, unanimously approved and established the estimated NAV per share of the Company’s common stock proposed by the Advisor of $17.88. The estimated per share NAV is based upon the estimated value of the Company’s assets less the Company’s liabilities as of September 30, 2020. This valuation was performed in a manner consistent with the provisions of Practice Guideline 2013-01, Valuations of Publicly Registered Non-Listed REITs, issued by the Investment Program Association in April 2013, including the use of independent third-party valuation firms to estimate the fair value of our loan portfolio, securities portfolio and real estate owned portfolio. See our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on November 6, 2020 for the Company's methodology for calculating our estimated per-share NAV.
There is no public trading market for the shares at this time, and there can be no assurance that stockholders would receive $17.88 per share if such a market did exist and they sold their shares or that they will be able to receive such amount for their shares in the future. Nor does this deemed value reflect the distributions that stockholders would be entitled to receive if the Company's investments were sold and the sale proceeds were distributed upon liquidation of the Company's assets. Such a distribution upon liquidation may be less than $17.88 per share for various reasons including changes in values between the September 30, 2020 valuation date and the date of any liquidation. The Company is currently offering our shares for $17.88 pursuant to the DRIP.
Holders
As of February 28, 2021, the Company had 44,135,876 shares of common stock outstanding held by a total of 16,061 stockholders of record.
Distributions
The Company has elected to be taxed as a REIT under Sections 856 through 860 of the Internal Revenue Code commencing with the taxable year ended December 31, 2013. As a REIT, if the Company meets certain organizational and operational requirements and distributes at least 90% of its' "REIT taxable income" (determined before the deduction of dividends paid and excluding net capital gains) to the stockholders in a year, the Company will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax to the extent of the income that we distribute. Even if the Company qualifies for taxation as a REIT, the Company may be subject to certain state and local taxes on its' income and property and U.S. federal income and excise taxes on any undistributed income.
In April 2020, the Company’s board of directors unanimously approved a transition in the timing of the dividend payments, to holders of the Company’s common stock from a monthly payment with daily accruals to a quarterly accrual and payment basis, starting with the second quarter 2020 dividend that was paid in July 2020. Similarly, the Company began paying accrued and unpaid dividends on Preferred Stock on a quarterly basis.
The monthly distributions for the first quarter of 2020 were paid at a daily rate equivalent to $1.44 per annum, per share of common stock. Starting with the second quarter 2020 distribution, the 2020 quarterly distributions were paid at a quarterly rate of $0.275 per share of common stock (equivalent to $1.10 per annum). Distribution payments are dependent on the availability of funds. The board of directors may reduce the amount of distributions paid or suspend distribution payments at any time, and therefore, distribution payments are not assured. Subject to the terms of the Preferred Stock, dividends on the Company’s Preferred Stock are generally paid on an as-converted basis with the common stock.
Distributions are generally payable by the fifth day following each quarter end to stockholders of record at the close of business each day during the prior quarter.
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The below table reflects the value of distributions paid in cash and through the DRIP to common stockholders during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 (dollars in thousands):
Year Ended December 31,
20202019
Distributions:
  Cash distributions paid$36,798 $45,763 
  Distributions reinvested8,883 13,901 
Total Distributions$45,681 $59,664 
Source of Distribution Coverage:
  Net Income$36,798 80.6 %$45,763 76.7 %
  Common stock issued under DRIP8,883 19.4 %13,901 23.3 %
Total Sources of Distributions$45,681 100.0 %$59,664 100.0 %
Net Income applicable to common stock (GAAP)$39,826 $66,914 
Share-Based Compensation
Restricted Share Plan
The Company has an employee and director incentive restricted share plan (the “RSP”), which provides the Company with the ability to grant awards of restricted shares to our directors, officers, and employees (if the Company ever has employees), employees of the Advisor and its affiliates, employees of entities that provide services to the Company, directors of the Advisor or of entities that provide services to the Company or certain consultants to the Company and the Advisor and its affiliates. The total number of common shares granted under the RSP may not exceed 5.0% of our authorized common shares, and in any event, will not exceed 4.0 million shares (as such number may be adjusted for stock splits, stock dividends, combinations, and similar events).
