10-K 1 gpmt-20231231.htm 10-K gpmt-20231231
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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
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 001-38124

GRANITE POINT MORTGAGE TRUST INC.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
Maryland 61-1843143
State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
3 Bryant Park, Suite 2400A
 
New York,New York10036
(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)
(212) 364-5500
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per shareGPMTNYSE
7.00% Series A Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per shareGPMTPrANYSE
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No
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. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has 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). 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 an 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, indicate 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.
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ☐ No
As of June 30, 2023, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $267.9 million based on the closing sale price as reported on the NYSE on that date.
As of February 26, 2024, there were 50,793,057 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, issued and outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for the 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under Regulation 14A within 120 days after the end of registrant’s fiscal year covered by this Annual Report, are incorporated by reference into Part III.



GRANITE POINT MORTGAGE TRUST INC.
2023 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
PART I
PART II
PART III
PART IV

i

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains, or incorporates by reference, not only historical information, but also forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, and that are subject to the safe harbors created by such sections. Forward-looking statements involve numerous risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ from our beliefs, expectations, estimates and projections and, consequently, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Forward-looking statements are not historical in nature and can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “target,” “believe,” “outlook,” “potential,” “continue,” “intend,” “seek,” “plan,” “goals,” “future,” “likely,” “may” and similar expressions or their negative forms, or by references to strategy, plans or intentions. By their nature, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, are not statements of historical facts or guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions or changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict or quantify. Our expectations, beliefs and estimates are expressed in good faith and we believe there is a reasonable basis for them. However, there can be no assurance that management's expectations, beliefs and estimates will prove to be correct or be achieved and actual results may vary materially from what is expressed in or indicated by the forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, those described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the caption “Risk Factors.” Other risks, uncertainties and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected are described below and may be described from time to time in reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, including our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Important factors that may affect our actual results include, among others:
the general political, economic and competitive conditions in the markets in which we invest and their impact on our investment portfolio, financial condition and business operations;
inflationary trends which have led to higher interest rates and increased market volatility;
the economic and geopolitical impacts of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the conflict and rising tensions in the Middle East, including the adoption or expansion of economic sanctions or trade restrictions;
reduced demand for office, multifamily or retail space, including as a result of increased hybrid work schedules which allow work from remote locations other than the employer's office premises;
defaults by borrowers in paying debt service on outstanding indebtedness and borrowers' abilities to manage and stabilize properties;
our ability to obtain or maintain financing arrangements on terms favorable to us or at all;
the level and volatility of prevailing interest rates and credit spreads;
reductions in the yield on our investments and increases in the cost of our financing;
general volatility of the securities markets in which we participate and the potential need to post additional collateral on our financing arrangements;
the return or impact of current or future investments;
changes in our business, investment strategies or target investments;
increased competition from entities investing in our target investments;
effects of hedging instruments on our target investments;
changes in governmental regulations, tax law and rates and similar matters;
our ability to maintain our qualification as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, for U.S. federal income tax purposes and our exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the Investment Company Act;
availability of desirable investment opportunities;
threats to information security, including by way of cyber-attacks;
availability of qualified personnel;
operational failures by third-parties on whom we rely in the conduct of our business;
estimates relating to our ability to make distributions to our stockholders in the future;
natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires and floods, including climate change-related risks; acts of war and/or terrorism; pandemics or outbreaks of infectious disease; and other events that may cause unanticipated and uninsured performance declines and/or losses to us or the owners and operators of the real estate securing our investments;
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deterioration in the performance of the properties securing our investments that may cause deterioration in the performance of our investments, risks in collection of contractual interest payments and, potentially, principal losses to us, including the risk of credit loss charges and any impact on our ability to satisfy the covenants and conditions in our debt agreements; and
difficulty or delays in redeploying the proceeds from repayments of our existing investments.
This Annual Report on Form 10-K may contain statistics and other data that, in some cases, have been obtained or compiled from information made available by loan servicers and other third-party service providers.
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PART I
Item 1. Business
Our Company
Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc. is an internally-managed real estate finance company that focuses primarily on directly originating, investing in and managing senior floating-rate commercial mortgage loans and other debt and debt-like commercial real estate investments. Our investment objective is to preserve our stockholders’ capital while generating attractive risk-adjusted returns over the long term, primarily through dividends derived from current income produced by our investment portfolio. We operate as a REIT, as defined under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code. We were incorporated in Maryland on April 7, 2017, and commenced operations as a publicly traded company on June 28, 2017.
The terms “Granite Point,” “we,” “our,” “us” and the “Company” refer to Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc. and its subsidiaries as a consolidated entity.
We have elected to be treated as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. To qualify as a REIT, we are required to meet certain investment and operating tests and annual distribution requirements. We generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes on our taxable income to the extent that we annually distribute all of our net taxable income to stockholders, do not participate in prohibited transactions and maintain our intended qualification as a REIT. However, certain activities that we may perform may cause us to earn income which will not be qualifying income for REIT purposes. We have designated one of our subsidiaries as a taxable REIT subsidiary, or TRS, as defined in the Code, to engage in such activities, and we may form additional TRSs in the future. We also operate our business in a manner intended to maintain our exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act.
We are organized as a holding company and operate our business primarily through various subsidiaries in a single reporting segment that originates, acquires and finances our target investments.
Our Investment Strategy
Our investment strategy is to directly originate, invest in and manage a portfolio of primarily senior floating-rate commercial real estate loans and other debt and debt-like instruments secured by various types of institutional quality commercial properties located in attractive markets across the United States and managed by experienced owners. These loans may vary in term and may bear interest at a fixed or floating rate, although our primary focus is on floating-rate loans. We typically provide intermediate-term bridge or transitional financing for a variety of purposes, including acquisitions, recapitalizations, refinancings and a range of business plans, including lease-up, renovation, repositioning and repurposing of the commercial property.
From time to time, we may also directly originate and invest in mezzanine loans, subordinated mortgage interests (sometimes referred to as a B-note) and other real estate securities, and may also invest in preferred equity investments and other investments that are subordinated or otherwise junior in an issuer’s capital structure and that involve privately negotiated structures. The only securities we currently own are the retained interests from our securitization financing transactions. Our investment objective is to generate attractive, risk-adjusted returns for our stockholders over the long-term, primarily through dividends, and to preserve our stockholders’ capital through business cycles. We believe that the stability of our capital base is important to our ability to invest in assets that generate attractive returns on an ongoing basis. We intend to achieve these objectives by further growing our already well-diversified investment portfolio over the long-term and actively managing the various risks associated with our business strategy.
    As a long-term, fundamental value-oriented investor, we may adjust our investment strategy as we react to evolving market dynamics. We believe there are enduring opportunities within our target investments that present attractive, risk-adjusted returns. However, as economic and business cycles develop, we may expand and/or adjust our investment strategy and target investments to capitalize on various investment opportunities. We believe that our well-diversified portfolio and flexible investment strategy will allow us to actively adapt to changing market conditions and generate attractive, long-term returns for our stockholders in a variety of environments.

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Our Loan Portfolio
As of December 31, 2023, our loan portfolio consisted of 73 commercial real estate loan investments with an aggregate principal balance of $2.7 billion and an additional $0.2 billion of future funding obligations. As of December 31, 2023, 98.3% of our loan portfolio by principal balance earned a floating rate of interest. The table below details overall statistics of our portfolio as of December 31, 2023:
(dollars in thousands)
TypeMaximum Loan CommitmentPrincipal BalanceCarrying Value
Cash Coupon (2)
Yield (3)
Original Term (Years)
Initial LTV (4)
Stabilized LTV (5)
Senior loans (1)
$2,874,370 $2,713,672 $2,570,677 S+3.75%S+4.03%3.1 66.8 %63.7 %
Subordinated loans13,507 13,507 13,148 8.00 %8.11 %10.0 41.4 %36.2 %
Total/Wtd. Avg.$2,887,877 $2,727,179 $2,583,825 S+3.75%S+4.03%3.2 66.7 %63.6 %
____________________
(1)“Senior” means a loan primarily secured by a first priority lien on commercial real property and related personal property and also includes, when applicable, any companion subordinate loans.
(2)Cash coupon does not include origination or exit fees. Weighted average cash coupon excludes fixed rate loans.
(3)Yield includes net origination fees and exit fees, but does not include future fundings, and is expressed as a monthly equivalent. Weighted average yield excludes fixed rate loans.
(4)Initial loan-to-value ratio, or initial LTV, is calculated as the initial loan amount (plus any financing that is pari passu with or senior to such loan) divided by the as is appraised value (as determined in conformance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, or USPAP) as of the date the loan was originated set forth in the original appraisal.
(5)Stabilized loan-to-value ratio, or stabilized LTV, is calculated as the fully funded loan amount (plus any financing that is pari passu with or senior to such loan), including all contractually provided for future fundings, divided by the as stabilized value (as determined in conformance with USPAP) set forth in the original appraisal. As stabilized value may be based on certain assumptions, such as future construction completion, projected re-tenanting, payment of tenant improvement or leasing commissions allowances or free or abated rent periods, or increased tenant occupancies.
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The map and charts below, weighted by carrying value, illustrate the geographic distribution and types of properties securing our loan portfolio as of December 31, 2023:

