Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5) 

Registration No. 333-255931

 

This preliminary prospectus supplement relates to an effective registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, but is not complete and may be changed. This preliminary prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are not an offer to sell these securities and are not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

Subject to Completion, Dated November 15, 2021

 

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

(To prospectus dated May 26, 2021)

 

7,000,000 Shares

 

 

AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc.

 

Common Stock

 

We are offering to the public 7,000,000 shares of our common stock, par value $0.01 per share.

 

Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, under the symbol “MITT.” On November 12, 2021, the last sale price of our common stock as reported on the NYSE was $12.96 per share.

 

To assist us in maintaining our qualification as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, among other purposes, stockholders are generally restricted from owning (or being treated as owning under applicable attribution rules) (i) more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding common stock, or (ii) more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding capital stock, unless our board of directors waives this limitation. See “Description of Common Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer” in the accompanying prospectus.

 

AG REIT Management, LLC, our external manager, or the Manager, has committed to purchase 700,000 shares in the offering. In addition, David N. Roberts, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, has committed to purchase 200,000 shares in the offering. The shares purchased by the Manager and Mr. Roberts will be at the public offering price and will not be subject to any underwriting discounts or commissions.

 

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. See “RISK FACTORS” beginning on page S-6 of this prospectus supplement and in the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

 

    Per Share     Total  
Public offering price   $       $    
Underwriting discount(1)   $       $    
Proceeds, before expenses, to us   $       $    

 

(1) Gives effect to the fact that no underwriting discounts and commissions will be paid with respect to shares purchased from the underwriters by our Manager or Mr. Roberts. Underwriting discounts and commissions paid on all other shares offered hereby are equal to $         per share.

 

We have also granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 1,050,000 shares of common stock from us on the same terms and conditions set forth above within 30 days after the date of this prospectus supplement.

 

Delivery of the shares of common stock is expected to be made on or about November  , 2021.

 

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

Book Running Managers

 

Credit Suisse JMP Securities Wells Fargo Securities

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

A Stifel Company

 

The date of this prospectus supplement is November      , 2021.

 

You should rely only on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and any related free writing prospectus required to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which we refer to as the SEC or the Commission. We have not, and the underwriters have not, authorized anyone to provide you with additional or different information. If anyone provides you with additional or different information, you should not rely on it. Neither we nor the underwriters are making an offer to sell the common stock in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale thereof is not permitted. The information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, any related free writing prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference is accurate only as of their respective dates and except as required by law we are not obligated, and do not intend to, update or revise this document as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Prospectus Supplement

 

    Page
     
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT   S-i
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS   S-ii
PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY   S-1
THE OFFERING   S-4
RISK FACTORS   S-6
USE OF PROCEEDS   S-9
CAPITALIZATION   S-10
UNDERWRITING   S-11
LEGAL MATTERS   S-20
EXPERTS   S-21
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION   S-22
INFORMATION INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE   S-23

 

 

    Page
     
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS   1
FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION   2
OUR COMPANY   3
RISK FACTORS   3
USE OF PROCEEDS   3
DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITIES WE MAY OFFER   4
DESCRIPTION OF COMMON STOCK   4
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED STOCK   7
DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES   12
DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS   21
DESCRIPTION OF UNITS   22
DESCRIPTION OF SUBSCRIPTION RIGHTS   22
CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OUR CHARTER AND BYLAWS   23
MATERIAL FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS   27
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION   53
CERTAIN LEGAL MATTERS   55
EXPERTS   55
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION   55
INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF INFORMATION FILED WITH THE SEC   55

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

 

This prospectus supplement is a supplement to the accompanying prospectus that is also a part of this document. This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are part of a registration statement on Form S-3 that we filed with the SEC using a “shelf” registration statement. This prospectus supplement contains specific information about us and the terms on which we are offering and selling the common stock. To the extent that any statement made in this prospectus supplement is inconsistent with statements made in the accompanying prospectus, the statements made in the accompanying prospectus will be deemed modified or superseded by those made in this prospectus supplement. To the extent any information or data in any documents filed by us and incorporated by reference herein is inconsistent with prior information or data previously provided by us, the information or data in the previously filed document shall be deemed modified or superseded by the subsequent information or data. Before you purchase shares of the common stock, you should carefully read this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, together with the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

 

In this prospectus supplement, we refer to AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., together with its consolidated subsidiaries, as “we,” “us,” the “Company,” or “our,” unless we specifically state otherwise or the context indicates otherwise. We refer to AG REIT Management, LLC, our external manager, as the “Manager,” and we refer to Angelo, Gordon & Co., L.P., the parent of our Manager, as “Angelo Gordon.” All references in this prospectus supplement to trademarks lacking the ™ symbol are defined terms that reference the products, technologies or businesses bearing the trademark with this symbol. Angelo Gordon licenses the Angelo, Gordon & Co., L.P. name and logo to us and our Manager in perpetuity for use in our business.

 

S-i

 

 

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

We make forward-looking statements in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and other filings we make with the SEC 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 such statements are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provided by the same. Forward-looking statements are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and are generally beyond our control. These forward-looking statements include information about possible or assumed future results of our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, plans and objectives. They also include, among other things, statements concerning anticipated revenues, income or loss, capital expenditures, dividends, capital structure, or other financial terms. When we use the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “continue,” “intend,” “should,” “will,” “may” or similar expressions, we intend to identify forward-looking statements.

 

Forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future performance, taking into account all information currently available to us. These beliefs, assumptions and expectations are subject to risks and uncertainties and can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to us. If a change occurs, our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations may vary materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. While it is not possible to identify all factors, the following factors could cause actual results to vary from our forward-looking statements:

 

· the factors discussed under the caption “RISK FACTORS” beginning on page S-6 of this prospectus supplement and in Item IA of Part I of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and risks we disclose in future filings from time to time with the SEC;

 

· whether we will complete the acquisition of any of our potential investments on their contemplated terms, within the timeframe anticipated, or at all;

 

· the use and allocation of the net proceeds from this offering;

 

· the terms and conditions of the execution of the amendment to our management agreement with our Manager, as discussed in this prospectus supplement, and the timing of such amendment (and the risk that such amendment will not be executed at all);

 

· whether the amendment to our management agreement will have the anticipated benefit that we expect or at all;

 

· the uncertainty and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (including the impact of any significant variants) and of responsive measures implemented by various governmental authorities, businesses and other third parties, and the potential impact of COVID-19 on our personnel;

 

S-ii

 

 

· changes in our business and investment strategy;

 

· our ability to predict and control costs;

 

· changes in interest rates and the fair value of our assets, including negative changes resulting in margin calls relating to the financing of our assets;

 

· changes in the yield curve;

 

· changes in prepayment rates on the loans we own or that underlie our investment securities;

 

· regulatory and structural changes in the residential loan market and its impact on non-agency mortgage markets;

 

· increased rates of default or delinquencies and/or decreased recovery rates on our assets;

 

· our ability to obtain and maintain financing arrangements, including securitization financing arrangements, on terms favorable to us or at all;

 

· changes in general economic conditions, in our industry and in the finance and real estate markets, including the impact on the value of our assets;

 

· conditions in the market for our investments;

 

· legislative and regulatory actions by the U.S. Congress, U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and other agencies and instrumentalities in response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic;

 

· the forbearance program included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act;

 

· our ability to make distributions to our stockholders in the future;

 

· our ability to maintain our qualification as a REIT for federal tax purposes; and

 

· our ability to qualify for an exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the Investment Company Act.

 

These and other risks, uncertainties and factors, including those described elsewhere in the prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, could cause our actual results to differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements we make. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made. New risks and uncertainties arise over time, and it is not possible to predict those events or how they may affect us. Except as required by law, we are not obligated to, and do not intend to, update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

S-iii

 

 

 

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY

 

The following summary is qualified in its entirety by the more detailed information included elsewhere or incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. Because this is a summary, it may not contain all of the information that is important to you. You should read the entire prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, including the section entitled “RISK FACTORS” and the documents incorporated by reference herein before making an investment decision.

 

Our Company

 

We are a mortgage REIT that opportunistically invests in a diversified risk adjusted portfolio of residential investments and interests in pools of residential mortgage loans guaranteed by a GSE such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or an agency of the U.S. Government such as Ginnie Mae, or Agency RMBS. We have an approximate 44.6% interest in Arc Home LLC, or Arc Home, an affiliate that originates residential mortgage loans and retains the mortgage servicing rights associated with the loans that it originates. Currently, our primary investment focus is growing our portfolio of residential investments through the acquisition of newly-originated non-agency residential mortgage loans (including through our affiliate, Arc Home), with the intent to finance these assets through securitizations as market conditions permit.

 

Our current target residential investments include:

 

· Non-qualified mortgage loans, or “Non-QM” Loans, which include residential mortgage loans that do not qualify for the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau's safe harbor provision for "qualifying mortgages," or "QM."

 

· GSE Non-Owner Occupied Loans, which include loans that are underwritten in accordance with U.S. government-sponsored entity, or GSE, guidelines and are secured by investment properties.

 

As of September 30, 2021, our $2.2 billion investment portfolio was comprised of $1.7 billion of residential investments and $0.5 billion of Agency RMBS. Subsequent to quarter end, in October 2021, we purchased an additional $281.3 million and $105.1 million of Non-QM Loans and GSE Non-Owner Occupied Loans, respectively, inclusive of $80.8 million and $50.1 million, respectively, purchased from Arc Home.

 

We were incorporated in Maryland on March 1, 2011 and commenced operations in July 2011 after the successful completion of our initial public offering. We conduct our operations to qualify and be taxed as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes on our taxable income that we distribute currently to our stockholders as long as we maintain our intended qualification as a REIT with the exception of our domestic taxable REIT subsidiaries. We also operate our business in a manner that permits us to maintain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act.

 

We are externally managed and advised by our Manager, a subsidiary of Angelo Gordon. Pursuant to the terms of our management agreement with our Manager, our Manager provides us with our management team, including our officers, along with appropriate support personnel. All of our officers are employees of Angelo Gordon or its affiliates. We do not have any employees. Our Manager is at all times subject to the supervision and oversight of our board of directors and has only such functions and authority as our board of directors delegates to it. Our Manager has delegated to Angelo Gordon the overall responsibility with respect to our Manager’s day-to-day duties and obligations arising under our management agreement.

 

 

S-1

 

 

 

Our principal executive offices are located at 245 Park Avenue, 26th Floor, New York, New York 10167. Our telephone number is (212) 692-2000. Our website can be found at www.agmit.com. The information on our website is not, and should not be interpreted to be, part of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus.

 

Recent Developments

 

Acquisition Pipeline

 

As of October 31, 2021, we had $91.7 million in liquidity. In addition, as of November 8, 2021, we have completed the purchase of a total of $133.3 million in Non-QM and GSE Non-Owner Occupied loans in November 2021 (the “Completed Purchases”). Further, we have binding or non-binding commitments to purchase loan pools totaling $287.5 million in Non-QM and GSE Non-Owner Occupied loans (the “Pre-Existing Acquisition Pipeline”), which are expected to close before the end of 2021, subject to our continuing due diligence. There can be no assurance that any of the loan pools in the Pre-Existing Acquisition Pipeline will close on the anticipated terms or at all. Approximately 15% of the aggregate of the Completed Purchases and the Pre-Existing Acquisition Pipeline is expected to be sourced from Arc Home, with the remaining sourced from third party originators. The pool collateral characteristics of the Completed Purchases and the Pre-Existing Acquisition Pipeline are as follows:

 

    Completed Purchases   Pre-Existing Acquisition Pipeline    
    Purchase A   Purchase B   Purchase C   Purchase D   Purchase E   Purchase F   Purchase G   Purchase H   Purchase I   Purchase J   Totals (a)
Product Type   NQM   NQM   NOO   NOO   NQM   NOO   NQM   NQM   NOO   NOO   NQM / NOO
UPB   $98.8mm   $24.8mm   $9.7mm   $37.4mm   $36.4mm   $4.6mm   $101.9mm   $54.1mm   $13.5mm   $39.6mm   $420.8mm
Average Loan Size   $491.7k   $550.3k   $263.4k   $415.3k   $936.1k   $305.8k   $497.1k   $426.1k   $293.0k   $370.1k   $494.6k
Coupon(b)   4.6%   4.2%   3.7%   3.7%   4.0%   4.0%   4.5%   5.2%   3.8%   3.4%   4.3%
FICO(b)   726   747   760   770   751   762   709   747   759   764   738
LTV(b)   69%   66%   65%   64%   68%   70%   70%   72%   67%   61%   68%
DTI(b)   32%   35%   47%   31%   41%   48%   29%   34%   47%   48%   35%
Purchase Price   $104.1mm   $25.4mm   $10.0mm   $38.5mm   $37.5mm   $4.7mm   $106.3mm   $57.0mm   $13.8mm   $40.5mm   $437.8mm
Price %   105.4%   102.6%   102.8%   102.9%   103.1%   103.3%   104.3%   105.3%   102.5%   102.2%   104.1%
Equity(c)   $15.7mm   $3.1mm   $0.8mm   $3.0mm   $4.8mm   $0.4mm   $14.6mm   $8.3mm   $1.0mm   $2.8mm   $54.5mm
Settlement Date   Nov 3rd   Nov 5th   Nov 8th   Nov 16th   Nov 17th   Nov 18th   Nov 23rd   Nov 23rd   Nov 30th   Dec 3rd   Nov / Dec

 

(a) As of November 8, 2021, purchases A-C have been completed. Purchases D-J represent loan pools for which we have binding or non-binding purchase commitments, but settlement remains subject to conditions, including our continued due diligence. As a result, there is no guarantee that purchases D-J will be completed with the specified collateral characteristics, on the terms or timeframe anticipated, or at all.

 

(b) Balances represent the weighted average of the identified pool computed based on each loan’s UPB.

 

(c) Represents equity invested pre-securitization.

 

In addition, as of the date of this prospectus supplement, we have identified four newly originated Non-QM and GSE Non-Owner Occupied loan pools, totaling $530.7 million (the “Additional Acquisition Pipeline”), representing $50.6 million of the net proceeds we expect to receive from this offering. We have reached agreement on the basic terms of each loan pool in the Additional Acquisition Pipeline and, subject to the completion of this offering, expect the closing of such loan pools to occur within the next one to two quarters; however, we have not entered into binding commitment letters or definitive documentation and each loan pool purchase is subject to our continuing due diligence. As a result, there can be no assurance that any of the loan pools in the Additional Acquisition Pipeline will close on the anticipated terms or at all. Approximately 45% of the Additional Acquisition Pipeline is expected to be sourced from Arc Home, with the remaining sourced from third party originators. The pool collateral characteristics of the Additional Acquisition Pipeline are as follows:

 

 

S-2

 

 

 

 

    Additional Acquisition Pipeline    
    Purchase K   Purchase L   Purchase M   Purchase N   Totals (a)
Product Type   NQM   NOO   NOO   NQM   NQM/NOO
UPB   $169.4mm   $76.3mm   $250.0mm   $35.0mm   $530.7mm
Average Loan Size   $618.2k   $462.6k   $375.0k   $800.0k   $493.3k
Coupon(b)   4.4%   3.6%   3.6%   4.2%   3.9%
FICO(b)   746   774   765   750   759
LTV(b)   70%   65%   64%   68%   66%
DTI(b)   32%   34%   32%   34%   33%
Purchase Price   $173.9mm   $78.2mm   $256.3mm   $36.2mm   $544.6mm
Price %   102.7%   102.5%   102.5%   103.5%   102.6%
Equity(c)   $21.4mm   $5.7mm   $18.8mm   $4.7mm   $50.6mm
Settlement Date   Q4 2021   Q4 2021   Q4 2021   Q1 2022    

 

(a) As of the date of this prospectus supplement, purchases K-N represent certain newly originated loan pools that we have identified for acquisition to be funded, together with borrowings under our financing arrangements, with the proceeds from this offering. Although we have reached agreement on the basic terms of each purchase, we have not entered into binding commitment letters or definitive documentation and each purchase is subject to our continued due diligence. As a result, there is no guarantee that purchases K-N will be completed with the specified collateral characteristics, on the terms or timeframe anticipated, or at all.

 

(b) Balances represent the weighted average of the identified pool computed based on each loan’s UPB or estimated based on expected collateral characteristics.

 

(c) Represents equity invested pre-securitization.

 

Amendment to Management Agreement

 

Concurrently with the completion of this offering, we expect to enter into an amendment to our management agreement with the Manager, subject to the completion of this offering (including the Manager’s participation) as described in this prospectus supplement. Pursuant to this amendment, we will pay the Manager an annual incentive fee in addition to a base management fee. The Manager will waive the annual incentive fee with respect to the fiscal years ending December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2022, and the annual incentive fee will first be payable with respect to the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023. The annual incentive fee with respect to each applicable fiscal year will be equal to 15% of the amount by which our cumulative adjusted net income (as defined in the amendment) from the date of the amendment exceeds the cumulative hurdle amount, which represents an 8% return (cumulative, but not compounding) on the equity hurdle base consisting of the sum of (i) our adjusted book value (calculated in the manner described in our public filings) as of October 31, 2021, (ii) the net proceeds from this offering, and (iii) the gross proceeds of any subsequent public or private common stock offerings by us. The annual incentive fee will be payable in cash, or, at the option of our board of directors, shares of our common stock or a combination of cash and shares. The amendment will also extend the current term of our management agreement until June 30, 2023 unless earlier terminated in accordance with its terms. Thereafter, the management agreement will continue to renew automatically each year for an additional one-year period, unless we or the Manager exercise our respective termination rights. All other terms and conditions of the management agreement will also continue without change. Following the execution of the amendment, we no longer expect to continue our historical practice of making periodic equity grants to our Manager pursuant to our manager equity incentive plan.

 

 

S-3

 

 

 

THE OFFERING

 

Issuer AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc.
   
Common stock offered by us 7,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, plus up to an additional 1,050,000 shares if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full.  Includes (i) 700,000 shares of common stock that our Manager has committed to purchase, and (ii) 200,000 shares of common stock that Mr. Roberts, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, has committed to purchase from the underwriters in this offering at the public offering price per share with no underwriting discounts and commissions.
   
Common stock outstanding after this offering (1) 22,857,513 shares of common stock (23,907,513 shares of common stock if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of common stock in full).  
   
Use of Proceeds We plan to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with borrowings under our financing arrangements, to purchase the Additional Acquisition Pipeline and acquire other target assets, with a primary intended focus on non-agency residential mortgage loans, subject to our investment guidelines, and to the extent consistent with maintaining our REIT qualification and exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act, and for other general corporate purposes. See “Use of Proceeds” in this prospectus supplement.
   
NYSE Symbol “MITT”
   
Risk Factors Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk.  You should carefully read and consider the information set forth under “RISK FACTORS” beginning on page S-6 of this prospectus supplement, in Item IA of Part I of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and in our subsequent filings with the SEC from time to time.

 

(1)            Based on 15,857,513 shares of common stock issued and outstanding as of November 12, 2021. This number reflects the shares of common stock outstanding following this offering and excludes (i) 599,312 shares of our common stock available for future grants under our equity incentive plan as of November 12, 2021, and (ii) 573,425 shares of our common stock available for future grants under our manager equity incentive plan as of November 12, 2021.

 

 

S-4

 

 

 

Restrictions on ownership and transfer Our charter contains restrictions on the number of shares of our capital stock that a person may own that are intended to, among other purposes, assist us in maintaining our qualification as a REIT.  Among other things, our charter provides that, subject to exceptions, no person may beneficially or constructively own (i) more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding common stock, or (ii) more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding capital stock, unless our board of directors waives this limitation.  In addition, our charter, subject to exceptions, prohibits, among other things, any person from beneficially owning our shares of capital stock to the extent that such ownership of shares would result in us failing to qualify as a REIT.  For more information about these restrictions, see “Description of Common Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer” in the accompanying prospectus.
   
Material U.S. federal income tax considerations For a discussion of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations relating to purchasing, owning and disposing of our common stock, see “Material Federal Income Tax Considerations” in the accompanying prospectus.

 

 

S-5

 

 

RISK FACTORS

 

An investment in shares of our common stock involves a high degree of risk. Before you decide to invest in our common stock, you should consider the risk factors below relating to the offering as well as the risk factors described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, and in our subsequent filings with the SEC from time to time, which are hereby incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, as updated and supplemented from time to time, and in all other information that we file from time to time with the SEC. Please see the sections entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” and “Information Incorporated By Reference.”

 

Risks Related to the Offering

 

The market price and trading volume of our common stock may be volatile following this offering.