Restricted share awards entitle the recipient to receive common shares from the Company under terms that provide for vesting over a specified period of time or upon attainment of pre-established performance objectives. Such awards would typically be forfeited with respect to the unvested shares upon the termination of the recipient’s employment or other relationship with the Company. Restricted shares may not, in general, be sold or otherwise transferred until restrictions are removed and the shares have vested. Holders of restricted shares may receive cash distributions prior to the time that the restrictions on the restricted shares have lapsed. Any distributions payable in common shares shall be subject to the same restrictions as the underlying restricted shares. The fair value of the restricted shares will be expensed over the vesting period of the award.
As of December 31, 2020, the Company has granted 44,876 restricted shares to our independent directors of which 27,823 shares have vested and 5,333 shares were forfeited. The compensation expense associated with the restricted share grants was $0.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. Additionally, the Company recorded a distribution payable of $3,248 at December 31, 2020 in connection with these shares.
The following table provides information about our common stock that may be issued under our RSP as of December 31, 2020:
Plan Category Number of Securities to be Issued Upon Exercise of Outstanding Options, Warrants and Rights Weighted-Average Exercise of Price of Outstanding Options, Warrants, and Rights Number of Securities Remaining Available for Future Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders —  —  — 
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders —  —  3,977,510 
    Total    3,977,510 
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
The Company's board of directors unanimously approved an amended and restated share repurchase program (the “SRP”), which became effective on February 28, 2016. The SRP enables stockholders to sell their shares to the Company. Subject to certain conditions, stockholders that purchased shares of the Company's common stock or received their shares from the Company (directly or indirectly) through one or more non-cash transactions and have held their shares for a period of at least one year may request that the Company repurchase their shares of common stock so long as the repurchase otherwise complies with the provisions of Maryland Law. Repurchase requests made following the death or qualifying disability of a stockholder will not be subject to any minimum holding period.
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On August 10, 2017, the Company's board of directors amended the SRP to provide that the repurchase price per share for requests will be equal to the lesser of (i) the Company's most recent estimated per-share NAV, as approved by the Company's board of directors from time to time, and (ii) the Company's book value per share, computed in accordance with GAAP, multiplied by a percentage equal to (i) 92.5%, if the person seeking repurchase has held his or her shares for a period greater than one year and less than two years; (ii) 95%, if the person seeking repurchase has held his or her shares for a period greater than two years and less than three years; (iii) 97.5%, if the person seeking repurchase has held his or her shares for a period greater than three years and less than four years; or (iv) 100%, if the person seeking repurchase has held his or her shares for a period greater than four years or in the case of requests for death or qualifying disability. Investors in our private placements are not eligible to participate in the SRP for three years.
The Company’s most recent estimated per-share NAV is $17.88 and the Company’s GAAP book value per share as of December 31, 2020 was $17.94.
Repurchases pursuant to the SRP, when requested, generally will be made semiannually (each six-month period ending June 30 or December 31, a “fiscal semester”). Repurchases for any fiscal semester will be limited to a maximum of 2.5% of the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the previous fiscal year, with a maximum for any fiscal year of 5.0% of the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the previous fiscal year. Funding for repurchases pursuant to the SRP for any given fiscal semester will be limited to proceeds received during that same fiscal semester through the issuance of common stock pursuant to any DRIP in effect from time to time, provided that the Company's board of directors has the power, in its sole discretion, to determine the amount of shares repurchased during any fiscal semester as well as the amount of funds to be used for that purpose. In addition, the board of directors may reject a request for redemption at any time. Due to these limitations, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate all repurchase requests made during any fiscal semester or fiscal year. Pending repurchase requests will be honored on a pro rata basis. The Company will generally pay repurchase proceeds, less any applicable tax or other withholding required by law, by the 31st day following the end of the fiscal semester during which the repurchase request was made.
When a stockholder requests repurchase and the repurchase is approved, the Company will reclassify such obligation from equity to a liability based on the settlement value of the obligation. Shares repurchased under the SRP will have the status of authorized but unissued shares.