Map 2.jpg


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Our Financing Strategy and Leverage
We currently finance our business through public and private offerings of our equity and debt securities, asset-backed financings and our outstanding commercial real estate collateralized loan obligations, or CRE CLOs. In addition to our current mix of funding sources, we may use other forms of financing, including additional securitizations and public and private, secured and unsecured, debt issuances by us or our subsidiaries.
As of December 31, 2023, we had repurchase and secured credit financing facilities in place to finance loans held for investment and our one real estate owned, or REO, asset with an aggregate maximum borrowing capacity of $1.9 billion.
We also finance pools of commercial real estate loans through CRE CLOs, which are consolidated on our financial statements. As of December 31, 2023, the outstanding amount due on securitized debt obligations was $1.0 billion.
We are not required to maintain any particular debt-to-equity leverage ratio. The actual leverage we employ for particular investments will depend upon our assessment of the credit, liquidity, price volatility and other risks of those investments and the financing counterparties, and availability of particular types of financing at the time, as well as the financial covenants under
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our financing facilities. Our decision to use leverage to finance our assets is at the discretion of our management team and is not subject to the approval of our stockholders. Given our focus on senior floating-rate mortgage loans, we currently expect that such leverage will be, on a total debt-to-equity ratio basis, within a range of 3.0:1.0 and 3.5:1.0; however, our leverage may vary and differ from our expectations depending on market conditions and any steps we may take to strengthen our balance sheet and enhance our liquidity position. We endeavor to match the terms and indices of our assets and liabilities, including, potentially, through the use of derivatives in certain instances. We also seek to manage the risks associated with recourse borrowing.
Subject to maintaining our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes and our exemption from the Investment Company Act, we may, from time to time, engage in a variety of hedging transactions that seek to mitigate the effects of fluctuations in interest rates or currencies and their effects on our cash flows. These hedging transactions could take a variety of forms, including interest rate swaps or cap agreements, options, futures contracts, forward rate agreements or similar financial instruments. We expect these instruments would allow us to reduce, but not eliminate, the risk that we have to refinance our liabilities before the maturities of our investments and to reduce the impact of changing interest rates on our earnings. To date, we have not engaged in any hedging transactions.
Investment Guidelines
Our board of directors has approved the following investment guidelines:
no investment shall be made that would cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT under the Code;
no investment shall be made that would cause us to be regulated or required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act;
we will primarily invest in our target investments, consisting of senior commercial mortgage loans, mezzanine loans, preferred equity, subordinated mortgage interests, real estate securities and other debt and debt-like commercial real estate investments;
not more than 25% of our equity capital will be invested in any individual asset without the prior approval of a majority of our board of directors;
any investment in excess of $300 million in an individual asset requires the prior approval of a majority of our board of directors; and
until appropriate investments in our target investments are identified, we may invest our available cash in interest-bearing, short-term investments, including money market accounts or funds, and corporate bonds, subject to the requirements for our qualification as a REIT under the Code.
These investment guidelines may be changed from time-to-time by our board of directors without our stockholders’ consent, but we expect to disclose any material changes to our investment guidelines in the periodic quarterly and annual reports that we file with the SEC. We are not subject to any limits or proportions under our investment guidelines with respect to the mix of target investments that we originate or acquire other than as necessary to maintain our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes and our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act.
Competition
We are engaged in a competitive business. Our net income depends, in part, on our ability to originate or acquire investments at favorable credit spreads over our borrowing costs. In our lending and investment activities, we compete for opportunities with a variety of institutional lenders and investors, including other REITs, specialty finance companies, public and private funds, commercial and investment banks, commercial finance and insurance companies and other financial institutions. Several other companies that have raised significant amounts of capital may have investment objectives and strategies that overlap with ours, which may create additional competition for lending and investment opportunities.
Some of our competitors may have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that may not be available to us. Many of our competitors are not subject to the operating constraints associated with REIT rule compliance or maintenance of an exclusion from regulation under the Investment Company Act. In addition, some of our competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments than we do, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of loans and investments, offer more attractive pricing or other terms and establish more relationships than us. Furthermore, competition for originations of and investments in our target investments may lead to decreasing yields, which may further limit our ability to generate desired returns.
We believe our industry experience and relationships provide us with a competitive advantage and help us assess risks and determine appropriate risk and return parameters for our target investments. Additionally, we believe that our experience enables us to compete more effectively and generate attractive investment opportunities for our portfolio. However, we may not be able to achieve our business goals or expectations due to the competitive risks that we face.
For additional information concerning these competitive risks, see “Risk Factors — Risks Related to our Lending and Investment Activities — We operate in a competitive market for investment opportunities and competition may limit our ability
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to originate or acquire our target investments and could also affect the pricing of these investments” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Human Capital
Our team of talented employees is fundamental to our success. As of December 31, 2023, we employed 35 individuals, all of whom are full time and based out of our two primary office locations in New York, New York, and Saint Louis Park, Minnesota.
We are committed to creating and supporting a positive work environment and culture where our employees can grow professionally and contribute to the success of the Company. Our core values of excellence, responsibility, integrity and respect also guide us in building and maintaining fruitful, long-term relationships with our various internal and external stakeholders, including our employees. Highlights of the specific ways we support our team members follow.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
We are dedicated to promoting a work environment that:
is free from discrimination, harassment or retaliation because of race, color, ethnicity, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation (including transgender status, gender identity or expression), pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation or related conditions), marital status, disability, public assistance, age, familial status, genetic information, local commissions activity, veteran status, uniformed servicemember status, or any other status protected by federal, state or local laws;
provides fair treatment and mutual respect to all employees;
is inclusive and embraces individual differences;
provides equal employment opportunities based on ability, performance and potential;
informs all team members of their rights and responsibilities with regards to fairness, equity and respect for all aspects of diversity;
considers flexible work practices, benefits and policies to support employees and their changing needs; and
is committed to the attraction, retention and development of a diverse range of talented, energetic and committed people.
We promote this work environment and culture in part through policies that provide for equal employment opportunities, equal pay, disability accommodation, religious accommodation, parental and other family leave, and accommodations for nursing mothers, as well as detailed prohibitions against sexual harassment and other forms of workplace harassment.
In addition, all officers and employees annually receive mandatory third-party training on anti-harassment and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Topics addressed in such training have included creating a culture of belonging and addressing unconscious bias.
Employee Engagement
In the fall of 2022, we developed and implemented an annual survey to measure employee engagement and satisfaction and to identify any areas where we may improve our work environment or culture. More than 90% of our team members have completed this engagement survey each year. More than 90% of respondents to the 2023 survey indicated that they Strongly Agree or Agree that they feel like they are part of a team, they have confidence in the leadership of the Company, and there is good interdepartmental cooperation.
Professional Development
We encourage the ongoing professional development of our employees through attendance at industry conferences and events, continuing education classes or workshops, certification and licensure support and role-specific training and development opportunities. Additionally, we offer our employees tuition reimbursement for qualifying undergraduate or graduate course work.
We also support our employees’ development in their roles through annual performance reviews, and we encourage regular dialogue and interactions between employees and their supervisor and senior leadership.
Health, Safety and Security in the Workplace
We monitor external threats, such as public health risks or civil unrest, and adopt safety measures or otherwise modify our policies and practices as needed to protect our employees.
We strive to provide our employees with a safe and healthy work environment free from hazards, violence and threatening behavior. We have policies against violent conduct, firearms, drugs and alcohol, and tobacco in the workplace. All personnel have an obligation to report all workplace accidents, injuries and unsafe equipment, practices or conditions.
Compensation and Benefits
We provide a comprehensive suite of compensation and benefits that includes the following elements, among others, to promote our employees’ well-being:
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competitive compensation packages that consist of salaries, cash bonuses, merit increases and stock-based compensation for eligible employees;
company-paid medical and dental insurance benefits for our full-time employees and their families;
savings and investment opportunities, including a 401(k) plan with company contributions and health savings accounts with company contributions;
mental health and wellness offerings, including a gym reimbursement program, gym discount program, fitness rewards program, free subscriptions to a mental health and mediation app, and an employee assistance program;
generous paid time off, ten company holidays and leave policies, including gender neutral parenting leave; and
flexible/hybrid work model, where employees may work up to two days a week remotely.
Government Regulation
We are required to maintain qualifications, approvals and licenses in a number of states in order to conduct our lending activities and own certain of our target investments. Licensing requirements vary considerably by state and may impose various different obligations on our business, including restrictions on loan origination activity; limits on finance charges, including type, amount and manner of charging fees; disclosure requirements; surety bond and minimum specified net worth requirements; periodic reporting requirements; notice requirements for changes in principal officers, directors or principal owners; and record keeping requirements. Additionally, our licensed entities may be required, from time to time, to submit to routine examinations by state regulatory agencies to ensure our compliance with applicable requirements. We are also required to comply with certain provisions of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act that are applicable to commercial loans. 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.
We currently believe that compliance with existing statutes and regulations has not had a material adverse effect on our business. In recent years, there has been greater regulation of financial services firms, particularly in areas such as risk management, leverage and disclosure. While we expect that 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.
Taxation
REIT Qualification
We have elected to be taxed as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Our qualification as a REIT depends upon our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, through actual investment and operating results, various complex requirements under the Code, relating to, among other things, the sources of our gross income, the composition and values of our assets, our distribution levels and the diversity of ownership of our shares. We believe that we have been organized in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Code, and that our intended manner of operation will enable us to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT.
So long as we qualify as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on our taxable income that we currently distribute to our stockholders. If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year and do not qualify for certain statutory relief provisions, we will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at regular corporate rates and may be precluded from qualifying as a REIT for the subsequent four taxable years following the year during which we lost our REIT qualification. 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 or property. See “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our REIT Status and Certain Other Tax Items” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Investment Company Act Exemption
We conduct our operations so that neither we nor any of our subsidiaries are an “investment company” as defined in Section 3(a)(1)(A) or Section 3(a)(1)(C) of the Investment Company Act. We believe we are not an investment company under Section 3(a)(1)(A) of the Investment Company Act because we do not engage primarily, or hold ourselves out as being engaged primarily, in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities. Rather, through our wholly owned or majority-owned subsidiaries, we are primarily engaged in non-investment company business related to real estate. In addition, we conduct our operations so that we do not come within the definition of an investment company under Section 3(a)(1)(C) of the Investment Company Act because less than 40% of our total assets on an unconsolidated basis will consist of “investment securities,” or the 40% test. Excluded from the term “investment securities” (as that term is defined in the Investment Company Act) are securities issued by majority-owned subsidiaries that are themselves not investment companies and are not relying on the exclusion from the definition of investment company set forth in Section 3(c)(1) or Section 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act. The Investment Company Act defines a majority-owned subsidiary of a person as a company where 50% or more of the outstanding voting securities of which are owned by such person, or by another company which is a majority-owned subsidiary of such person. The Investment Company Act defines voting securities as any security presently entitling the owner, or holder
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thereof, to vote for the election of directors of a company. We treat entities in which we own at least a majority of the outstanding voting securities as majority-owned subsidiaries for purposes of the 40% test. We monitor our holdings to ensure ongoing compliance with this test.
We hold our assets primarily through direct or indirect wholly owned or majority-owned subsidiaries, certain of which are excluded from the definition of investment company pursuant to Section 3(c)(5)(C) of the Investment Company Act. We classify our assets for purposes of certain of our subsidiaries’ Section 3(c)(5)(C) exclusion from the Investment Company Act based upon no-action positions taken by the SEC staff and interpretive guidance provided by the SEC and its staff. Based on such guidance, to qualify for the exclusion pursuant to Section 3(c)(5)(C), each such subsidiary generally is required to hold at least (i) 55% of its assets in “qualifying” real estate assets and (ii) 80% of its assets in “qualifying” real estate assets and real estate-related assets. “Qualifying” real estate assets for this purpose include mortgage loans, certain B-Notes and certain mezzanine loans that satisfy various conditions as set forth in SEC staff no-action letters and other guidance, and other assets that the SEC staff in various no-action letters and other guidance has determined are the functional equivalent of senior mortgage loans for the purposes of the Investment Company Act. We treat commercial mortgage-backed securities, or CMBS, B-notes and mezzanine loans that do not satisfy the conditions set forth in the relevant SEC staff no-action letters and other guidance, and debt and equity securities of companies primarily engaged in real estate businesses, as real estate-related assets. To the extent that the SEC staff publishes new or different guidance with respect to these matters, we may be required to re-classify our assets for purposes of the Investment Company Act, including for purposes of our subsidiaries’ compliance with the exclusion provided in Section 3(c)(5)(C) of the Investment Company Act.
If we were required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act, we would become subject to substantial regulation with respect to our capital structure (including our ability to use borrowings), management, operations, transactions with affiliated persons (as defined in the Investment Company Act) and portfolio composition, including disclosure requirements and restrictions with respect to diversification and industry concentration and other matters. Compliance with the Investment Company Act would, accordingly, limit our ability to make certain investments and require us to significantly restructure our business plan, which could materially adversely affect our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders. See “Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Company and Structure - Maintaining our exclusions from registration as an investment company under the Investment Company Act imposes limits on our operations. Investment returns may be reduced if we are required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Additional Information
Our website can be found at www.gpmtreit.com. We make available, free of charge on our website (on the Investors page under “SEC Filings”), our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to those reports, as are filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, as well as our proxy statement with respect to our annual meeting of stockholders, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. Our Exchange Act reports filed with, or furnished to, the SEC are also available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. The content of any website referred to in this Annual Report on Form 10-K is not incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K unless expressly noted.
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Item 1A. Risk Factors
SUMMARY OF RISK FACTORS
Fluctuations in interest rates and credit spreads could reduce our ability to generate income on our loans and other investments, which could lead to a significant decrease in our results of operations, our cash flows and the market value of our investments, and ultimately limit our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
Adverse changes in the real estate and real estate capital markets could negatively impact our performance by making it more difficult for our borrowers to satisfy their debt payment obligations, which could result in losses on our loan investments and/or make it more difficult for us to generate consistent or attractive risk-adjusted returns.
Our results of operations, financial condition and business could be materially adversely affected if we experience difficulty accessing financing or raising capital (including due to a significant dislocation in or shut-down of the capital markets), a reduction in the yield on our investments, an increase in the cost of our financing, an inability to borrow incremental amounts or an obligation to repay amounts under our financing arrangements or borrower defaults.
Events giving rise to increases in our current expected credit loss reserve, including the impact of the current economic environment, have had an adverse effect on our business and results of operations and could in the future have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our lending and investment activities subject us to the general political, economic, capital markets, societal, competitive and other conditions that markedly impact financial markets, such as reduced demand for office properties as a result of remote working arrangements that allow work from remote locations other than an employer’s office premises.
Adverse legislative or regulatory developments, including with respect to tax laws, securities laws and the laws governing financial and lending institutions, could increase our cost of doing business and/or reduce our operating flexibility and the price of our common stock.
Acts of God, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, including climate change-related risks, acts of war and/or terrorism, pandemics or outbreaks of infectious disease, and other events that can markedly impact financial markets, may cause unanticipated and uninsured performance declines and/or losses to us or the owners and operators of the real estate securing our investments.
The economic impact of escalating global trade tensions, including those related to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the ensuing adoption or expansion of economic sanctions or trade restrictions, could adversely affect the real estate securing our investments.
Deterioration in the performance of properties securing our investments may cause deterioration in the performance of our investments, instances of default or foreclosure on such properties and, potentially, principal losses to us.
Adverse developments in the availability of desirable investment opportunities whether they are due to competition, regulation or otherwise, could adversely affect our results of operations.
Difficulty or delays in redeploying the proceeds from repayments of our existing loans and investments may cause our financial performance and returns to stockholders to suffer.
Increased competition from entities engaged in mortgage lending and/or investing in our target assets may limit our ability to originate or acquire desirable loans and investments, and could also affect the yields on these assets and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If we do not maintain our qualification as a REIT, we will be subject to tax as a regular corporation and could face a substantial tax liability.
RISK FACTORS
Risks Related to Our Lending and Investment Activities
Our loans and investments expose us to risks associated with debt-oriented real estate investments generally.
We seek to invest primarily in debt investments in or relating to commercial real estate assets. Deterioration of real estate fundamentals generally, and in the United States in particular, has increased the default risk applicable to borrowers, made it relatively more difficult for us to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns and continues to negatively impact our performance. Changes in general economic conditions have affected the creditworthiness of borrowers and the value of underlying real estate collateral relating to our investments. Such changes have included, and may in the future include, economic and/or market fluctuations, reduced demand for office properties as a result of increases in remote working arrangements, changes in environmental, zoning and other laws, casualty or condemnation losses, regulatory limitations on rents, evictions and/or foreclosures, decreases in property values, changes in the appeal of properties to tenants, changes in supply and demand of real estate products, fluctuations in real estate fundamentals, the financial resources of borrower entities, energy and supply shortages, various uninsured or uninsurable risks, natural disasters, terrorism, acts of war, outbreaks of pandemic or contagious diseases, changes in government regulations, political and legislative uncertainty, changes in monetary policy, changes in real
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property tax rates and operating expenses, changes in interest rates, changes in the availability of debt financing and/or mortgage funds which may render the sale or refinancing of properties difficult or impracticable, increased mortgage defaults, increases in borrowing rates, changes in consumer spending, negative developments in the economy that depress travel activity, escalating global trade tensions, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, deteriorating conditions in the Middle East, adverse changes in demand and/or real estate values generally and other factors that are beyond our control. In addition, our investments may be exposed to new or increased risks and liabilities associated with global climate change, such as increased frequency or intensity of adverse weather and natural disasters, which could negatively impact our and our borrowers' businesses and the value of the properties securing our investments. We cannot predict the degree to which economic conditions generally, and the conditions for real estate debt investing in particular, will improve or decline. Any future declines in the performance of the U.S. and global economies or in the real estate debt markets could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
We operate in a competitive market for investment opportunities and competition may limit our ability to originate or acquire our target investments and could also affect the pricing of these investments.
A number of entities compete with us to make the types of loans and investments we seek to originate or acquire. Our profitability depends, in large part, on our ability to originate or acquire target investments on attractive terms. We compete with a variety of institutional lenders and investors, including other REITs, specialty finance companies, public and private funds, commercial and investment banks, commercial finance and insurance companies and other financial institutions. Some of our competitors have raised, and may in the future raise, significant amounts of capital and may have investment objectives that overlap with ours, which may create additional competition for lending and investment opportunities. Some competitors may have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that are not available to us. Many of our competitors are not subject to the operating constraints associated with REIT rule compliance or maintenance of an exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act. In addition, some of our competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of loans and investments, offer more attractive pricing or other terms and establish more relationships than we. Furthermore, competition for originations of and investments in our target investments may lead to the yields of such assets decreasing, which may further limit our ability to generate satisfactory returns.
As a result of this competition, desirable loans and investments in our target investments may be limited in the future and we may not be able to take advantage of attractive lending and investment opportunities from time to time. We can provide no assurance that we will be able to identify and originate loans or make investments that are consistent with our investment objectives. We cannot assure you that the competitive pressures we face will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. There can be no assurance that any current relationships with such parties will continue (whether on currently applicable terms or otherwise) or that we will be able to establish relationships with other such persons in the future if desired and on terms favorable to us.
Fluctuations in interest rates and credit spreads could reduce our ability to generate income on our loans and other investments, which could lead to a significant decrease in our results of operations, cash flows and the market value of our investments and may limit our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.
Our primary interest rate exposures relate to the yield on our loans and other investments and the financing cost of our debt. Changes in interest rates and credit spreads may affect our net interest income from loans and other investments, which is the difference between the interest and related income we earn on our interest-earning investments and the interest and related expense we incur in financing these investments. Interest rate and credit spread fluctuations resulting in our interest and related expense exceeding interest and related income would result in operating losses for us. Changes in the level of interest rates and credit spreads also may affect our ability to make loans or investments, the value of our loans and investments and our ability to realize gains from the disposition of assets. Increases in interest rates and credit spreads may also negatively affect demand for loans and could result in higher borrower default rates.
Our operating results depend, in part, on differences between the income earned on our investments, net of credit losses, and our financing costs. The yields we earn on our floating-rate assets and our borrowing costs tend to move in the same direction in response to changes in short-term interest rates. However, one can rise or fall faster than the other, causing our net interest margin to expand or contract. In addition, we could experience reductions in the yield on our investments and an increase in the cost of our financing. Although we seek to match the terms of our liabilities to the expected tenor of loans that we acquire or originate, circumstances may arise in which our liabilities are shorter in duration than our assets, resulting in their adjusting faster in response to changes in interest rates. For any period during which our investments are not match-funded, the income earned on such investments 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 immediately and significantly decrease our results of operations and cash flows and the market value of our investments, and any such change may limit our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders. In addition, unless we enter into hedging or similar transactions with respect to the portion of our assets that we fund using our balance sheet, returns we achieve on such assets will generally increase as interest rates for those assets rise and decrease as interest rates for those assets decline.
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A prolonged economic slowdown, a lengthy or severe recession or declining real estate values could impair our investments and harm our operations.
We believe the risks associated with our business will be more severe during periods of economic slowdown or recession if these periods are accompanied by declining real estate values. Declining real estate values will likely reduce the level of new mortgage and other real estate-related loan originations since borrowers often use appreciation in the value of their existing properties to support the purchase of or investment in additional properties. Borrowers may also be less able to pay principal and interest on our loan investments if the value of real estate weakens. Further, declining real estate values significantly increase the likelihood that we will incur losses on our loan investments in the event of default because the value of the collateral underlying a loan investment may be insufficient to cover our cost on the loan investment. Any sustained period of increased payment delinquencies, foreclosures or losses could adversely affect our ability to invest in and finance our loan investments, which would materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity and business and our ability to pay dividends to stockholders.
Market disruptions in a single country could cause a worsening of conditions on a regional and even global level, and economic problems in a single country are increasingly affecting other markets and economies. A continuation of this trend could result in problems in one country adversely affecting regional and even global economic conditions and markets. For example, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted energy prices and the movement of goods in Europe resulting in rising energy costs and inflation more generally. The occurrence of similar crises in the future could cause increased volatility in the economies and financial markets of countries throughout a region, or even globally.
Additionally, global trade disruption, significant introductions of trade barriers and bilateral trade frictions, including due to war or other hostilities, together with any future downturns in the global economy resulting therefrom, could adversely affect our performance.
Most commercial real estate loans are nonrecourse loans and the assets securing these loans may not be sufficient to protect us from a partial or complete loss if a borrower defaults on a loan, which could materially and adversely affect us.
Except for customary nonrecourse carve-outs for certain “bad acts” and environmental liability, most commercial real estate loans are nonrecourse obligations of the borrower, meaning that there is no recourse against the assets of the borrower other than the underlying collateral. In the event of any default under a commercial real estate loan, we bear the risk of loss to the extent of any deficiency between the value of the collateral and the principal of and accrued interest on the loan, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Even if a commercial real estate loan is recourse to the borrower (or if a nonrecourse carve-out to the borrower applies), in many cases, the borrower’s assets are limited primarily to its interest in the related mortgaged property. Further, although a commercial real estate loan may provide for limited recourse to a principal or affiliate of a borrower, there is no assurance that any recovery from such principal or affiliate will be made or that such principal’s or affiliate’s assets would be sufficient to pay any otherwise recoverable claim. In the event of the bankruptcy of a borrower, the loan to such borrower will be deemed to be secured only to the extent of the value of the underlying collateral at the time of bankruptcy (as determined by the bankruptcy court) and the lien securing the loan will be subject to the avoidance powers of the bankruptcy trustee or debtor-in-possession to the extent the lien is unenforceable under state law.
Our portfolio of investments may be concentrated by geography, property type or sponsor, which could subject us to increased risk of loss.
The investment guidelines adopted by our board of directors do not require us to observe specific diversification criteria. The properties securing our investments may at times be concentrated in certain property types or geographies that may be subject to higher risk of loss. For example, our concentration of investments secured by office properties are subject to a higher risk of loss as a result of increased hybrid work schedules, which allow employees to work from remote locations other than their employer’s office premises.
Asset concentration may cause even modest changes in the value of the underlying real estate assets to significantly impact the value of our investments. As a result of any high levels of concentration, any adverse economic, political, social, climate-related or other condition, such as the increased frequency or intensity of adverse weather and natural disasters associated with global climate change, that disproportionately affects those geographic areas or asset classes could have a magnified adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition, and the value of our stockholders’ investments could vary more widely than if we invested in a more diverse portfolio of loans.
Real estate valuation is inherently subjective and uncertain, and is subject to change, especially during periods of volatility.