 

The market price of our common stock may be highly volatile and subject to wide fluctuations. In addition, the trading volume in our common stock may fluctuate and cause significant price variations to occur. We cannot assure you that the market price of our common stock will not fluctuate or decline significantly in the future. Some of the factors that could negatively affect our share price or result in fluctuations in the price or trading volume of our common stock include:

 

· prevailing interest rates, increases in which may have an adverse effect on the market price of our common stock;

 

· decreases in the market valuations of the assets in our portfolio;

 

· increased difficulty in maintaining or obtaining financing on attractive terms, or at all;

 

· market prices of similar companies;

 

· government action or regulation;

 

· the financial condition, performance and prospects of us and our competitors;

 

· changes in financial estimates or recommendations by securities analysts with respect to us, our competitors or our industry;

 

· our issuance of additional equity or debt securities;

 

· additions or departures of key management personnel;

 

· actual or anticipated variations in quarterly operating results of us and our competitors; and

 

· general market and economic conditions.

 

S-6

 

 

You may experience dilution as a result of this offering.

 

This offering may have a dilutive effect on our earnings per share after giving effect to the issuance of our common stock in this offering and the receipt of the expected net proceeds. The actual amount of dilution from this offering or from any future offering of our common stock will be based on numerous factors, particularly the number of shares of our common stock issued, the use of proceeds and the return generated by any investments made with the net proceeds, and cannot be determined at this time.

 

Future offerings of debt securities, which would rank senior to our common stock upon our liquidation, and future offerings of equity securities, which would dilute our existing stockholders and may be senior to our common stock for the purposes of dividend and liquidating distributions, may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

 

In the future, we may attempt to increase our capital resources by making offerings of debt or additional offerings of equity securities, including commercial paper, medium-term notes, senior or subordinated notes and classes of preferred stock or common stock. Upon liquidation, holders of our debt securities and shares of preferred stock and lenders with respect to other borrowings will receive a distribution of our available assets prior to the holders of our common stock. Additional equity offerings may dilute the holdings of our existing stockholders or reduce the market price of our common stock, or both. Because our decision to issue securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, price, timing or nature of our future offerings. We may sell shares or other securities in any other offering at a price per share that is less than the price per share paid by investors in this offering, and investors purchasing shares or other securities in the future could have rights superior to existing shareholders. Thus, holders of our common stock bear the risk of our future offerings reducing the market price of our common stock and diluting their stock holdings in us.

 

Common stock sold in the future, or eligible for future sale, may depress the market price of our shares.

 

We cannot predict the effect, if any, of future sales of common stock, or the availability of shares for future sales, on the value of the common stock. Existing stockholders and potential investors in this offering do not have preemptive rights to any common stock issued by us in the future. Therefore, investors purchasing shares in this offering may experience dilution of their equity investment if we sell additional common stock in the future, sell securities that are convertible into common stock or issue shares of common stock or options exercisable for shares of common stock. In addition, we could sell securities at a price less than our then-current book value per share. We may issue additional common stock from time to time in connection with the acquisition of investments, and we may grant demand or piggyback registration rights in connection with such issuances. Sales of substantial amounts of common stock or the perception that such sales could occur may adversely affect the prevailing market price for our common stock.

 

We have not established a minimum dividend payment level, and we cannot assure you of our ability to pay dividends in the future.

 

We have not established a minimum dividend payment level for our common stockholders. Although in order to qualify as a REIT, we generally need to distribute at least 90% of our ordinary taxable income each year (subject to certain adjustments) to our stockholders, our ability to pay dividends may be adversely affected by the risk factors described herein and in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020. All dividends to our common stockholders will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on our earnings, our financial condition, maintenance of our REIT status and such other factors as our board of directors may deem relevant from time to time. There are no assurances of our ability to pay dividends in the future.

 

S-7

 

 

Our management will have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds from this offering and may allocate the net proceeds from this offering in ways that you and other stockholders may not approve.

 

Our management will have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds, including for any of the purposes described in the section entitled “Use of Proceeds,” and you will not have the opportunity as part of your investment decision to assess whether the net proceeds are being used appropriately. Because of the number and variability of factors that will determine our use of the net proceeds from this offering, their ultimate use may vary substantially from their currently intended use. The failure of our management to use these funds effectively could harm our business. Pending their use, we may invest the net proceeds from this offering in short-term, investment-grade, interest-bearing securities. These investments may not yield a favorable return to our stockholders. We may also use a portion of the net proceeds for general corporate purposes.

 

This offering is not conditioned on the completion of the acquisition of any of our potential investments, including, without limitation, the Pre-Existing Acquisition Pipeline and the Additional Acquisition Pipeline. There can be no assurance we will complete the acquisition of these investments on their contemplated terms, or at all, and our failure to complete any of these acquisitions may adversely affect us.

 

The completion of our acquisition of each of the potential residential mortgage loan pools within the Pre-Existing Acquisition Pipeline and the Additional Acquisition Pipeline are subject to a number of conditions (including, among others, the funding of the loans, the completion of our due diligence, and negotiation and execution of definitive purchase and other agreements), some of which are beyond our control, and may not occur on the terms or timing described herein or at all. Moreover, because the collateral characteristics of the loan pools within the Pre-Existing Acquisition Pipeline and the Additional Acquisition Pipeline described in the “Recent Developments” section of this prospectus supplement are subject to our continuing diligence, the actual collateral characteristics of any such loan pool ultimately acquired may vary materially from our current expectations, including if we determine to acquire loans pools with different collateral characteristics than those included in the Pre-Existing Acquisition Pipeline and the Additional Acquisition Pipeline.

 

In addition, we intend to acquire the Additional Acquisition Pipeline with the net proceeds from this offering, together with borrowings under our financing arrangements. If we raise less proceeds from this offering than we anticipate, our ability to acquire the Additional Acquisition Pipeline and grow our portfolio as anticipated may be adversely impacted. However, this offering is not conditioned on the completion of any of our pending or potential investments, including the Pre-Existing Acquisition Pipeline and the Additional Acquisition Pipeline, and by purchasing our common stock in this offering you are investing in us on a stand-alone basis and recognize that we may not consummate these investments or realize the potential benefits therefrom if we do.

 

If one or more of these potential mortgage loan investments are not completed on the anticipated schedule or on the contemplated terms, we could be subject to a number of risks that may adversely affect us and the market price of our common stock, including that we may not fully realize, or may be delayed in realizing, our anticipated potentials benefits of making these investments. These risks would also be exacerbated if we were unable to finance the investments, including through securitizations, on the terms or within the timeframe anticipated, or at all. Additionally, if these investments are not completed at all, we would not realize any anticipated potential benefits, which could also adversely affect us.

 

S-8

 

 

USE OF PROCEEDS

 

We estimate that we will receive net proceeds from this offering of approximately $       million (or approximately $       million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of common stock in full), after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and the other estimated offering expenses payable by us. We plan to use $50.6 million of the net proceeds from this offering, together with borrowings under our financing arrangements, to purchase the Additional Acquisition Pipeline and the remainder to acquire other target assets, with a primary intended focus on non-agency residential mortgage loans, subject to our investment guidelines, and to the extent consistent with maintaining our REIT qualification and exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act, and for other general corporate purposes. Our Manager will make determinations as to the percentage of our equity that will be invested in each of our target assets. Its determinations will depend on prevailing market conditions and may change over time in response to opportunities available in different interest rate, economic and credit environments.

 

While we intend to use the net proceeds of this offering, together with borrowings under our financing arrangements, to purchase the Additional Acquisition Pipeline and acquire other targeted assets as described above, we will have significant flexibility in using the net proceeds of this offering and may use the net proceeds from this offering to acquire assets with which you may not agree or for purposes that are different in range or focus than those described above and elsewhere in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, or those in which we have historically invested.

 

S-9

 

 

CAPITALIZATION

 

The following table sets forth our capitalization at September 30, 2021 (1) on an actual basis; and (2) on an as adjusted basis to reflect the effect of the sale of our common stock in this offering. You should read this table together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.

 

    As of September 30, 2021 (unaudited)
(in thousands, except per share data)
 
    Per Share     As Adjusted for this
Offering(1)(2)
 
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 101,749            
Total liabilities   $ 1,883,330          
Stockholders' Equity                
Preferred stock - aggregate liquidation preference of $227,991     220,472          
Common stock, par value $0.01 per share; 450,000 shares of common stock authorized on an actual and as adjusted basis; and 15,912 and        shares issued and outstanding on an actual  and as adjusted basis, respectively     159          
Additional paid-in capital     717,176          
Retained (deficit) earnings     (448,058 )        
Total stockholders' equity   $ 489,749          
Total capitalization   $ 2,373,079          

 

(1) Assumes no exercise of the underwriters' option to purchase up to an additional 1,050,000 shares of common stock.

(2) Additional paid-in capital has been reduced by estimated offering costs that we have to pay in connection with this offering.

 

S-10

 

 

UNDERWRITING

 

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, JMP Securities LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC are acting as the representatives of the underwriters named below. Subject to the terms and conditions stated in the underwriting agreement, dated the date of this prospectus supplement, each underwriter named below has severally agreed to purchase, and we have agreed to sell to that underwriter, the number of shares of common stock set forth opposite the underwriter’s name.

 

Underwriter   Number of Shares  
Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC        
JMP Securities LLC        
Wells Fargo Securities, LLC        
Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc.        
         
Total     7,000,000  

 

The underwriting agreement provides that the obligations of the underwriters to purchase the shares of common stock included in this offering are subject to approval of legal matters by counsel and to other conditions. The underwriters are obligated to purchase all of the shares of common stock (other than those covered by the underwriters' option to purchase additional shares described below) if they purchase any of the shares.

 

We have granted to the underwriters an option, exercisable for 30 days from the date of this prospectus supplement, to purchase up to an additional 1,050,000 shares of common stock at the public offering price set forth on the cover of this prospectus supplement. To the extent the option is exercised, each underwriter must purchase a number of additional shares of common stock approximately proportionate to that underwriter’s initial purchase commitment. Any shares of common stock issued or sold under the option will be issued and sold on the same terms and conditions as the other shares that are the subject of this offering.

 

The representatives have advised us that the underwriters propose initially to offer the shares to the public at the public offering price set forth on the cover page of this prospectus supplement and to dealers at that price less a concession not in excess of $      per share. The underwriters may not allow, and the dealers may not reallow, any concession on sales to other dealers. After the initial offering, the public offering price, concession or any other term of this offering may be changed.

 

The following table shows the public offering price, underwriting discount and proceeds, before expenses, to us in connection with this offering. The information alternatively assumes either no exercise or full exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares.

 

S-11

 

 

Our Manager has committed to purchase 700,000 shares in the offering. In addition, David N. Roberts, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, has committed to purchase 200,000 shares in the offering. The shares purchased by the Manager and Mr. Roberts will be at the public offering price and will not be subject to any underwriting discounts or commissions. Any shares sold to our Manager and its officers will be Lock-Up Securities (defined below) subject to the restrictions applicable to Lock-Up Securities described below.

 

    Per Share     Total
No Exercise
    Total
Full Exercise
 
Public offering price   $       $       $    
Underwriting discount(1)   $       $       $    
Proceeds, before expenses, to us   $       $       $  
                         

 

(1) Gives effect to the fact that no underwriting discounts and commissions will be paid with respect to shares purchased from the underwriters by our Manager or Mr. Roberts. Underwriting discounts and commissions paid on all other shares offered hereby are equal to $         per share.

 

We estimate that our total expenses of this offering will be approximately $               .

 

We, each of our directors and executive officers and our Manager have agreed not to, subject to certain exceptions (including that we will be permitted to make awards pursuant to our equity incentive plans and that our Manager will be permitted to make awards of shares of our common stock to employees of our Manager or its affiliates pursuant to a compensatory plan adopted by Angelo Gordon), directly or indirectly, take any of the following actions with respect to our common stock, any securities substantially similar to our common stock, or any securities convertible into or exchangeable or exercisable for any of our common stock (“Lock-Up Securities”): (i) offer, sell, issue, contract to sell, pledge or otherwise dispose of Lock-Up Securities, (ii) offer, sell, issue, contract to sell, contract to purchase or grant any option, right or warrant to purchase Lock-Up Securities, (iii) enter into any swap, hedge or any other agreement that transfers, in whole or in part, the economic consequences of ownership of Lock-Up Securities, (iv) establish or increase a put equivalent position or liquidate or decrease a call equivalent position in Lock-Up Securities within the meaning of Section 16 of the Exchange Act, (v) file with the Commission a registration statement under the Securities Act relating to Lock-Up Securities, or publicly disclose the intention to take any such action, for a period of 90 days after the date of this prospectus supplement without the prior written consent of Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and JMP Securities LLC. However, each of our directors and executive officers and our Manager may transfer or dispose of our shares during this 90-day “lock-up” period in the case of gifts, transfers to a family member or for estate planning purposes where the donee agrees to a similar lock-up agreement for the remainder of the 90-day “lock-up” period.

 

In connection with the offering, the underwriters may purchase and sell shares of common stock in the open market. These transactions may include short sales, purchases to cover positions created by short sales and stabilizing transactions.

 

Short sales involve the sale by the underwriters of a greater number of shares than they are required to purchase in the offering. Covered short sales are sales made in an amount not greater than the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of common stock from us in the offering. The underwriters may close out any covered short position by either exercising their option to purchase additional shares or purchasing shares in the open market. In determining the source of shares to close out the covered short position, the underwriters will consider, among other things, the price of shares available for purchase in the open market as compared to the price at which they may purchase shares through the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of common stock from us in the offering.

 

S-12

 

 

Naked short sales are any sales in excess of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of common stock from us in the offering. The underwriters must close out any naked short position by purchasing shares in the open market. A naked short position is more likely to be created if underwriters are concerned that there may be downward pressure on the price of the shares in the open market prior to the completion of the offering.

 

Stabilizing transactions consist of various bids for or purchases of common stock made by the underwriters in the open market prior to the completion of the offering.

 

The underwriters may impose a penalty bid. This occurs when a particular underwriter repays to the other underwriters a portion of the underwriting discount received by it because the representatives of the underwriters have repurchased shares sold by or for the account of that underwriter in stabilizing or short covering transactions.

 

Purchases to cover short positions and stabilizing purchases, as well as other purchases by the underwriters for their own accounts, may have the effect of preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of the shares. They may also cause the price of the shares to be higher than the price that would otherwise exist in the open market in the absence of these transactions. The underwriters may conduct these transactions on the NYSE, in the over-the-counter market or otherwise. If the underwriters commence any of these transactions, they may discontinue them at any time.

 

Neither we nor the underwriters make any representation or prediction as to the direction or magnitude of any effect that the transactions described above may have on the price of the common stock. In addition, neither we nor the underwriters make any representation that the underwriters will engage in those transactions or that those transactions, once commenced, will not be discontinued without notice.

 

We have agreed to indemnify the underwriters against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or to contribute to payments the underwriters may be required to make because of any of those liabilities.

 

A prospectus in electronic format may be made available on websites maintained by one or more underwriters. Other than the prospectus in electronic format, the information on any underwriter’s website and any information contained in any other website maintained by an underwriter is not part of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus.

 

Certain underwriters or their affiliates have performed, and in the future may perform, commercial banking, investment banking and advisory services for us in the ordinary course of their business for which they have received, and in the future are expected to receive, customary fees. Some of the underwriters or their affiliates have engaged in, and may in the future engage in, investment banking and other commercial dealings in the ordinary course of business with our affiliates. They have received, or may in the future receive, customary fees and commissions for these transactions.

 

S-13

 

 

In addition, in the ordinary course of their business activities, the underwriters and their affiliates may make or hold a broad array of investments and actively trade debt and equity securities (or related derivative securities) and financial instruments (including bank loans) for their own account and for the accounts of their customers. Such investments and securities activities may involve securities and/or instruments of ours or our affiliates. An affiliate of Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC is a repurchase agreement counterparty. If any of the underwriters or their affiliates has a lending relationship with us, certain of those underwriters or their affiliates routinely hedge, and certain other of those underwriters or their affiliates may hedge, their credit exposure to us consistent with their customary risk management policies. Typically, such underwriters and their affiliates would hedge such exposure by entering into transactions which consist of either the purchase of credit default swaps or the creation of short positions in our securities, any of which could adversely affect future trading prices of the common stock offered hereby. The underwriters and their affiliates may also make investment recommendations and/or publish or express independent research views in respect of such securities or financial instruments and may hold, or recommend to clients that they acquire, long and/or short positions in such securities and instruments.

 

Selling Restrictions

 

Australia

 

No placement document, prospectus, product disclosure statement or other disclosure document has been lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, or ASIC, in relation to the offering. This prospectus does not constitute a prospectus, product disclosure statement or other disclosure document under the Corporations Act 2001, or the Corporations Act, and does not purport to include the information required for a prospectus, product disclosure statement or other disclosure document under the Corporations Act.

 

Any offer in Australia of the shares may only be made to persons, or the Exempt Investors, who are “sophisticated investors” (within the meaning of section 708(8) of the Corporations Act), “professional investors” (within the meaning of section 708(11) of the Corporations Act) or otherwise pursuant to one or more exemptions contained in section 708 of the Corporations Act so that it is lawful to offer the shares without disclosure to investors under Chapter 6D of the Corporations Act.

 

The shares applied for by Exempt Investors in Australia must not be offered for sale in Australia in the period of 12 months after the date of allotment under the offering, except in circumstances where disclosure to investors under Chapter 6D of the Corporations Act would not be required pursuant to an exemption under section 708 of the Corporations Act or otherwise or where the offer is pursuant to a disclosure document which complies with Chapter 6D of the Corporations Act. Any person acquiring shares must observe such Australian on-sale restrictions.

 

This prospectus contains general information only and does not take account of the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. It does not contain any securities recommendations or financial product advice. Before making an investment decision, investors need to consider whether the information in this prospectus is appropriate to their needs, objectives and circumstances, and, if necessary, seek expert advice on those matters.

 

S-14

 

 

Canada

 

The shares may be sold only to purchasers purchasing, or deemed to be purchasing, as principal that are accredited investors, as defined in National Instrument 45-106 Prospectus Exemptions or subsection 73.3(1) of the Securities Act (Ontario), and are permitted clients, as defined in National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations. Any resale of the shares must be made in accordance with an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the prospectus requirements of applicable securities laws.

 

Securities legislation in certain provinces or territories of Canada may provide a purchaser with remedies for rescission or damages if this prospectus (including any amendment thereto) contains a misrepresentation, provided that the remedies for rescission or damages are exercised by the purchaser within the time limit prescribed by the securities legislation of the purchaser’s province or territory. The purchaser should refer to any applicable provisions of the securities legislation of the purchaser’s province or territory for particulars of these rights or consult with a legal advisor.

 

Pursuant to section 3A.3 of National Instrument 33-105 Underwriting Conflicts (NI 33-105), the underwriters are not required to comply with the disclosure requirements of NI 33-105 regarding underwriter conflicts of interest in connection with this offering.

 

Dubai International Financial Centre

 

This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus relate to an Exempt Offer in accordance with the Offered Securities Rules of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are intended for distribution only to persons of a type specified in the Offered Securities Rules of the DFSA. They must not be delivered to, or relied on by, any other person. The DFSA has no responsibility for reviewing or verifying any documents in connection with Exempt Offers. The DFSA has not approved this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus nor taken steps to verify the information set forth therein and has no responsibility for this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. The shares to which this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus relate may be illiquid and/or subject to restrictions on their resale. Prospective purchasers of the shares offered should conduct their own due diligence on the shares. If you do not understand the contents of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus you should consult an authorized financial advisor.

 

European Economic Area

 

In relation to each member state of the European Economic Area (each, a “Relevant State”), no shares of common stock have been offered or will be offered pursuant to this offering to the public in that Relevant State prior to the publication of a prospectus in relation to the shares that has been approved by the competent authority in that Relevant State or, where appropriate, approved in another relevant state and notified to the competent authority in that relevant state, all in accordance with the Prospectus Regulation, except that offers of shares may be made to the public in that relevant state at any time under the following exemptions under the Prospectus Regulation:

 

a.            to any legal entity which is a qualified investor as defined in the Prospectus Regulation;

 

S-15

 

 

b.            to fewer than 150 natural or legal persons (other than qualified investors as defined in the Prospectus Regulation), subject to obtaining the prior consent of the underwriter; or

 

c.            in any other circumstances falling within Article 1(4) of the Prospectus Regulation, provided that no such offer of shares of our common stock shall result in a requirement for the publication by us or any underwriter of a prospectus pursuant to Article 23 of the Prospectus Regulation,

 

provided that no such offer of shares shall require the Company or any representative to publish a prospectus pursuant to Article 3 of the Prospectus Regulation or supplement a prospectus pursuant to Article 23 of the Prospectus Regulation.