Share repurchase activity under the SRP during the year ended December 31, 2020 was as follows:
Number of Shares RepurchasedAverage Price per ShareTotal Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plan or ProgramsMaximum Number (or Approximate Dollar Value) of Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs
January 1 - January 31, 2020373,135 $18.56 373,135 — 
February 1 - February 28, 2020— N/A— — 
March 1 - March 31, 2020— N/A— — 
April 1 - April 30, 2020— N/A— — 
May 1 - May 31, 2020— N/A— — 
June 1 - June 30, 2020— N/A— — 
July 1 - July 31, 2020206,332$16.25 206,332 — 
August 1 - August 31, 2020— N/A— — 
September 1 - September 30, 2020— N/A— — 
October 1 - October 31, 2020— N/A— — 
November 1 - November 30, 2020— N/A— — 
December 1 - December 31, 2020— N/A— — 
Total579,467 579,467 
For additional details about the SRP, see “Share Repurchase Program” in “Note 9 - Stock Transactions” to our consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
Intentionally Omitted.
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Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with the accompanying financial statements of Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust, Inc. the notes thereto and other financial information included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements reflecting the Company’s current expectations, estimates and assumptions concerning events and financial trends that may affect our future operating results or financial position. Actual results and timing of events may differ materially from those contained in these forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those discussed in the sections of this Annual Report entitled “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements.”
Overview
We were incorporated in Maryland on November 15, 2012 and have conducted our operations to qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes beginning with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013. The Company, through a subsidiary which is treated as a TRS, is indirectly subject to U.S. federal, state and local income taxes. We commenced business in May 2013. We primarily originate, acquire and manage a diversified portfolio of commercial real estate debt investments secured by properties located within and outside of the United States. Commercial real estate debt investments may include first mortgage loans, subordinated mortgage loans, mezzanine loans and participations in such loans. Substantially all of our business is conducted through the OP, a Delaware limited partnership. We are the sole general partner and directly or indirectly hold all of the units of limited partner interests in the OP.
The Company has no direct employees. We are managed by our Advisor pursuant to an Amended and Restated Advisory Agreement, dated January 19, 2018 (the "Advisory Agreement"). Our Advisor manages our affairs on a day-to-day basis. The Advisor receives compensation and fees for services related to the investment and management of our assets and our operations.
The Advisor, an SEC-registered investment adviser, is a credit-focused alternative asset management firm. The Advisor manages funds for institutions and high-net-worth investors across various credit funds and complementary strategies including high yield, levered loans, private / opportunistic debt, liquid credit, structured credit and commercial real estate debt. These strategies complement each other as they all leverage the sourcing, analytical, compliance, and operational capabilities that encompass the Advisor’s robust platform. On February 1, 2019, Franklin Resources, Inc. and Templeton International, Inc. (collectively, “Franklin Templeton”) acquired the Advisor (the “Transaction”). The Transaction did not impact the terms of the Advisory Agreement and the Transaction did not result in any changes to the executive officers of the Company.
The Company invests in commercial real estate debt investments, which may include first mortgage loans, subordinated mortgage loans, mezzanine loans and participations in such loans. The Company also originates conduit loans which the Company intends to sell through its TRS into CMBS securitization transactions at a profit. The Company also owns real estate which it acquires through foreclosure and deed in lieu of foreclosure, and which it purchases for investment, typically subject to triple net leases.
The Company also invests in commercial real estate securities. Real estate securities may include CMBS, senior unsecured debt of publicly traded REITs, debt or equity securities of other publicly traded real estate companies and CDOs.