The valuation of real estate, and therefore the valuation of any collateral underlying our loans, is inherently subjective due to, among other factors, the individual nature of each property, its location, the expected future rental revenues from that particular property and the valuation methodology adopted. Appraisals we obtain from third-party appraisers may be overstated or market values may decline, which could result in inadequate collateral for loans we make. In addition, where we invest in loans that involve renovations, restorations or construction, initial valuations will assume completion of the business plan or project. As a result, the valuations of the real estate assets against which we will make or acquire loans are subject to a large
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degree of uncertainty and are made on the basis of assumptions and methodologies that may not prove to be accurate, particularly in periods of volatility, macroeconomic and local economic uncertainty, disrupted supply chains effecting the timing of delivery and cost of materials, inflationary pressures, low transaction flow or restricted debt availability. Regardless of whether an appraisal is accurate at the time it is completed, all valuations are subject to change, especially during periods of market volatility or reduced demand for real estate, which may make it difficult to ensure loans are collateralized as expected across the life of the loan. See “ — Risks Related to Our Lending and Investment Activities — Loans on properties in transition may involve a greater risk of loss than conventional mortgage loans.
The valuation of assets or loans we hold may not reflect the price at which the asset or loan is ultimately sold in the market, and the difference between that valuation and the ultimate sales price could be material. Valuation methodologies are subject to change from time to time.
The lack of liquidity of our investments may adversely affect our business, including our ability to value, finance and sell our investments.
The illiquidity of some or all of our investments, and investments we intend to make, may make it difficult for us to sell such investment if the need or desire arises. Investments such as senior commercial mortgages, B-notes, mezzanine and other loans (including participations) and preferred equity, in particular, are relatively illiquid due to their short life, limited potential for financing and greater difficulty of recovery in the event of a borrower’s default. We are also required to hold certain risk retention interests in certain of our securitization transactions. In addition, certain of our investments may become less liquid as a result of periods of delinquencies, defaults or turbulent market conditions, including due to current market conditions and exacerbated market volatility, which may make it more difficult for us to dispose of such assets at advantageous times or in a timely manner.
Consequently, even if we identify a buyer for certain of our investments, there is no assurance that we would be able to sell such investments in a timely manner if the need or desire arises. In addition, if we are required to liquidate all or a portion of our portfolio quickly, we may be forced to sell our investments at a price that is significantly less than the value at which we previously attributed to such investments.
Further, we may face other restrictions on our ability to liquidate an investment to the extent that we have or could be attributed as having material, non-public information regarding such business entity. As a result, our ability to vary our portfolio in response to changes in economic or other conditions may be limited, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
The due diligence process that we undertake with regard to investment opportunities may not reveal all facts that may affect an investment and if we incorrectly evaluate the risks of our investments, we may experience losses.
Before making investments, we conduct due diligence that we deem reasonable and appropriate based on the facts and circumstances relevant to each potential investment. When conducting due diligence, we may be required to evaluate important and complex issues, including, but not limited to, those related to business, financial, tax, accounting, environmental and legal and regulatory and macroeconomic trends, as well as environmental, social and governance, or ESG, matters. Outside consultants, legal advisors, accountants and investment banks may be involved in the due diligence process in varying degrees depending on the type of potential investment. The due diligence investigation with respect to any investment opportunity may not reveal or highlight all relevant facts (including fraud) or risks that may be necessary or helpful in evaluating such investment opportunity, and we may not identify or foresee future developments that could have a material adverse effect on an investment. In addition, selecting and evaluating material due diligence matters, including ESG factors, is subjective by nature, and there is no guarantee that the criteria utilized or judgment exercised by us or a third-party specialist (if any) will reflect the beliefs, values, internal policies or preferred practices of any particular investor or align with the beliefs or values or preferred practices of other commercial real estate debt investors or with market trends. The materiality of sustainability risks and impacts on an individual potential investment or portfolio as a whole depends on many factors, including the relevant industry, location, asset class and investment strategy. Relying on the resources available to us, we evaluate our potential investments based on criteria we deem appropriate for the relevant investment. Our loss estimates may not prove accurate, as actual results may vary from estimates. If we underestimate the asset-level losses, we may be required to recognize an impairment and/or realize losses with respect to such investment.
Moreover, our investment analyses and decisions may frequently be required to be undertaken on an expedited basis to take advantage of investment opportunities. In such cases, the information available to us at the time of making an investment decision may be limited, and we may not have access to detailed information regarding such investment. Further, some matters covered by our diligence, such as ESG, are continuously evolving from an assessment, regulatory and compliance standpoint, and we may not accurately or fully anticipate such evolution.
The timing of loan investment repayments is difficult to predict and may adversely affect our financial performance and the value of certain of our investments.
Generally, our borrowers may repay their loans prior to their stated maturities. In periods of declining interest rates and/or credit spreads, or as the business plans for the underlying collateralizing properties reach completion, prepayment rates on loans
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generally increase. If general interest rates or credit spreads decline at the same time, the proceeds of such prepayments received during such periods may not be reinvested for some period of time or may be reinvested by us in assets with lower yields than the assets that were prepaid.
In periods of increasing rates and/or credit spreads, prepayment rates on our loan investments will generally decrease, which could impact our liquidity or increase our exposure to loan non-performance.
Prepayment rates on loans may be affected by a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the then-current level of interest rates and credit spreads, the availability of mortgage credit and investment capital, the status of the business plan for the underlying collateralizing property, the relative economic vitality of the area in which the related properties are located, the servicing of the loans, possible changes in tax laws, other opportunities for investment and other economic, social, geographic, demographic and legal factors beyond our control. Consequently, such prepayment rates cannot be predicted with certainty and no strategy can completely insulate us from prepayment or other such risks. If prepayment rates exceed our expectations, we may have greater difficulty in redeploying the proceeds into new investment opportunities, which may significantly increase our cash balance and exacerbate the risks related to our cash management strategy. For further discussion of the risks related to capital deployment, see “ — Risks Related to Our Lending and Investment Activities — Difficulty or delays in redeploying the proceeds from repayments of our existing loans and investments may cause our financial performance and returns to stockholders to suffer.”
Our existing loan investments often contain call protection provisions that require a certain minimum amount of interest due to us regardless of when the loan is repaid. These include prepayment fees expressed as a percentage of the unpaid principal balance, or the amount of foregone net interest income due us from the date of repayment through a date that is frequently twelve or eighteen months after the origination date. Loan investments that are outstanding beyond the end of the call protection or yield maintenance period can be repaid with no prepayment fees or penalties. The absence of call protection provisions may expose us to the risk of early repayment of loans, and the inability to redeploy capital accretively.
Difficulty or delays in redeploying the proceeds from repayments of our existing loans and investments may cause our financial performance and returns to stockholders to suffer.
As our loans and investments are repaid, we may redeploy the proceeds we receive into new loans and investments (which can include future fundings associated with our existing loan investments), repay borrowings under our credit facilities, pay dividends to our stockholders or repurchase outstanding shares of our common stock. It is possible that we will fail to identify reinvestment options that would provide returns or a risk profile that is comparable to the asset that was repaid. If we fail to redeploy, or experience any delays in redeploying, the proceeds we receive from repayment of a loan in equivalent or better alternatives, our financial performance and returns to stockholders could suffer.
In light of our investment strategy and the need to be able to invest capital quickly to capitalize on potential investment opportunities, we may from time to time maintain cash pending deployment into investments, which may at times be significant. Such cash may be held in an account of ours for the benefit of stockholders or may be invested in money market accounts or other similar temporary investments. While the duration of such holding period is expected to be relatively short, in the event we are unable to find suitable investments, such cash positions may be maintained for longer periods. It is not anticipated that the temporary investment of such cash into money market accounts or other similar temporary investments pending deployment into investments will generate significant interest, and such low interest payments on the temporarily invested cash may adversely affect our financial performance and returns to investors.
We may be subject to lender liability claims, and if we are held liable under such claims, we could be subject to losses.
A number of judicial decisions have upheld the right of borrowers to sue lending institutions on the basis of various evolving legal theories, collectively termed “lender liability.” Generally, lender liability is founded on the premise that a lender has either violated a duty, whether implied or contractual, of good faith and fair dealing owed to the borrower or has assumed a degree of control over the borrower resulting in the creation of a fiduciary duty owed to the borrower or its other creditors or stockholders. We cannot assure you that such claims will not arise or that we will not be subject to significant liability if a claim of this type did arise.
Liability relating to environmental matters may impact the value of our investments and the properties underlying our investments.
The presence of hazardous substances may adversely affect an owner’s ability to sell real estate or borrow using real estate as collateral. To the extent an owner of a property underlying one of our debt investments becomes liable for removal costs, the ability of the owner to make payments to us may be reduced, which, in turn, may adversely affect the value of the relevant asset held by us and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.
To the extent we acquire any property underlying our investments, the presence of hazardous substances on such property may adversely affect our ability to sell the property and we may incur substantial remediation costs, thus harming our financial condition. The discovery of material environmental liabilities attached to such properties could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.
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The properties underlying our investments may be subject to other unknown liabilities that could adversely affect the value of these properties and, as a result, our investments.
Properties underlying our investments may be subject to other unknown or unquantifiable liabilities that may adversely affect the value of our investments. Such defects or deficiencies may include title defects, title disputes, liens or other encumbrances on the mortgaged properties. The discovery of such unknown defects, deficiencies and liabilities could affect the ability of our borrowers to make payments to us or could affect our ability to take title to and sell the underlying properties, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Commercial real estate debt investments may be subject to delinquency, foreclosure and loss, which may adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Investments in the commercial real estate debt market are subject to risks of borrower delinquency, foreclosure and loss. The ability of a borrower to repay a loan secured by an income-producing property typically is dependent primarily upon the successful operation of the property, as opposed to the borrower’s independent income or assets. If the net operating income of the property is reduced, the borrower’s ability to repay the loan may be impaired. The net operating income of an income-producing property can be affected by numerous factors, including, but not limited to:
tenant mix;
success of tenant businesses and tenant bankruptcies;
property management decisions, including decisions on capital improvements, particularly in older building structures;
renovations or repositionings during which operations may be limited or halted completely;
property location and condition;
competition from similar properties;
changes in national, regional or local economic conditions, real estate values or rental or occupancy rates;
increases in remote working arrangements and the subsequent effect on demand for commercial real estate, particularly office properties;
labor shortages and increasing wages;
changes in interest rates and in the state of the credit and securitization markets and the debt and equity capital markets, including diminished availability or lack of debt financing for commercial real estate;
changes in governmental rules, regulations and fiscal policies, including income tax regulation, real estate taxes, environmental legislation and zoning laws;
responses of businesses, governments and individuals to pandemics or outbreaks of contagious disease;
environmental contamination and any liabilities relating to environmental matters at the property;
fraudulent acts or theft on the part of the property owner, sponsor and/or property manager; and
natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires and floods, including climate change-related risks; terrorism; social unrest; civil disturbances and other events which may result in property damage, decrease the availability of or increase the cost of insurance or otherwise result in uninsured losses.
In addition, we are exposed to the risk of judicial proceedings with our borrowers and entities in which we invest, including bankruptcy or other litigation, as a strategy to avoid foreclosure or enforcement of other rights by us as a lender or investor. In the event any of the properties or entities underlying or collateralizing our commercial real estate loans or investments experiences or continues to experience any of the foregoing events or occurrences, the value of, and return on, such investments could be reduced, which, in turn, would adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Loans on properties in transition may involve a greater risk of loss than conventional mortgage loans.
The majority of our lending involves transitional loans to borrowers who are seeking relatively short-term capital to be used in an acquisition or rehabilitation of a property. The typical borrower under a transitional loan has usually identified an asset it believes is an undervalued asset that has been under-managed and/or is located in a recovering market. If the borrower’s assessment of the asset as undervalued is inaccurate, or if the market in which the asset is located fails to improve according to the borrower’s projections, or if the borrower fails to improve the quality of the asset’s management and/or the value of the asset or stabilize the property, the borrower may not be able to satisfy the transitional loan through a sale of the property or conventional financing, and we bear the risk of loss of principal and non-payment of interest and fees. During periods in which there are decreases in demand for certain properties as a result of macroeconomic factors, reductions in the financial resources of tenants and defaults by borrowers or tenants, borrowers face additional challenges in transitioning properties. Market downturns or other adverse macroeconomic factors may affect transitional loans in our portfolio more adversely than loans secured by more stabilized assets.
Furthermore, the renovation, refurbishment or expansion of a property in transition by a borrower involves various risks, including rehabilitation costs exceeding original estimates (including as the result of inflation in the cost of labor and materials),
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environmental risks, delays in legal and other approvals and rehabilitation and subsequent leasing of the property not being completed on schedule or at all. If such renovation is not completed in a timely manner, or if costs are greater than expected, the borrower may experience a prolonged reduction of net operating income and may not be able to make payments on our investment on a timely basis or at all, which could result in significant losses.
Borrowers often use the proceeds of a conventional mortgage loan to repay a transitional loan. Transitional loans, therefore, are subject to risks of a borrower’s inability to obtain permanent financing on suitable terms to repay the transitional loan and the broader availability of conventional mortgages at amenable rates. In the event of any default under transitional loans that may be held by us, we bear the risk of loss of principal and non-payment of interest and fees to the extent of any deficiency between the value of the mortgage collateral and the principal amount and unpaid interest of the transitional loan. To the extent we suffer such losses with respect to these transitional loans, it could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Our potential investments in CMBS, CRE CLOs and other similarly structured finance investments, as well as those we structure, sponsor or arrange, may pose additional risks, including the risks arising from the securitization process and the risk that the special servicer may take actions that could adversely affect our interests.
We may invest in CMBS, CRE CLOs and other similar securities in the future, which may be subordinated classes of securities in a structure of securities secured by a pool of loans. Accordingly, such securities may be the first, or among the first, to bear the loss upon a restructuring or liquidation of the underlying collateral and the last to receive payment of interest and principal, with only a nominal amount of equity or other debt securities junior to such positions. The estimated fair values of such subordinated interests tend to be much more sensitive to adverse economic downturns and underlying borrower developments than more senior securities. A projection of an economic downturn, for example, could cause a decline in the price of lower credit quality CMBS or CRE CLOs because the ability of borrowers to make principal and interest payments on the loans underlying such securities may be impaired.
Subordinate interests such as CMBS, CRE CLOs and similarly structured finance investments generally are not actively traded or are subject to transfer restrictions and are relatively illiquid investments. Volatility in CMBS and CRE CLO trading markets may cause the value of these investments to decline. In addition, if the underlying mortgage portfolio has been overvalued by the originator, or if the values subsequently decline and, as a result, less collateral value is available to satisfy interest and principal payments and any other fees in connection with the trust or other conduit arrangement for such securities, we may incur significant losses.
With respect to the CMBS, CRE CLOs and other similar securities, overall control over the special servicing of the related underlying loans are held by a “directing certificate holder” or a “controlling class representative,” which is appointed by the holders of the most subordinated class of securities in such series. To the extent we acquire classes of existing series of such securities, we will not have the right to appoint the directing certificate holder. In connection with the servicing of the specially serviced loans, the related special servicer may, at the direction of the directing certificate holder, take actions with respect to the specially serviced mortgage loans that could adversely affect our interests. See “ — Risks Related to Our Financing and Hedging — Use of nonrecourse securitizations to finance our loans and investments may expose us to risks that could result in losses” for a discussion of additional risks related to our securitization transactions.
Declines in the market values of any available-for-sale investments may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Most of our investments are valued at cost. However, to the extent we hold available-for-sale investments, we value them quarterly at fair value, as determined in accordance with ASC 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures, or ASC 820, which may include unobservable inputs. Because such valuations are subjective, the fair value of certain of our investments may fluctuate over short periods of time and our determinations of fair value may differ materially from the values that would have been used if a ready market for these investments 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.
Changes in the market values of available-for-sale investments are directly charged or credited to stockholders’ equity. As a result, a decline in values of available-for-sale investments may result in connection with factors that are out of our control and adversely affect our book value. Moreover, if the decline in value of an available-for-sale investment is other than temporary, such decline will reduce our earnings.
Any distressed loans or investments we make, or loans and investments that later become distressed, may subject us to losses and other risks.
While our loan investments focus primarily on “performing” real estate-related interests, our loan investments may also include making distressed investments from time to time (e.g., investments in defaulted, out-of-favor or distressed loans) or may involve investments that become “sub-performing” or “non-performing” following our origination or acquisition thereof. Certain of our investments may include loans on properties and to borrowers that are typically highly leveraged, with significant burdens on cash flow and, therefore, involve a high degree of risk of substantial or total losses on our investments in
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certain circumstances and may become subject to certain additional potential liabilities that may exceed the value of our original investment therein. During an economic downturn or recession, loans of financially or operationally troubled borrowers are more likely to go into default than loans of other borrowers. Loans of financially or operationally troubled borrowers are less liquid and more volatile than loans of borrowers not experiencing such difficulties. Investment in the loans of financially or operationally troubled borrowers involves a high degree of credit and market risk.
The success of our investment strategy depends, in part, on our ability to successfully effectuate loan modifications and/or restructurings.
In certain limited cases (e.g., in connection with a workout, restructuring and/or foreclosing proceedings involving one or more of our investments), the success of our investment strategy will depend, in part, on our ability to effectuate loan modifications and/or restructurings with our borrowers. The activity of identifying and implementing successful modifications and restructurings entails a high degree of uncertainty, including macroeconomic and borrower-specific factors beyond our control that impact our borrowers and their operations. There can be no assurance that any of the loan modifications and restructurings we have effected will be successful or that (i) we will be able to identify and implement successful modifications and/or restructurings with respect to any other distressed loans or investments we may have from time to time, or (ii) we have sufficient resources to implement such modifications and/or restructurings in times of widespread market challenges.
Further, such loan modifications and/or restructuring may entail, among other things, a substantial reduction in the interest rate and/or a substantial write-off of the principal of such loan, debt securities or other interests. Moreover, even if a restructuring were successfully accomplished, a risk exists that, upon maturity of such real estate loan, debt securities or other interests, replacement “takeout” financing will not be available. Additionally, such loan modifications may result in our becoming the owner of underlying the real estate. See “ — Risks Related to Our Lending and Investment Activities — We have in the past taken, and may in the future take, title to properties securing certain of our loan investments, which could result in losses that harm our results of operations and financial condition and — If we become the owner of real estate, we are subject to the risks inherent in the ownership and operation of real estate and the construction and development of real estate.”
Financial or operating difficulties of our borrowers may result in our being subject to bankruptcy proceedings.
Financial or operating difficulties our borrowers may face, such as those described in other risk factors, may never be overcome and may cause borrowers to become subject to bankruptcy or other similar administrative proceedings. There is a possibility that we may incur substantial or total losses on our investments, and in certain circumstances, become subject to certain additional potential liabilities that may exceed the value of our original investment therein. For example, under certain circumstances, a lender that has inappropriately exercised control over the management and policies of a debtor may have its claims subordinated or disallowed or may be found liable for damages suffered by parties as a result of such actions. In any reorganization or liquidation proceeding relating to our investments, we may lose our entire investment, may be required to accept cash or securities with a value less than our original investment and/or may be required to accept different terms, including payment over an extended period of time. In addition, under certain circumstances, payments to us may be reclaimed if any such payment or distribution is later determined to have been a fraudulent conveyance, preferential payment, or similar transaction under applicable bankruptcy and insolvency laws. Furthermore, bankruptcy laws and similar laws applicable to administrative proceedings may delay our ability to realize value from collateral for our loan positions, may adversely affect the economic terms and priority of such loans through doctrines such as equitable subordination or may result in a restructuring of the debt through principles such as the “cramdown” provisions of the bankruptcy laws.
We have in the past taken, and may in the future take, title to properties securing certain of our loan investments, which could result in losses that harm our results of operations and financial condition.
We have in the past found, and may in the future find, it necessary or desirable to take title to properties securing certain of the loans we originate or acquire via foreclosure or other means. The foreclosure process may be lengthy and expensive. If we take title to a property securing a loan investment, and if we do not or cannot sell the property, we would then come to own and operate it as REO. Owning and operating real property involves risks that are different (and in many ways more significant) than the risks faced in owning a loan secured by that property. The costs associated with operating and redeveloping a property, including any operating shortfalls and significant capital expenditures, could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial conditions and liquidity. In addition, we may end up owning a property that we would not otherwise have decided to acquire directly at the price of our original investment or at all, and the liquidation proceeds upon sale of the underlying real estate may not be sufficient to recover our cost basis in the loan, resulting in a loss to us.
Whether or not we have participated in the negotiation of the terms of any such loans, we cannot assure you as to the adequacy of the protection of the terms of the applicable loan, including the validity or enforceability of the loan, and the maintenance of the anticipated priority and perfection of the applicable security interests. Furthermore, claims may be asserted by lenders or borrowers that might interfere with enforcement of our rights. Borrowers may resist foreclosure actions by asserting numerous claims, counterclaims and defenses against us, including, without limitation, lender liability claims and defenses, even if the assertions may have no basis in fact, in an effort to prolong the foreclosure action and seek to force the lender into a modification of the loan or a favorable buy-out of the borrower’s position in the loan. In some states, foreclosure actions can take several years or more to litigate. At any time prior to or during the foreclosure proceedings, the borrower may
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file for bankruptcy, which would have the effect of staying the foreclosure actions and further delaying the foreclosure process and potentially results in a reduction or discharge of a borrower’s debt. Foreclosure may create a negative public perception of the related property, resulting in a diminution of its value.
Even if we are successful in foreclosing on a loan or otherwise taking title to the property securing a loan, the liquidation proceeds upon sale of the underlying real estate may not be sufficient to recover our cost basis in the loan, resulting in a loss. Furthermore, any costs or delays involved in the foreclosure of the loan, or a liquidation of the underlying property, will further reduce the net proceeds and, thus, increase any such loss to us.
If we become the owner of real estate, we are subject to the risks inherent in the ownership and operation of real estate and the construction and development of real estate.
We may become the owner of real estate through a foreclosure, a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transaction or otherwise and therefore become subject to the risks inherent in the ownership and operation of real estate and real estate-related businesses and assets. Such investments are subject to the potential for deterioration of real estate fundamentals and the risk of adverse changes in local market and economic conditions, which may include changes in supply of and demand for competing properties in an area, changes in interest rates and related increases in borrowing costs, fluctuations in the average occupancy and room rates for hotel properties, changes in demand for commercial office properties (including as a result of an increased prevalence of remote work), changes in the financial resources of tenants, defaults by borrowers or tenants and the lack of availability of mortgage funds, which may render the sale or refinancing of properties difficult or impracticable. In addition, investments in real estate and real estate-related businesses and assets may be subject to the risk of environmental liabilities, contingent liabilities upon disposition of assets, casualty or condemnations losses, energy supply shortages, natural disasters, climate-related risks (including transition risks and acute and chronic physical risks), acts of God, terrorist attacks, war and other events that are beyond our control, and various uninsured or uninsurable risks. Further, investments in real estate and real estate-related businesses and assets are subject to changes in law and regulation, including in respect of building, environmental and zoning laws, rent control and other regulations impacting residential real estate investments and changes to tax laws and regulations, including real property and income tax rates and the taxation of business entities and the deductibility of corporate interest expense. In addition, if we acquire direct or indirect interests in undeveloped land or underdeveloped real property, which may often be non-income producing, we will be subject to the risks normally associated with such assets and development activities, including risks relating to the availability and timely receipt of zoning and other regulatory or environmental approvals, the cost and timely completion of construction (including risks beyond our control, such as weather or labor conditions or material shortages) and the availability of both construction and permanent financing on favorable terms.
Further, ownership of real estate may increase our risk of direct and/or indirect liability under environmental laws that impose, regardless of fault, joint and several liability for the cost of remediating contamination and compensation for damages. In addition, changes in environmental laws or regulations or the environmental condition of real estate may create liabilities that did not exist at the time we became the owner of such real estate. Even in cases where we are indemnified against certain liabilities arising out of violations of laws and regulations, including environmental laws and regulations, there can be no assurance as to the financial viability of a third-party to satisfy such indemnities or our ability to achieve enforcement of such indemnities.
Investments in nonconforming and non-investment grade rated commercial real estate loans or securities involve increased risk of loss.
Certain commercial real estate debt 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 underlying properties’ cash flow or other factors. As a result, these investments should be expected to have a higher risk of default and loss than investment grade rated assets. Losses related to our non-investment grade loans or securities would adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Insurance on commercial real estate loans may not cover all losses.
Our commercial real estate loans may be subject to certain types of losses, generally of a catastrophic nature, such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, terrorism or acts of war, which may be uninsurable or not economically insurable. Inflation, changes in building codes and ordinances, environmental considerations and other factors also might result in insurance proceeds insufficient to repair or replace a property if it is damaged or destroyed. Under these circumstances, the insurance proceeds received with respect to a property relating to one of our investments might not be adequate to restore our economic position with respect to our investment. Any uninsured loss could result in the corresponding nonperformance of, or loss on, our investment related to such property.
We depend on third-party service providers, including our loan servicers and our managed service provider, for a variety of services related to our business. We are, therefore, subject to the risks associated with third-party service providers.
We depend on a variety of services provided by third-party service providers related to our investments in commercial real estate debt investments, as well as for general operating purposes. For example, we rely on a third-party servicer to service the
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commercial real estate loans that we invest in and commercial real estate loans underlying CRE CLOs and other commercial real estate debt investments to, among other things, collect principal and interest payments on such commercial real estate loans and perform certain asset management services in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. In addition, as described in further detail in “Cybersecurity” in Item 1C of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we rely on a third-party provider for our information technology systems. Such vendors and others, such as trustees, appraisers and other due diligence vendors and document custodians, may fail to perform or otherwise not perform in a manner that promotes our interests. This may include systems failures, security breaches and errors that could significantly disrupt our business, including resulting in nonperformance of, or loss of, investments or defaults under our financing facilities.