 

For the purposes of this provision, the expression an “offer to the public” in relation to any shares in any relevant state means the communication in any form and by any means of sufficient information on the terms of the offer and any shares to be offered so as to enable an investor to decide to purchase or subscribe for any shares, and the expression “Prospectus Regulation” means Regulation (EU) 2017/1129.

 

Hong Kong

 

The shares have not been offered or sold and will not be offered or sold in Hong Kong by means of any document, other than (a) to “professional investors” as defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571) of Hong Kong and any rules made under that Ordinance; or (b) in other circumstances which do not result in the document being a “prospectus” as defined in the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 32) of Hong Kong or which do not constitute an offer to the public within the meaning of that Ordinance. No advertisement, invitation or document relating to the shares has been or may be issued or has been or may be in the possession of any person for the purposes of issue, whether in Hong Kong or elsewhere, which is directed at, or the contents of which are likely to be accessed or read by, the public of Hong Kong (except if permitted to do so under the securities laws of Hong Kong) other than with respect to shares which are or are intended to be disposed of only to persons outside Hong Kong or only to “professional investors” as defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance and any rules made under that Ordinance.

 

Japan

 

The shares have not been and will not be registered pursuant to Article 4, Paragraph 1 of the Financial Instruments and the Exchange Act. Accordingly, none of the shares nor any interest therein may be offered or sold, directly or indirectly, in Japan or to, or for the benefit of, any ‘‘resident’’ of Japan (which term as used herein means any person resident in Japan, including any corporation or other entity organized under the laws of Japan), or to others for re-offering or resale, directly or indirectly, in Japan or to or for the benefit of a resident of Japan, except pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements of, and otherwise in compliance with, the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act and any other applicable laws, regulations and ministerial guidelines of Japan in effect at the relevant time.

 

S-16

 

 

Singapore

 

This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus have not been registered as a prospectus with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Accordingly, this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and any other document or material in connection with the offer or sale, or invitation for subscription or purchase, of the shares of common stock may not be circulated or distributed, nor may the shares of common stock be offered or sold, or be made the subject of an invitation for subscription or purchase, whether directly or indirectly, to persons in Singapore other than (i) to an institutional investor under Section 274 of the Securities and Futures Act, Chapter 289 of Singapore as modified or amended from time to time including by any subsidiary legislation as may be applicable at the relevant time (together, the “SFA”), (ii) to a relevant person pursuant to Section 275(1), or any person pursuant to Section 275(1A), and in accordance with the conditions specified in Section 275 of the SFA or (iii) otherwise pursuant to, and in accordance with the conditions of, any other applicable provision of the SFA. Where the shares of common stock are subscribed or purchased under Section 275 of the SFA by a relevant person which is:

 

a.            a corporation (which is not an accredited investor (as defined in Section 4A of the SFA)), the sole business of which is to hold investments and the entire share capital of which is owned by one or more individuals, each of whom is an accredited investor; or

 

b.            a trust (where the trustee is not an accredited investor) whose sole purpose is to hold investments, and each beneficiary of the trust is an individual who is an accredited investor, securities or securities-based derivatives contracts (each term as defined in Section 2 (1) of the SFA) of that corporation or the beneficiaries’ rights and interest (howsoever described) in that trust shall not be transferred within 6 months after that corporation or that trust has acquired the shares of common stock pursuant to an offer made under Section 275 of the SFA except:

 

i. to an institutional investor or to a relevant person defined in Section 275(2) of the SFA, or to any person arising from an offer referred to in Section 275(1A) or Section 276(4)(i)(B) of the SFA;

 

ii. where no consideration is or will be given for the transfer;

 

iii. where the transfer is by operation of law; or

 

iv. as specified in Section 276(7) of the SFA.

 

South Korea

 

The shares of common stock may not be offered, sold and delivered directly or indirectly, or offered or sold to any person for re-offering or resale, directly or indirectly, in South Korea or to any resident of South Korea except pursuant to the applicable laws and regulations of South Korea, including the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act and the Foreign Exchange Transaction Law and the decrees and regulations thereunder. The shares of common stock have not been registered with the Financial Services Commission of South Korea for public offering in South Korea. Furthermore, the shares of common stock may not be re-sold to South Korean residents unless the purchaser of the shares complies with all applicable regulatory requirements (including but not limited to government approval requirements under the Foreign Exchange Transaction Law and its subordinate decrees and regulations) in connection with their purchase.

 

S-17

 

 

Switzerland

 

The shares may not be publicly offered in Switzerland and will not be listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (“SIX”) or on any other stock exchange or regulated trading facility in Switzerland. This document does not constitute a prospectus within the meaning of, and has been prepared without regard to the disclosure standards for issuance prospectuses under art. 652a or art. 1156 of the Swiss Code of Obligations or the disclosure standards for listing prospectuses under art. 27 ff. of the SIX Listing Rules or the listing rules of any other stock exchange or regulated trading facility in Switzerland. Neither this document nor any other offering or marketing material relating to the shares or the offering may be publicly distributed or otherwise made publicly available in Switzerland.

 

Neither this document nor any other offering or marketing material relating to the offering, the Company, the shares have been or will be filed with or approved by any Swiss regulatory authority. In particular, this document will not be filed with, and the offer of shares will not be supervised by, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA (FINMA), and the offer of shares has not been and will not be authorized under the Swiss Federal Act on Collective Investment Schemes (“CISA”). The investor protection afforded to acquirers of interests in collective investment schemes under the CISA does not extend to acquirers of shares.

 

Taiwan

 

The securities have not been and will not be registered with the Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan pursuant to relevant securities laws and regulations and may not be sold, issued or offered within Taiwan through a public offering or in circumstances which constitutes an offer within the meaning of the Securities and Exchange Act of Taiwan that requires a registration or approval of the Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan. No person or entity in Taiwan has been authorized to offer, sell, give advice regarding or otherwise intermediate the offering and sale of the securities in Taiwan.

 

United Arab Emirates

 

The offering contemplated hereunder has not been approved or licensed by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”), the Securities and Commodities Authority of the UAE and/or any other relevant licensing authority in the UAE including any licensing authority incorporated under the laws and regulations of any of the free zones established and operating in the territory of the UAE, in particular the Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”), a regulatory authority of the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”). This offering does not constitute a public offer of shares in the UAE, DIFC and/or any other free zone in accordance with the Commercial Companies Law, Federal Law No. 8 of 1984 (as amended), DFSA Offered Securities Rules and NASDAQ Dubai Listing Rules, or otherwise. The shares of common stock may not be offered to the public in the UAE and/or any of the free zones. The shares of common stock may be offered and issued only to a limited number of investors in the UAE or any of its free zones who qualify as sophisticated investors under the relevant laws and regulations of the UAE or the free zone concerned.

 

S-18

 

 

United Kingdom

 

In relation to the United Kingdom, no shares of common stock have been offered or will be offered pursuant to this offering to the public in the United Kingdom prior to the publication of a prospectus in relation to the shares that either (i) has been approved by the Financial Conduct Authority, or (ii) is to be treated as if it had been approved by the Financial Conduct Authority in accordance with the transitional provision in Regulation 74 of the Prospectus (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, except that offers of shares may be made to the public in the United Kingdom at any time under the following exemptions under the UK Prospectus Regulation:

 

a.            to any legal entity which is a qualified investor as defined in Article 2 of the UK Prospectus Regulation;

 

b.            to fewer than 150 natural or legal persons (other than qualified investors as defined in Article 2 of the UK Prospectus Regulation); or

 

c.            in any other circumstances falling within section 86 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”),

 

provided that no such offer of shares shall require the Company or any representative to publish a prospectus pursuant to section 85 of the FSMA or supplement a prospectus pursuant to Article 23 of the UK Prospectus Regulation.

 

For the purposes of this provision, the expression an “offer to the public” in relation to any shares in any relevant state means the communication in any form and by any means of sufficient information on the terms of the offer and any shares to be offered so as to enable an investor to decide to purchase or subscribe for any shares, and the expression “UK Prospectus Regulation” means Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 as it forms part of domestic law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

 

We have not authorized and do not authorize the making of any offer of shares through any financial intermediary on their behalf, other than offers made by the underwriters with a view to the final placement of the shares as contemplated in this prospectus. Accordingly, no purchaser of the shares, other than the underwriters, is authorized to make any further offer of the shares on behalf of us or the underwriters.

 

In addition, in the United Kingdom, this document is being distributed only to, and is directed only at, and any offer subsequently made may only be directed at persons who are “qualified investors” (as defined in Article 2 of the UK Prospectus Regulation) (i) who have professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended, or the Order, and/or (ii) who are high net worth companies (or persons to whom it may otherwise be lawfully communicated) falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order (all such persons together being referred to as “relevant persons”) or otherwise in circumstances which have not resulted and will not result in an offer to the public of the shares in the United Kingdom within the meaning of the FSMA.

 

Any person in the United Kingdom that is not a relevant person should not act or rely on the information included in this document or use it as basis for taking any action. In the United Kingdom, any investment or investment activity that this document relates to may be made or taken exclusively by relevant persons.

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

 

Certain legal matters in connection with this offering will be passed upon for us by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. Venable LLP will pass upon the validity of the common stock offered by this prospectus supplement and certain other matters of Maryland law. Certain legal matters in connection with this offering will be passed upon for the underwriters by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

 

S-20

 

 

EXPERTS

 

The financial statements incorporated into this prospectus supplement by reference to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 have been so incorporated in reliance on the report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.

 

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

 

We are required to file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Our filings with the SEC are available to the public through the SEC’s Internet site at www.sec.gov. We have filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-3 relating to the securities covered by this prospectus supplement. This prospectus supplement is part of the registration statement and does not contain all the information in the registration statement. Wherever a reference is made in this prospectus supplement to a contract or other documents of ours, the reference is only a summary and you should refer to the exhibits that are a part of the registration statement for a copy of the contract or other document.

 

Our Internet address is www.agmit.com. We make available free of charge, on or through the “Investor Relations - SEC Filings” section of our website, Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. Also posted on our website, and available in print upon request to our Investor Relations Department, are the charters for our Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, and our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, which governs our directors, officers and our Manager’s employees. Information on our website is not part of this prospectus supplement.

 

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INFORMATION INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” into this prospectus supplement the information we file with the SEC, which means that we can disclose important business, financial and other information to you by referring you to other documents separately filed with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this prospectus supplement from the date we file that document. Any reports filed by us with the SEC after the date of this prospectus supplement and before the date that the offering of the securities by means of this prospectus supplement is terminated will automatically update and, where applicable, supersede any information contained in this prospectus or incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement.

 

We incorporate by reference the following documents or information filed with the SEC and any subsequent filings we make with the SEC under Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, after the date of the initial registration statement and prior to completion of the offering of the securities described in this prospectus supplement (other than, in each case, documents or information deemed to have been furnished and not filed in accordance with SEC rules):

 

our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed with the SEC on February 23, 2021;

 

our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, filed with the SEC on April 16, 2021 (solely to the extent incorporated by reference into Part III of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020);

 

our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarterly periods ended March 31, 2021, June 30, 2021 and September 30, 2021 filed with the SEC on May 7, 2021, August 3, 2021 and November 5, 2021, respectively;

 

our Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on February 11, 2021, March 18, 2021, April 5, 2021, May 26, 2021, June 14, 2021 and July 27, 2021; and

 

the description of our common stock in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A filed on April 25, 2011.

 

All documents that we file (but not those that we furnish) with the SEC pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act after the date of this prospectus supplement and prior to the termination of the offering of shares hereby will be deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and will automatically update and supersede the information in this prospectus supplement and any previously filed document.

 

We will provide copies of all documents incorporated into this prospectus supplement by reference, without charge, upon oral request to our Secretary at the number listed below or in writing by first class mail to the address listed below. Requests for such documents incorporated by reference should be directed to AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., c/o Secretary, 245 Park Avenue, 26th Floor, New York, New York 10167 or by calling our Secretary at (212) 692-2000.

 

S-23

 

 

PROSPECTUS

 

AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc.

 

$1,000,000,000

 

Common Stock 

Preferred Stock 

Debt Securities 

Warrants 

Units 

Subscription Rights

 

 

 We may offer and sell, from time to time, in one or more offerings, up to an aggregate of $1,000,000,000 of the common stock, preferred stock, debt securities, warrants, units and subscription rights described in this prospectus. We may offer and sell these securities to or through one or more underwriters, dealers and agents, or directly to purchasers, on a continuous or delayed basis.

 

The specific terms of any securities to be offered, and the specific manner in which they may be offered, will be described in one or more supplements to this prospectus. This prospectus may not be used to consummate sales of any of these securities unless it is accompanied by a prospectus supplement. Before investing, you should carefully read this prospectus and any related prospectus supplement. Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, or the NYSE, under the symbol “MITT.”

 

To assist us in qualifying as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, for federal income tax purposes, among other reasons, we impose certain restrictions on the ownership and transfer of our capital stock. See “Description of Common Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer,” “Description of Preferred Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer; Change of Control Provisions,” “Description of Warrants,” “Description of Units” and “Description of Subscription Rights.”

 

 

Investing in our securities involves substantial risks. You should carefully read and consider the information under “Risk Factors” on page 3 of this prospectus and any prospectus supplement before making a decision to purchase these securities.

 

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

The date of this prospectus is May 26, 2021.

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

    Page
     
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS   1
     
FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION   2
     
OUR COMPANY   3
     
RISK FACTORS   3
     
USE OF PROCEEDS   3
     
DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITIES WE MAY OFFER   4
     
DESCRIPTION OF COMMON STOCK   4
     
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED STOCK   7
     
DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES   12
     
DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS   21
     
DESCRIPTION OF UNITS   22
     
DESCRIPTION OF SUBSCRIPTION RIGHTS   22
     
CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OUR CHARTER AND BYLAWS   23
     
MATERIAL FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS   27
     
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION   53
     
CERTAIN LEGAL MATTERS   55
     
EXPERTS   55
     
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION   55
     
INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF INFORMATION FILED WITH THE SEC   55

 

i

 

 

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

 

This prospectus is part of a shelf registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. Under this shelf registration statement, we may offer and sell any combination of our common stock, preferred stock, debt securities, warrants, units or subscription rights in one or more offerings. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities we may offer. Each time we offer to sell securities under this shelf registration statement, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering. The prospectus supplement may add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. Before you buy any of our securities, it is important for you to consider the information contained in this prospectus and any prospectus supplement together with additional information described under the headings “Incorporation by Reference of Information Filed with the SEC” and “Where You Can Find More Information.”

 

The SEC allows us to incorporate by reference information that we file with them, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be a part of this prospectus, and information that we file later with the SEC will automatically update and supersede this information. You should rely only on the information incorporated by reference into or set forth in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with information different from that contained in this prospectus. No dealer, salesperson or other person is authorized to give any information or to represent anything not contained in this prospectus. You must not rely on any unauthorized information or representation. This prospectus is an offer to sell only the securities offered hereby, but only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so. You should assume that the information in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement is accurate only as of the date of the document incorporated by reference. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date.

 

In this prospectus, we refer to AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., together with its consolidated subsidiaries, as “we,” “us,” “Company,” or “our,” unless we specifically state otherwise or the context indicates otherwise. We refer to AG REIT Management, LLC, our external manager, as our “Manager,” and we refer to Angelo, Gordon & Co., L.P., the parent of our Manager, as “Angelo Gordon.” All references in this prospectus to trademarks lacking the ™ symbol are defined terms that reference the products, technologies or businesses bearing the trademark with this symbol. Angelo, Gordon & Co., L.P. licenses the Angelo, Gordon & Co., L.P. name and logo to us and our Manager in perpetuity for use in our business.

 

1

 

 

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

  

When used in this prospectus, in future filings with the SEC or in press releases or other written or oral communications, statements which are not historical in nature, including those containing words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “continue,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “project,” “should,” “will” and “would” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology, are intended to identify “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, as such, may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These forward-looking statements include information about possible or assumed future results of our business, financial condition, liquidity, returns, results of operations, plans, yields, objectives, the composition of our portfolio, actions by governmental entities, including the Federal Reserve, and the potential effects of actual and proposed legislation on us, and our views on certain macroeconomic trends, and the impact of the novel coronavirus ("COVID-19").

 

These forward-looking statements are based upon information presently available to our management and are inherently subjective, uncertain and subject to change. There can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from our expectations. Some, but not all, of the factors that might cause such a difference include, without limitation:

 

the uncertainty and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and of responsive measures implemented by various governmental authorities, businesses and other third-parties;

 

changes in our business and investment strategy;

 

our ability to predict and control costs;

 

changes in interest rates and the fair value of our assets, including negative changes resulting in margin calls relating to the financing of our assets;

 

changes in the yield curve;

 

changes in prepayment rates on the loans we own or that underlie our investment securities;

 

increased rates of default or delinquencies and/or decreased recovery rates on our assets;

 

our ability to obtain and maintain financing arrangements on terms favorable to us or at all;

 

changes in general economic conditions, in our industry and in the finance and real estate markets, including the impact on the value of our assets;

 

conditions in the market for residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”), specifically those that have a guarantee of principal and interest by a U.S. government agency such as the Government National Mortgage Association, or Ginnie Mae, or by a government-sponsored entity such as the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae, or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or Freddie Mac “(Agency RMBS”), RMBS that are not issued or guaranteed by Ginnie Mae or a GSE, as well as RMBS that are collateralized by non-U.S. mortgages (“Residential Investments”), and a group of assets (our “Commercial Investments”) that include (i) fixed and floating rate commercial mortgage-backed securities ("CMBS") secured by commercial mortgage loans to multiple borrowers or secured by a single commercial mortgage loan which is backed by a single asset (usually a large commercial property) or by a pool of cross collateralized mortgage obligations to a single borrower or related borrowers; (ii) CMBS backed by interest-only strips (“Interest Only securities”); (iii) commercial real estate loans secured by commercial real property, including first mortgages and mezzanine loans for construction or redevelopment of a property; and (iv) CMBS, Interest-Only securities and CMBS principal-only securities which are regularly-issued by Freddie Mac as structured pass-through securities backed by multifamily mortgage loans (“Freddie Mac K-Series” or “K-Series”);

 

legislative and regulatory actions by the U.S. Congress, U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and other agencies and instrumentalities in response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic;

 

2

 

 

the forbearance program included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the "CARES Act");

  

our ability to make distributions to our stockholders in the future;

 

our ability to maintain our qualification as a REIT for federal tax purposes;

 

our ability to qualify for an exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”); and

 

the other factors described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, including those set forth under the captions "Risk Factors," "Business," and "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations."

 

We caution investors not to rely unduly on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made, and urge you to carefully consider the risks noted under “Risk Factors” in this prospectus, in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent filings. If a change occurs, our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations may vary materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made. New risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and it is impossible for us to predict those events or how they may affect us. Except as required by law, we are not obligated to, and do not intend to, update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. All written or oral forward-looking statements that we make, or that are attributable to us, are expressly qualified by this cautionary notice. We expressly disclaim any obligation to update the information in any public disclosure if any forward-looking statement later turns out to be inaccurate, except as may otherwise be required by law.

  

OUR COMPANY

 

We are a hybrid mortgage REIT that opportunistically invests in a diversified risk adjusted portfolio of Credit Investments and Agency RMBS. Our Credit Investments include Residential Investments and Commercial Investments. We are a Maryland corporation and are externally managed by our Manager, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Angelo Gordon, pursuant to a management agreement. Our Manager, pursuant to a delegation agreement dated as of June 29, 2011, has delegated to Angelo Gordon the overall responsibility of its day-to-day duties and obligations arising under the management agreement. We conduct our operations to qualify and be taxed as a REIT, for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes on our taxable income that we distribute currently to our stockholders as long as we maintain our intended qualification as a REIT. We also operate our business in a manner that permits us to maintain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act.

  

RISK FACTORS

 

Investing in our securities involves substantial risks, including the risk that you might lose your entire investment. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully read and consider the information set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q (which information is incorporated by reference into this prospectus), as well as the other information contained or incorporated by reference into this prospectus or in any prospectus supplement hereto. See “Where You Can Find More Information” below. Any one of the risks discussed could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations and could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or not identified may also materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

USE OF PROCEEDS

 

Unless otherwise indicated in an accompanying prospectus supplement, we intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of securities offered by this prospectus and the accompanying prospectus supplement to acquire our target assets and for general corporate purposes, including the repayment of indebtedness.

 

3

 

 

 

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITIES WE MAY OFFER

 

This prospectus contains a summary description of the common stock, preferred stock, debt securities, warrants, units and subscription rights that we may offer from time to time. As further described in this prospectus, these summary descriptions are not meant to be complete descriptions of each security. The particular terms of any security will be described in the accompanying prospectus supplement and other offering material. The accompanying prospectus supplement may update, change or add to the terms and conditions of the securities as described in this prospectus.