COVID-19 Pandemic
Since December 2019, COVID-19 has spread globally, including to every state in the United States. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and subsequently, the United States declared a national emergency. The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant repercussions across domestic and global economies and financial markets, including the industries in which our borrowers operate. The global impact of the COVID-19 outbreak evolved rapidly and many governmental authorities, including state and local governments in regions in which our borrowers own properties, have reacted by instituting government restrictions, border closings, quarantines, “shelter-in-place” orders and “social distancing” guidelines which have forced many of our borrowers to suspend or significantly restrict their business activities. The effects of the pandemic have resulted in a dramatic increase in national unemployment and numerous corporate bankruptcies.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has had and is continuing to have a negative impact on our operations, however during the second half of 2020 the impact was less significant:
Impact on Operating Results. With respect to our operating results for the year ended December 31, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic drove a significant increase in our allowance for credit loss provision on our loan portfolio and an increase in the realized loss on our securities portfolio. Specifically, for the year ended December 31, 2020, we experienced an increase in our provision for expected credit losses on our loan portfolio, primarily driven by the decline in the overall economic outlook as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, we had realized losses of $10.1 million on our real estate securities portfolio, the majority of which occurred during the first half of 2020. This was a result of dislocation in the broader capital markets and uncertainty due to COVID-19 and its expected impact on values of properties underlying our real-estate debt assets. Due primarily to changes in market conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the weighted average risk rating of our loan portfolio increased from 2.1 as of December 31, 2019 to 2.2 as of December 31, 2020, and the amortized cost basis of our loans past due increased by $37.8 million to $94.9 million over this period.
In the second and third quarters of 2020, we made limited modifications to certain loans to assist borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic, but none of these modifications qualify as troubled debt restructurings ("TDRs").
Impact on Liquidity. During the year ended December 31, 2020, there were significant disruptions in the financial markets that impacted our real estate securities portfolio. This resulted in decreases in market value for these assets due to volatility and lack of liquidity. During the second quarter of 2020, we received margin calls from certain of our lenders due to the decline in pricing, which we satisfied through the contribution of additional cash, thereby reducing our liquidity position and substantially reducing our levered returns on this portfolio of assets. As of December 31, 2020 the Company has significantly reduced its real estate securities portfolio, further reducing mark to market exposure and the associated liquidity risk from counterparty margin calls on real estate securities repurchase agreements compared to prior quarters. In addition, the financial market dislocations created by the COVID-19 pandemic have currently made financing through CDO or CLO securitizations more difficult.
The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our future operating results and liquidity will depend on future developments which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, including the scope, severity and duration of the pandemic, including any resurgences, or mutations of the virus, the direct and indirect economic effects of the pandemic and containment measures, and the effectiveness of vaccines and treatment therapies and the distribution thereof. The inability of our borrowers to meet their loan obligations and/or borrowers filing for bankruptcy protection would reduce our cash flows, which would impact our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders. As a result of the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, starting the second quarter of 2020 our board of directors reduced the amount of our regular common stock dividend. The board may reduce or eliminate the dividend in the future in the event of further economic deterioration or dislocations in the capital markets.
Estimated Per Share NAV
On November 2, 2020, the board of directors, upon the recommendation of the Audit Committee of the board, unanimously approved and established the estimated net asset value ("NAV") per share of the Company’s common stock proposed by the Advisor of $17.88. The estimated per share NAV is based upon the estimated value of the Company’s assets less the Company’s liabilities as of September 30, 2020 (the “Valuation Date”). This valuation was performed in a manner consistent with the provisions of Practice Guideline 2013-01, Valuations of Publicly Registered Non-Listed REITs, issued by the Investment Program Association in April 2013, including the use of independent third-party valuation firms to estimate the fair value of our loan portfolio, securities portfolio and real estate owned portfolio.
These valuation firms estimated the value of our loan portfolio using customary valuation methods, including a discounted cash flow analysis with respect to our loan portfolio, available market pricing information with respect to our securities portfolio, and real estate appraisals with respect to our real estate owned portfolio. Based on these methodologies these firms determined a range of estimated valuations. To estimate the Company’s NAV, the Advisor added the amounts of cash and other tangible assets reflected on our balance sheet (as computed in accordance with GAAP) and subtracted our liabilities as reflected on our balance sheet (computed in accordance with GAAP). Based on this the Advisor estimated that the Company’s NAV as of September 30, 2020 is $17.88 which is the midpoint of the valuation range of $17.14 to $18.62.
The Advisor recommended our board of directors approve the estimated per share NAV of $17.88. As with any methodology used to estimate value, the methodologies employed to estimate the NAV were based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that may not be accurate or complete. If different judgments, assumptions or opinions were used, a different estimate would likely result.