Increases in our CECL reserves have had and could continue to have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our current expected credit loss, or CECL, reserves required under the ASU 2016-13, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments, or ASU 2016-13, reflect our current estimate of potential credit losses related to our loans included in our consolidated balance sheets. Changes to our CECL reserves have been, and will continue to be, recognized through net income on our consolidated statements of operations. See Note 2 – Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies to our Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further discussion of our CECL reserves.
While ASU 2016-13 does not require any particular method for determining CECL reserves, it does specify that reserves should be based on relevant information about past events, including historical loss experience, current portfolio and market conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts for the duration of each respective loan. Because our methodology for determining the CECL reserves may differ from the methodologies employed by other companies, our CECL reserves may not be comparable with the CECL reserves reported by other companies. In addition, other than a few narrow exceptions, ASU 2016-13 requires that all financial instruments subject to the CECL model have some amount of loss reserve to reflect the GAAP principal underlying the CECL model that all loans, debt securities, and similar assets have some inherent risk of loss, regardless of credit quality, subordinate capital, or other mitigating factors. We may be required to make further increases to our CECL reserves in the future, depending on the performance of our portfolio and broader market conditions, and there may be volatility in the level of our CECL reserves. If we are required to materially increase our CECL reserves for any reason, such increase could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
CECL reserves are difficult to estimate, and may not be correct, which could severely impact our results of operations.
Our CECL reserves are evaluated on a quarterly basis. The determination of our CECL reserves requires us to make certain estimates and judgments, which may be difficult to determine and are subject to uncertain and changing economic, market and other circumstances. Our estimates and judgments are based on a number of factors, including projected cash flow from the collateral securing our loans, debt structure (including the availability of reserves and recourse guarantees), likelihood of repayment in full at the maturity of a loan, potential for refinancing, the creditworthiness of borrowers and expected market discount rates for the real estate and other assets serving as collateral for our loan investments, all of which remain uncertain and are subjective. In determining the adequacy of our CECL reserves, we rely on our experience and our evaluation of economic conditions and market factors. If our assumptions prove to be incorrect, our CECL reserves may not be sufficient to cover losses inherent in our loan portfolio and adjustment may be necessary to allow for different economic conditions or adverse developments in our loan portfolio. Consequently, a problem with one or more loans could require us to significantly increase the level of our CECL reserves. Our estimates and judgments may not be correct and, therefore, our results of operations and financial condition could be severely impacted.
We may be subject to risks associated with commercial real estate loan participations.
Some of our commercial real estate loans may be held in the form of participation interests or co-lender arrangements in which we share the loan rights, obligations and benefits with other lenders. With respect to such participation interests, we may require the consent of these parties to exercise our rights under such loans, including rights with respect to amendment of loan documentation, enforcement proceedings upon a default and the institution of, and control over, foreclosure proceedings. In circumstances where we hold a minority interest, we may become bound to actions of the majority to which we otherwise would object. We may be adversely affected by this lack of control with respect to these interests.
Investments that are subordinated or otherwise junior in an issuer’s capital structure and that involve privately negotiated structures expose us to greater risk of loss.
In addition to our senior floating-rate commercial mortgage loans, our portfolio contains, and in the future we may invest in, other investments that are subordinated or otherwise junior in an issuer’s capital structure and that involve privately negotiated structures. Any investments in subordinated debt and mezzanine tranches of a borrower’s capital structure and our ability to exert control or exercise remedies with respect thereto, including the ability to foreclose on any collateral securing such investments, are subject to the rights of any senior creditors and, to the extent applicable, contractual intercreditor and/or participation agreement provisions. Significant losses related to such loans or investments could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
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Investments in subordinated debt involve greater credit risk of default than the senior classes of the issue or series. As a result, with respect to any investments in subordinated debt, we would potentially receive payments or interest distributions after, and must bear the effects of losses or defaults on the senior debt before the holders of other more senior tranches of debt instruments with respect to such issuer. As the terms of such loans and investments are subject to contractual relationships among lenders, co-lending agents and others, they can vary significantly in their structural characteristics and other risks.
In addition, our investments in senior mortgage loans may be effectively subordinated to the extent we borrow under a repurchase facility or another facility involving a pledge of the senior mortgage loan as collateral. Under these arrangements, the lender has a right to repayment of the borrowed amount before we can collect on the value of the senior mortgage loan, and therefore, if the value of the pledged senior mortgage loan decreases below the amount we have borrowed, we would experience a loss.
Risks Related to Our Financing and Hedging
We have a substantial amount of debt and may incur additional debt, which subjects us to increased risk of loss which could adversely affect our results of operation and financial condition and may reduce cash available for distributions to our stockholders.
We have a substantial amount of debt and, subject to market conditions and availability, we may incur a significant amount of additional debt through bank credit facilities (including term loans and revolving facilities), repurchase agreements, warehouse facilities and structured financing arrangements, public and private debt issuances (including through securitizations) and derivative instruments, in addition to transaction or asset-specific funding arrangements. We may also issue additional debt or equity securities to fund our growth. The percentage of leverage we employ varies depending on our available capital, our ability to obtain and access financing arrangements with lenders, the type of asset we are funding, whether the financing is recourse or nonrecourse, debt restrictions contained in those financing arrangements and the lenders’ and rating agencies’ estimate of the stability of our investment portfolio’s cash flow. We may significantly increase the amount of leverage we utilize at any time without the approval of our board of directors. In addition, we may leverage individual assets at substantially higher levels. Our substantial amount of debt could subject us to many risks that, if realized, would materially and adversely affect us, including the risk that:
our cash flow from operations may be insufficient to make required payments of principal of and interest on our debt, or we may fail to comply with covenants or breach a representation contained in our debt agreements, which in each case, if we are unable to obtain amendments or waivers of such convenants or representations from financing counterparties, may result in (a) acceleration of such debt (and any other debt containing a cross-default or cross-acceleration provision), which we then may be unable to repay from internal funds or to refinance on favorable terms, or at all, (b) our inability to borrow undrawn amounts under our financing arrangements, even if we are current in payments on borrowings under those arrangements, which would result in a decrease in our liquidity, and/or (c) the loss of some or all of our collateral assets to foreclosure or sale;
our debt may increase our vulnerability to adverse economic and industry conditions with no assurance that investment yields will increase in an amount sufficient to offset the higher financing costs;
we may be required to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments on our debt, thereby reducing funds available for operations, future business opportunities, stockholder dividends or other purposes; and
we may not be able to refinance any debt that matures prior to the maturity (or realization) of an underlying investment it was used to finance on favorable terms or at all.
There can be no assurance that a leveraging strategy will be successful, and it may subject us to increased risk of loss and could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Interest rate fluctuations could increase our financing costs, which could lead to a significant decrease in our results of operations, cash flows and the market value of our investments that may not be adequately protected, or protected at all, by our hedging strategies.
To the extent that our financing costs are determined by reference to floating rates, such as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, or SOFR, or a Treasury index, the amount of such costs will depend on the level and movement of interest rates. In response to inflationary pressures, the Federal Reserve raised benchmark overnight interest rates on multiple occasions in 2022 and 2023. These increases have increased borrowers' interest payments, adversely affected commercial real estate property values, and for certain of our borrowers have contributed, and may continue to contribute, to loan non-performance, modifications, defaults, foreclosures and/or property sales, which could result in us realizing losses on our investments. Although the Federal Reserve has indicated no further rate increases are expected in 2024, how long interest rates will remain at their current levels and the direction and extent of any future rate changes remain uncertain.
In a period of rising interest rates, our interest expense on floating rate debt would increase, while any additional interest income we earn on our floating rate investments may be subject to caps and/or in-the-money floors that may limit the growth of our interest income until interest rates rise above such floors or loans with such floors are repaid or refinanced and may not compensate for such increase in interest expense. Any such increases would also increase our borrowers’ interest payments and,
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for certain borrowers, may lead to defaults and losses to us. Such increases could also adversely affect commercial real estate property values. Similarly, in a period of declining interest rates, our interest income on floating rate investments would generally decrease, while any decrease in the interest we are charged on our floating rate debt may be subject to floors and may not compensate for such decrease in interest income; however, floors relating to our loan portfolio may offset some of the impact from declining rates. In addition, interest we are charged on our fixed rate debt would not change. Any such scenario could adversely affect our results of operations, interest coverage ratio and financial condition.
We may employ various hedging strategies to limit the effects of changes in interest rates (and in some cases credit spreads), including engaging in interest rate swaps, caps, floors and other interest rate derivative products. We believe that no strategy can completely insulate us from the risks associated with interest rate changes, and there is a risk that such strategies may provide no protection at all and potentially compound the impact of changes in interest rates. Hedging transactions involve certain additional risks such as counterparty risk, leverage risk, the legal enforceability of hedging contracts, the early repayment of hedged transactions and the risk that unanticipated and significant changes in interest rates may cause a significant loss of basis in the contract and a change in current period expense. We cannot make assurances that we will be able to enter into hedging transactions or that such hedging transactions will adequately protect us against the foregoing risks.
Accounting for derivatives under GAAP may be complicated. Any failure by us to meet the requirements for applying hedge accounting in accordance with GAAP could adversely affect our earnings. In particular, derivatives are required to be highly effective in offsetting changes in the value or cash flows of the hedged items (and appropriately designated and/or documented as such). If it is determined that a derivative is not highly effective at hedging the designated exposure, hedge accounting is discontinued and the changes in fair value of the instrument are included in our reported net income.
Our existing financing facilities impose, and additional financing facilities may impose, restrictive covenants, which may restrict our flexibility to determine our operating policies and investment strategy and to conduct our business.
We borrow funds under repurchase agreements and other financing arrangements with various counterparties. The documents that govern these financing arrangements and the related guarantees contain, and additional lending facilities may contain, customary affirmative and negative covenants, including financial covenants that may restrict our flexibility to determine our operating policies and investment strategy. In particular, these financing arrangements require us to maintain a certain amount of cash or set aside assets sufficient to maintain a specified liquidity position. As a result, we may not be able to leverage our assets as fully as we would otherwise choose, which could reduce our return on assets. If we fail to meet or satisfy any of these covenants, we would be in default under these agreements, and our lenders could elect to declare outstanding amounts due and payable, terminate their commitments, require the posting of additional collateral and enforce their interests against existing collateral. We are, and in the future may also be, subject to cross-default and acceleration rights in our other debt arrangements. Further, these covenants could also make it difficult for us to satisfy the distribution requirements necessary to maintain our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. These financing arrangements also grant certain consent rights to the lenders thereunder which give them the right to consent to certain modifications to the pledged collateral and could limit our ability to manage a pledged investment in a way that we think would provide the best outcome for our stockholders.
Our existing asset financing facilities require, and future asset financing facilities may require, us to provide additional collateral or pay down debt.
Our master repurchase agreements with various counterparties, any bank credit facilities and additional repurchase agreements or other financing we may enter into in the future involve the risk that the market value of the assets pledged or sold by us to the provider of the financing may decline in value, in which case the lender or counterparty may require us to provide additional collateral or lead to margin calls that may require us to repay all or a portion of the funds advanced. We may not have the funds available to repay our debt at that time, which would likely result in defaults unless we are able to raise the funds from alternative sources, including by selling assets at a time when we might not otherwise choose to do so, which we may not be able to achieve on favorable terms or at all. Posting additional margin and/or pledging additional collateral would reduce our cash and/or collateral available for other, higher yielding investments, thereby decreasing our return on equity. If we cannot meet these requirements, the lender or counterparty could accelerate our indebtedness, increase the interest rate on advanced funds and terminate our ability to borrow funds from it, which could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and ability to implement our investment strategy. In the case of repurchase transactions, if the value of the underlying security has declined as of the end of that term, or if we default on our obligations under the repurchase agreement, we will likely incur a loss on our repurchase transactions.
Inability to access funding could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and business.
Our ability to fund our loans and investments may be impacted by our ability to secure bank credit facilities, warehouse facilities and structured financing arrangements, public and private debt issuances (including through securitizations) and derivative instruments, in addition to transaction or asset-specific funding arrangements and additional repurchase agreements on acceptable terms or at all. We may also rely on short-term financing that would be especially exposed to changes in availability. Our access to sources of financing will depend upon a number of factors, over which we have little or no control,
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including the market's view of the quality of our investments, the market’s perception of our growth potential, our current and potential future earnings and cash dividends, any credit ratings we or our corporate debt may receive from major rating agencies, the prevailing interest rates being paid by other companies that investors consider to be comparable to us and the market price of our securities.
We may need to periodically access the capital markets to, among other things, raise cash to fund new loans and investments. Unfavorable economic conditions or capital market conditions may increase our funding costs, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by our potential lenders not to extend credit.
An inability to successfully access the capital markets could limit our ability to grow our business and fully execute our business strategy and could decrease our earnings and liquidity. In addition, any dislocation or weakness in the capital and credit markets could adversely affect our lenders and could cause one or more of our lenders to be unwilling or unable to provide us with financing or to increase the costs of that financing. In addition, as regulatory capital requirements imposed on our lenders are increased, they may be required to limit, or increase the cost of, financing they provide to us. In general, this could potentially increase our financing costs and reduce our liquidity or require us to sell assets at an inopportune time or price. Further, as the lender to our borrowers, we may be obligated to fund all or a significant portion of a loan we have agreed to at one or more future dates. During 2023, bank failures and other events affecting financial institutions contributed to volatility in global markets and diminished liquidity and credit availability in the market broadly.
Any downgrade of our or our corporate debt’s credit ratings by any of the principal credit agencies may make it more difficult and costly for us to access capital. Additionally, the notes issued in our securitization transactions for which we are required to retain a portion of the credit risk, have been, and in the future may be, rated by rating agencies. There can be no assurances that the credit ratings of our corporate debt or the notes issued in our securitization transactions will not be downgraded in the future, whether as a result of deteriorating general economic conditions, failure to successfully implement our operating strategy or the adverse impact on our results of operations or liquidity position of any of the above, or otherwise.
The condition of the financial markets and prevailing interest rates have fluctuated in the past and are likely to fluctuate in the future. Such fluctuations could have an adverse effect on the price of our corporate debt. In addition, credit rating agencies continually review their ratings for the companies that they follow. If, in the future, one or more rating agencies were to provide a rating for us or our corporate debt, or the notes issued in our securitization transactions, and then reduce or withdraw their rating, the market price of such debt or notes or of our common stock may be adversely affected.
Actual events involving limited liquidity, defaults, non-performance or other adverse developments that affect financial institutions, transactional counterparties or other companies in the financial services industry or the financial services industry generally, or concerns or rumors about any events of these kinds or other similar risks, have in the past and may in the future lead to market-wide liquidity problems. Recent or ongoing developments in banking, such as bank closures, may also have other implications for broader economic and monetary policy, including interest rate policy, and may impact the financial condition of banks and other financial institutions outside of the United States.
In addition, the capital and credit markets have recently experienced extreme volatility and economic disruption, inflation and rapid increases in interest rates have led to a decline in the trading value of previously issued government securities with interest rates below current market interest rates, which may result in additional liquidity concerns for us and/or in the broader financial services industry.
If we are unable to access funding, we may not have the funds available at such future date(s) to meet our funding obligations under a loan. In that event, we would likely be in breach of our agreement under such loan. We cannot make assurances that we will be able to obtain any additional financing on favorable terms or at all.
We are subject to counterparty risk associated with our debt obligations.
Our counterparties for critical financial relationships may include both domestic and international financial institutions. These institutions could be severely impacted by credit market turmoil, changes in legislation, allegations of civil or criminal wrongdoing and may as a result experience financial or other pressures. In addition, if a lender or counterparty files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, our borrowings under financing agreements with them may become subject to bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, thus depriving us, at least temporarily, of the benefit of these assets. Such an event could restrict our access to financing and increase our cost of capital. If any of our counterparties were to limit or cease operation, it could lead to financial losses for us.
We may be subject to losses arising from current and future guarantees of debt and contingent obligations of our subsidiaries.
We currently guarantee certain obligations of our subsidiaries under the various financing facilities that provide for significant aggregate borrowings and we may in the future guarantee the performance of additional subsidiaries’ obligations, including, but not limited to, additional repurchase agreements, derivative agreements and unsecured indebtedness.
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Our use of financing may create a mismatch with the duration and interest rate of the investments that we are financing, which could adversely impact our liquidity and returns.
We intend to structure our financing such that we minimize the difference between the term of our investments and the term of the financing for such investments. In the event that our financing is for a shorter term than the financed investment, we may not be able to extend or find appropriate replacement financing, and that would have an adverse impact on our liquidity and our returns.
We attempt to structure our financing such that we minimize the variability between the interest rate of our investments and the interest rate of our financing financing floating rate investments with floating rate financing and fixed rate investments with fixed rate financing. If such a product is not available to us from our lenders on reasonable terms, we may use hedging instruments to effectively create such a match. For example, in the case of fixed rate investments, we may finance such investments with floating rate financing, but effectively convert all or a portion of the attendant financing to fixed rate using hedging strategies.
The success of our attempts to mitigate such risk may be impacted by factors outside of our control, such as the availability to us of favorable financing and hedging options, including with respect to duration and term matching. A duration mismatch may also occur when borrowers prepay their loans faster or slower than expected. The risks of a duration mismatch are also magnified by the potential for the extension of loans in order to maximize the likelihood and magnitude of their recovery value in the event the loans experience credit or performance challenges. Employment of this asset management practice would effectively extend the duration of our investments, while our liabilities or any hedges we may enter into may have set maturity dates.
Use of nonrecourse securitizations to finance our loans and investments may expose us to risks that could result in losses.
We have securitized and may in the future, to the extent consistent with the REIT requirements, seek to securitize certain of our portfolio investments. This involves creating a special-purpose vehicle, contributing a pool of our assets to the entity and selling interests in the entity or other securities issued by the entity on a nonrecourse basis to purchasers (whom we would expect to be willing to accept a lower interest rate to invest in investment-grade securities backed by loan pools). We have in the past retained, and would expect in the future to retain, all or a portion of the equity and potentially other tranches in the securitized pool of loans or investments. In addition, we have in the past, and may in the future, retain pari passu participations in securitized loans. Investments in CMBS, CRE CLOs and other similarly structured finance investments, as well as those we structure, sponsor or arrange, pose additional risks, including the risks of the securitization process and the risk that the special servicer may take actions that could adversely affect our interests. In addition, the securitization of our portfolio might magnify our exposure to losses because any equity interest we retain in the issuing entity would be subordinate to the notes issued to investors and we would, therefore, absorb all of the losses sustained with respect to a securitized pool of assets before the owners of the notes experience any losses.
The inability to securitize our portfolio may hurt our performance and our ability to grow our business. At the same time, the securitization of our loans or investments might expose us to losses, as the residual loans or investments in which we do not sell interests will tend to be riskier and more likely to experience losses. Moreover, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, or Dodd-Frank Act, contains a risk retention requirement for all asset-backed securities, which requires both public and private securitizers to retain not less than 5% of the credit risk of the assets collateralizing any asset-backed security issuance. Significant restrictions exist, and additional restrictions may be added in the future, regarding who may hold risk retention interests, the structure of the entities that hold risk retention interests and when and how such risk retention interests may be transferred. Therefore, such risk retention interests will generally be illiquid. As a result of the risk retention requirements, we have, and may in the future, be required to purchase and retain certain interests in a securitization into which we sell loans and/or, when we act as issuer, may be required to sell certain interests in a securitization at prices below levels that such interests have historically yielded and/or may be required to enter into certain arrangements related to risk retention that we have not historically been required to enter into. Accordingly, the risk retention rules may increase our potential liabilities and/or reduce our potential profits in connection with the securitization of loans. It is likely, therefore, that these risk retention rules will increase the administrative and operational costs of asset securitizations.
We may enter into hedging transactions that expose us to contingent liabilities in the future, which may adversely affect our financial results or cash available for distribution to stockholders.
In the future, we may engage in transactions intended to hedge against various risks to our portfolio, including the exposure to changes in interest rates. The extent of our hedging activity will vary in scope based on, among other things, the level and volatility of interest rates, the type of assets held and other changing market conditions. Although these transactions are intended to reduce our exposure to various risks, hedging may fail to adequately protect or could adversely affect us because, among other things:
hedging can be expensive, particularly during periods of volatile or rapidly changing interest rates;
available hedges may not correspond directly with the risks for which protection is sought;
the duration of the hedge may not match the duration of the related liability;
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the amount of income that a REIT may earn from certain hedging transactions (other than through our TRS) is limited by U.S. federal income tax provisions governing REITs;
the credit quality of a hedging counterparty may be downgraded to such an extent that it impairs our ability to sell or assign our side of the hedging transaction; and
the hedging counterparty may default on its obligations.
Subject to maintaining our qualification as a REIT and satisfying the criteria for no-action relief from the registration rules of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or the CFTC, regarding Commodity Pool Operators, or CPOs, there are no current limitations on the hedging transactions that we may undertake. Our hedging transactions could require us to fund large cash payments in certain circumstances (e.g., the early termination of the hedging instrument caused by an event of default or other early termination event, or a demand by a counterparty that we make increased margin payments).
Our ability to fund these obligations will depend on the liquidity of our assets and our access to capital at the time. The need to fund these obligations could adversely affect our financial condition. Further, hedging transactions, which are intended to limit losses, may actually result in losses, which would adversely affect our earnings and could, in turn, reduce cash available for distribution to stockholders.
The Dodd-Frank Act regulates derivative transactions, including certain hedging instruments, we may use in our risk management activities. Rules implemented by the CFTC pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act require, among other things, that certain derivatives be cleared through a registered clearing facility and traded on a designated exchange or swap execution facility. These regulations could increase the operational and transactional cost of derivatives contracts and affect the number and/or creditworthiness of available counterparties. Furthermore, the enforceability of agreements underlying hedging transactions may depend on compliance with applicable statutory and commodity and other regulatory requirements and, depending on the identity of the counterparty, applicable international requirements. The business failure of a hedging counterparty will most likely result in its default. Default by a hedging counterparty may result in the loss of unrealized profits and force us to cover our commitments, if any, at the then current market price. Although, generally, we will seek to reserve the right to terminate our hedging positions, it may not always be possible to dispose of or close out a hedging position without the consent of the hedging counterparty and we may not be able to enter into an offsetting contract in order to cover our risk. We cannot assure you that a liquid secondary market will exist for hedging instruments purchased or sold, and we may be required to maintain a position until exercise or expiration, which could result in losses.
Risks Related to Our Company and Structure
Our ability to retain and attract key personnel is critical to our success.
Our success depends on our ability to retain our senior management and other key members of our team and to recruit additional qualified personnel as needed. Many members of our senior management team have a history of working together that predates the Company’s inception, and any loss of talent from that group could be disruptive to their effective functioning. Additionally, the size of our employee base (35 employees as of December 31, 2023, inclusive of the senior management group) means that we have limited overlap in roles such that any degree of attrition could challenge operations. Many of these roles are highly specialized and specific to our industry, making them difficult to source. We have also found that the marketplace for talent has become increasingly competitive and costly across seniority levels and job categories as unemployment rates remain low.
Our board of directors has approved very broad investment guidelines for us and will not review or approve each investment decision made by us.
Our board of directors may periodically review and update our investment guidelines and will also review our investment portfolio, but does not review or approve specific investments. Subject to maintaining our REIT qualification and our exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act, we have great latitude within the broad parameters of the investment guidelines set by our board of directors in determining our investments and investment strategies, which could result in investment returns that are substantially below expectations or that result in material losses.
Operational risks, including the risk of cyberattacks, may disrupt our business, resulting in loss or limited growth.
Our operations are highly dependent on our information systems and technology, which are provided and maintained by an outsourced technology vendor, and we rely heavily on our financial, accounting, treasury, communications and other data processing systems. Such systems may fail to operate properly or become disabled as a result of tampering or a breach of the network security systems or otherwise. In addition, such systems are subject to cyberattacks, including ransomware attacks and social engineering, such as phishing, smishing and vishing, which are continually evolving and will likely continue to increase in sophistication and frequency in the future. Moreover, remote working, including pursuant to our hybrid work model, may be less secure and more susceptible to cyberattacks. Attacks on us and our service providers’ systems could involve, and in some instances have in the past involved, attempts that are intended to obtain unauthorized access to our proprietary information or personal identifying information of our stockholders, destroy data, disable, degrade or sabotage our systems, including through the introduction of computer viruses and other malicious code, or divert or steal funds, including by wire fraud and other nefarious means.
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Cybersecurity incidents and cyberattacks, denial of service attacks, ransomware attacks, and social engineering attempts (including business email compromise attacks) have been occurring globally at a more frequent and severe level and will likely continue to increase in frequency in the future. There have been a number of recent highly publicized cases involving the dissemination, theft and destruction of corporate information or other assets, as a result of a failure to follow procedures by employees or contractors or as a result of actions by a variety of third parties, including nation state actors and terrorist or criminal organizations. We and our service providers and other market participants increasingly depend on complex information technology and communications systems to conduct business functions, and their operations rely on the secure access to, and processing, storage and transmission of confidential and other information in their systems and those of their respective third-party service providers. These information, technology and communications systems are subject to a number of different threats or risks that could adversely affect us. For example, our information and technology systems, as well as those of other related parties, such as service providers, may be vulnerable to damage or interruption from cybersecurity breaches, computer viruses or other malicious code, network failures, computer and telecommunication failures, infiltration by unauthorized persons and other security breaches, usage errors by their respective professionals or service providers, power, communications or other service outages and catastrophic events such as fires, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes. Cyberattacks and other security threats could originate from a wide variety of external sources, including cybercriminals, nation state hackers, hacktivists and other outside parties. Cyberattacks and other security threats could also originate from the malicious or accidental acts of insiders.