  

DESCRIPTION OF COMMON STOCK

 

The following summary description of our common stock does not purport to be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to Maryland law, our charter and our bylaws, copies of which are filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”

 

General

 

Our charter provides that we may issue up to 450,000,000 shares of common stock, $0.01 par value per share. As of May 4, 2021, 46,522,759 shares of our common stock were issued and outstanding. Our common stock is currently listed for trading on the NYSE under the symbol “MITT.” Our charter authorizes our board of directors to amend our charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of authorized shares or the number of shares of any class or series without stockholder approval. Under Maryland law, stockholders are not personally liable for the obligations of a corporation solely as a result of their status as stockholders.

 

Voting Rights of Common Stock

 

Subject to the provisions of our charter regarding restrictions on the transfer and ownership of shares of common stock, each outstanding share of common stock entitles the holder to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of stockholders, including the election of directors, and, except as provided with respect to any other class or series of shares of our stock, the holders of our common stock possess the exclusive voting power. There is no cumulative voting in the election of directors, which means that the holders of a majority of our outstanding shares of common stock can elect all of the directors then standing for election. Under Maryland law, a Maryland corporation generally cannot dissolve, amend its charter, merge, convert, sell all or substantially all of its assets, or engage in a statutory share exchange or engage in similar transactions outside the ordinary course of business unless advised by our board of directors and approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders holding at least two-thirds of the shares entitled to vote on the matter, unless a lesser percentage (but not less than a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter) is set forth in the corporation’s charter.

 

Except in connection with certain charter amendments (related to the removal of directors, the vote required to amend the provision regarding amendments to the removal provisions itself, and amendments to the provisions regarding restrictions on transfer and ownership of shares), our charter provides for approval by a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter for the matters described in the preceding sentence.

 

Dividends, Liquidation and Other Rights

 

All of our outstanding shares of common stock are duly authorized, fully paid and nonassessable. Holders of our shares of common stock are entitled to receive dividends when authorized by our board of directors and declared by us out of assets legally available for the payment of dividends. They also are entitled to share ratably in our assets legally available for distribution to our stockholders in the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, after payment of or adequate provision for all of our known debts and liabilities. These rights are subject to the preferential rights of any other class or series of our stock and to the provisions of our charter regarding restrictions on transfer and ownership of our stock.

 

Holders of our shares of common stock have no appraisal, preference, conversion, exchange, sinking fund or redemption rights and have no preemptive rights to subscribe for any of our securities, except as may be provided by our board of directors in setting the terms and rights of any class or series of shares of our stock. Subject to the restrictions on transfer of capital stock contained in our charter and to the ability of the board of directors to create shares of common stock with differing voting rights, all shares of common stock have equal dividend, liquidation and other rights.

 

4

 

 

Power to Issue Additional Shares of Common Stock and Preferred Stock

 

Our charter also authorizes our board of directors, without stockholder approval, to amend our charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of capital stock of any class or series that we have the authority to issue, to classify and reclassify any unissued shares of our common stock and preferred stock into any other classes or series of classes of our stock, to establish the number of shares in each class or series and to set the terms, preferences, conversion and other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications and terms or conditions of redemption for each such class or series. We believe that the power of our board of directors to take these actions provides us with increased flexibility in structuring possible future financings and acquisitions and in meeting other needs which might arise. The additional classes or series, as well as our common stock, are available for issuance without further action by our stockholders, unless stockholder action is required by applicable law or the rules of any stock exchange or automated quotation system on which our securities may be listed or traded. Although our board of directors has no intention at the present time of doing so, it could authorize us to issue a class or series that could, depending upon the terms of such class or series, delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control of us that might involve a premium price for holders of our common stock that our common stockholders or otherwise believe to be in their best interest.

 

Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer

 

In order for us to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, our capital stock must be beneficially owned by 100 or more persons during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year. Also, not more than 50% of the value of the outstanding capital stock may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Code to include certain entities) during the last half of any taxable year.

 

Our charter contains restrictions on the ownership and transfer of our capital stock. The relevant sections of our charter provide that, subject to the exceptions described below, no person or entity may beneficially own, or be deemed to own, by virtue of the applicable constructive ownership provisions of the Code, either (i) more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding common stock, which we refer to as the common stock ownership limit, or (ii) more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our outstanding capital stock, which we refer to as the aggregate stock ownership limit. We refer to the common stock ownership limit and the aggregate stock ownership limit collectively as the “stock ownership limits.”

 

The constructive ownership rules under the Code are complex and may cause capital stock owned actually or constructively by a group of related individuals and/or entities to be owned constructively by one individual or entity. As a result, the acquisition of less than 9.8% in value or in number of shares (or the acquisition of an interest in an entity that owns, actually or constructively, our capital stock by an individual or entity) could, nevertheless, cause that individual or entity, or another individual or entity, to own constructively in excess of 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, and thereby violate the applicable stock ownership limit.

 

Our board of directors may, upon receipt of certain representations and agreements and in its sole discretion, exempt (prospectively or retroactively) any person, in whole or in part, from the above-referenced stock ownership limits or establish or increase a limit, or excepted holder limit, for a particular stockholder if the person’s ownership in excess of the stock ownership limits will not then or in the future result in our being “closely held” under section 856(h) of the Code (without regard to whether the stockholder’s interest is held during the last half of a taxable year) or otherwise jeopardize our qualification as a REIT.

 

As a condition of its exemption, creation or increase of an excepted holder limit, our board of directors may, but is not required to, require an opinion of counsel or Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, ruling satisfactory to our board of directors with respect to our qualification as a REIT. The board of directors may only reduce the excepted holder limit with the written consent of the related excepted holder at any time, or pursuant to the terms and conditions of the agreements entered into in connection with the establishment of the excepted holder limit for such excepted holder. No excepted holder limit may be reduced to a percentage that is less than the common stock ownership limit.

 

In connection with an exemption from the stock ownership limits, establishing an excepted holder limit or at any other time, our board of directors may from time to time increase or decrease the stock ownership limits for all other persons and entities; provided, however, that any decrease in the stock ownership limits will not be effective for any person whose percentage ownership of our shares is in excess of such decreased limits until such time as such person’s percentage ownership of our shares equals or falls below such decreased limits, but any further acquisition of our shares in excess of such person’s percentage ownership of our shares will be in violation of the applicable limits; and provided, further, that the stock ownership limits may not be increased if, after giving effect to such increase or decrease, five or fewer individuals could beneficially own or constructively own in the aggregate more than 49.9% in value of the shares then outstanding.

 

5

 

 

Our charter further prohibits:

 

any person from beneficially or constructively owning, applying certain attribution rules of the Code, our capital that would result in our being “closely held” under section 856(h) of the Code (without regard to whether the stockholder’s interest is held during the last half of a taxable year) or otherwise cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT; and

  

any person from transferring our capital stock if such transfer would result in our capital stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons (determined without reference to any rules of attribution).

 

Any person who acquires, attempts or intends to acquire beneficial or constructive ownership of our capital stock that will or may violate the stock ownership limits or any of the other foregoing restrictions on ownership and transfer of our capital stock is required to immediately give written notice to us or, in the case of such a proposed or attempted transaction, give at least 15 days’ prior written notice to us, and provide us with such other information as we may request in order to determine the effect of such transfer on our qualification as a REIT. The stock ownership limits and the other restrictions on ownership and transfer of our capital stock will not apply if our board of directors determines that it is no longer in our best interest to attempt to qualify, or to continue to qualify, as a REIT, and our board of directors determines that compliance with such limits and other restrictions is no longer required.

 

Pursuant to our charter, if any transfer of our capital stock would result in our capital stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons, such transfer will be void ab initio and the intended transferee will acquire no rights in such shares. In addition, if any purported transfer of our capital stock or any other event would otherwise result in:

 

any person violating the stock ownership limits or such other limit established by our board of directors; or

 

our being “closely held” under section 856(h) of the Code (without regard to whether the stockholder’s interest is held during the last half of a taxable year) or otherwise failing to qualify as a REIT, then that number of shares (rounded to the nearest whole share) that would cause us to violate such restrictions will automatically be deemed to be transferred to, and held by, a charitable trust for the exclusive benefit of one or more charitable organizations selected by us, and the intended transferee will acquire no rights in such shares. The deemed transfer will be effective as of the close of business on the business day prior to the date of the violative transfer or other event that results in a deemed transfer to the charitable trust. A person who, but for the deemed transfer of the shares to the charitable trust, would have beneficially or constructively owned the shares so transferred is referred to as a “prohibited owner,” which, if appropriate in the context, also means any person who would have been the record owner of the shares that the prohibited owner would have so owned.

 

Any distribution made to the prohibited owner, prior to our discovery that the shares had been deemed to be transferred to the charitable trust as described above, must be repaid to the trustee of the charitable trust upon demand for distribution to the beneficiary by the charitable trust. If the transfer to the charitable trust as described above would not be effective, for any reason, to prevent violation of the applicable restriction on ownership and transfer contained in our charter, then our charter provides that the transfer of the shares will be void ab initio. These rights will be exercised for the exclusive benefit of the charitable beneficiary. Any distribution authorized but unpaid will be paid when due to the trustee.

  

Capital stock transferred to the trustee of a charitable trust are deemed offered for sale to us, or our designee, at a price per share equal to the lesser of (i) the price paid per share in the transaction that resulted in such transfer to the charitable trust (or, if the event that resulted in the transfer to the charitable trust did not involve a purchase of such capital stock at market price, the last reported sales price reported on the NYSE (or other applicable exchange) on the trading day immediately preceding the day of the event which resulted in the transfer of such capital stock to the charitable trust) and (ii) the market price on the date we, or our designee, accepts such offer. We have the right to accept such offer until the trustee has sold the shares held in the charitable trust as discussed below. Upon a sale to us, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold terminates, the trustee must distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the prohibited owner and any distributions held by the trustee with respect to such capital stock will be made to the charitable beneficiary.

 

If we do not buy the shares, the trustee must, within 20 days of receiving notice from us of the transfer of shares to the charitable trust, sell the shares to a person or entity designated by the trustee who could own the shares without violating the stock ownership limits or the other restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares described above. After that, the trustee must distribute to the prohibited owner an amount equal to the lesser of (i) the price paid by the prohibited owner for the shares in the transaction that resulted in the transfer to the charitable trust (or, if the event which resulted in the transfer to the charitable trust did not involve a purchase of such shares at market price, the last reported sales price reported on the NYSE (or other applicable exchange) on the trading day immediately preceding the relevant date) and (ii) the sales proceeds (net of commissions and other expenses of sale) received by the charitable trust for the shares. Any net sales proceeds in excess of the amount payable to the prohibited owner will be immediately paid to the charitable beneficiary, together with any distributions thereon. In addition, if, prior to discovery by us that capital stock has been transferred to a charitable trust, such capital stock is sold by a prohibited owner, then such shares will be deemed to have been sold on behalf of the charitable trust and to the extent that the prohibited owner received an amount for or in respect of such shares that exceeds the amount that such prohibited owner was entitled to receive, such excess amount will be paid to the director upon demand. The prohibited owner has no rights in the shares held by the charitable trust.

  

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The trustee of the charitable trust will be designated by us and will be unaffiliated with us and with any prohibited owner. Prior to the sale of any shares by the charitable trust, the trustee will receive, in trust for the charitable beneficiary, all distributions made by us with respect to such shares and may also exercise all voting rights with respect to such shares.

 

Subject to Maryland law, effective as of the date that the shares have been transferred to the charitable trust, the trustee will have the authority, at the trustee’s sole discretion:

 

to rescind as void any vote cast by a purported record transferee prior to our discovery that the shares have been transferred to the charitable trust; and

 

to recast the vote in accordance with the desires of the trustee acting for the benefit of the beneficiary of the charitable trust.

 

However, if we have already taken irreversible action, then the trustee may not rescind and recast the vote.

 

If our board of directors determines in good faith that a proposed transfer would violate the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our capital stock set forth in our charter, our board of directors will take such action as it deems advisable to refuse to give effect to or to prevent such transfer, including, but not limited to, causing us to redeem capital stock, refusing to give effect to the transfer on our books or instituting proceedings to enjoin the transfer.

 

Every owner of more than 5% (or such lower percentage as required by the Code or the regulations promulgated thereunder) of all classes or series of our shares of capital stock is required to give written notice to us within 30 days after the end of each taxable year stating the name and address of such owner, the number of shares of each class and series of shares that the owner beneficially owns and a description of the manner in which such shares are held. Each such owner will be required to provide to us such additional information as we may request in order to determine the effect, if any, of such beneficial ownership on our qualification as a REIT and to ensure compliance with the stock ownership limits. In addition, each stockholder is, upon demand, required to provide to us such information as we may request, in good faith, in order to determine our qualification as a REIT and to comply with the requirements of any taxing authority or governmental authority or to determine such compliance.

 

Transfer Agent and Registrar

 

The transfer agent and registrar for our shares of common stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC.

  

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED STOCK

 

The following summary description of our preferred stock does not purport to be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to Maryland law, our charter and our bylaws, copies of which are filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”

 

General

 

Our charter authorizes our board of directors to issue up to 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share, in one or more series and with rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions that our board of directors may fix or designate without any further vote or action by our stockholders.

 

As of May 4, 2021, 1,663,193 shares of our 8.25% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, 3,814,119 shares of our 8.00% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock and 3,883,178 shares of our 8.00% Series C Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock were issued and outstanding. Our Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock are listed on the NYSE under the symbols “MITT.PrA,” “MITT.PrB” and “MITT.PrC,” respectively.

 

Our charter authorizes our board of directors to reclassify any unissued shares of common stock into preferred stock, to classify any unissued shares of preferred stock and to reclassify any previously classified but unissued shares of any series of preferred stock previously authorized by our board of directors. Prior to issuance of shares of each class or series of preferred stock, our board of directors is required by Maryland law and our charter to fix, subject to our charter restrictions on transfer and ownership, the terms, preferences, conversion or other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends or other distributions, qualifications and terms or conditions of redemption for each class or series. Thus, our board of directors could authorize the issuance of shares of preferred stock with terms and conditions that could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a transaction or a change of control that might involve a premium price for you or otherwise be in your best interest.

 

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Terms

 

When we issue preferred stock, it will be fully paid and nonassessable. The preferred stock will not have any preemptive rights.

 

Articles supplementary that will become part of our charter will set forth the specific terms of any new series of preferred stock offered. A prospectus supplement will describe these specific terms, including:

 

the title and stated value;

 

the number of shares, liquidation preference and offering price;

 

the dividend rate, dividend periods and payment dates;

 

the date on which dividends begin to accrue or accumulate;

 

any auction and remarketing procedures;

 

any retirement or sinking fund requirement;

 

the price and the terms and conditions of any redemption right;

 

any listing on any securities exchange;

 

the price and the terms and conditions of any conversion or exchange right;

 

any voting rights;

 

the relative ranking and preferences as to dividends, liquidation, dissolution or winding up;

 

any limitations on issuing any series of preferred stock ranking senior to or on a parity with the series of preferred stock as to dividends, liquidation, dissolution or winding up;

 

any limitations on direct or beneficial ownership and restrictions on transfer; and

 

any other specific terms, preferences, rights, limitations or restrictions.

 

Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer; Change of Control Provisions

 

As discussed above under “Description of Common Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer,” our charter contains restrictions on ownership and transfers of our capital stock. In addition, the articles supplementary designating the terms of each series of preferred stock may also contain additional provisions restricting the ownership and transfer of the preferred stock. The prospectus supplement will describe any additional ownership limitation relating to a series of preferred stock.

 

For a discussion of provisions in our charter that may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change of control, see “Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and our Charter and Bylaws.”

 

Transfer Agent

 

The transfer agent and registrar for our Series A Preferred Stock, our Series B Preferred Stock and our Series C Preferred Stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC. We anticipate American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC will serve as transfer agent and registrar for any other series of preferred stock.

 

Series A Preferred Stock

 

The Series A Preferred Stock generally provide for the following rights, preferences and obligations.

 

Dividend Rights. Holders of the Series A Preferred Stock are entitled to receive, when, as and if authorized by our board of directors and declared by us, out of funds legally available for the payment of dividends, cumulative cash dividends at a rate of 8.25% per annum of the $25.00 per share liquidation preference (equivalent to $2.0625 per annum per share).

 

Liquidation Rights. If we liquidate, dissolve or wind up, holders of the Series A Preferred Stock will have the right to receive $25.00 per share, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends to, but not including, the date of payment, before any payment is made to the holders of our common stock and the holders of any other class or series of stock ranking junior to the Series A Preferred Stock upon liquidation.

 

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Redemption Provisions. We may, at our option, redeem the Series A Preferred Stock, in whole or in part, at any time or from time to time, for cash at a redemption price equal to $25.00 per share, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends to, but not including, the date fixed for redemption. Upon the occurrence of a Change of Control (as defined in our charter), we may, at our option, redeem the Series A Preferred Stock for cash, in whole or in part, within 120 days after the first date on which such Change of Control occurred, at a redemption price of $25.00 per share, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends to, but not including, the date fixed for redemption.

 

Voting Rights. Holders of Series A Preferred Stock will generally have no voting rights. However, if we do not pay dividends on the Series A Preferred Stock for six or more quarterly dividend periods, whether or not consecutive, the number of directors constituting our board of directors will be automatically increased by two (if not already increased by two by reason of the election of directors by the holders of any other class or series of our preferred stock we have issued and may in the future issue upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable and with which the Series A Preferred Stock is entitled to vote as a class with respect to the election of those two directors, including our currently outstanding Series B Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock) and the holders of the Series A Preferred Stock (voting separately as a class with all other classes or series of preferred stock we have issued and may in the future issue upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable and which are entitled to vote as a class with the Series A Preferred Stock in the election of those two directors, including our currently outstanding Series B Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock) will be entitled to vote for the election of two additional directors to serve on our board of directors until all dividends accumulated on the Series A Preferred Stock for all past dividend periods and the then current dividend period have been fully paid or declared and a sum sufficient for the payment thereof set apart for payment. In addition, the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock, voting together as a single class with the holders of the Series B Preferred Stock, Series C Preferred Stock and any other class or series of preferred stock ranking on a parity with the Series A Preferred Stock as to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets upon liquidation and upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable, is required for us to: (i) authorize, create or increase the authorized or issued amount of any class or series of stock ranking senior to the Series A Preferred Stock with respect to payment of dividends or the distribution of assets upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up or reclassify any of our authorized stock into shares of such class or series, or create, authorize or issue any obligation or security convertible into or evidencing the right to purchase any such shares; or (ii) amend, alter or repeal any provision of our charter (including the articles supplementary designating the Series A Preferred Stock) so as to materially and adversely affect any rights of the Series A Preferred Stock. However, if any such change would materially and adversely affect the rights, preferences, privileges or voting rights of the Series A Preferred Stock disproportionately relative to other classes or series of preferred stock ranking on a parity with the Series A Preferred Stock as to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets upon liquidation, then the affirmative vote or consent of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock (voting as a separate class) will also be required. Among other things, we may, without a vote of the holders of Series A Preferred Stock, issue additional shares of Series A Preferred Stock and we may authorize and issue additional classes or series of preferred stock ranking on a parity with the Series A Preferred Stock as to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets upon liquidation, including the Series C Preferred Stock and Series B Preferred Stock

 

Conversion Rights. Upon the occurrence of a Change of Control, each holder of Series A Preferred Stock will have the right, subject to our election to redeem the Series A Preferred Stock in whole or part, on the Change of Control Conversion Date (as defined in our charter) to convert some or all of the Series A Preferred Stock held by such holder on the Change of Control Conversion Date into a number of shares of our common stock per share of Series A Preferred Stock equal to the lesser of: (a) the quotient obtained by dividing (i) the sum of the $25.00 liquidation preference per share of Series A Preferred Stock plus the amount of any accumulated and unpaid dividends thereon to, but not including, the Change of Control Conversion Date (unless the Change of Control Conversion Date is after a dividend record date and prior to the corresponding dividend payment date for the Series A Preferred Stock, in which case no additional amount for such accrued and unpaid dividend will be included in this sum) by (ii) the Common Stock price; and (b) 2.2810, or the Share Cap, subject to adjustments to the Share Cap for any splits, subdivisions or combinations of our common stock.

 

Series B Preferred Stock

 

The Series B Preferred Stock generally provide for the following rights, preferences and obligations.

 

Dividend Rights. Holders of the Series B Preferred Stock are entitled to receive, when, as and if authorized by our board of directors and declared by us, out of funds legally available for the payment of dividends, cumulative cash dividends at a rate of 8.00% per annum of the $25.00 per share liquidation preference (equivalent to $2.00 per annum per share).