There has been an increase in the frequency and sophistication of the cyber and security threats we face, with attacks ranging from those common to businesses generally to those that are more advanced and persistent, which may target us because we hold a significant amount of confidential and sensitive information. As a result, we may face a heightened risk of a security breach or disruption with respect to this information. If successful, these types of attacks on our network or other systems could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations, due to, among other things, the loss of investor or proprietary data, interruptions or delays in the operation of our business and damage to our reputation. There can be no assurance that measures we take to ensure the integrity of our systems will provide protection, especially because cyberattack techniques used change frequently, may persist undetected over extended periods of time and may not be mitigated in a timely manner to prevent or minimize the impact of an attack.
If unauthorized parties gain access to such information and technology systems, they may be able to steal, publish, delete or modify private and sensitive information, including nonpublic personal information related to stockholders (and their beneficial owners) and material nonpublic information. Although we have implemented, and our service providers may implement, various measures to manage risks relating to these types of events, such systems could prove to be inadequate and, if compromised, could become inoperable for extended periods of time, cease to function properly or fail to adequately secure private information. There also have been several publicized cases of ransomware where hackers have requested ransom payments in exchange for not disclosing client or customer information or restoring access to information technology or communications systems. We do not control the cybersecurity plans and systems put in place by third-party service providers, and such third-party service providers may have limited indemnification obligations to us. Breaches such as those involving covertly introduced malware, impersonation of authorized users and industrial or other espionage may not be identified even with sophisticated prevention and detection systems, potentially resulting in further harm and preventing them from being addressed appropriately. The failure of these systems or of disaster recovery plans for any reason could cause significant interruptions in our operations and result in a failure to maintain the security, confidentiality or privacy of sensitive data, including personal information relating to stockholders, material nonpublic information and the intellectual property and trade secrets and other sensitive information in our possession. We could be required to make a significant investment to remedy the effects of any such failures, harm to our reputation, legal claims that we may be subjected to, regulatory action or enforcement arising out of applicable privacy and other laws, adverse publicity and other events that may affect our business and financial performance.
Even if we are not targeted directly, cyberattacks on governments, financial markets, financial institutions, or other businesses, including borrowers, vendors, software creators, cybersecurity service providers and other third-parties with whom we do business, may occur, and such events could disrupt our normal business operations and networks in the future.
In addition, our business is highly dependent on information systems and technology. The costs related to cyber or other security threats or disruptions may not be fully insured or indemnified by other means. In addition, we could also suffer losses in connection with updates to, or the failure to timely update, our information systems and technology. In addition, we are reliant on third-party service providers for certain aspects of our business, including for administrative services, as well as for certain information systems and technology, including cloud-based services. These third-party service providers could also face ongoing cybersecurity threats and compromises of their systems and as a result, unauthorized individuals could gain access to certain confidential data.
Many jurisdictions in which we operate have, or are considering adopting, laws and regulations relating to data privacy, cybersecurity and protection of personal information. Some jurisdictions have also enacted laws requiring companies to notify individuals and government agencies of data security breaches involving certain types of personal data. Breaches in security, whether malicious in nature or through inadvertent transmittal or other loss of data, could potentially jeopardize our
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employees’, investors’ or counterparties’ confidential, proprietary and other information processed and stored in, and transmitted through, our computer systems and networks, or otherwise cause interruptions or malfunctions in our employees’, investors’, counterparties’ or third-parties’ operations, which could result in significant losses, increased costs, disruption of our business, liability to our investors and other counterparties, regulatory intervention or reputational damage. Furthermore, if we fail to comply with the relevant laws and regulations or fail to provide the appropriate regulatory or other notifications of a breach in a timely manner, it could result in regulatory investigations and penalties, which could lead to negative publicity and may cause our investors to lose confidence in the effectiveness of our security measures.
A disaster or a disruption in the infrastructure that supports our business, including a disruption involving electronic communications or other services used by us or third-parties with whom we conduct business, could have a material adverse impact on our ability to continue to operate our business without interruption. Our disaster recovery programs may not be sufficient to mitigate the harm that may result from such a disaster or disruption. In addition, insurance and other safeguards might only partially reimburse us for our losses, if at all.
Maintaining our exclusions from registration as an investment company under the Investment Company Act imposes limits on our operations. Investment returns may be reduced if we are required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act.
We currently conduct, and intend to continue to conduct, our operations so that we are not required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act. We believe that we are not an investment company under Section 3(a)(1)(A) of the Investment Company Act because we do not engage primarily, or hold ourselves out as being engaged primarily, in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities. Rather, through our wholly owned or majority-owned subsidiaries, we are primarily engaged in non-investment company businesses related to real estate. In addition, we intend to conduct our operations so that we do not come within the definition of an investment company under Section 3(a)(1)(C) of the Investment Company Act for purposes of the 40% test. Excluded from the term “investment securities” (as that term is defined in the Investment Company Act) are securities issued by majority-owned subsidiaries that are themselves not investment companies and are not relying on the exclusion from the definition of investment company set forth in Section 3(c)(1) or Section 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act.
To maintain our status as a non-investment company, the securities issued to us by any wholly owned or majority-owned subsidiaries that we may form in the future that are excluded from the definition of investment company under Section 3(c)(1) or Section 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act, together with any other investment securities we may own, may not have a value in excess of 40% of the value of our total assets on an unconsolidated basis. We monitor our holdings to ensure ongoing compliance with this test, but there can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain an exclusion or exemption from registration. The 40% test limits the types of businesses in which we may engage through our subsidiaries. In addition, the assets we and our subsidiaries may originate or acquire are limited by the provisions of the Investment Company Act and the rules and regulations promulgated under the Investment Company Act, which may adversely affect our business.
We hold our assets primarily through direct or indirect wholly owned or majority-owned subsidiaries, certain of which are excluded from the definition of investment company pursuant to Section 3(c)(5)(C) of the Investment Company Act. To qualify for the exclusion pursuant to Section 3(c)(5)(C), based on positions set forth by the SEC staff, each such subsidiary generally is required to hold at least (i) 55% of its assets in “qualifying” real estate assets and (ii) at least 80% of its assets in “qualifying” real estate assets and real estate-related assets. For our subsidiaries that maintain the exclusion under Section 3(c)(5)(C) or another exclusion or exemption under the Investment Company Act (other than Section 3(c)(1) or Section 3(c)(7) thereof), our interests in these subsidiaries do not and will not constitute “investment securities.”
As a consequence of our seeking to avoid the need to register under the Investment Company Act on an ongoing basis, we and/or our subsidiaries may be restricted from making certain investments or may structure investments in a manner that would be less advantageous to us than would be the case in the absence of such requirements. In particular, a change in the value of any of our assets could negatively affect our ability to maintain our exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act and cause the need for a restructuring of our investment portfolio. For example, these restrictions may limit our and our subsidiaries’ ability to invest directly in mortgage-backed securities that represent less than the entire ownership in a pool of senior mortgage loans, debt and equity tranches of securitizations and certain asset-backed securities, non-controlling equity interests in real estate companies or in assets not related to real estate; however, we and our subsidiaries may invest in such securities to a certain extent. In addition, seeking to maintain our exclusion from the Investment Company Act may cause us and/or our subsidiaries to acquire or hold additional assets that we might not otherwise have acquired or held or dispose of investments that we and/or our subsidiaries might not have otherwise disposed of, which could result in higher costs or lower proceeds to us than we would have paid or received if we were not seeking to comply with such requirements. Thus, avoiding registration under the Investment Company Act may hinder our ability to operate solely on the basis of maximizing profits.
We determine whether an entity is a majority-owned subsidiary of the Company. The Investment Company Act defines a majority-owned subsidiary of a person as a company 50% or more of the outstanding voting securities of which are owned by such person, or by another company which is a majority-owned subsidiary of such person. The Investment Company Act defines voting securities as any security presently entitling the owner or holder thereof to vote for the election of directors of a
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company. We treat entities in which we own at least a majority of the outstanding voting securities as majority-owned subsidiaries for purposes of the 40% test. We have not requested that the SEC or its staff approve our treatment of any entity as a majority-owned subsidiary, and neither has done so. If the SEC or its staff were to disagree with our treatment of one or more subsidiary entities as majority-owned subsidiaries, we may need to adjust our strategy and our assets in order to continue to pass the 40% test. Any adjustment in our strategy or assets could have a material adverse effect on us.
We classify our assets for purposes of certain of our subsidiaries’ Section 3(c)(5)(C) exclusion from the Investment Company Act based upon no-action positions taken by the SEC staff and interpretive guidance provided by the SEC and its staff. Based on such guidance, to qualify for the exclusion pursuant to Section 3(c)(5)(C), each such subsidiary generally is required to hold at least (i) 55% of its assets in “qualifying” real estate assets and (ii) 80% of its assets in “qualifying” real estate assets and real estate-related assets. “Qualifying” real estate assets for this purpose include mortgage loans, certain B-notes and certain mezzanine loans that satisfy various conditions as set forth in SEC staff no-action letters and other guidance, and other assets that the SEC staff in various no-action letters and other guidance has determined are the functional equivalent of senior mortgage loans for the purposes of the Investment Company Act. We treat CMBS, B-notes and mezzanine loans that do not satisfy the conditions set forth in the relevant SEC staff no-action letters and other guidance, and debt and equity securities of companies primarily engaged in real estate businesses as real estate-related assets. We note that the SEC staff’s prior no-action positions are based on specific factual situations that may be substantially different from the factual situations we and our subsidiaries may face, and a number of these no-action positions were issued more than twenty years ago. There may be no guidance from the SEC staff that applies directly to our factual situations and, as a result, we may have to apply SEC staff guidance that relates to other factual situations by analogy. No assurance can be given that the SEC or its staff will concur with our classification of our assets. In addition, the SEC or its staff may, in the future, issue further guidance that may require us to re-classify our assets for purposes of the Investment Company Act, including for purposes of our subsidiaries’ compliance with the exclusion provided in Section 3(c)(5)(C) of the Investment Company Act. There is no guarantee that we will be able to adjust our assets in the manner required to maintain our exclusion from the Investment Company Act and any adjustment in our strategy or assets could have a material adverse effect on us.
To the extent that the SEC or its staff provide more specific guidance regarding any of the matters bearing upon the definition of investment company and the exemptions and exclusions to that definition, we may be required to adjust our strategy accordingly. Any additional guidance from the SEC or its staff could provide additional flexibility to us, or it could further inhibit our ability to pursue the strategies we have chosen.
There can be no assurance that we and our subsidiaries will be able to successfully avoid registration as an investment company. If it were established that we were an unregistered investment company, there would be a risk that we would be subject to monetary penalties and injunctive relief in an action brought by the SEC, that we would be unable to enforce contracts with third-parties, that third-parties could seek to obtain rescission of transactions undertaken during the period it was established that we were an unregistered investment company and that we would be subject to limitations on corporate leverage that would have an adverse impact on our investment returns.
If we were required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act, we would become subject to substantial regulation with respect to our capital structure (including our ability to use borrowings), management, operations, transactions with affiliated persons (as defined in the Investment Company Act) and portfolio composition, including disclosure requirements and restrictions with respect to diversification and industry concentration and other matters. Compliance with the Investment Company Act would, accordingly, limit our ability to make certain investments and require us to significantly restructure our business plan, which could materially adversely affect our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders.
Rapid changes in the values of our assets may make it more difficult for us to maintain our qualification as a REIT or our exclusion from the Investment Company Act.
If the market value or income potential of our assets declines, we may need to increase our real estate assets and income or liquidate our non-qualifying assets in order to maintain our REIT qualification or our exclusion from the Investment Company Act. If the decline in real estate asset values or income occurs quickly, this may be especially difficult to accomplish. This difficulty may be exacerbated by the illiquid nature of any assets we may own. We may have to make decisions that we otherwise would not make absent the REIT qualification and Investment Company Act considerations.
State licensing requirements cause us to incur expenses and our failure to be properly licensed may have a material adverse effect on us and our operations.
Nonbank companies are generally required to hold licenses in a number of U.S. states to conduct lending and other related activities. State licensing statutes vary from state to state and may prescribe or impose various recordkeeping requirements; restrictions on loan origination, acquisition, enforcement and servicing practices, including limits on finance charges and the type, amount and manner of charging fees; disclosure requirements; requirements that licensees submit to periodic examination; surety bond and minimum specified net worth requirements; periodic financial reporting requirements; notification requirements for changes in principal officers, stock ownership or corporate control; and restrictions on advertising. Obtaining and maintaining licenses cause us to incur expenses and failure to be properly licensed under state law or otherwise may have a material adverse effect on us and our operations.
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Changes in laws or regulations governing our operations, changes in the interpretation thereof or newly enacted laws or regulations (including laws and regulations having the effect of exempting REITs from the Investment Company Act) and any failure by us to comply with these laws or regulations, could require changes to certain of our business practices, negatively impact our operations, cash flow or financial condition, impose additional costs on us, subject us to increased competition or otherwise adversely affect our business.
We are subject to regulation by laws and regulations at the local, state and federal levels. These laws and regulations, as well as their interpretation, may change from time to time and new laws and regulations may be enacted. Accordingly, any change in these laws or regulations, changes in their interpretation or newly enacted laws or regulations and any failure by us to comply with these laws or regulations could require changes to certain of our business practices, negatively impact our operations, cash flow or financial condition, impose additional costs on us or otherwise adversely affect our business. Furthermore, if regulatory capital requirements imposed on our financing providers change, they may be required to limit, or increase the cost of, financing they provide to us. In general, this could potentially increase our financing costs and reduce our liquidity or require us to sell assets at an inopportune time or price.
Risks associated with climate change may adversely affect our business and financial results and damage our reputation.
There has been increasing awareness of severe weather and other climate events outside of the historical norm as well as increasing concern from government agencies about the effects of climate change on the environment. Transition risks, such as government restrictions, standards or regulations intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and potential climate change impacts, are emerging and may increase in the future in the form of restrictions or additional requirements on the development of commercial real estate. Such restrictions and requirements, along with rising insurance premiums resulting from climate change, could increase our costs or require additional technology and capital investment by our borrowers, which could adversely affect our results of operations. This is a particular concern in the western and northeastern U.S., where some of the most extensive and stringent environmental laws and building construction standards in the U.S. have been enacted, and where we have properties securing our investment portfolio.
Further, significant physical effects of climate change, including changes in global weather patterns, rising sea levels, changes in temperature averages or extremes and extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts or floods, can also have an adverse impact on certain of our properties. As the effects of climate change increase, we expect the frequency and impact of weather and climate-related events and conditions to increase as well. For example, unseasonal or extreme weather events can have a material impact to hospitality businesses or properties.
Some physical risk is inherent in all properties, particularly properties in certain locations and in light of the unknown potential for extreme weather and other events that could occur related to climate change.
Our business is subject to evolving corporate governance and public disclosure regulations and expectations, including with respect to ESG matters, that could expose us to numerous risks.
Advocacy groups, government agencies, the general public, regulators, customers, investors, employees and other stakeholders are increasingly focusing on ESG matters and related disclosures. Such governmental, investor and societal attention to ESG matters, including expanding mandatory and voluntary reporting, diligence, and disclosure on topics such as climate change, human capital, labor and risk oversight, could expand the nature, scope, and complexity of matters that we are required to manage, assess and report, which could negatively impact the market price of our securities.
We are subject to changing rules and regulations promulgated by a number of governmental and self-regulatory organizations, including the SEC, the NYSE and the FASB. These rules and regulations continue to evolve in scope and complexity and many new requirements have been created in response to laws enacted by Congress, making compliance more difficult, costly and uncertain. Further, new and emerging regulatory initiatives related to climate change and ESG could adversely affect our business.
These changing rules, regulations and stakeholder expectations have resulted in, and are likely to continue to result in, increased general and administrative expenses and increased management time and attention spent complying with or meeting such regulations and expectations, including in areas such as diversity, equity and inclusion, human rights, climate change and environmental stewardship, support for local communities, corporate governance and transparency and considering ESG factors in our investment processes. Further, we may choose to communicate certain initiatives and goals regarding environmental matters, diversity, responsible sourcing and social investments and other ESG-related matters, in our SEC filings or in other public disclosures. These initiatives and goals within the scope of ESG could be difficult and expensive to implement and we could be criticized for the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of the disclosure. Statements about our ESG related initiatives and goals, and progress against those goals, may be based on standards for measuring progress that are still developing, internal controls and processes that continue to evolve and assumptions that are subject to change in the future. In addition, we could be criticized for the scope or nature of such initiatives or goals, or for any revisions to these goals. If we are unable to adequately address such ESG matters or if we fail to achieve progress with respect to our goals within the scope of ESG on a timely basis, or at all, or if we or our borrowers fail or are perceived to fail to comply with all laws, regulations, policies and related interpretations, it could negatively impact our reputation and our business results.
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The market price of our common stock has been, and may continue to be, volatile and may decline.
The capital and credit markets have, on occasion, experienced periods of extreme volatility and disruption. The market price and liquidity of the market for shares of our common stock has been and may in the future be significantly affected by numerous factors, including the risk factors described “Risk Factors” in this Item 1A, some of which are beyond our control and may not be directly related to our operating performance.
Future issuances of equity or debt securities, which may include securities that would rank senior to our common stock, may adversely affect the market price of the shares of our common stock.
The issuance of additional shares of our common stock, including in connection with our outstanding 7% Series A cumulative redeemable preferred stock, or our Series A Preferred Stock, or in connection with other future issuances of our common stock or shares of preferred stock or securities convertible or exchangeable into equity securities, may dilute the ownership interest of our existing holders of our common stock. If we decide to issue debt or equity securities which would rank senior to our common stock, it is likely that they will be governed by an indenture or other instrument containing covenants restricting our operating flexibility. Additionally, any convertible or exchangeable securities that we issue may have rights, preferences and privileges more favorable than those of our common stock and may result in dilution to owners of our common stock. We and, indirectly, our stockholders will bear the cost of issuing and servicing such securities. Because our decision to issue additional equity or debt securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of our future issuances. Also, we cannot predict the effect, if any, of future sales of our common stock, or the availability of shares for future sales, on the market price of our common stock. Sales of substantial amounts of common stock, or the perception that such sales could occur, may adversely affect the prevailing market price for the shares of our common stock. Therefore, holders of our common stock will bear the risk of our future issuances reducing the market price of our common stock and diluting the value of their stock holdings in us.
Provisions of our charter and amended and restated bylaws and Maryland law may deter takeover attempts, which may limit the opportunity of our stockholders to sell their shares at a favorable price.
Some of the provisions of Maryland law and our charter and amended and restated bylaws discussed below could make it more difficult for a third-party to acquire us, even if doing so might be beneficial to our stockholders by providing them with the opportunity to sell their shares at a premium to the then current market price.
Issuance of stock without stockholder approval. Our charter authorizes our board of directors, without stockholder approval, to authorize the issuance of up to 450,000,000 shares of common stock and up to 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock. As of December 31, 2023, 11,500,000 shares of preferred stock are classified as 7.00% Series A Preferred Stock. Our charter also authorizes our board of directors, without stockholder approval, to classify or reclassify any unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock into other classes or series of stock and to amend our charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of stock or the number of shares of stock of any class or series that are authorized by the charter to be issued. Preferred stock may be issued in one or more classes or series, the terms of which may be determined by our board of directors without further action by stockholders. Prior to the issuance of any such class or series, our board of directors will set the terms of any such class or series, including the preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications and terms and conditions of redemption. The issuance of any preferred stock could materially adversely affect the rights of holders of common stock and, therefore, could reduce the value of the common stock. In addition, specific rights granted to future holders of our preferred stock could be used to restrict our ability to merge with, or sell assets to, a third-party. The power of our board of directors to cause us to issue preferred stock could, in certain circumstances, make it more difficult, delay, discourage, prevent or make it costlier to acquire or effect 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-current market price.
Advance notice bylaw. Our amended and restated bylaws contain advance notice procedures for the introduction by a stockholder of new business and the nomination of directors by a stockholder. These provisions could, in certain circumstances, discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for stockholders to elect stockholder-nominated directors and to propose and, consequently, approve stockholder proposals opposed by management.
Maryland takeover statutes. Certain provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law may have the effect of inhibiting a third-party from making a proposal to acquire us or of impeding a change in our control under circumstances that otherwise could provide the holders of our common stock with the opportunity to realize a premium over the then prevailing market price of such shares. We are subject to the Maryland Business Combination Act, which, subject to limitations, prohibits certain business combinations between us and an “interested stockholder” (defined generally as any person who beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of our then outstanding voting 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 the voting power 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 stockholder voting requirements to approve these combinations unless the consideration being received by common stockholders satisfies certain conditions. The statute permits various exemptions
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from its provisions, including business combinations that are exempted by the board of directors prior to the time that an interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder.
We are also subject to the Maryland Control Share Acquisition Act. With certain exceptions, the Maryland General Corporation Law provides that a holder of “control shares” of a Maryland corporation acquired in a “control share acquisition” has no voting rights with respect to those shares except to the extent approved by a vote of two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, excluding shares owned by the acquiring person or by our officers or by our directors who are our employees.
We are also eligible to elect to be subject to the Maryland Unsolicited Takeovers Act, which permits our board of directors, without stockholder approval, to, among other things and notwithstanding any provision in our charter or amended and restated bylaws, to implement certain takeover defenses, such as a classified board, some of which we do not yet have.
In addition, our charter includes certain limitations on the ownership and transfer of our capital stock. See “ — Risks Related to Our REIT Status and Certain Other Tax Items — Ownership limitations may restrict change of control or business combination opportunities.
Our rights and the rights of our stockholders to take action against our directors and officers are limited, which could limit your recourse in the event of actions not in your best interests.
Our charter limits the liability of our present and former directors and officers to us and our stockholders for money damages to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law. Under Maryland law, our present and former directors and officers will not have any liability to us and our stockholders for money damages other than liability resulting from:
actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services; or
active and deliberate dishonesty by the director or officer that was established by a final judgment as being material to the cause of action adjudicated.
Our charter provides that we have the power to indemnify our present and former directors and officers for actions taken by them in those capacities to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law. Our amended and restated bylaws require us to indemnify each present and former director or officer, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law, in the defense of any proceeding to which he or she is made, or threatened to be made, a party by reason of his or her service to us. In addition, we may be obligated to pay or reimburse the defense costs incurred by our present and former directors and officers without requiring a preliminary determination of their ultimate entitlement to indemnification.
Our charter contains provisions that make removal of our directors difficult, which could make it difficult for our stockholders to effect changes to our board of directors.
Our charter provides that, subject to the rights of any series of preferred stock, a director may be removed upon the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast generally in the election of directors. Vacancies may be filled only by a majority of the remaining directors in office, even if less than a quorum. These requirements make it more difficult to change our board of directors by removing and replacing directors and may prevent a change in control of the Company that is in the best interests of our stockholders.
Our amended and restated bylaws designate certain Maryland courts as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees.
Our amended and restated bylaws provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, or, if that court does not have jurisdiction, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division, shall be the sole and exclusive forum for the following: any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of the Company; any action asserting a claim of breach of any duty owed by any of our present or former directors, officers or other employees or our stockholders to the Company or to our stockholders or any standard of conduct applicable to our directors; any action asserting a claim against the Company or any of our present or former directors, officers or other employees arising pursuant to any provision of the MGCL or our charter or amended and restated bylaws; or any action asserting a claim against the Company or any of our present or former directors, officers or other employees that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. This choice of forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that the stockholder believes is favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees, which may discourage lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and employees. Alternatively, if a court were to find these provisions of our amended bylaws inapplicable to, or unenforceable in respect of, one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We have not established a minimum distribution payment level and we cannot assure you of our ability to pay distributions in the future.
We are generally required to distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding net capital gain, each year for us to qualify as a REIT under the Code,
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which requirement we currently intend to satisfy through quarterly distributions of at least 90% of our net taxable income in such year, subject to certain adjustments. Although we intend to make regular quarterly distributions to holders of our common stock and we currently expect to distribute at least 90% of our net taxable income to our stockholders on an annual basis, we have not established a minimum distribution payment level and our ability to pay distributions may be adversely affected by a number of factors, including the risk factors described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Any distributions we make to our stockholders will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on our earnings, financial condition, liquidity, debt covenants, maintenance of our REIT qualification, applicable law and such other factors as our board of directors may deem relevant from time to time. We believe that a change in any one of the following factors could adversely affect our results of operations and impair our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders:
our ability to make profitable investments;
margin calls or other expenses that reduce our cash flow;
defaults in our investment portfolio or decreases in the value of our portfolio;
the impact of changes in interest rates on our net interest income; and
the fact that anticipated operating expense levels may not prove accurate, as actual results may vary from estimates.
As a result, no assurance can be given that the level of any distributions we make to our stockholders will achieve a market yield or increase or even be maintained over time, any of which could materially and adversely affect the market price of our common stock. We may use net operating losses, to the extent available and subject to certain limitations, carried forward to offset future net taxable income, and therefore reduce our dividend requirements. In addition, some of our distributions may include a return of capital, which would reduce the amount of capital available to operate our business.
In addition, distributions that we make to our stockholders will generally be taxable to our stockholders as ordinary income. REIT dividends (other than capital gain dividends) received by non-corporate stockholders may be eligible for a 20% reduction. However, a portion of our distributions may be designated by us as long-term capital gains to the extent that they are attributable to capital gain income recognized by us or may constitute a return of capital to the extent that they exceed our earnings and profits as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes. A return of capital is not taxable, but has the effect of reducing the basis of a stockholder’s investment in our common stock.
Risks Related to Our REIT Status and Certain Other Tax Items
If we do not maintain our qualification as a REIT, we will be subject to tax as a regular corporation and could face a substantial tax liability.
We intend to continue to operate as a qualified REIT under the Code. However, qualification as a REIT involves the application of highly technical and complex Code provisions for which only a limited number of judicial or administrative interpretations exist. Our continued qualification as a REIT depends on our continuing ability to meet various requirements concerning, among other things, the sources of our gross income, the composition and value of our assets, our distribution levels and the diversity of ownership of our shares. Notwithstanding the availability of cure provisions in the Code, we could fail various compliance requirements which could jeopardize our REIT status. Furthermore, 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 continue to qualify as a REIT. If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any tax year then, unless we were entitled to relief under applicable statutory provisions:
we would be taxed as a regular domestic corporation, which, under current laws, among other things, means being unable to deduct distributions to stockholders in computing taxable income and being subject to U.S. federal income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate income tax rates;
any resulting tax liability could be substantial and could have a material adverse effect on our book value;
we would be required to pay taxes as described above, and thus our cash available for distribution to stockholders would be reduced for each of the years during which we did not qualify as a REIT and for which we had taxable income; and
we generally would not be eligible to requalify as a REIT for the subsequent four full taxable years.
Even as a REIT, we, in certain circumstances, may incur tax liabilities that would reduce our cash available for distribution to stockholders.
Even if we qualify and maintain our status as a REIT, we may become subject to U.S. federal income taxes and related state and local taxes. For example, gain from the sale of properties that are “dealer” properties sold by a REIT (a “prohibited transaction” under the Code) will be subject to a 100% tax. Also, we may not make sufficient distributions to avoid excise taxes applicable to REITs. Similarly, if we were to fail an income or asset test (and did not lose our REIT status because such failure was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect), we would be subject to tax on the income that does not meet the income test requirements or is generated by assets that do not meet the asset test requirements which could be material. We also may decide to retain net capital gain we earn from the sale or other disposition of our investments and pay income tax directly on such income. In that event, our stockholders would be treated as if they earned that income and paid the tax on it directly.
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However, stockholders that are tax-exempt, such as charities or qualified pension plans, would have no benefit from their deemed payment of such tax liability unless they file U.S. federal income tax returns and seek a refund of such tax on such return. We also may be subject to state and local taxes on our income or property, including franchise, payroll, mortgage recording and transfer taxes, either directly or at the level of the other companies through which we indirectly own our assets. In addition, our TRS is subject to full U.S. federal, state, local and foreign corporate-level income taxes. Any taxes we pay directly or indirectly will reduce our cash available for distribution to stockholders.
Complying with REIT requirements may cause us to forgo otherwise attractive investment opportunities and limit our expansion opportunities.
In order to qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we must continually satisfy tests concerning, among other things, our sources of income, the nature of our investments in real estate and related assets, the amounts we distribute to our stockholders and the ownership of our stock. We may also be required to make distributions to stockholders at disadvantageous times, such as when we do not have funds readily available for distribution or when we would like to use funds for attractive investment and expansion opportunities. Thus, compliance with REIT requirements may hinder our ability to operate solely on the basis of maximizing profits.
Complying with REIT requirements may force us to liquidate or restructure otherwise attractive investments.
In order to qualify as a REIT, we must also ensure that at the end of each calendar quarter, at least 75% of the value of our assets consists of cash, cash items, government securities and qualified REIT real estate assets. The remainder of our investments in securities cannot include more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer or 10% of the total value of the outstanding securities of any one issuer unless we and such issuer jointly elect for such issuer to be treated as a TRS under the Code. The total value of all of our investments in TRSs cannot exceed 20% of the value of our total assets. In addition, no more than 5% of the value of our assets can consist of the securities of any one issuer other than a TRS or a disregarded entity, and no more than 25% of our assets can consist of debt of “publicly offered” REITs (i.e., REITs that are required to file annual and periodic reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act) that is not secured by real property or interests in real property. If we fail to comply with these requirements, we must dispose of a portion of our assets or otherwise come into compliance within 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter in order to avoid losing our REIT status and suffering adverse tax consequences. As a result, we may be required to liquidate or restructure otherwise attractive investments. These actions could have the effect of reducing our income and amounts available for distribution to stockholders.
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 substantially limit our ability to hedge our assets and liabilities. Any income from a hedging transaction will not constitute gross income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income test if we properly identify the transaction as specified in applicable Treasury regulations and we enter into such transaction (i) in the normal course of our business primarily to manage risk of interest rate or price changes or currency fluctuations with respect to borrowings made or to be made, or ordinary obligations incurred or to be incurred, to acquire or carry real estate assets or (ii) primarily to manage risk of currency fluctuations with respect to any item of income or gain that would be qualifying income under the 75% or 95% income tests. In addition, income from certain new hedging transactions that counteract prior qualifying hedging transactions described in (i) and (ii) above may not constitute gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests if we properly identify the new hedging transaction as specified in applicable Treasury regulations. To the extent that we enter into other types of hedging transactions, the income from those transactions is likely to be treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both of these gross income tests. As a result of these rules, we intend to limit our use of advantageous hedging techniques or implement those hedges through a TRS. This could increase the cost of our hedging activities because our TRS would be subject to tax on gains or expose us to greater risks associated with changes in interest rates than we would otherwise want to bear. In addition, losses in our TRS, generally, will not provide any tax benefit, except for being carried forward against future taxable income in the TRS.
Complying with REIT requirements may force us to borrow to make distributions to stockholders.
From time to time, our taxable income may be greater than our cash flow available for distribution to stockholders. If we do not have other funds available in these situations, we may be unable to distribute substantially all of our taxable income as required by the REIT provisions of the Code. Thus, we could be required to borrow funds, sell a portion of our assets at disadvantageous prices or find another alternative. These options could increase our costs or reduce the value of our equity.
Ownership limitations may restrict change of control or business combination opportunities.
For us to qualify as a REIT under the Code, not more than 50% of the value of our outstanding capital stock may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (including certain entities treated as individuals for this purpose) during the last half of a taxable year. For the purpose of preserving our qualification as a REIT for federal income tax purposes, among other purposes, our charter provides that beneficial or constructive ownership by any individual (including certain entities treated as individuals for this purpose) of more than a certain percentage (currently 9.8%) in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of our common stock, or 9.8% in value of our outstanding capital stock is prohibited, which we refer to as the “ownership limits.” The constructive ownership rules under the Code and our charter are
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complex and may cause shares of our outstanding common stock owned by a group of related individuals or entities to be deemed to be constructively owned by one individual. As a result, the acquisition of less than 9.8% of our outstanding common stock or our outstanding capital stock by an individual or entity could cause an individual to own constructively in excess of 9.8% of our outstanding common stock, or outstanding capital stock, respectively, and thus violate the ownership limit. Our board of directors, in its sole discretion, may exempt (prospectively or retroactively) a person from this limitation if it obtains such representations, covenants and undertakings as it deems appropriate to conclude that granting the exemption will not cause us to lose our status as a REIT. However, there can be no assurance that our board of directors, as permitted in our charter, will increase, or will not decrease, these ownership limits in the future. Our charter provides that any attempt to own or transfer shares of our common stock or capital stock in excess of the ownership limits without the consent of our board of directors either will result in the shares being transferred by operation of the charter to a charitable trust, and the person who attempted to acquire such excess shares to not have any rights in such excess shares, or in the transfer being void.
The ownership limits may have the effect of precluding a change in control of us by a third-party, even if such change in control would be in the best interests of our stockholders or would result in receipt of a premium to the price of our common stock (and even if such change in control would not reasonably jeopardize our REIT status). Any exemptions to the ownership limits that are granted by our board of directors may limit our board of directors’ ability to increase the ownership limit or grant further exemptions at a later date.
We may choose to make distributions in our own stock, in which case stockholders may be required to pay income taxes without receiving any cash dividends.
In connection with our qualification as a REIT, we are generally required to annually distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding net capital gain. In order to satisfy this requirement, we may make distributions that are payable in cash and/or shares of our common stock (which could account for up to 90% of the aggregate amount of such distributions) at the election of each stockholder. As a publicly offered REIT, as long as at least 20% of the total dividend is available in cash and certain other requirements as satisfied, the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, will treat the stock distribution as a dividend (to the extent applicable rules treat such distribution as being made out of our earnings and profits). This threshold has been temporarily reduced in the past, and may be reduced in the future, by IRS guidance. Taxable stockholders receiving such distributions will be required to include the full amount of such distributions as ordinary dividend income to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a result, U.S. stockholders may be required to pay income taxes with respect to such distributions in excess of the cash portion of the distribution received. Accordingly, U.S. stockholders receiving a distribution of our shares may be required to sell shares received in such distribution or may be required to sell other stock or assets owned by them, at a time that may be disadvantageous, in order to satisfy any tax imposed on such distribution. If a U.S. stockholder sells the stock that it receives as part of the distribution in order to pay this tax, the sales proceeds may be less than the amount it must include in income with respect to the distribution, depending on the market price of our stock at the time of the sale. Furthermore, with respect to certain non-U.S. stockholders, we may be required to withhold U.S. tax with respect to such distribution, including in respect of all or a portion of such distribution that is payable in stock, by withholding or disposing of part of the shares included in such distribution and using the proceeds of such disposition to satisfy the withholding tax imposed. In addition, if a significant number of our stockholders determine to sell shares of our common stock in order to pay taxes owed on dividend income, such sale may put downward pressure on the market price of our common stock.
Dividends payable by REITs do not qualify for the reduced tax rates on dividend income from regular corporations, which could adversely affect the value of our shares.
Currently, the maximum tax rate applicable to qualified dividend income payable to certain non-corporate U.S. stockholders is 20%. Dividends payable by REITs, however, generally are not eligible for the reduced rate. Although this does not adversely affect the taxation of REITs or dividends payable by REITs, the more favorable rates applicable to regular corporate qualified dividends could cause certain non-corporate investors to perceive investments in REITs to be relatively less attractive than investments in the stocks of non-REIT corporations that pay dividends, which could adversely affect the value of the shares of REITs, including shares of our common stock.
Under current law, for taxable years before January 1, 2026, REIT dividends (other than capital gain dividends and qualified dividends) received by non-corporate taxpayers may be eligible for a 20% deduction which, if allowed in full, equates to a maximum effective U.S. federal income tax rate on ordinary REIT dividends of 29.6%. Prospective investors should consult their own tax advisors regarding the effect of this rule on their effective tax rate with respect to REIT dividends.
We are largely dependent on external sources of capital to finance our growth.
As with other REITs, but unlike corporations generally, our growth must largely be funded by external sources of capital because we generally have to distribute 90% of our taxable income to our stockholders in order to qualify as a REIT. Our access to external capital depends upon a number of factors, including general market conditions, the market’s perception of our growth potential, our current and potential future earnings, cash distributions and the market price of our common stock. We will be subject to regular corporate income taxes on any undistributed REIT taxable income each year, including net capital gains. Additionally, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax on any amount by which distributions paid by us in any
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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 previous years.
We may be subject to adverse legislative or regulatory tax changes that could increase our tax liability, reduce our operating flexibility or reduce the market price of our securities.
The present U.S. federal income tax treatment of REITs may be modified, possibly with retroactive effect, by legislative, judicial, or administrative action at any time, which could affect the U.S. federal income tax treatment of an investment in us. The U.S. federal income tax rules dealing with REITs are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process, the IRS, and the U.S. Treasury, which results in statutory changes as well as frequent revisions to regulations and interpretations. Several recent proposals have been made that would make substantial changes to the U.S. federal income tax laws generally. We cannot predict whether any of these proposed changes will become law. Future revisions in the U.S. federal tax laws and interpretations thereof may affect or cause us to change our investments and commitments, and affect the tax considerations of an investment in us.
Any such revisions could have an adverse effect on an investment in our securities or on the market value or the resale potential of our assets. Stockholders are urged to consult with their tax advisor with respect to the impact of such revisions on their investment in our shares and the status of legislative, regulatory or administrative developments and proposals and their potential effect on an investment in our shares. Although REITs generally receive certain tax advantages compared to entities taxed as regular corporations, it is possible that future legislation would result in a REIT having fewer tax advantages, and it could become more advantageous for a company that invests in real estate to elect to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a corporation. Our charter provides our board of directors with the power, under certain circumstances, to revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election and cause us to be taxed as a regular corporation, without the vote of our stockholders. Our board of directors has duties to us and could only cause such changes in our tax treatment if it determines in good faith that such changes are in our best interest.
Our investments in certain investments may cause us to recognize “phantom income” for U.S. federal income tax purposes even though no cash payments have been received on the debt instruments, and certain modifications of such investments could cause such modified investments to not qualify as a good REIT asset, thereby jeopardizing our REIT qualification.
Our taxable income may substantially exceed our net income as determined based on GAAP, or differences in timing between the recognition of taxable income and the actual receipt of cash, or between the recognition of a taxable deduction and the actual payment of cash, may occur. For example, we may acquire assets, including debt securities requiring us to accrue original issue discount, or OID, or recognize market discount income, that generate taxable income in excess of economic income or in advance of the corresponding cash flow from the assets, which is referred to as “phantom income.” In addition, if a borrower with respect to a particular debt instrument encounters financial difficulty rendering it unable to pay stated interest as due, we may nonetheless be required to continue to recognize the unpaid interest as taxable income, with the effect that we will recognize income but will not have a corresponding amount of cash available for distribution to our stockholders. Finally, we may be required, under the terms of indebtedness, that we incur to use cash received from interest payments to make principal payments on that indebtedness, with the effect of recognizing income but not having a corresponding amount of cash available for distribution to our stockholders.
As a result of the foregoing, we may generate less cash flow than taxable income in a particular year and find it difficult or impossible to meet the REIT distribution requirements in certain circumstances. In such circumstances, we may be required to (a) sell assets in adverse market conditions, (b) borrow on unfavorable terms, (c) distribute amounts that would otherwise be used for future acquisitions or used to repay debt, or (d) make a taxable distribution of our shares of common stock as part of a distribution in which stockholders may elect to receive shares of our common stock or (subject to a limit measured as a percentage of the total distribution) cash, in order to comply with the REIT distribution requirements.
Moreover, we may acquire distressed loans or other debt investments that require subsequent modification by agreement with the borrower. If the amendments to the outstanding debt are “significant modifications” under applicable Treasury regulations, the modified debt may be considered to have been reissued to us in a debt-for-debt taxable exchange with the borrower. In certain circumstances, this deemed reissuance may prevent the modified debt from qualifying as a good REIT asset if the underlying security has declined in value and could cause us to recognize income to the extent the principal amount of the modified debt exceeds our adjusted tax basis in the unmodified debt.
The “taxable mortgage pool” rules may increase the taxes that we or our stockholders may incur, and, therefore, may limit the manner in which we will effect future securitizations.
Securitizations could result in the creation of taxable mortgage pools for federal income tax purposes. As a REIT, so long as we own 100% of the equity interests in a taxable mortgage pool, we generally would not be adversely affected by the characterization of the securitization as a taxable mortgage pool. However, we would be precluded from 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. Certain categories of stockholders such as foreign 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, could be subject to increased taxes on a portion of their dividend income from us that is
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attributable to “excess inclusion income.” In addition, to the extent that our 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 may incur a corporate level tax on a portion of our income from the taxable mortgage pool. In that case, we may reduce the amount of our distributions to pay the tax on any “excess inclusion income” ourselves. These limitations may prevent us from using certain techniques to maximize our returns from securitization transactions.
In order to control better, and to attempt to avoid, any distribution of “excess inclusion income” to our stockholders, a subsidiary REIT of ours currently owns 100% of the equity interests in each taxable mortgage pool created by our securitizations. While we believe that we have structured our securitizations such that the above taxes would not apply to our stockholders with respect to taxable mortgage pools held by our subsidiary REIT, our subsidiary REIT is in part owned by a TRS of ours, which will pay corporate level tax on any income that it may be allocated from the subsidiary REIT. In addition, our subsidiary REIT is required to satisfy, on a stand-alone basis, the REIT asset, income, organizational, distribution, stockholder ownership and other requirements described above, and if it were to fail to qualify as a REIT, then (i) our subsidiary REIT would face adverse tax consequences similar to those described above with respect to our qualification as a REIT and (ii) such failure could have an adverse effect on our ability to comply with the REIT income and asset tests and thus could impair our ability to qualify as a REIT unless we could avail ourselves of certain relief provisions.
We may fail to qualify as a REIT if the IRS successfully challenges the treatment of our mezzanine loans as debt or our preferred equity investments as equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
There is limited case law and administrative guidance addressing whether instruments such as mezzanine loans and preferred equity investments will be treated as equity or debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes. We expect that our mezzanine loans generally will be treated as debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and our preferred equity investments generally will be treated as equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes, but we typically do not anticipate obtaining private letter rulings from the IRS or opinions of counsel on the characterization of those investments for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If a mezzanine loan is treated as equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we would be treated as owning the assets held by the partnership or limited liability company that issued the mezzanine loan and we would be treated as receiving our proportionate share of the income of that entity. If that partnership or limited liability company owned non-qualifying assets or earned non-qualifying income, we may not be able to satisfy all of the REIT income or asset tests. Alternatively, if the IRS successfully asserts a preferred equity investment is debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes, then that investment may be treated as a non-qualifying asset for purposes of the 75% asset test and as producing non-qualifying income for the 75% gross income test. In addition, such an investment may be subject to the 10% value test and the 5% asset test, and it is possible that a preferred equity investment that is treated as debt for U.S. federal income tax purposes could cause us to fail one or more of the foregoing tests. Accordingly, we could fail to qualify as a REIT if the IRS does not respect our classification of our mezzanine loans or preferred equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes unless we are able to qualify for a statutory REIT “savings” provision, which may require us to pay a significant penalty tax to maintain our REIT qualification.
The tax on prohibited transactions limits our ability to engage in transactions, including certain methods of securitizing or syndicating commercial 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 with no offset for losses. In general, prohibited transactions are sales or other dispositions of property, other than foreclosure property, but including commercial mortgage loans, held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business. We might be subject to this tax if we dispose of, securitize or syndicate loans in a manner that was treated as a sale of the loans, or if we frequently buy and sell securities in a manner that is treated as dealer activity with respect to such securities for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Therefore, in order to avoid the prohibited transactions tax, we may choose to engage in certain sales of loans through a TRS and not at the REIT level (which would give rise to corporate-level tax), and may limit the structures we utilize for our securitization transactions, even though direct sales by us or those structures might otherwise be beneficial to us.
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 have entered into financing arrangements that are structured as sale and repurchase agreements pursuant to which we 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 borrowings which are secured by the assets sold pursuant thereto. We believe that we will 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 agreements 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 related sale and repurchase agreement, in which case we could fail to qualify as a REIT.
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% tax on any resultant gain if we sell assets that are treated as dealer property or inventory.
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Our ownership of, and relationship with, our TRSs will be restricted and a failure to comply with the restrictions would jeopardize our REIT status and may result in the application of a 100% excise tax.
A REIT may own up to 100% of the stock of one or more TRSs. A TRS may earn income that would not be qualifying REIT income if earned directly by the parent REIT. Both the TRS and the REIT must jointly elect to treat the subsidiary as a TRS. A corporation of which a TRS directly or indirectly owns more than 35% of the voting power or value of the stock will automatically be treated as a TRS. Overall, no more than 20% of the gross value of a REIT’s assets may consist of stock or securities of one or more TRSs. The value of our interests in, and thus the amount of assets held in, a TRS may also be restricted by our need to qualify for an exclusion from regulation as an investment company under the Investment Company Act.
Any domestic TRS we own, or may form in the future, will pay U.S. federal, state and local income tax at regular corporate rates on any income that it earns. In addition, the Code limits the deductibility of interest paid or accrued by a TRS. The rules also impose a 100% excise tax on certain transactions between a TRS and its parent REIT that are not conducted on an arm’s-length basis.
We expect that the aggregate value of all TRS stock and securities owned by us should be less than 20% of the value of our total assets. Although we monitor our investments in and transactions with TRSs, there can be no assurance that we will be able to comply with the limitation on the value of our TRSs discussed above or to avoid application of the 100% excise tax discussed above.
Our qualification as a REIT may be dependent on the accuracy of legal opinions or advice rendered or given or statements by the issuers of assets that we acquire, and the inaccuracy of any such opinions, advice or statements may adversely affect our REIT qualification and result in significant corporate-level tax.
When purchasing securities, we may rely on opinions or advice of counsel for the issuer of such securities, or statements made in related offering documents, for purposes of determining whether such securities represent debt or equity securities for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the value of such securities and also to what extent those securities constitute qualified real estate assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests and produce income that qualifies under the 75% gross income test. The inaccuracy of any such opinions, advice or statements may adversely affect our ability to qualify as a REIT and result in significant corporate-level tax.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 1C. Cybersecurity
Risk Management and Strategy
We regularly assess risks from cybersecurity threats, monitor our information systems for potential vulnerabilities and test those systems pursuant to our cybersecurity policies, processes and practices, which are integrated into our overall risk management program. In partnership with our designed outsourced technology provider, we have implemented extensive processes and controls to assess, manage and protect against material risks from cybersecurity threats, including the following:
a managed detection and response platform that is monitored at all times by members of our third-party technology provider’s Security Operations Center team;
periodic penetration testing and vulnerability scans;
quarterly cybersecurity training and phishing email exercises for all employees and officers;
vendor cybersecurity diligence;
cybersecurity insurance; and
a cybersecurity Incident Response Plan that includes procedures for responding to cybersecurity incidents.
To date, cybersecurity threats, including as a result of any previous cybersecurity incidents, have not materially affected and we believe are not reasonably likely to materially affect the Company, including our business strategy, results of operations or financial condition. Refer to “Risk Factors – Risks Related to our Company and Structure – Operational risks, including the risk of cyberattacks, may disrupt our business, resulting in loss or limited growth” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for an additional description of our cybersecurity risk and the potential related impacts.
Governance
Pursuant to its charter, the Audit Committee of our board of directors oversees our risk management program, which focuses on the most significant risks we face, including cybersecurity risks. Audit Committee meetings include discussions of specific risk areas, and our Chief Compliance Officer, or our CCO, regularly reports to the Audit Committee on cybersecurity risks we face, as well as the status of measures undertaken by the Company to manage those risks. Pursuant to our Incident Response Plan, the chair of the Audit Committee will be notified in the event of a cybersecurity incident meeting a specified severity level. In addition, all members of our board of directors, including members of the Audit Committee, participate in quarterly training on cybersecurity threats, including those facing the Company.
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Our CCO and our Chief Financial Officer, or our CFO, work collaboratively with senior members of our outsourced technology firm to comprise our Cybersecurity Team. Our Cybersecurity Team has primary responsibility for overseeing, implementing and managing our processes and controls to assess, identify and manage material risks from cybersecurity threats, including those described above in Risk Management and Strategy.
Our Incident Response Team, in coordination with external advisors, is responsible for responding to and managing cybersecurity incidents pursuant to our Incident Response Plan. Our Incident Response Team includes our Cybersecurity Team and our Chief Executive Officer, along with other Company personnel as appropriate based on the nature of the incident.
The members of our Cybersecurity Team have various levels of experience in information technology and cybersecurity matters. Our third-party technology firm is a global information technology and cybersecurity provider with a seasoned executive team possessing decades of experience and various cybersecurity certifications, such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification. Our CCO and CFO each has extensive experience managing risks at the Company, including risks arising from cybersecurity threats. Our CCO also holds a CERT Certificate in Cybersecurity Oversight issued from the CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Item 2. Properties
Our corporate headquarters is located in sub-leased office space at 3 Bryant Park, Suite 2400A, New York, New York 10036. We also lease office facilities in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. We consider these facilities to be suitable and adequate for the management and operations of our business.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
From time to time, we may be involved in various legal claims and/or administrative proceedings that arise in the ordinary course of our business. As of the date of this filing, we are not party to any litigation or other legal proceedings or, to the best of our knowledge, any threatened litigation or legal proceedings, which, in our opinion, individually or in the aggregate would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
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
Market Information
Our common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “GPMT.” On February 26, 2024, the closing price of our common stock, as reported on the NYSE, was $4.63 per share.
Holders
As of February 26, 2024, there were 178 registered holders of our common stock. This does not include the number of stockholders that hold shares in “street name” through banks or broker-dealers.
Dividends
We generally intend to distribute substantially all of our taxable income each year (which does not necessarily equal net income as calculated in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP) to our stockholders to comply with the REIT provisions of the Code. In addition, our dividend policy remains subject to revision at the discretion of our board of directors. Any distributions will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon, among other things, our actual results of operations and liquidity. These results, and our ability to pay distributions, will be affected by various factors, including our taxable income, our financial condition, our maintenance of REIT status, restrictions related to our financing facilities, applicable law and other factors as our board of directors deems relevant.
The following table presents cash dividends declared on our common stock since 2022:
Declaration DateRecord DatePayment DateCash Dividend Per Share
2023
December 19, 2023December 29, 2023January 16, 2024$0.20 
September 20, 2023October 2, 2023October 16, 2023$0.20 
June 22, 2023July 3, 2023July 17, 2023$0.20 
March 16, 2023April 3, 2023April 17, 2023$0.20 
$0.80 
2022
December 20, 2022December 30, 2022January 17, 2023$0.20 
September 20, 2022October 3, 2022October 17, 2022$0.25 
June 16, 2022July 1, 2022July 15, 2022$0.25 
March 17, 2022April 1, 2022April 15, 2022$0.25 
$0.95 
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Performance Graph
The following graph compares the stockholder’s cumulative total return on our common stock, assuming $100 invested at June 28, 2017, with all quarterly reinvestment of dividends before consideration of income taxes and without the payment of any commissions, as if such amounts had been invested in: (i) our common stock; (ii) the stocks included in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Stock Index, or S&P 500; and (iii) the stocks included in the Bloomberg REIT Mortgage Index. There can be no assurance that the performance of our shares will continue in line with the same or similar trends depicted in the graph below.