 

Liquidation Rights. If we liquidate, dissolve or wind up, holders of the Series B Preferred Stock will have the right to receive $25.00 per share, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends to, but not including, the date of payment, before any payment is made to the holders of our common stock and the holders of any other class or series of stock ranking junior to the Series B Preferred Stock upon liquidation.

 

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Redemption Provisions. We may, at our option, redeem the Series B Preferred Stock, in whole, at any time, or in part, from time to time, for cash at a redemption price equal to $25.00 per share, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends to, but not including, the date fixed for redemption. Upon the occurrence of a Change of Control, we may, at our option, redeem the Series B Preferred Stock for cash, in whole or in part, within 120 days after the first date on which such Change of Control occurred, at a redemption price of $25.00 per share, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends to, but not including, the date fixed for redemption.

 

Voting Rights. Holders of Series B Preferred Stock will generally have no voting rights. However, if we do not pay dividends on the Series B Preferred Stock for six or more quarterly dividend periods, whether or not consecutive, the number of directors constituting our board of directors will be automatically increased by two (if not already increased by two by reason of the election of directors by the holders of any other class or series of our preferred stock we have issued and may in the future issue upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable and with which the Series B Preferred Stock is entitled to vote as a class with respect to the election of those two directors, including our currently outstanding Series A Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock) and the holders of the Series B Preferred Stock (voting separately as a class with all other classes or series of preferred stock we have issued and may in the future issue upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable and which are entitled to vote as a class with the Series B Preferred Stock in the election of those two directors, including our currently outstanding Series A Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock) will be entitled to vote for the election of two additional directors to serve on our board of directors until all dividends accumulated on the Series A Preferred Stock for all past dividend periods and the then current dividend period have been fully paid or declared and a sum sufficient for the payment thereof set apart for payment. In addition, the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series B Preferred Stock, voting together as a single class with the holders of the Series A Preferred Stock, Series C Preferred Stock and any other class or series of preferred stock ranking on a parity with the Series B Preferred Stock as to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets upon liquidation and upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable, is required for us to: (i) authorize, create or increase the authorized or issued amount of any class or series of stock ranking senior to the Series B Preferred Stock with respect to payment of dividends or the distribution of assets upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up or reclassify any of our authorized stock into shares of such class or series, or create, authorize or issue any obligation or security convertible into or evidencing the right to purchase any such shares; or (ii) amend, alter or repeal any provision of our charter (including the articles supplementary designating the Series B Preferred Stock) so as to materially and adversely affect any rights of the Series B Preferred Stock. However, if any such change would materially and adversely affect the rights, preferences, privileges or voting rights of the Series B Preferred Stock disproportionately relative to other classes or series of preferred stock ranking on a parity with the Series B Preferred Stock as to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets upon liquidation, then the affirmative vote or consent of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series B Preferred Stock (voting as a separate class) will also be required. Among other things, we may, without a vote of the holders of Series B Preferred Stock, issue additional shares of Series B Preferred Stock and we may authorize and issue additional classes or series of preferred stock ranking on a parity with the Series B Preferred Stock as to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets upon liquidation, including the Series A Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock.

 

Conversion Rights. Upon the occurrence of a Change of Control, each holder of Series B Preferred Stock will have the right, subject to our election to redeem the Series B Preferred Stock in whole or part on the Change of Control Conversion Date to convert some or all of the Series B Preferred Stock held by such holder on the Change of Control Conversion Date into a number of shares of our common stock per share of Series B Preferred Stock equal to the lesser of: (a) the quotient obtained by dividing (i) the sum of the $25.00 liquidation preference per share of Series B Preferred Stock plus the amount of any accumulated and unpaid dividends thereon to, but not including, the Change of Control Conversion Date (unless the Change of Control Conversion Date is after a dividend record date and prior to the corresponding dividend payment date for the Series B Preferred Stock, in which case no additional amount for such accrued and unpaid dividend will be included in this sum) by (ii) the Common Stock price; and (b) 2.1195, or the Share Cap, subject to adjustments to the Share Cap for any splits, subdivisions or combinations of our common stock.

 

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Series C Preferred Stock

 

The Series C Preferred Stock generally provide for the following rights, preferences and obligations.

 

Dividend Rights. Holders are entitled to receive, when, as and if authorized by our board of directors and declared by us, out of funds legally available for the payment of dividends, cumulative cash dividends (i) from and including the original issue date to, but not including, September 17, 2024 at a fixed rate equal to 8.000% per annum of the $25.00 per share liquidation preference (equivalent to $2.00 per annum per share) and (ii) on and after September 17, 2024 (the "Floating Rate Period"), at a floating rate equal to Three-Month LIBOR plus a spread of 6.476% per annum of the $25.00 per share liquidation preference.

 

Liquidation Rights. Holders will have the right to receive $25.00 per share, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends thereon to, but excluding, the payment date, before any payment is made to the holders of our common stock and the holders of any other class or series of stock ranking junior to the Series C Preferred Stock upon liquidation.

 

Redemption Provisions. The Series C Preferred Stock is not redeemable by us prior to September 17, 2024, except under certain circumstances. On and after September 17, 2024, we may, at our option, redeem the Series C Preferred Stock, in whole or in part, at any time or from time to time, for cash at a redemption price of $25.00 per share, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends thereon to, but excluding, the redemption date. Upon the occurrence of a Change of Control, we may, at our option, redeem the Series C Preferred Stock, in whole or in part, within 120 days after the first date on which such Change of Control occurred, for cash at a redemption price of $25.00 per share, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends thereon to, but excluding, the redemption date.

 

Voting Rights. Holders of Series C Preferred Stock will generally have no voting rights. However, if we do not pay dividends on the Series C Preferred Stock for six or more full quarterly dividend periods (whether or not consecutive), the number of directors constituting the board of directors will automatically be increased by two and the holders of Series C Preferred Stock, voting together as a single class with the holders of the Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock and all other classes or series of our preferred stock upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable, will be entitled to vote for the election of two additional directors to serve on our board of directors until we pay all dividends accumulated on the Series C Preferred Stock for all past dividend periods and the then current dividend period. In addition, the affirmative vote of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series C Preferred Stock, voting together as a single class with the holders of the Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock and any other class or series of preferred stock ranking on a parity with the Series C Preferred Stock as to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets upon liquidation and upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable, is required for us to: (i) authorize, create or increase the authorized or issued amount of any class or series of stock ranking senior to the Series C Preferred Stock with respect to payment of dividends or the distribution of assets upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up or reclassify any of our authorized stock into shares of such class or series, or create, authorize or issue any obligation or security convertible into or evidencing the right to purchase any such shares; or (ii) amend, alter or repeal any provision of our charter (including the articles supplementary designating the Series C Preferred Stock) so as to materially and adversely affect any rights of the Series C Preferred Stock. However, if any such change would materially and adversely affect the rights, preferences, privileges or voting rights of the Series C Preferred Stock disproportionately relative to other classes or series of preferred stock ranking on a parity with the Series C Preferred Stock as to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets upon liquidation, then the affirmative vote or consent of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Series C Preferred Stock (voting as a separate class) will also be required. Among other things, we may, without a vote of the holders of Series C Preferred Stock, issue additional shares of Series C Preferred Stock and we may authorize and issue additional classes or series of preferred stock ranking on a parity with the Series C Preferred Stock as to the payment of dividends and the distribution of assets upon liquidation, including the Series A Preferred Stock and Series B Preferred Stock

 

Conversion Rights. Upon the occurrence of a Change of Control, each holder of Series C Preferred Stock will have the right (unless we have exercised our right to redeem the Series C Preferred Stock in whole or part) to convert some or all of the shares of Series C Preferred Stock held by such holder on the Change of Control Conversion Date into a number of shares of our common stock per share of Series C Preferred Stock to be converted equal to the lesser of: (a) the quotient obtained by dividing (i) the sum of the $25.00 liquidation preference per share of Series C Preferred Stock, plus any accumulated and unpaid dividends thereon to, but excluding, the Change of Control Conversion Date (unless the Change of Control Conversion Date is after a dividend record date and prior to the corresponding dividend payment date for the Series C Preferred Stock, in which case no additional amount for such accumulated and unpaid dividends to be paid on such dividend payment date will be included in this sum) by (ii) the Common Stock price; and (b) 3.23206, or the Share Cap, subject to adjustments to the Share Cap for any splits, including those effected by distributions, subdivisions or combinations of our common stock.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

 

General

 

The debt securities offered by this prospectus will be our direct unsecured general obligations. This prospectus describes certain general terms of the debt securities offered through this prospectus. In the following discussion, we refer to any of our direct unsecured general obligations as the “Debt Securities.” When we offer to sell a particular series of Debt Securities, we will describe the specific terms of that series in a prospectus supplement or any free writing prospectus. The Debt Securities will be issued under an open-ended Indenture (for Debt Securities) between us and a trustee to be selected by us at or about the time we offer our Debt Securities. The form of open-ended Indenture (for Debt Securities) is incorporated by reference into the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part and is filed as an exhibit to the registration statement. In this prospectus we refer to the Indenture (for Debt Securities) as the “Debt Securities Indenture.” We refer to the trustee under any Debt Securities Indenture as the “Debt Securities Trustee.”

 

The prospectus supplement or any free writing prospectus applicable to a particular series of Debt Securities may state that a particular series of Debt Securities will be our subordinated obligations. The form of Debt Securities Indenture referred to above includes optional provisions (designated by brackets (“[    ]”)) that we would expect to appear in a separate indenture for subordinated debt securities in the event we issue subordinated debt securities. In the following discussion, we refer to any of our subordinated obligations as the “Subordinated Debt Securities.” Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or any free writing prospectus provides otherwise, we will use a separate Debt Securities Indenture for any Subordinated Debt Securities that we may issue. Our Debt Securities Indenture will be qualified under the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended, or the Trust Indenture Act, and you should refer to the Trust Indenture Act for the provisions that apply to the Debt Securities.

 

We have summarized selected provisions of the Debt Securities Indenture below. Each Debt Securities Indenture will be independent of any other Debt Securities Indenture unless otherwise stated in a prospectus supplement or any free writing prospectus. The summary that follows is not complete and the summary is qualified in its entirety by reference to the provisions of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture. You should consult the applicable Debt Securities, Debt Securities Indenture, any supplemental indentures, officers’ certificates and other related documents for more complete information on the Debt Securities. These documents appear as exhibits to, or are incorporated by reference into, the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, or will appear as exhibits to other documents that we will file with the SEC, which will be incorporated by reference into this prospectus. In the summary below, we have included references to applicable section numbers of the Debt Securities Indenture so that you can easily locate these provisions.

 

Ranking

 

Our Debt Securities that are not designated Subordinated Debt Securities will be effectively subordinated to all secured indebtedness that we have outstanding from time to time to the extent of the value of the collateral securing such secured indebtedness. Our Debt Securities that are designated Subordinated Debt Securities will be subordinate to all outstanding secured indebtedness as well as Debt Securities that are not designated Subordinated Debt Securities. We incur indebtedness from time to time to finance many of our assets primarily pursuant to repurchase agreements. This indebtedness is deemed to be secured indebtedness. As a result, we have a significant amount of secured indebtedness at any given time in relation to our total assets. The Debt Securities Indenture does not limit the amount of secured indebtedness that we may issue or incur.

 

Our ability to meet our financial obligations with respect to any future Debt Securities, and cash needs generally, is dependent on our operating cash flow, our ability to access various sources of short- and long-term liquidity, including repurchase agreements, financing and the capital markets. Holders of our Debt Securities will effectively have a junior position to claims of our creditors, including trade creditors, debt holders, secured creditors, taxing authorities and guarantee holders.

 

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Provisions of a Particular Series

 

The Debt Securities may from time to time be issued in one or more series. You should consult the prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus relating to any particular series of Debt Securities for the following information:

 

the title of the Debt Securities;

 

any limit on the aggregate principal amount of the Debt Securities of the series of which they are a part;

 

the date(s), or method for determining the date(s), on which the principal of the Debt Securities will be payable;

 

the rate, including the method of determination, if applicable, at which the Debt Securities will bear interest, if any, and:

 

the date from which the interest will accrue;

 

the dates on which we will pay interest;

 

to whom the interest is payable, if other than the registered holder;

 

our ability, if any, to defer interest payments and any related restrictions during any interest deferral period; and

 

the record date for any interest payable on any interest payment date;

 

the place where:

 

the principal of, premium, if any, and interest on the Debt Securities will be payable;

 

you may register the transfer of the Debt Securities;

 

you may exchange the Debt Securities; and

 

you may serve notices and demands upon us regarding the Debt Securities;

 

the security registrar for the Debt Securities and whether the principal of the Debt Securities is payable without presentment or surrender of them;

 

the terms and conditions upon which we may elect to redeem any Debt Securities, including any replacement capital or similar covenants limiting our ability to redeem any Subordinated Debt Securities;

 

the denominations in which we may issue Debt Securities, if other than $1,000 and integral multiples of $1,000;

 

the terms and conditions upon which the Debt Securities must be redeemed or purchased due to our obligations pursuant to any sinking fund or other mandatory redemption or tender provisions, or at the holder’s option, including any applicable exceptions to notice requirements;

 

the currency, if other than United States currency, in which payments on the Debt Securities will be payable;

 

the terms according to which elections can be made by us or the holder regarding payments on the Debt Securities in currency other than the currency in which the Debt Securities are stated to be payable;

 

if any Debt Securities are denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars or in a composite currency, the obligations or instruments that will be considered eligible obligations with respect to such Debt Securities and any additional provisions for the reimbursement of the Company’s indebtedness with respect to such Debt Securities after the satisfaction or discharge thereof;

 

if payments are to be made on the Debt Securities in securities or other property, the type and amount of the securities and other property or the method by which the amount shall be determined;

 

the manner in which we will determine any amounts payable on the Debt Securities that are to be determined with reference to an index or other fact or event ascertainable outside of the applicable indenture;

 

if other than the entire principal amount, the portion of the principal amount of the Debt Securities payable upon declaration of acceleration of their maturity;

 

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any addition to the events of default applicable to any Debt Securities and any addition to our covenants for the benefit of the holders of the Debt Securities;

 

the terms applicable to any rights to convert Debt Securities into or exchange them for other of our securities or those of any other entity;

 

whether we are issuing Debt Securities as global securities, and if so:

 

the terms and conditions upon which the global securities may be exchanged for certificated Debt Securities;

 

the depositary for the global securities; and

 

the form of legend to be set forth on the global securities;

 

whether we are issuing the Debt Securities as bearer certificates;

 

any limitations on transfer or exchange of Debt Securities or the right to obtain registration of their transfer, and the terms and amount of any service charge required for registration of transfer or exchange;

 

any exceptions to the provisions governing payments due on legal holidays, or any variations in the definition of business day with respect to the Debt Securities;

 

any collateral security, assurance, guarantee or other credit enhancement applicable to the Debt Securities;

 

any other terms of the Debt Securities not in conflict with the provisions of the applicable Debt Securities Indenture; and

 

the material federal income tax consequences applicable to the Debt Securities.

 

For more information, see Section 3.01 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

Debt Securities may be sold at a substantial discount below their principal amount. You should consult the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus for a description of certain material federal income tax considerations that may apply to Debt Securities sold at an original issue discount or denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars.

 

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, the covenants contained in the applicable indenture will not afford holders of Debt Securities protection in the event we have a change in control or are involved in a highly-leveraged transaction.

 

Subordination

 

The applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus may provide that a series of Debt Securities will be Subordinated Debt Securities, subordinate and junior in right of payment to all of our Senior Indebtedness, as defined below. If so, we will issue these securities under a separate Debt Securities Indenture for Subordinated Debt Securities. For more information, see Article XV of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, in the event:

 

there occur certain acts of bankruptcy, insolvency, liquidation, dissolution or other winding up of our company;

 

any Senior Indebtedness is not paid when due;

 

any applicable grace period with respect to other defaults with respect to any Senior Indebtedness has ended, the default has not been cured or waived and the maturity of such Senior Indebtedness has been accelerated because of the default; or

 

the maturity of the Subordinated Debt Securities of any series has been accelerated because of a default and Senior Indebtedness is then outstanding;

 

then no payment of principal of, including redemption and sinking fund payments, or any premium or interest on, the Subordinated Debt Securities may be made until all amounts due to holders of Senior Indebtedness have been paid in full.

 

Upon any distribution of our assets to creditors upon any dissolution, winding up, liquidation or reorganization, whether voluntary or involuntary or in bankruptcy, insolvency, receivership or other proceedings, all principal of, and any premium and interest due or to become due on, all outstanding Senior Indebtedness must be paid in full before the holders of the Subordinated Debt Securities are entitled to payment. For more information, see Section 15.02 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture. The rights of the holders of the Subordinated Debt Securities will be subrogated to the rights of the holders of Senior Indebtedness to receive payments or distributions applicable to Senior Indebtedness until all amounts owing on the Subordinated Debt Securities are paid in full. For more information, see Section 15.04 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

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Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, the term “Senior Indebtedness” means all:

 

obligations (other than non-recourse obligations and the indebtedness issued under the applicable Subordinated Debt Securities Indenture) of, or guaranteed or assumed by, us:

 

for borrowed money (including both senior and subordinated indebtedness for borrowed money, but excluding the Subordinated Debt Securities); or

 

for the payment of money relating to any lease that is capitalized on our consolidated balance sheet in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;

 

indebtedness evidenced by bonds, debentures, notes or other similar instruments;

 

obligations with respect to letters of credit, bankers’ acceptances or similar facilities issued for our account;

 

obligations issued or assumed as the deferred purchase price of property or services (excluding trade accounts payable or accrued liabilities arising in the ordinary course);

 

obligations for claims, as defined in section 101(5) of the United States Bankruptcy Code of 1978, as amended, in respect of derivative products such as interest and foreign exchange rate contracts, commodity contracts and similar arrangements; and

 

obligations of another person for which we have guaranteed or assumed direct or indirect responsibility or liability.

 

In the case of any such indebtedness or obligations, Senior Indebtedness includes amendments, renewals, extensions, modifications and refundings, whether existing as of the date of the Subordinated Debt Securities Indenture or subsequently incurred by us.

 

The Subordinated Debt Securities Indenture does not limit the aggregate amount of Senior Indebtedness we may issue.

 

Form, Exchange and Transfer

 

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, we will issue Debt Securities only in fully registered form without coupons and in denominations of $1,000 and integral multiples of $1,000. For more information, see Sections 2.01 and 3.02 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

Holders may present Debt Securities for exchange or for registration of transfer, duly endorsed or accompanied by a duly executed instrument of transfer, at the office of the security registrar or at the office of any transfer agent we may designate. Exchanges and transfers are subject to the terms of the applicable indenture and applicable limitations for global securities. We may designate ourselves as the security registrar.

 

No charge will be made for any registration of transfer or exchange of Debt Securities, but we may require payment of a sum sufficient to cover any tax or other governmental charge that the holder must pay in connection with the transaction. Any transfer or exchange will become effective upon the security registrar or transfer agent, as the case may be, being satisfied with the documents of title and identity of the person making the request. For more information, see Section 3.05 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

The applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus will state the name of any transfer agent, in addition to the security registrar initially designated by us, for any Debt Securities. We may at any time designate additional transfer agents or withdraw the designation of any transfer agent or make a change in the office through which any transfer agent acts. We must, however, maintain a transfer agent in each place of payment for the Debt Securities of each series. For more information, see Section 6.02 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

We will not be required to issue, register the transfer of, or exchange any:

 

Debt Securities or any tranche of any Debt Securities during a period beginning at the opening of business 15 days before the day of mailing of a notice of redemption of any Debt Securities called for redemption and ending at the close of business on the day of mailing; or

 

Debt Securities selected for redemption except the unredeemed portion of any Debt Securities being partially redeemed.

 

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For more information, see Section 3.05 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

Payment and Paying Agents

 

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, we will pay interest on a Debt Security on any interest payment date to the person in whose name the Debt Security is registered at the close of business on the regular record date for the interest payment. For more information, see Section 3.07 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus provides otherwise, we will pay principal and any premium and interest on Debt Securities at the office of the paying agent whom we will designate for this purpose. Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, the corporate trust office of the Debt Securities Trustee in New York City will be designated as our sole paying agent for payments with respect to Debt Securities of each series. Any other paying agents initially designated by us for the Debt Securities of a particular series will be named in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus. We may at any time add or delete paying agents or change the office through which any paying agent acts. We must, however, maintain a paying agent in each place of payment for the Debt Securities of a particular series. For more information, see Section 6.02 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

All money we pay to a paying agent for the payment of the principal and any premium or interest on any Debt Security that remains unclaimed at the end of two years after payment is due will be repaid to us. After that date, the holder of that Debt Security shall be deemed an unsecured general creditor and may look only to us for these payments. For more information, see Section 6.03 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

Redemption

 

You should consult the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus for any terms regarding optional or mandatory redemption of Debt Securities. Except for any provisions in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus regarding Debt Securities redeemable at the holder’s option, Debt Securities may be redeemed only upon notice by mail not less than 30 nor more than 60 days prior to the redemption date. Further, if less than all of the Debt Securities of a series, or any tranche of a series, are to be redeemed, the Debt Securities to be redeemed will be selected by the Debt Securities Trustee by the method provided for the particular series. In the absence of a selection provision, the Debt Securities Trustee will select a fair and appropriate method of selection. For more information, see Sections 4.02, 4.03 and 4.04 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

A notice of redemption we provide may state:

 

that redemption is conditioned upon receipt by the paying agent on or before the redemption date of money sufficient to pay the principal of and any premium and interest on the Debt Securities; and

 

that if the money has not been received, the notice will be ineffective and we will not be required to redeem the Debt Securities.