COMPARISON OF CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN
Among Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc.,
S&P 500 and Bloomberg REIT Mortgage Index

760
Index6/28/176/30/1712/31/176/30/1812/31/186/30/1912/31/196/30/2012/31/206/30/2112/31/216/30/2212/31/226/30/2312/31/23
Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc.$100.00 $99.84 $97.25 $105.12 $108.05 $117.60 $120.47 $47.06 $70.39 $107.90 $89.15 $76.44 $46.14 $49.25 $59.34 
S&P 500$100.00 $99.30 $110.64 $113.56 $105.78 $125.39 $139.07 $134.78 $164.63 $189.74 $211.86 $169.55 $173.44 $202.73 $218.99 
Bloomberg REIT Mortgage Index $100.00 $99.21 $102.58 $103.07 $99.59 $108.57 $123.12 $73.73 $95.79 $116.79 $112.65 $91.84 $85.20 $92.22 $97.53 

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Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
On May 9, 2023, we announced that our board of directors had amended our share repurchase program to authorize the repurchase of an additional 5,000,000 shares of our common stock, for a total share repurchase authorization of 9,000,000 shares of our common stock, inclusive of amounts previously authorized. Our share repurchase program has no expiration date. The shares are expected to be repurchased from time to time through privately negotiated transactions or open market transactions, including pursuant to a trading plan in accordance with Rules 10b5-1 and 10b-18 under the Exchange Act or by any combination of such methods. The manner, price, number and timing of share repurchases will be subject to a variety of factors, including market conditions and applicable SEC rules. During the year ended December 31, 2023, and 2022, under our share repurchase program, we repurchased 2,001,338 shares of our common stock at a weighted average purchase price of $5.12 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $10.2 million and 1,539,134 shares of our common stock at a weighted average purchase price of $10.18 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $15.7 million, respectively. During the three months ended December 31, 2023, under our share repurchase program, we repurchased 1,000,000 shares of our common stock at a weighted average price of $5.15 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $5.2 million. As of December 31, 2023, there remained 4,157,916 shares authorized for repurchase under our share repurchase program.
Our board of directors also authorized the repurchase of shares of restricted common stock granted to employees and directors for tax withholding purposes. During the year ended December 31, 2023, and 2022, pursuant to such authorization, we repurchased from employees 36,916 shares of our common stock at a weighted average purchase price of $6.40 for an aggregate purchase price of $0.2 million and 69,039 shares of our common stock at a weighted average purchase price of $11.94 for an aggregate purchase price of $0.8 million, respectively. No shares were repurchased for tax withholding purposes during the three months ended December 31, 2023.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table summarizes the repurchase of common stock for the three months ended December 31, 2023:
PeriodTotal Number of Shares PurchasedAverage Price Paid Per ShareTotal Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
Maximum Number
(or Approximate Dollar Value) of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plan or Programs(1)
October 1-31, 2023— $— — 5,157,916 
November 1-30, 2023798,737 $5.06 798,737 4,359,179 
December 1-31, 2023201,263 $5.50 201,263 4,157,916 
Total1,000,000 $5.15 1,000,000 4,157,916 
____________________
(1)On May 9, 2023, we announced that our board of directors had amended our share repurchase program to authorize the repurchase an additional 5,000,000 shares of our common stock, for a total share repurchase authorization of 9,000,000 shares of our common stock, inclusive of amounts previously authorized. Our share repurchase program has no expiration date.
Item 6. [Reserved]
Not applicable.
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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 consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In addition to historical data, this discussion contains forward-looking statements about our business, operations and financial performance based on current expectations that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Our actual results may differ materially from those in this discussion as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, those discussed in Part I - Item 1A Risk Factors, in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
This section of this Annual Report on Form 10-K generally discusses 2023 and 2022 items and year-to-year comparisons between 2023 and 2022. Discussions of 2021 items and year-to-year comparisons between 2022 and 2021 that are not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K can be found in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022.
Our Company
Granite Point Mortgage Trust Inc. is an internally-managed real estate finance company that focuses primarily on directly originating, investing in and managing senior floating-rate commercial mortgage loans and other debt and debt-like commercial real estate investments. Our investment objective is to preserve our stockholders’ capital while generating attractive risk-adjusted returns over the long term, primarily through dividends derived from current income produced by our investment portfolio. We operate as a REIT, as defined under the Code. We also operate our business in a manner intended to maintain our exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act. We operate our business as one segment.
Recent Developments
Macroeconomic Environment
The year ended December 31, 2023, was characterized by continued volatility in global securities markets, driven by investor concerns over inflation, high interest rates, escalating trade tensions, slowing economic growth, political and regulatory uncertainty and geopolitical conditions, including the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and, more recently, the conflict and rising tensions in the Middle East. Events affecting financial institutions during the year also contributed to volatility in global markets and diminished liquidity and credit availability.
Although the Federal Reserve has indicated that no further interest rate increases are expected in 2024, how long interest rates will remain at their current elevated levels and the direction and extent of any future interest rate changes remain uncertain. Although our business model is such that higher interest rates will, all else being equal, generally correlate to higher net income, interest rates remaining elevated for an extended period of time has adversely affected, and may continue to adversely affect, our existing borrowers and the cost of financing their properties and lead to nonperformance. Additionally, higher interest rates and increasing costs may dampen consumer spending and slow corporate profit growth, which may negatively impact the collateral underlying certain of our loans. Higher interest rates have adversely impacted, and may continue to adversely impact, commercial real estate property values. It remains difficult to predict the full impact on macroeconomic conditions and our business of recent events and any future changes in interest rates or inflation.
Office Property Market
The office property market has been experiencing higher office vacancies, slower leasing activity and various tenants re-evaluating their need for physical office space due in large part to remote work trends. These factors coupled with inflation, elevated interest rates, and limited market liquidity have created a high level of uncertainty with respect to property values. These challenging dynamics have stressed certain borrowers’ ability and willingness to support their office properties and perform in accordance with the terms of their loans. Given this uncertainty, it remains difficult to predict the effect these challenging conditions may have on the office property market, our borrowers, their performance under the terms of our loans secured by office properties and our financial results.
Reference Rate Transition
The London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, which had been the primary reference rate for our floating rate financing arrangements, was previously the subject of regulatory guidance and proposals for reform or replacement. The Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a steering committee composed of large U.S. financial institutions, identified SOFR, an index calculated using short-term repurchase agreements backed by U.S. Treasury securities, as its preferred alternative rate for LIBOR. As of December 31, 2023, all of our loans earned a rate of interest indexed to SOFR and all of our outstanding floating rate financing arrangements bore interest indexed to SOFR.
39

2023 Activity
Operating Results:
Recognized GAAP net (loss) attributable to common stockholders of $(77.6) million, or $(1.50) per basic share.
Generated Distributable Earnings before realized losses of $37.3 million, or $0.72 per basic share, and Distributable (Loss) to common stockholders of $(17.0) million, or $(0.33) per basic share, which includes a total of $(54.3) million of write-offs related to certain loan resolutions, and excludes the $(104.8) million in non-cash provision for credit losses, $(7.0) million of non-cash equity compensation expense and $(3.4) million of non-cash depreciation and amortization on REO.
Recorded an increase to the allowance for credit losses of $50.5 million, for a total allowance of credit losses of $137.1 million, or approximately 4.7% of total loan commitments of $2.9 billion at December 31, 2023.
Book value per share of common stock at December 31, 2023, was $12.91, inclusive of $(2.71) per share of total Current Expected Credit Loss, or CECL, reserve.
Declared aggregate common stock dividends of $42.7 million, or $0.80 per share of common stock, and preferred dividends of $14.5 million, or $1.75 per share of Series A Preferred Stock.
Investment Portfolio Activity:
Originated one loan with a total commitment of $61.8 million and an initial principal balance of $48.8 million related to the resolution of a nonaccrual loan.
Funded $71.3 million of prior loan commitments, loan upsizes and protective advances.
Realized $698.3 million of total unpaid principal balance, or UPB, in loan repayments, principal paydowns and principal amortization, including a write-off of $(33.3) million.
Acquired through a negotiated deed-in-lieu of foreclosure an office property with an estimated fair value at closing of $24.0 million, incurring a write-off of $(4.2) million. The property had previously served as collateral for a senior mortgage loan held-for-investment with an unpaid principal balance of $28.2 million.
Transferred a senior loan with an unpaid principal balance of $31.8 million to loans held-for-sale, incurring a write-off of $(16.8) million at the time of transfer, and finalized the loan sale with no additional losses incurred.
Maintained a portfolio of 73 loan investments with an aggregate unpaid principal balance of $2.7 billion and total commitments of $2.9 billion, a weighted average stabilized LTV at origination of 63.6%, and a weighted average all-in yield at origination of S+4.03%.
Portfolio Financing Activity:
Redeemed the GPMT 2019-FL2 CRE CLO, which, at its redemption, had $98.1 million of outstanding borrowings.
Extended the maturity of the JPMorgan Chase financing facility to July 28, 2025, and upsized the facility’s maximum borrowing capacity up to $525 million.
Extended the maturity of the Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs financing facilities to June 28, 2024, and July 13, 2024, respectively.
Entered into amendments of the guaranties provided by the Company in connection with certain of its secured financing arrangements, including its repurchase facilities with Morgan Stanley Bank, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, JPMorgan Chase and Citibank, to modify certain financial covenants.
Fully repaid and terminated the asset-specific financing facility, which had $45.8 million of outstanding borrowings at payoff.
Corporate Financing Activity:
Redeemed for cash $131.6 million in convertible senior notes at maturity on October 1, 2023. Following the repayment, no corporate debt maturities remain.
Repurchased 2,001,338 shares of common stock at a weighted average purchase price of $5.12 for an aggregate purchase price of $10.2 million.
Available Liquidity:
At December 31, 2023, carried unrestricted cash of $188.4 million, a portion of which is subject to certain liquidity covenants, and no restricted cash related to balances in CRE CLOs.
Key Financial Measures and Indicators
As a commercial real estate finance company, we believe the key financial measures and indicators for our business are earnings per share presented on a GAAP basis, dividends declared on common stock, Distributable Earnings and book value per share of common stock. For the year ended December 31, 2023, we recorded a GAAP net (Loss) per basic share of $(1.50), declared a cash dividend of $0.80 per share of common stock and reported Distributable (Loss) of $(0.33) per basic share. Our
40

book value as of December 31, 2023, was $12.91 per share of common stock, inclusive of $(2.71) per share of total CECL reserves.
As further described below, Distributable Earnings is a measure that is not prepared in accordance with GAAP. We use Distributable Earnings to evaluate our performance, excluding the effects of certain transactions and GAAP adjustments that we believe are not necessarily indicative of our current loan portfolio and operations. In addition, Distributable Earnings is a performance metric we consider, along with other measures, when declaring our common stock dividends.
(Loss) Earnings Per Share and Dividends Declared Per Common Share
The following table sets forth the calculation of basic and diluted earnings (loss) per share and dividends declared per share for the years ended December 31, 2023, and 2022:
Year Ended
December 31,
(in thousands, except share data)20232022
Net (loss) attributable to common stockholders$(77,649)$(55,327)
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding51,641,619 53,011,806 
Weighted average number of diluted shares outstanding51,641,619 53,011,806 
Basic (loss) per basic common share$(1.50)$(1.04)
Diluted (loss) per basic common share$(1.50)$(1.04)
Dividend declared per common share$0.80 $0.95 
Distributable Earnings
In order to maintain our status as a REIT, we are required to distribute at least 90% of our taxable income as dividends. Distributable Earnings is intended to over time serve as a general, though imperfect, proxy for our taxable income. As such, Distributable Earnings is considered a key indicator of our ability to generate sufficient income to pay dividends on our common stock, which is the primary focus of income-oriented investors who comprise a meaningful segment of our stockholder base. We believe providing Distributable Earnings on a supplemental basis to our net income (loss) and cash flow from operating activities, as determined in accordance with GAAP, is helpful to stockholders in assessing the overall run-rate operating performance of our business.
For reporting purposes, we define Distributable Earnings as net income (loss) attributable to our stockholders, computed in accordance with GAAP, excluding: (i) non-cash equity compensation expenses; (ii) depreciation and amortization; (iii) any unrealized gains (losses) or other similar non-cash items that are included in net income (loss) for the applicable reporting period (regardless of whether such items are included in other comprehensive income or in net income (loss) for such period); and (iv) certain non-cash items and one-time expenses. Distributable Earnings may also be adjusted from time to time for reporting purposes to exclude one-time events pursuant to changes in GAAP and certain other material non-cash income or expense items approved by a majority of our independent directors. The exclusion of depreciation and amortization from the calculation of Distributable Earnings only applies to debt investments related to real estate to the extent we foreclose upon the property or properties underlying such debt investments.
While Distributable Earnings excludes the impact of the unrealized non-cash current provision for credit losses, we expect to only recognize such potential credit losses in Distributable Earnings if and when such amounts are deemed non-recoverable. This is generally at the time a loan is repaid, or in the case of foreclosure, when the underlying asset is sold, but non-recoverability may also be concluded if, in our determination, it is nearly certain that all amounts due will not be collected. The realized loss amount reflected in Distributable Earnings will equal the difference between the cash received, or expected to be received, and the carrying value of the asset, and is reflective of our economic experience as it relates to the ultimate realization of the loan. During the year ended December 31, 2023, we recorded provision for credit losses of $(104.8) million, which has been excluded from Distributable Earnings, consistent with other unrealized gains (losses) and other non-cash items pursuant to our existing policy for reporting Distributable Earnings referenced above. During the year ended December 31, 2023, we recorded $(3.4) million in depreciation and amortization on REO and related intangibles, which has been excluded from Distributable Earnings consistent with other unrealized gains (losses) and other non-cash items pursuant to our existing policy for reporting Distributable Earnings referenced above. During the year ended December 31, 2023, we recorded a $0.2 million gain on early extinguishment of debt, which has been excluded from Distributable Earnings consistent with certain one-time events pursuant to our existing policy for reporting Distributable Earnings as a helpful indicator in assessing the overall run-rate operating performance of our business.
During the year ended December 31, 2023, we recorded $(54.3) million of realized losses on loan investments consisting of: (i) a $(33.3) million realized loss representing a write-off of an allowance for credit losses related to the resolution of a loan secured by an office property located in San Diego, CA, (ii) a $(16.8) million realized loss representing a write-off of an allowance for credit losses related to the transfer to loans held-for-sale of a loan secured by an office property located in Dallas,
41

TX, and (iii) a $(4.2) million realized loss representing a write-off of an allowance for credit losses related to the transfer to REO of a loan secured by an office property located in Phoenix, AZ. These realized losses have been included in Distributable Earnings pursuant to our existing policy for reporting Distributable Earnings referenced above.
Distributable Earnings does not represent net income (loss) or cash flow from operating activities and should not be considered as an alternative to GAAP net income (loss), or an indication of our GAAP cash flows from operations, a measure of our liquidity, or an indication of funds available for our cash needs. In addition, our methodology for calculating Distributable Earnings may differ from the methodologies employed by other companies to calculate the same or similar supplemental performance measures, and, accordingly, our reported Distributable Earnings may not be comparable to the Distributable Earnings reported by other companies.
We believe it is useful to our stockholders to present Distributable Earnings before realized losses to reflect our run-rate operating results as (i) our operating results are mainly comprised of net interest income earned on our loan investments net of our operating expenses, which comprise our ongoing operations, (ii) it helps our stockholders in assessing the overall run-rate operating performance of our business, and (iii) it has been a useful reference related to our common dividend as it is one of the factors we and our Board of Directors consider when declaring the dividend. We believe that our stockholders use Distributable Earnings and Distributable Earnings before realized losses, or a comparable supplemental performance measure, to evaluate and compare the performance of our company and our peers.
The following table provides a reconciliation of GAAP net (loss) attributable to common stockholders to Distributable Earnings before realized losses and Distributable (Loss) Earnings for the years ended December 31, 2023, and 2022:
Year Ended
December 31,
(in thousands, except share data)20232022
Reconciliation of GAAP net (loss) to Distributable Earnings:
GAAP net (loss) attributable to common stockholders$(77,649)$(55,327)
Adjustments:
Provision for (benefit from) credit losses104,807 69,265 
Realized losses on sales— 1,702 
Depreciation and amortization on real estate owned3,375 — 
(Gain) loss on extinguishment of debt(238)18,823 
Non-cash equity compensation6,979 7,025 
Distributable Earnings before realized losses$37,274 $41,488 
Realized losses on write-offs, loan sales and REO conversions(54,274)(26,796)
Distributable (Loss) Earnings$(17,000)$14,692 
Distributable Earnings per basic share of common stock$(0.33)$0.28 
Distributable Earnings per diluted share of common stock$(0.33)$0.28 
Distributable Earnings before realized losses per basic share of common stock$0.72 $0.78 
Distributable Earnings before realized losses per diluted share of common stock$0.72 $0.78 
Basic weighted average common shares51,641,619 53,011,806 
Diluted weighted average common shares51,641,619 53,011,806 
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Book Value Per Common Share
The following table provides the calculation of our book value per share of common stock as of December 31, 2023, and 2022:
(in thousands, except share data)December 31,
2023
December 31,
2022
Stockholders’ equity$858,898 $983,545 
7.00% Series A cumulative redeemable preferred stock liquidation preference(205,738)(205,738)
Common stockholders’ equity$653,160 $777,807 
Shares:
Common stock50,577,841 52,258,404 
Restricted stock— 92,585 
Total outstanding50,577,841 52,350,989 
Book value per share of common stock$12.91 $14.86 
Book value per share as of December 31, 2023, includes the impact of an estimated allowance for credit losses of $(137.1) million, or $(2.71) per common share. See Note 3 – Loans Held-for-Investment, Net of Allowance for Credit Losses to our Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a detailed discussion of allowance for credit losses.
Loan Portfolio Overview
Our business model is mainly focused on directly originating, investing in and managing senior floating-rate commercial mortgage loans and other debt and debt-like commercial real estate investments. As a result of this strategy, our operating performance is subject to overall market demand for commercial real estate loan products and other debt and debt-like commercial real estate investments. We place emphasis on diversifying our investment portfolio across geographical regions and local markets, property types, borrowers and loan structures. We do not limit our loan originations by geographical area or property type so that we may develop a well-diversified investment portfolio.
Interest-earning assets include our 100% loan investment portfolio. At December 31, 2023, our loan portfolio was comprised of 73 investments, of which 72 were senior first mortgage loans totaling $2.9 billion of commitments with an unpaid principal balance of $2.7 billion, and one subordinated loan totaling $13.5 million in commitments and unpaid principal balance. At December 31, 2023, the weighted average risk rating of our loan portfolio was 2.8 as compared to 2.5 at December 31, 2022, weighted by total unpaid principal balance.
We may hold REO as a result of taking title to a loan’s collateral. As of December 31, 2023, we owned one office property with a carrying value of $20.5 million.
During the year ended December 31, 2023, we funded $69.3 million under existing loan commitments, $48.8 million on one origination and $2.0 million on loan upsizings and protective advances. We realized $758.4 million in aggregate reductions in portfolio unpaid principal balance from loan repayments, paydowns, amortization and loan resolutions. During the year ended December 31, 2023, we generated interest income of $263.7 million and incurred interest expense of $(181.7) million, which resulted in net interest income of $82.0 million. See Note 3 - Loans Held-for-Investment, Net of Allowance for Credit Losses to our Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further detail.
The following table details our loan activity by unpaid principal balance for the years ended December 31, 2023, and 2022:
Year Ended December 31,
(in thousands)20232022
Loan originations
$48,800 $420,955 
Other loan fundings(1)
71,266 143,386 
Deferred interest capitalized 3,466 2,458 
Transfers to real estate owned(24,000)— 
Loan repayments(2)
(664,985)(910,134)
Loan write-offs and realized loan losses(54,274)(27,308)
Loan sales(15,100)(64,176)
Total loan activity, net$(634,827)$(434,819)
____________________
(1)Additional fundings made under existing loan commitments and upsizing of loans.
(2)Includes repayment of deferred interest capitalized.

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The following table details overall statistics for our loan portfolio as of December 31, 2023:
(dollars in thousands)
Loan Portfolio Summary
Number of loans
73 
Total loan commitments
$2,887,877 
Unpaid principal balance$2,727,179 
Unfunded loan commitments
$160,698 
Carrying value$2,583,825 
Weighted-average cash coupon(1)
S+3.75%
Weighted-average all-in yield(2)
S+4.03%
Stabilized LTV at origination(3)
63.6 %
____________________
(1)Cash coupon does not include origination or exit fees. Weighted average cash coupon excludes fixed rate loans.
(2)Yield includes net origination fees and exit fees, but does not include future fundings, and is expressed as a monthly equivalent. Weighted average yield excludes fixed rate loans.
(3)Stabilized loan-to-value ratio, or stabilized LTV, is calculated as the fully funded loan amount (plus any financing that is pari passu with or senior to such loan), including all contractually provided for future fundings, divided by the as stabilized value (as determined in conformance with USPAP) set forth in the original appraisal. As stabilized value may be based on certain assumptions, such as future construction completion, projected re-tenanting, payment of tenant improvement or leasing commissions allowances or free or abated rent periods, or increased tenant occupancies.
The following table provides detail of our loan portfolio as of December 31, 2023:
(dollars in millions)
Type(1)
Origination/ Acquisition DateMaximum Loan CommitmentPrincipal BalanceCarrying Value
Cash
Coupon(2)
All-in Yield at Origination(3)
Original Term (Years)(4)
StateProperty Type
Initial LTV(5)
Stabilized LTV(6)
Loans Held-For-Investment
Senior12/19$111.1$109.2$108.9S+2.80%S+3.23%3.0ILMultifamily76.5%73.0%
Senior12/1896.592.292.0S+3.75%S+5.21%3.0NYMixed-Use26.2%47.6%
Senior(7)
08/1993.193.193.2S+2.85%S+3.26%3.0MNOffice73.1%71.2%
Senior(7)
07/1989.880.079.9S+3.74%S+4.32%3.0ILOffice70.0%64.4%
Senior10/1987.487.286.8S+2.60%S+3.05%3.0TNOffice70.2%74.2%
Senior(7)
12/1586.085.685.4S+4.15%S+4.43%4.0LAMixed-Use65.5%60.0%
Senior06/1981.281.080.5S+3.29%S+3.05%3.0TXMixed-Use71.7%72.2%
Senior12/1878.160.160.0S+3.40%S+3.44%3.0TXOffice68.5%66.7%
Senior10/1977.377.377.0S+3.41%S+3.73%3.0FLMixed-Use67.7%62.9%
Senior10/2277.377.377.3S+4.50%S+4.61%2.0CARetail47.7%36.6%
Senior12/1969.262.962.8S+3.50%S+3.28%3.0NYOffice68.8%59.3%
Senior(7)
12/1666.066.066.0S+5.15%S+4.87%4.0FLOffice73.3%63.2%
Senior12/2361.848.848.8S+5.50%S+5.65%2.0CAOffice80.0%79.2%
Senior05/2255.546.746.5S+3.29%S+3.70%3.0TXMultifamily59.3%62.9%
Senior06/1954.154.153.9S+3.35%S+3.70%3.0VAOffice49.3%49.9%
Senior11/2152.850.149.9S+3.40%S+3.82%3.0PAMixed-Use62.0%63.5%
Senior06/2152.747.547.4S+4.38%S+4.75%3.0GAOffice68.0%69.4%
Senior09/2151.751.050.9S+5.05%S+5.12%3.0MNHotel68.4%57.8%
Senior(7)
08/1748.548.548.3S+4.35%S+4.40%3.0KYMultifamily79.8%73.1%
Senior07/2247.645.044.5S+3.62%S+4.25%3.0GAMultifamily74.5%68.2%
Senior03/2246.946.946.6S+3.25%S+3.64%3.0MAIndustrial67.3%60.8%
Senior07/2146.445.445.2S+3.72%S+4.19%3.0CTOffice68.3%63.5%
Senior04/2246.244.244.0S+3.41%S+3.78%3.0TXMultifamily74.4%64.0%
Senior08/2145.845.445.3S+3.21%S+3.53%3.0TXMultifamily77.8%75.2%
Senior09/2144.341.140.8S+3.36%S+3.72%3.0CAOffice62.4%66.1%
Senior02/2242.442.442.2S+3.05%S+3.40%3.0NJIndustrial75.0%59.5%
Senior04/2240.237.537.3S+4.65%S+4.87%3.0NYOther66.7%61.8%
Senior12/1739.438.838.7S+5.25%S+5.26%3.0MAMixed-Use72.9%62.0%
Senior05/2138.937.637.4S+3.33%S+3.83%3.0ALMultifamily72.2%64.8%
Senior05/1838.835.435.5S+3.18%S+3.95%3.0MAOffice47.0%41.1%
Senior07/1638.538.538.3S+5.55%S+4.99%4.0VAOffice62.8%61.5%
Senior(7)
11/1837.137.137.1S+3.60%S+5.50%3.0CAMixed-Use69.9%67.9%
Senior03/2034.924.124.1S+5.04%S+4.66%3.0GAOffice63.2%64.6%
Senior12/1834.233.733.5S+4.11%S+3.27%4.0ILMultifamily70.8%62.1%
Senior08/1933.531.131.1S+2.96%S+3.38%3.0TXMultifamily79.3%72.5%
Senior11/21