 

For more information, see Section 4.04 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

Consolidation, Merger and Sale of Assets

 

We may not consolidate with or merge into any other corporation, nor may we transfer or lease substantially all of our assets and property to any other person, unless:

 

the corporation formed by the consolidation or into which we are merged, or the person that acquires by conveyance or transfer, or that leases, substantially all of our property and assets:

 

is organized and validly existing under the laws of a domestic jurisdiction; and

 

expressly assumes by supplemental indenture our obligations on the Debt Securities and under the applicable indentures;

 

immediately after giving effect to the transaction, no event of default, and no event that (after notice or lapse of time or both) would become an event of default, has occurred and is continuing; and

 

we have delivered to the Debt Securities Trustee an officer’s certificate and opinion of counsel as provided in the applicable indentures.

 

For more information, see Section 11.01 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

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Events of Default

 

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus states otherwise, “event of default” under the applicable indenture with respect to Debt Securities of any series means any of the following:

 

failure to pay any interest due on any Debt Security of that series within 30 days after it becomes due;

 

failure to pay principal or premium, if any, when due on any Debt Security of that series;

 

failure to make any required sinking fund payment when due on any Debt Securities of that series;

 

breach of or failure to perform any other covenant or warranty in the applicable indenture with respect to Debt Securities of that series for 60 days (subject to extension under certain circumstances for another 120 days) after we receive notice from the Debt Securities Trustee, or we and the Debt Securities Trustee receive notice from the holders of at least 33% in principal amount of the Debt Securities of that series outstanding under the applicable indenture according to the provisions of the applicable indenture;

 

certain events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization; and

 

any other event of default set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus.

 

For more information, see Section 8.01 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

An event of default with respect to a particular series of Debt Securities does not necessarily constitute an event of default with respect to the Debt Securities of any other series issued under the applicable indenture.

 

If an event of default with respect to a particular series of Debt Securities occurs and is continuing, either the Debt Securities Trustee or the holders of at least 33% in principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of that series may declare the principal amount of all of the Debt Securities of that series to be due and payable immediately. If the Debt Securities of that series are discount Debt Securities or similar Debt Securities, only the portion of the principal amount as specified in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus may be immediately due and payable. If an event of default occurs and is continuing with respect to all series of Debt Securities issued under a Debt Securities Indenture, including all events of default relating to bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization, the Debt Securities Trustee or the holders of at least 33% in principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of all series issued under that Debt Securities Indenture, considered together, may declare an acceleration of the principal amount of all series of Debt Securities issued under that Debt Securities Indenture. There is no automatic acceleration, even in the event of our bankruptcy or insolvency.

 

The applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus may provide, with respect to a series of Debt Securities to which a credit enhancement is applicable, that the provider of the credit enhancement may, if a default has occurred and is continuing with respect to the series, have all or any part of the rights with respect to remedies that would otherwise have been exercisable by the holder of that series.

 

At any time after a declaration of acceleration with respect to the Debt Securities of a particular series, and before a judgment or decree for payment of the money due has been obtained, the event of default giving rise to the declaration of acceleration will, without further action, be deemed to have been waived, and the declaration and its consequences will be deemed to have been rescinded and annulled, if:

 

we have paid or deposited with the Debt Securities Trustee a sum sufficient to pay:

 

all overdue interest on all Debt Securities of the particular series;

 

the principal of and any premium on any Debt Securities of that series that have become due otherwise than by the declaration of acceleration and any interest at the rate prescribed in the Debt Securities;

 

interest upon overdue interest at the rate prescribed in the Debt Securities, to the extent payment is lawful; and

 

all amounts due to the Debt Securities Trustee under the applicable indenture; and

 

any other event of default with respect to the Debt Securities of the particular series, other than the failure to pay the principal of the Debt Securities of that series that has become due solely by the declaration of acceleration, has been cured or waived as provided in the applicable indenture.

 

For more information, see Section 8.02 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

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The applicable Debt Securities Indenture likely will include provisions as to the duties of the Debt Securities Trustee in case an event of default occurs and is continuing. Consistent with these provisions, the Debt Securities Trustee will be under no obligation to exercise any of its rights or powers at the request or direction of any of the holders unless those holders have offered to the Debt Securities Trustee reasonable security or indemnity against the costs, expenses and liabilities that may be incurred by it in compliance with such request or direction. For more information, see Section 9.03 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture. Subject to these provisions for indemnification, the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of any series may direct the time, method and place of conducting any proceeding for any remedy available to the Debt Securities Trustee, or exercising any trust or power conferred on the Debt Securities Trustee, with respect to the Debt Securities of that series. For more information, see Section 8.12 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

No holder of Debt Securities may institute any proceeding regarding the applicable indenture, or for the appointment of a receiver or a trustee, or for any other remedy under the applicable indenture unless:

 

the holder has previously given to the Debt Securities Trustee written notice of a continuing event of default of that particular series;

 

the holders of at least a majority in principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of all series with respect to which an event of default has occurred and is continuing have made a written request to the Debt Securities Trustee, and have offered reasonable indemnity to the Debt Securities Trustee, to institute the proceeding as trustee; and

 

the Debt Securities Trustee has failed to institute the proceeding, and has not received from the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of that series a direction inconsistent with the request, within 60 days after notice, request and offer of reasonable indemnity.

 

For more information, see Section 8.07 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

The preceding limitations do not apply, however, to a suit instituted by a holder of a Debt Security for the enforcement of payment of the principal of or any premium or interest on the Debt Securities on or after the applicable due date stated in the Debt Securities. For more information, see Section 8.08 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

We must furnish annually to the Debt Securities Trustee a statement by an appropriate officer as to that officer’s knowledge of our compliance with all conditions and covenants under each of the indentures for Debt Securities. Our compliance is to be determined without regard to any grace period or notice requirement under the respective indenture. For more information, see Sections 6.05 and 6.06 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

Modification and Waiver

 

We and the Debt Securities Trustee, without the consent of the holders of the Debt Securities, may enter into one or more supplemental indentures for any of the following purposes:

 

to evidence the assumption by any permitted successor of our covenants in the applicable indenture and the Debt Securities;

 

to add one or more covenants or other provisions for the benefit of the holders of outstanding Debt Securities or to surrender any right or power conferred upon us by the applicable indenture;

 

to add any additional events of default;

 

to change or eliminate any provision of the applicable indenture or add any new provision to it, but if this action would adversely affect the interests of the holders of any particular series of Debt Securities

 

in any material respect, the action will not become effective with respect to that series while any Debt Securities of that series remain outstanding under the applicable indenture;

 

to provide collateral security for the Debt Securities;

 

to establish the form or terms of Debt Securities according to the provisions of the applicable indenture;

 

to provide for the authentication and delivery of bearer securities (and coupons representing any interest thereon) and for procedures for the registration, exchange and replacement of such bearer securities and for the giving of notice to, and the solicitation of the vote or consent of, the holders of such bearer securities, and for all related incidental matters;

 

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to evidence the acceptance of appointment of a successor Debt Securities Trustee under the applicable indenture with respect to one or more series of the Debt Securities and to add to or change any of the provisions of the applicable indenture as necessary to provide for trust administration under the applicable indenture by more than one trustee;

   

to provide for the procedures required to permit the use of a non-certificated system of registration for any series of Debt Securities;

 

to change any place where:

 

the principal of and any premium and interest on any Debt Securities are payable;

 

any Debt Securities may be surrendered for registration of transfer or exchange;

 

notices and demands to or upon us regarding Debt Securities and the applicable indentures may be served; or

 

to cure any ambiguity or inconsistency, but only by means of changes or additions that will not adversely affect the interests of the holders of Debt Securities of any series in any material respect.

 

For more information, see Section 12.01 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

The holders of at least a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of any series may waive:

 

compliance by us with certain provisions of the applicable indenture (see Section 6.06 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture); and

 

any past default under the applicable indenture, except a default in the payment of principal, premium or interest and certain covenants and provisions of the applicable indenture that cannot be modified or amended without consent of the holder of each outstanding Debt Security of the series affected (see Section 8.13 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture).

 

The Trust Indenture Act of 1939 may be amended after the date of the applicable indenture to require changes to the indenture. In this event, the indenture will be deemed to have been amended so as to effect the changes, and we and the Debt Securities Trustee may, without the consent of any holders, enter into one or more supplemental indentures to evidence or effect the amendment. For more information, see Section 12.01 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

Except as provided in this section, the consent of the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of all series issued pursuant to a Debt Securities Indenture, considered as one class, is required to change in any manner the Debt Securities Indenture pursuant to one or more supplemental indentures. If there are Debt Securities of more than one series outstanding under a Debt Securities Indenture and less than all of such series are directly affected by a proposed supplemental indenture, however, only the consent of the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of all series directly affected, considered as one class, will be required. Furthermore, if the Debt Securities of any series have been issued in more than one tranche and if the proposed supplemental indenture directly affects the rights of the holders of one or more, but not all, tranches, only the consent of the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of all tranches directly affected, considered as one class, will be required. In addition, an amendment or modification:

 

may not, without the consent of the holder of each outstanding Debt Security affected:

 

change the maturity of the principal of, or any installment of principal of or interest on, any Debt Securities;

 

reduce the principal amount or the rate of interest, or the amount of any installment of interest, or change the method of calculating the rate of interest;

 

reduce any premium payable upon the redemption of the Debt Securities;

 

reduce the amount of the principal of any Debt Security originally issued at a discount from the stated principal amount that would be due and payable upon a declaration of acceleration of maturity;

 

change the currency or other property in which a Debt Security or premium or interest on a Debt Security is payable; or

 

impair the right to institute suit for the enforcement of any payment on or after the stated maturity, or in the case of redemption, on or after the redemption date, of any Debt Securities;

 

may not reduce the percentage of principal amount requirement for consent of the holders for any supplemental indenture, or for any waiver of compliance with any provision of or any default under the applicable indenture, or reduce the requirements for quorum or voting, without the consent of the holder of each outstanding Debt Security of each series or tranche affected; and

 

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may not modify provisions of the applicable indenture relating to supplemental indentures, waivers of certain covenants and waivers of past defaults with respect to the Debt Securities of any series, or any tranche of a series, without the consent of the holder of each outstanding Debt Security affected.

 

A supplemental indenture will be deemed not to affect the rights under the applicable indenture of the holders of any series or tranche of the Debt Securities if the supplemental indenture:

 

changes or eliminates any covenant or other provision of the applicable indenture expressly included solely for the benefit of one or more other particular series of Debt Securities or tranches thereof; or

 

modifies the rights of the holders of Debt Securities of any other series or tranches with respect to any covenant or other provision.

 

For more information, see Section 12.02 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

If we solicit from holders of the Debt Securities any type of action, we may at our option by board resolution fix in advance a record date for the determination of the holders entitled to vote on the action. We shall have no obligation, however, to do so. If we fix a record date, the action may be taken before or after the record date, but only the holders of record at the close of business on the record date shall be deemed to be holders for the purposes of determining whether holders of the requisite proportion of the outstanding Debt Securities have authorized the action. For that purpose, the outstanding Debt Securities shall be computed as of the record date. Any holder action shall bind every future holder of the same security and the holder of every security issued upon the registration of transfer of or in exchange for or in lieu of the security in respect of anything done or permitted by the Debt Securities Trustee or us in reliance on that action, whether or not notation of the action is made upon the security. For more information, see Section 1.04 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

Defeasance

 

Unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus provides otherwise, any Debt Security, or portion of the principal amount of a Debt Security, will be deemed to have been paid for purposes of the applicable indenture, and, at our election, our entire indebtedness in respect of the Debt Security, or portion thereof, will be deemed to have been satisfied and discharged, if we have irrevocably deposited with the Debt Securities Trustee or any paying agent other than us, in trust money, certain eligible obligations, as defined in the applicable indenture, or a combination of the two, sufficient to pay principal of and any premium and interest due and to become due on the Debt Security or portion thereof, and other required documentation. Included among the documentation we are required to deliver to be deemed to have our indebtedness deemed satisfied and discharged with respect to a Debt Security pursuant to the preceding sentence is an opinion of counsel to the effect that, as a result of a change in law occurring after the date of the form of Debt Security Indenture, the holders of such Debt Security, or portions thereof, will not recognize income, gain or loss for federal income tax purposes as a result of the satisfaction and discharge of our indebtedness in respect thereof and will be subject to federal income tax on the same amounts, at the same times and in the same manner as if such satisfaction and discharge had not been effected. For more information, see Section 7.01 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture. For this purpose, unless the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus provides otherwise, eligible obligations include direct obligations of, or obligations unconditionally guaranteed by, the United States, entitled to the benefit of full faith and credit of the United States, and certificates, depositary receipts or other instruments that evidence a direct ownership interest in those obligations or in any specific interest or principal payments due in respect of those obligations.

 

Resignation, Removal of Debt Securities Trustee; Appointment of Successor

 

The Debt Securities Trustee may resign at any time by giving written notice to us or may be removed at any time by an action of the holders of a majority in principal amount of outstanding Debt Securities delivered to the Debt Securities Trustee and us. No resignation or removal of the Debt Securities Trustee and no appointment of a successor trustee will become effective until a successor trustee accepts appointment in accordance with the requirements of the applicable indenture. So long as no event of default or event that would become an event of default (after notice or lapse of time or both) has occurred and is continuing, and except with respect to a Debt Securities Trustee appointed by an action of the holders, if we have delivered to the Debt Securities Trustee a resolution of our board of directors appointing a successor trustee and the successor trustee has accepted the appointment in accordance with the terms of the applicable indenture, the Debt Securities Trustee will be deemed to have resigned and the successor trustee will be deemed to have been appointed as trustee in accordance with the applicable indenture. For more information, see Section 9.10 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

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Notices

  

We will give notices to holders of Debt Securities by mail to their addresses as they appear in the Debt Security Register. For more information, see Section 1.06 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

Title

 

The Debt Securities Trustee and its agents, and we and our agents, may treat the person in whose name a Debt Security is registered as the absolute owner of that Debt Security, whether or not that Debt Security may be overdue, for the purpose of making payment and for all other purposes. For more information, see Section 3.08 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

 

Governing Law

 

The Debt Securities Indentures and the Debt Securities, including any Subordinated Debt Securities Indentures and Subordinated Debt Securities, will be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the law of the State of New York. For more information, see Section 1.12 of the form of Debt Securities Indenture.

  

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

 

We may issue warrants for the purchase of common stock or preferred stock, or any combination of these securities. Warrants may be issued independently or together with any securities and may be attached to or separate from the securities. Each series of warrants will be issued under a separate warrant agreement to be entered into between us and a warrant agent specified in the prospectus supplement governing the offering of any warrants.

 

The agent for warrants will act solely for us in connection with warrants of the series and will not assume any obligation or relationship of agency or trust for or with any holders or beneficial owners of warrants.

 

The prospectus supplement governing the issuance of any series of warrants will include specific terms relating to the offering, including, if applicable:

 

the title of the warrants;

 

the aggregate number of warrants;

 

the price or prices at which the warrants will be issued;

 

the currencies in which the price or prices of the warrants may be payable;

 

the designation, amount and terms of the offered securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants;

 

the designation and terms of the other offered securities, if any, with which the warrants are issued and the number of warrants issued with the security;

 

if applicable, the date on and after which the warrants and the offered securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants will be separately transferable;

 

the price or prices at which, and currency or currencies in which, the offered securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants may be purchased;

 

the date on which the right to exercise the warrants shall commence and the date on which the right shall expire;

 

the minimum or maximum amount of the warrants which may be exercised at any one time;

 

information with respect to book-entry procedures, if any;

 

any listing of warrants on any securities exchange;

 

if appropriate, a discussion of federal income tax consequences applicable to the warrants; and

 

any other material term of the warrants, including terms, procedures and limitations relating to the exchange and exercise of the warrants.

 

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Additionally, in order to enable us to preserve our qualification as a REIT, we may take certain actions to restrict ownership and transfer of our outstanding securities, including any warrants. The prospectus supplement related to the offering of any warrants will specify any additional ownership limitation relating to the warrants being offered thereby.

  

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

 

We may issue units consisting of one or more shares of common stock, shares of preferred stock, warrants, subscription rights or any combination of such securities.

 

The prospectus supplement governing the issuance of any units will specify the following terms in respect of which this prospectus is being delivered:

 

the terms of the units and of any of the shares of common stock, shares of preferred stock, warrants or subscription rights constituting the units, including whether and under what circumstances the securities comprising the units may be traded separately;

 

the terms of any unit agreement governing the units;

 

if appropriate, a discussion of federal income tax consequences applicable to the units; and

 

the provisions for the payment, settlement, transfer or exchange of the units.

 

Additionally, in order to enable us to preserve our qualification as a REIT, we may take certain actions to restrict ownership and transfer of our outstanding securities, including any units. The prospectus supplement related to the offering of any units will specify any additional ownership limitation relating to the units being offered thereby.

   

DESCRIPTION OF SUBSCRIPTION RIGHTS

 

We may issue subscription rights, either independently or together with any other offered security. Subscription rights may or may not be transferable by the person purchasing or receiving the subscription rights. In connection with any subscription rights offering to our stockholders, subject to compliance with applicable law, we may enter into a standby underwriting or other arrangement with one or more underwriters or other persons pursuant to which such underwriters or other persons would purchase any offered securities remaining unsubscribed for after such subscription rights offering. We will describe the specific terms of the subscription rights in the applicable prospectus supplement. The following description and any description of the subscription rights in the applicable prospectus supplement may not be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to the terms and provision of the applicable subscription rights. A form of the subscription rights reflecting the particular terms and provision of a series of subscription rights will be filed with the SEC in connection with the offering and incorporated by reference in the registration statement and this prospectus.

 

Subscription rights may be issued independently or together with any other offered security and may or may not be transferable by the person. Each series of subscription rights will be issued under a separate subscription rights agent agreement to be entered into between us and a subscription rights agent that we will name in the applicable prospectus supplement. Unless we indicate otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, the subscription rights agent will act solely as our agent in connection with the certificates relating to the subscription rights and will not assume any obligation or relationship of agency or trust for or with any holders of subscription rights certificates or beneficial owners of subscription rights. The prospectus supplement relating to any subscription rights we offer will include specific terms relating to the offering, including one or more of the following:

 

the securities for which the subscription rights are exercisable;

 

the exercise price for such subscription rights;

 

the number of such subscription rights issued to each stockholder;

 

the number of shares of our common stock or amount of any other securities purchasable upon exercise of such subscription rights;

 

the extent, if any, to which such subscription rights are transferable;

  

a discussion of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the issuance or exercise of such subscription rights;

 

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the date on which the right to exercise such subscription rights shall commence, and the date on which such rights shall expire (subject to any extension);

 

the extent to which such subscription rights include an over-subscription privilege with respect to unsubscribed securities;

 

if applicable, the material terms of any standby underwriting or other purchase arrangement that we may enter into in connection with the subscription rights offering; and

 

any other terms of such subscription rights, including terms, procedures and limitations relating to the exercise of such subscription rights.

 

Each subscription right will entitle the holder of the subscription right to purchase for cash the number of shares of our common stock or other securities at an exercise price set forth in, or determinable as set forth in, the applicable prospectus supplement. Subscription rights may be exercised at any time up to the close of business on the expiration date (subject to any extension) for the subscription rights provided in the applicable prospectus supplement. After the close of business on the expiration date (subject to any extension), all unexercised subscription rights will become void and of no further force or effect.

 

Holders may exercise subscription rights as described in the applicable prospectus supplement. Upon receipt of payment and the subscription rights certificate properly completed and duly executed at the corporate trust office of the subscription rights agent or any other office indicated in the prospectus supplement, we will, as soon as practicable, issue the shares of our common stock or other security purchasable upon exercise of the subscription rights. Subject to compliance with applicable law, if less than all of the subscription rights issued in any subscription rights offering are exercised, we may offer any unsubscribed securities directly to persons other than stockholders, to or through agents, underwriters or dealers or through a combination of such methods, including pursuant to standby arrangements, as described in the applicable prospectus supplement.

   

CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OUR CHARTER AND BYLAWS

 

The following summary of certain provisions of Maryland law and of our charter and bylaws does not purport to be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to Maryland law and our charter and bylaws, copies of which are available from us upon request. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”

 

Number of Directors; Vacancies

 

Our charter and bylaws provide that the number of directors constituting our board of directors may be increased or decreased only by a majority vote of our board of directors, provided that the number of directors may not be decreased to fewer than the minimum number required under the Maryland General Corporation Law (the “MGCL”), nor increased to more than ten.

 

Subject to the terms of any class or series of preferred stock, vacancies on our board of directors may be filled only by a majority of the remaining directors, even if the remaining directors do not constitute a quorum, and any director elected to fill a vacancy will hold office for the remainder of the full term of the directorship in which the vacancy occurred and until his or her successor is duly elected and qualifies.

 

Each of our directors is elected by our stockholders to serve until the next annual meeting of our stockholders and until his or her successor is duly elected and qualifies. Holders of shares of our common stock have no right to cumulative voting in the election of directors. Consequently, the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock can elect all of the directors then standing for election, and the holders of the remaining shares will not be able to elect any directors. Directors are elected by a plurality of all of the votes cast in the election of directors.

  

Removal of Directors

 

Our charter provides that, subject to the rights of holders of one or more classes or series of preferred stock, any or all directors may be removed from office only for “cause” by the affirmative vote of the stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast generally in the election of directors. For the purpose of this provision of our charter, “cause” means, with respect to any particular director, conviction of a felony or a final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction holding that such director caused demonstrable, material harm to us through bad faith or active and deliberate dishonesty.

 

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Mergers; Extraordinary Transactions

 

Under the MGCL, a Maryland corporation generally cannot dissolve, merge, convert, sell all or substantially all of its assets, engage in a share exchange or engage in similar transactions outside the ordinary course of business, unless declared advisable by the board of directors and approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. However, a Maryland corporation may provide in its charter for approval of these matters by a lesser percentage, but not less than a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our charter provides for approval of these matters by the affirmative vote of holders of shares entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter.

  

Amendment to Our Charter and Bylaws

 

Under the MGCL, a Maryland corporation generally cannot amend its charter unless advised by its board of directors and approved by the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter unless a different percentage (but not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter) is set forth in the corporation’s charter.

 

Except for amendments to the provisions of our charter related to the removal of directors, the vote required to amend the provision regarding amendments to the removal provisions itself, and amendments to the provisions regarding restrictions on transfer and ownership of shares (each of which require the affirmative vote of the holders of shares entitled to cast not less than two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter) and certain amendments described in our charter that require only approval by our board of directors, our charter may be amended only with the approval of our board of directors and the affirmative vote of the holders of shares entitled to cast not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter.

 

Our board of directors has the exclusive power to adopt, alter or repeal any provision of our bylaws and to make new bylaws.

 

Meetings of Stockholders

 

Pursuant to our bylaws, a meeting of our stockholders for the election of directors and the transaction of any business will be held annually on a date and at the time set by our board of directors. The chairman of our board of directors, our chief executive officer, our president or our board of directors may call a special meeting of our stockholders. Subject to the provisions of our bylaws, a special meeting of our stockholders to act on any matter that may properly be brought before a meeting of our stockholders must also be called by our secretary upon the written request of the stockholders entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on such matter at the meeting and containing the information required by our bylaws. Our secretary will inform the requesting stockholders of the reasonably estimated cost of preparing and delivering the notice of meeting (including our proxy materials), and the requesting stockholder must pay such estimated cost before our secretary is required to prepare and deliver the notice of the special meeting.

 

Business Combinations

 

Under the MGCL, certain “business combinations,” including a merger, consolidation, share exchange or, in certain circumstances, an asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities, between a Maryland corporation and an “interested stockholder”(defined generally as any person who beneficially owns directly or indirectly, 10% or more of the voting power of the corporation’s outstanding voting stock or an affiliate or associate of the corporation who, at any time within the two-year period prior to the date in question, was the beneficial owner, directly or indirectly, of 10% or more of the voting power of the then outstanding stock of the corporation) or an affiliate of such an interested stockholder, are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. Thereafter, any such business combination must be recommended by the board of directors of such corporation and approved by the affirmative vote of at least (1) 80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding voting stock of the corporation and (2) two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of voting stock of the corporation other than shares held by the interested stockholder with whom (or with whose affiliate) the business combination is to be effected or held by an affiliate or associate of the interested stockholder. The super-majority vote requirements do not apply if the corporation’s common stockholders receive a minimum price (as defined in the MGCL) for their shares and the consideration is received in cash or in the same form as previously paid by the interested stockholder for its shares. Under the MGCL, a person is not an “interested stockholder” if the board of directors approved in advance the transaction by which the person otherwise would have become an interested stockholder. A corporation’s board of directors may provide that its approval is subject to compliance with any terms and conditions determined by it.

 

As permitted by the MGCL, our board of directors has by resolution exempted business combinations between us and any person, provided that such business combination is first approved by our board of directors. Consequently, the five-year prohibition and the supermajority vote requirements will not apply to such business combinations. As a result, any person described above may be able to enter into business combinations with us that may not be in the best interest of our stockholders without compliance by us with the supermajority vote requirements and other provisions of the statute. This resolution, however, may be altered or repealed in whole or in part at any time by our board of directors. If this resolution is repealed, or our board of directors does not otherwise approve a business combination with a person, the statute may discourage others from trying to acquire control of us and increase the difficulty of consummating any offer.

 

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Control Share Acquisitions

 

The MGCL 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 the affirmative vote of stockholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, excluding shares of stock in respect of which any of the following persons is entitled to exercise or direct the exercise of the voting power of such shares in the election of directors: (1) the person that has made or proposed to make the control share acquisition, (2) an officer of the corporation or (3) an employee of the corporation who is also a director of the corporation. “Control shares” are shares of voting stock which, if aggregated with all other such shares owned by the acquirer, or in respect of which the acquirer is able to exercise or direct the exercise of voting power (except solely by virtue of a revocable proxy), would entitle the acquirer to exercise voting power in electing directors within one of the following ranges of voting power: (A) one-tenth or more but less than one-third, (B) one-third or more but less than a majority or (C) a majority or more of all voting power. Control shares do not include shares that the acquirer is then entitled to vote as a result of having previously obtained stockholder approval or shares acquired directly from the corporation. A “control share acquisition” means the acquisition of issued and outstanding control shares, subject to certain exceptions.

 

A person who has made or proposes to make a control share acquisition, upon satisfaction of certain conditions (including an undertaking to pay expenses and making an “acquiring person statement” as described in MGCL), may compel the board of directors to call a special meeting of stockholders to be held within 50 days of demand to consider the voting rights of the shares. If no request for a meeting is made, the corporation may itself present the question at any stockholders’ meeting.

 

If voting rights are not approved at the meeting or if the acquirer does not deliver an “acquiring person statement” as required by the statute, then, subject to certain conditions and limitations, the corporation may redeem any or all of the control shares (except those for which voting rights have previously been approved) for fair value determined, without regard to the absence of voting rights for the control shares, as of the date of any meeting of stockholders at which the voting rights of such shares are considered and not approved, or, if no such meeting is held, as of the date of the last control share acquisition by the acquirer. If voting rights for control shares are approved at a stockholders’ meeting and the acquirer becomes entitled to vote a majority of the shares entitled to vote, all other stockholders may exercise appraisal rights, unless the corporation’s charter provides otherwise. The fair value of the shares as determined for purposes of such appraisal rights may not be less than the highest price per share paid by the acquirer in the control share acquisition.

 

The control share acquisition statute does not apply to (1) shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or statutory share exchange if the corporation is a party to the transaction or (2) acquisitions approved or exempted by the charter or bylaws of the corporation.

 

Our bylaws contain a provision exempting from the control share acquisition statute any and all acquisitions by any person of our stock. There is no assurance that such provision will not be amended or eliminated at any time in the future.

 

Subtitle 8

 

Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the MGCL permits the board of directors of a Maryland corporation with a class of equity securities registered under the Exchange Act and at least three independent directors to elect to be subject, by provision in its charter or bylaws or a resolution of its board of directors and notwithstanding any contrary provision in the charter or bylaws, to any or all of five provisions:

 

a classified board of directors;

 

a two-thirds vote requirement for removing a director;

 

a requirement that the number of directors be fixed only by vote of the directors;

 

a requirement that a vacancy on the board of directors be filled only by the remaining directors and, if the board of directors is classified, for the remainder of the full term of the class of directors in which the vacancy occurred; and

 

a majority requirement for the calling of a stockholder-requested special meeting of stockholders.

 

We have elected to be subject to the provision of Subtitle 8 relating to the filling of vacancies on our board of directors. Through provisions in our charter and bylaws unrelated to Subtitle 8, we already (1) require a two-thirds vote for the removal of any director from the board of directors, which removal will be allowed only for cause, (2) vest in the board of directors the exclusive power to fix the number of directorships, and (3) require, unless called by the chairman of our board of directors, our president, our chief executive officer or our board of directors, the written request of stockholders entitled to cast not less than a majority of all votes entitled to be cast on any matter that may properly be considered at a meeting of stockholders in order to call a special meeting to act on such matter.

 

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Advance Notice of Director Nominations and New Business

 

Our bylaws provide that nominations of individuals for election to the board of directors or proposals of other business may be made at an annual meeting (1) pursuant to our notice of meeting, (2) by or at the direction of our board of directors, or (3) by any stockholder of record both at the time of giving of notice pursuant to the bylaws and at the time of the annual meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting in the election of each individual so nominated or on any such other business and who has complied with the advance notice procedures set forth in our bylaws. Our bylaws currently require the stockholder to provide notice to the secretary containing the information required by our bylaws not less than 120 days nor more than 150 days prior to the first anniversary of the date of our proxy statement for the solicitation of proxies for election of directors at the preceding year’s annual meeting (or, if we did not mail a proxy statement for the preceding year’s annual meeting, the date of the notice of the preceding year’s annual meeting).

  

With respect to special meetings of stockholders, only the business specified in our notice of meeting may be brought before the meeting. Nominations of individuals for election to the board of directors may be made at a special meeting, (1) by or at the direction of the board of directors, or (2) provided that the board of directors has determined that directors shall be elected at that special meeting, by any stockholder who is a holder of record at the time of giving of notice, who is entitled to vote at the meeting in the election of each individual so nominated and who complies with the notice procedures set forth in our bylaws. Such stockholder may nominate one or more individuals, as the case may be, for election as a director if the stockholder’s notice containing the information required by our bylaws is delivered to the secretary not earlier than the 120th day prior to such special meeting and not later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on the later of  (1) the 90th day prior to such special meeting or (2) the tenth day following the day on which public announcement is first made of the date of the special meeting and the proposed nominees of our board of directors to be elected at the meeting.

 

Indemnification and Limitation of Directors’ and Officers’ Liability

 

Maryland law permits a Maryland corporation to include in its charter a provision eliminating the liability of its directors and officers to the corporation and its stockholders for money damages except for liability resulting from (1) actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services or (2) active and deliberate dishonesty established by a final judgment as being material to the cause of action. Our charter contains a provision that eliminates such liability to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law.

 

The MGCL requires a Maryland corporation (unless its charter provides otherwise, which our charter does not) to indemnify a director or officer who has been successful, on the merits or otherwise, 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 in that capacity. The MGCL permits a Maryland corporation to indemnify its present and former directors and officers, among others, against judgments, penalties, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses actually incurred by them in connection with any proceeding to which they may be made or threatened to be made a party by reason of their service in those or other capacities unless it is established that (1) the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and (A) was committed in bad faith or (B) was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty, (2) the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property or services, or (3) in the case of any criminal proceeding, the director or officer had reasonable cause to believe that the act or omission was unlawful. However, under the MGCL, a Maryland corporation may not indemnify a director or officer for an adverse judgment in a suit by or in the right of the corporation or for a judgment of liability on the basis that a personal benefit was improperly received. A court may order indemnification if it determines that the director or officer is fairly and reasonably entitled to indemnification, even though the director or officer did not meet the prescribed standard of conduct or was adjudged liable on the basis that personal benefit was improperly received. However, indemnification for an adverse judgment in a suit by us or in our right, or for a judgment of liability on the basis that personal benefit was improperly received, is limited to expenses. In addition, the MGCL permits a corporation to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer upon the corporation’s receipt of  (1) a written affirmation by the director or officer of his or her good faith belief that he or she has met the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification by the corporation and (2) a written undertaking by him or her or on his or her behalf to repay the amount paid or reimbursed by the corporation if it is ultimately determined that the appropriate standard of conduct was not met.

 

Our charter authorizes us to obligate ourselves and our bylaws obligate us, to the fullest extent permitted by Maryland law in effect from time to time, to indemnify and, without requiring a preliminary determination of the ultimate entitlement to indemnification, pay or reimburse reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding to:

 

any present or former director or officer; and

 

any individual who, while our director or officer and at our request, serves or has served as a director, officer, partner or trustee of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise.

 

Our charter and bylaws also permit us to indemnify and advance expenses to any person who served a predecessor of ours in any of the capacities described above and to any employee or agent of us or a predecessor of us.

 

We have entered into indemnification agreements with each of our directors and executive officers that provide for indemnification to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law.

 

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REIT Qualification

 

Our charter provides that our board of directors may revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election, without approval of our stockholders, if it determines that it is no longer in our best interest to continue to qualify as a REIT.

 

MATERIAL FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

 

This section summarizes the material federal income tax considerations that you, as a holder of securities, may consider relevant. Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has acted as our tax counsel, has reviewed this summary, and is of the opinion that the discussion contained herein is accurate in all material respects. Because this section is a summary, it does not address all aspects of taxation that may be relevant to particular holders in light of their personal investment or tax circumstances, or to certain types of holders that are subject to special treatment under the federal income tax laws, such as:

 

insurance companies;

 

regulated investment companies, REITs, and their investors;

 

subchapter S corporations;

 

tax-exempt organizations (except to the extent discussed in “—Taxation of U.S. Holders—Taxation of Tax-Exempt Stockholders” below);

 

Partnerships;

 

financial institutions or broker-dealers;

 

and non-U.S. individuals and foreign corporations (except to the extent discussed in “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders” below);

 

U.S. expatriates;

 

persons who mark-to-market our securities;

 

U.S. holders (as defined below) whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar;

 

trusts and estates (except to the extent discussed herein);

 

persons who receive our securities through the exercise of employee stock options or otherwise as compensation;

 

persons holding our securities as part of a “straddle,” “hedge,” “conversion transaction,” “synthetic security” or other integrated investment;

 

persons subject to the alternative minimum tax provisions of the Code;

 

persons holding a 10% or more (by vote or value) beneficial interest in our stock; and

 

other persons subject to special tax rules.

 

This summary assumes that holders hold our securities as capital assets for federal income tax purposes, which generally means property held for investment.

 

The statements in this section and the opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP are based on the current federal income tax laws. We cannot assure you that new laws, interpretations of law, or court decisions, any of which may take effect retroactively, will not cause any statement in this section to be inaccurate. No assurance can be given that the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, would not assert, or that a court would not sustain, a position contrary to any of the tax consequences described below.

 

This summary is for general information only and is not tax advice. We urge you to consult your tax advisor regarding the specific tax consequences to you of the purchase, ownership and sale of our securities and of our election to be taxed as a REIT. Specifically, you should consult your tax advisor regarding the federal, state, local, foreign, and other tax consequences of such purchase, ownership, sale and election, and regarding potential changes in applicable tax laws.

 

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Taxation of Our Company

 

We elected to be taxed as a REIT under sections 856 through 860 of the Code commencing with our taxable year ended on December 31, 2011. We believe that we are organized and have operated and will continue to operate in such a manner as to qualify for taxation as a REIT under the federal income tax laws, but no assurances can be given that we will operate in a manner so as to remain qualified as a REIT. This section discusses the laws governing the federal income tax treatment of a REIT and its securityholders. These laws are highly technical and complex.

 

In the opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, we qualified to be taxed as a REIT for our taxable years ended December 31, 2017 through December 31, 2020, and our organization and current and proposed method of operation will enable us to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT for our taxable year ending December 31, 2021 and subsequent taxable years. Investors should be aware that Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion is based upon customary assumptions, is conditioned upon certain representations made by us as to factual matters, including representations regarding the nature of our assets and the conduct of our business, is not binding upon the IRS or any court, and speaks as of the date issued. In addition, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion is based on existing federal income tax law governing qualification as a REIT, which is subject to change either prospectively or retroactively. Moreover, our qualification and taxation as a REIT depend upon our ability to meet on a continuing basis, through actual annual operating results, certain qualification tests set forth in the federal income tax laws. Those qualification tests involve the percentage of income that we earn from specified sources, the percentage of our assets that fall within specified categories, the diversity of our stock ownership, and the percentage of our earnings that we distribute. Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP will not review our compliance with those tests on a continuing basis. Accordingly, given the complex nature of the rules governing REITs, the ongoing importance of factual determinations, including the potential tax treatment of the investments we make, and the possibility of future changes in our circumstances, no assurance can be given that our actual results of operations for any particular taxable year will satisfy such requirements. In addition, we will be required to make estimates of, or otherwise determine the value of, our assets and the collateral for our assets, and the values of some assets may not be susceptible to a precise determination. There can be no assurance that the IRS would not challenge our valuations or valuation estimates of our assets or collateral. Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion does not foreclose the possibility that we may have to use one or more of the REIT savings provisions discussed below, which could require us to pay an excise or penalty tax (which could be material) in order for us to maintain our REIT qualification. For a discussion of the tax consequences of our failure to qualify as a REIT, see “—Failure to Qualify.”

 

If we qualify as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to federal income tax on our net taxable income that we currently distribute to our stockholders, but taxable income generated by any domestic taxable REIT subsidiaries, or TRSs, will be subject to regular corporate income tax. However, we will be subject to federal tax in the following circumstances:

 

We will pay federal income tax on our net taxable income, including net capital gain, that we do not distribute to stockholders during, or within a specified time period after, the calendar year in which the income is earned.

 

We will pay income tax at the highest corporate rate on:

 

net income from the sale or other disposition of property acquired through foreclosure, or foreclosure property, that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, and

 

other non-qualifying income from foreclosure property.

 

We will pay a 100% tax on net income earned from sales or other dispositions of property other than foreclosure property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business (as described below under “-Prohibited Transactions”).

 

If we fail to satisfy the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, as described below under “—Gross Income Tests,” but nonetheless continue to qualify as a REIT because we meet other requirements, we will be subject to a 100% tax on:

 

the greater of the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, multiplied, in either case, by

 

a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.

 

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If we fail to satisfy the asset tests (other than a de minimis failure of the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test or the 10% value test, as described below under “—Asset Tests”), as long as the failure was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, we dispose of the assets or otherwise comply with such asset tests within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identify such failure and we file a schedule with the IRS describing the assets that caused such failure, we will pay a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the highest income tax rate then applicable to U.S. corporations on the net income from the nonqualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy such asset tests.

  

If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification, other than the gross income tests and the asset tests, and the failure was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, we will be required to pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure as described below under "-Failure to Qualify."

 

We may be required to pay monetary penalties to the IRS in certain circumstances, including if we fail to meet recordkeeping requirements intended to monitor our compliance with rules relating to the composition of a REIT’s stockholders, as described below in “—Requirements for Qualification.”

 

If we fail to distribute during a calendar year at least the sum of: (i) 85% of our REIT ordinary income for the year, (ii) 95% of our REIT capital gain net income for the year and (iii) any undistributed taxable income from earlier periods, we will pay a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the amount we actually distributed, plus any retained amounts on which income tax has been paid at the corporate level.

 

We may elect to retain and pay income tax on our net long-term capital gain. In that case, a U.S. stockholder would be taxed on its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain (to the extent that we make a timely designation of such gain to the stockholder) and would receive a credit or refund for its proportionate share of the tax we paid.

 

We will be subject to a 100% excise tax on transactions between us and a taxable REIT subsidiary, or TRS, that are not conducted on an arm’s-length basis.

 

The earnings of any domestic TRS will be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax.

 

If we acquire any asset from a C corporation, or a corporation that generally is subject to full corporate-level tax, in a merger or other transaction in which we acquire a basis in the asset that is determined by reference either to the C corporation’s basis in the asset or to another asset, we will pay tax at the highest regular corporate rate applicable if we recognize gain on the sale or disposition of the asset during the 5-year period after we acquire the asset. The amount of gain on which we will pay tax is the lesser of:

 

the amount of gain that we recognize at the time of the sale or disposition, and

 

the amount of gain that we would have recognized if we had sold the asset at the time we acquired it, assuming that the C corporation will not elect in lieu of this treatment to an immediate tax when the asset is acquired.

 

If we own a residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit, or REMIC, we will be taxable at the highest corporate rate on the portion of any excess inclusion income that we derive from the REMIC residual interests equal to the percentage of our stock that is held in record name by “disqualified organizations.” Although the law is unclear, IRS guidance indicates that similar rules may apply to a REIT that owns an equity interest in a taxable mortgage pool. To the extent that we own a REMIC residual interest or a taxable mortgage pool through a TRS, we will not be subject to this tax. A “disqualified organization” includes (i) the United States; (ii) any state or political subdivision of the United states; (iii) any foreign government; (iv) any international organization; (v) any agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing; (vi) any other tax-exempt organization (other than a farmer’s cooperative described in section 521 of the Code) that is exempt from income taxation and is not subject to taxation under the unrelated business taxable income provisions of the Code; and (vii) any rural electrical or telephone cooperative. We do not currently intend to hold REMIC residual interests or engage in financing activities that may result in treatment of us or a portion of our assets as a taxable mortgage pool. For a discussion of “excess inclusion income,” see “—Requirements for Qualification—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.”

 

In addition, notwithstanding our qualification as a REIT, we may also have to pay certain state and local income taxes, because not all states and localities treat REITs in the same manner that they are treated for federal income tax purposes. Moreover, as further described below, any domestic TRS in which we own an interest will be subject to federal, state and local corporate income tax on its taxable income. In addition, we may be subject to a variety of taxes other than U.S. federal income tax, including state and local franchise, property and other taxes and foreign taxes. We could also be subject to tax in situations and on transactions not presently contemplated.

 

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Requirements for Qualification

 

A REIT is a corporation, trust, or association that meets each of the following requirements:

 

1. It is managed by one or more trustees or directors.

 

2. Its beneficial ownership is evidenced by transferable shares or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest.

 

3. It would be taxable as a domestic corporation, but for the REIT provisions of the federal income tax laws.

 

4. It is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to special provisions of the federal income tax laws.

 

5. At least 100 persons are beneficial owners (determined without reference to any rules of attribution) of its shares or ownership certificates.

 

6. Not more than 50% in value of its outstanding shares or ownership certificates is owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals, which the federal income tax laws define to include certain entities, during the last half of any taxable year.

 

7. It elects to be taxed as a REIT, or has made such election for a previous taxable year, and satisfies all relevant filing and other administrative requirements that must be met to elect and maintain REIT qualification.

 

8. It meets certain other qualification tests, described below, regarding the nature of its income and assets and the distribution of its income.

 

9. It uses the calendar year as its taxable year.

 

10. It has no earnings and profits from any non-REIT taxable year at the close of any taxable year.

 

We must meet requirements 1 through 4, 8 and 9 during our entire taxable year and must meet requirement 5 during at least 335 days of a taxable year of twelve months, or during a proportionate part of a taxable year of less than twelve months. If we comply with all the requirements for ascertaining the ownership of our outstanding stock in a taxable year and have no reason to know that we violated requirement 6, we will be deemed to have satisfied requirement 6 for that taxable year. For purposes of determining stock ownership under requirement 6, an “individual” generally includes a supplemental unemployment compensation benefits plan, a private foundation, or a portion of a trust permanently set aside or used exclusively for charitable purposes. An “individual” generally does not include a trust that is a qualified employee pension or profit sharing trust under the federal income tax laws, however, and beneficiaries of such a trust will be treated as holding our stock in proportion to their actuarial interests in the trust for purposes of requirement 6.

 

We believe that we have issued capital stock with sufficient diversity of ownership to satisfy requirements 5 and 6. In addition, our charter restricts the ownership and transfer of our stock so that we should continue to satisfy these requirements. The provisions of our charter restricting the ownership and transfer of the stock are described in “Description of Common Stock—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”

 

To monitor compliance with the stock ownership requirements, we generally are required to maintain records regarding the actual ownership of our shares. To do so, we must demand written statements each year from the record holders of significant percentages of our stock pursuant to which the record holders must disclose the actual owners of the shares (i.e., the persons required to include our dividends in their gross income). We must maintain a list of those persons failing or refusing to comply with this demand as part of our records. We could be subject to monetary penalties if we fail to comply with these record-keeping requirements. If you fail or refuse to comply with the demands, you will be required by Treasury regulations to submit a statement with your tax return disclosing your actual ownership of our shares and other information. In addition, we must satisfy all relevant filing and other administrative requirements that must be met to elect and maintain REIT qualification, use a calendar year for federal income tax purposes and comply with the record keeping requirements on the Code and regulations promulgated thereunder. We intend to continue to comply with these requirements.

 

Qualified REIT Subsidiaries

 

A corporation that is a “qualified REIT subsidiary” is disregarded as a corporation separate from its parent REIT for federal income tax purposes. All assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit of a qualified REIT subsidiary are treated as assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit of the REIT. A qualified REIT subsidiary is a corporation, other than a TRS, all of the capital stock of which is owned, directly or indirectly, by the REIT. Thus, in applying the requirements described herein, any qualified REIT subsidiary that we own will be ignored, and all assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit of such subsidiary will be treated as our assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit.

 

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Other Disregarded Entities and Partnerships

 

An unincorporated domestic entity, such as a partnership or limited liability company, that has a single owner for federal income tax purposes generally is not treated as an entity separate from its parent for federal income tax purposes, including for purposes of the REIT gross income and asset tests. An unincorporated domestic entity with two or more owners for federal income tax purposes generally is treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. In the case of a REIT that is a partner in a partnership that has other partners, the REIT is treated as owning its proportionate share of the assets of the partnership and as earning its allocable share of the gross income of the partnership for purposes of the applicable REIT qualification tests. Our proportionate share of the assets, liabilities, and items of income of any partnership, joint venture, or limited liability company that is treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes in which we acquire an interest, directly or indirectly, will be treated as our assets and gross income for purposes of applying the various REIT qualification requirements. Our proportionate share for purposes of the 10% value test (see “—Asset Tests”), our proportionate share is based on our proportionate interest in the equity interests and certain debt securities issued by the partnership. For all of the other asset and income tests, our proportionate share is based on our proportionate interest in the capital interests in the partnership.

 

In the event that a disregarded subsidiary of ours ceases to be wholly-owned—for example, if any equity interest in the subsidiary is acquired by a person other than us or another disregarded subsidiary of ours—the subsidiary’s separate existence would no longer be disregarded for federal income tax purposes. Instead, the subsidiary would have multiple owners for federal income tax purposes and would be treated as either a partnership or a taxable corporation (if previously a qualified REIT subsidiary). Such an event could, depending on the circumstances, adversely affect our ability to satisfy the various asset and gross income requirements applicable to REITs, including the requirement that REITs generally may not own, directly or indirectly, more than 10% of the total value or total voting power of the outstanding securities of another corporation. See “—Asset Tests” and “—Gross Income Tests.”

 

We currently own, and may in the future acquire, limited partner or non-managing member interests in partnerships and limited liability companies that are joint ventures or investment funds. If a partnership or limited liability company in which we own an interest takes or expects to take actions that could jeopardize our qualification as a REIT or require us to pay tax, we may be forced to dispose of our interest in such entity. In addition, it is possible that a partnership or limited liability company could take an action that could cause us to fail a REIT gross income or asset test, and that we would not become aware of such action in time to dispose of our interest in the partnership or limited liability company or take other corrective action on a timely basis. In that case, we could fail to qualify as a REIT 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.

 

Taxable REIT Subsidiaries

 

A REIT is permitted to own up to 100% of the stock of one or more TRSs. A TRS is a fully taxable corporation that may earn income that would not be qualifying income if earned directly by the parent REIT. The subsidiary and the REIT must jointly elect to treat the subsidiary as a TRS. A corporation with respect to 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. However, an entity will not qualify as a TRS if it directly or indirectly operates or manages a lodging or health care facility or, generally, provides to another person, under a franchise, license or otherwise, rights to any brand name under which any lodging facility or health care facility is operated. We generally may not own more than 10%, as measured by voting power or value, of the securities of a corporation that is not a qualified REIT subsidiary or a REIT unless we and such corporation elect to treat such corporation as a TRS. Overall, no more than 20% (25% for taxable years beginning before January 1, 2018) of the value of a REIT’s assets may consist of stock or securities of one or more TRSs.

 

The separate existence of a TRS or other taxable corporation, unlike a disregarded subsidiary as discussed above, is not ignored for federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, a domestic TRS would generally be subject to U.S. federal, state and local corporate income tax on its earnings, which may reduce the cash flow generated by us and our subsidiaries in the aggregate and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

 

For purposes of the asset and gross income tests, a REIT is not treated as holding the assets of a TRS or other taxable subsidiary corporation or as receiving any income that the subsidiary earns. Rather, the stock issued by the subsidiary is an asset in the hands of the REIT, and the REIT generally recognizes as income the dividends, if any, that it receives or is deemed to receive from the TRS. This treatment can affect the gross income and asset test calculations that apply to the REIT, as described below. Because a parent REIT does not include the assets and income of such subsidiary corporations in determining the parent’s compliance with the REIT requirements, such entities may be used by the parent REIT to undertake indirectly activities that the REIT rules might otherwise preclude it from doing directly or through pass-through subsidiaries or render commercially unfeasible (for example, activities that give rise to certain categories of income such as nonqualifying hedging income or inventory sales).

 

Certain restrictions imposed on TRSs are intended to ensure that such entities will be subject to appropriate levels of federal income taxation. For example, a TRS may not deduct interest payments made in any year to an affiliated REIT to the extent that such payments exceed, generally, 50% of the TRS’s adjusted taxable income for that year (although the TRS may carry forward to, and deduct in, a succeeding year the disallowed interest amount if the 50% test is satisfied in that year). In addition, if amounts are paid to a REIT or deducted by a TRS due to transactions between a REIT, its tenants and/or a TRS, that exceed the amount that would be paid to or deducted by a party in an arm’s-length transaction, the REIT generally will be subject to an excise tax equal to 100% of such excess. We intend that all of our transactions with any TRS will be conducted on an arm’s-length basis, but there can be no assurance that we will be successful in this regard. The ability of our TRSs to deduct interest expense may be limited under rules applicable to corporations generally.

 

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We have elected to treat certain of our domestic and foreign subsidiaries as TRSs, and we may form or invest in other domestic or foreign TRSs in the future. We may hold a significant amount of our assets in our TRSs, subject to the limitation that securities of TRSs may not represent more than 20% of our assets. While we intend to manage our affairs so as to satisfy the requirement that no more than 20% of the value of our total assets consists of stock or securities of our TRSs, as well as the requirement that taxable income from our TRSs plus other non-qualifying gross income not exceed 25% of our total gross income, there can be no assurance that we will be able to do so in all market circumstances.

 

Our domestic TRSs are fully subject to U.S. federal, state and local corporate income tax on their taxable income. To the extent that our TRSs pay any taxes, they will have less cash available for distribution to us. If dividends are paid by domestic TRSs to us, then the dividends we designate and pay to our stockholders who are taxed at individual rates, up to the amount of dividends that we receive from such entities, generally will be eligible to be taxed at the reduced 20% maximum federal rate applicable to qualified dividend income. See “—Taxation of U.S. Holders—Taxation of U.S. Holders on Distributions on Capital Stock.” In addition, losses in our TRSs generally will not provide any tax benefit, except for being carried forward against future TRS taxable income in the case of a domestic TRS.

 

Our foreign TRS intends to operate in a manner that will not cause it to be subject to federal income tax. The Code and Treasury regulations promulgated thereunder provide a specific exemption from federal income tax to non-U.S. corporations that restrict their activities in the United States to trading in stocks and securities (or any other activity closely related thereto) for their own account, whether such trading (or such other activity) is conducted by the corporation or its employees through a resident broker, commission agent, custodian or other agent. Our foreign TRS intends to rely on such exemption and does not intend to operate so as to be subject to federal income tax on its net income. Therefore, despite its status as a TRS, our foreign TRS generally would not be subject to federal corporate income tax on its earnings. No assurance can be given, however, that the IRS will not challenge this treatment. If the IRS were to succeed in such a challenge, then it could greatly reduce the amounts that our foreign TRS would have available to distribute to us and to pay to its creditors. Further, notwithstanding these rules, any gain recognized by a foreign corporation with respect to U.S. real property is subject to U.S. tax as if the foreign corporation were a U.S. taxpayer. It is not anticipated that our foreign TRS will hold U.S. real property other than by foreclosure. Nevertheless, gain (if any) realized on foreclosed U.S. real property would be subject to U.S. tax. Certain U.S. stockholders of certain non-U.S. corporations, such as our foreign TRS, are required to include in their income currently their proportionate share of the earnings of such a corporation, whether or not such earnings are distributed. We are generally required to include in income, on a current basis, the earnings of our foreign TRS. For a discussion of the treatment of the income inclusions from our foreign TRS under the gross income tests, see “—Gross Income Tests.”

 

Ownership of Subsidiary REITs

 

We own 100% of the common shares of a subsidiary REIT. Our subsidiary REIT is also subject to the same various REIT qualification requirements and other limitations described herein that are applicable to us. We believe that our subsidiary REIT is organized and has operated and will continue to operate in a manner to permit it to qualify for taxation as a REIT for federal income tax purposes from and after the effective date of its REIT election. However, if a subsidiary REIT of ours were to fail to qualify as a REIT, then (1) the subsidiary REIT would become subject to regular U.S. corporate income tax, as described herein, see “-Failure to Qualify” below, and (2) our ownership of shares in such subsidiary REIT would cease to be a qualifying real estate asset for purposes of the 75% asset test and would become subject to the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test, and the 10% value test generally applicable to our ownership in corporations other than REITs, qualified REIT subsidiaries and TRSs. See “-Asset Tests” below. If our subsidiary REIT were to fail to qualify as a REIT, it is possible that we would not meet the 10% vote test and the 10% value test with respect to our indirect interest in such entity, in which event we would fail to qualify as a REIT unless we could avail ourselves of certain relief provisions. While we believe that our subsidiary REIT has qualified as a REIT under the Code, we have joined the subsidiary REIT in filing a “protective” TRS election with respect to the subsidiary REIT. We cannot assure you that such “protective” TRS election would be effective to avoid adverse consequences to us. Moreover, even if the “protective” election were to be effective, the subsidiary REIT would be subject to regular corporate income tax, and we cannot assure you that we would not fail to satisfy the requirement that not more than 20% of the value of our total assets may be represented by the securities of one or more TRSs, as well as the requirement that taxable income from our TRSs plus other non-qualifying gross income not exceed 25% of our total gross income.

 

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Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income

 

An entity, or a portion of an entity, that does not elect to be treated as a REMIC may be classified as a taxable mortgage pool under the Code if:

 

substantially all of its assets consist of debt obligations or interests in debt obligations;

 

more than 50% of those debt obligations are real estate mortgage loans or interests in real estate mortgage loans as of specified testing dates;

 

the entity has issued debt obligations that have two or more maturities; and

 

the payments required to be made by the entity on its debt obligations “bear a relationship” to the payments to be received by the entity on the debt obligations that it holds as assets.

 

Under applicable Treasury regulations, if less than 80% of the assets of an entity (or a portion of an entity) consist of debt obligations, these debt obligations are not considered to comprise “substantially all” of its assets, and therefore the entity would not be treated as a taxable mortgage pool.

 

A taxable mortgage pool generally is treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes and cannot be included in any consolidated federal corporate income tax return. However, if a REIT is a taxable mortgage pool, or if a REIT owns a qualified REIT subsidiary that is a taxable mortgage pool, the REIT or the qualified REIT subsidiary will not be taxable as a corporation, but a portion of the REIT’s income will be treated as “excess inclusion income” and a portion of the dividends the REIT pays to its stockholders will be considered to be excess inclusion income. Similarly, a portion of the income from a REMIC residual interest may be treated as excess inclusion income. A stockholder’s share of excess inclusion income (i) would not be allowed to be offset by any losses otherwise available to the stockholder, (ii) would be subject to tax as unrelated business taxable income, or UBTI, in the hands of most types of stockholders that are otherwise generally exempt from federal income tax, and (iii) would result in the application of U.S. federal income tax withholding at the maximum rate (30%), without reduction under any otherwise applicable income tax treaty, to the extent allocable to most types of foreign stockholders. IRS guidance indicates that a REIT’s excess inclusion income will be allocated among its stockholders in proportion to its dividends paid. However, the manner in which excess inclusion income would be allocated to dividends attributable to a tax year that are not paid until a subsequent tax year or to dividends attributable to a portion of a tax year when no excess inclusion income-generating assets were held or how such income is to be reported to stockholders is not clear under current law. Although the law is unclear, the IRS has taken the position that a REIT is taxable at the highest corporate tax rate on the portion of any excess inclusion income that it derives from an equity interest in a taxable mortgage pool equal to the percentage of its stock that is held in record name by “disqualified organizations” (as defined above under “—Taxation of Our Company”). Similar rules apply if we own a residual interest in a REMIC. To the extent that capital stock owned by “disqualified organizations” is held by a broker or other nominee, the broker/dealer or other nominees would be liable for a tax at the highest corporate tax rate on the portion of our excess inclusion income allocable to the capital stock held by the broker/dealer or other nominee on behalf of the “disqualified organizations.” A regulated investment company or other pass-through entity owning our capital stock will be subject to tax at the highest corporate tax rate on any excess inclusion income allocated to its record name owners that are “disqualified organizations.” We do not currently intend to hold REMIC residual interests or engage in financing activities that may result in treatment of us or a portion of our assets as a taxable mortgage pool.

 

Gross Income Tests

 

We must satisfy two gross income tests annually to maintain our qualification as a REIT. First, at least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year must consist of defined types of income that we derive, directly or indirectly, from investments relating to real property or mortgage loans on real property or qualified temporary investment income. Qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test generally includes:

 

rents from real property;

 

interest on debt secured by a mortgage on real property or on interests in real property and interest on debt secured by a mortgage on real property and personal property if the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all such property, and interest on qualified mezzanine loans;

 

dividends or other distributions on, and gain from the sale of, shares in other REITs;

 

gain from the sale of real estate assets;

 

income and gain derived from foreclosure property (as described below);

 

amounts (other than amounts the determination of which depends in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person) received or accrued as consideration for entering into agreements (i) to make loans secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property or (ii) to purchase or lease real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property);

 

income derived from a REMIC in proportion to the real estate assets held by the REMIC, unless at least 95% of the REMIC’s assets are real estate assets, in which case all of the income derived from the REMIC; and

 

income derived from the temporary investment of new capital that is attributable to the issuance of our capital stock or a public offering of our debt with a maturity date of at least five years and that we receive during the one-year period beginning on the date on which we received such new capital.

 

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Although a debt instrument issued by a “publicly offered REIT” (i.e., a REIT that is required to file annual and periodic reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act) is treated as a “real estate asset” for the asset tests, the interest income and gain from the sale of such debt instruments is not treated as qualifying income for the 75% gross income test unless the debt instrument is secured by real property or an interest in real property.

 

Second, in general, at least 95% of our gross income for each taxable year must consist of income that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test (except for income derived from the temporary investment of new capital), other types of interest and dividends, gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities or any combination of these. Gross income from our sale of property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business is excluded from both the numerator and the denominator in both income tests. Income and gain from “hedging transactions,” as defined below in “—Hedging Transactions,” will be excluded from both the numerator and the denominator for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests. In addition, certain foreign currency gains will be excluded from gross income for purposes of one or both of the gross income tests. See “—Foreign Currency Gain.” Finally, gross income attributable to cancellation of indebtedness, or COD, income will be excluded from both the numerator and the denominator for purposes of both of the gross income tests. The following paragraphs discuss the specific application of the gross income tests to us.

 

Dividends

 

Our share of any dividends received from any corporation (including dividends from our domestic TRSs, but excluding any REIT) in which we own an equity interest will qualify for purposes of the 95% gross income test but not for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Our share of any dividends received from any other REIT in which we own an equity interest, if any, will be qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests.

 

We treat certain income inclusions received with respect to equity investments in foreign TRSs as qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test but not the 75% gross income test. The IRS has issued several private letter rulings to other taxpayers concluding that similar income inclusions will be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. Those private letter rulings can only be relied upon by the taxpayers to whom they were issued. No assurance can be provided that the IRS will not successfully challenge our treatment of such income inclusions.

 

Interest

 

The term “interest,” as defined for purposes of both gross income tests, generally excludes any amount that is based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. However, interest generally includes the following:

 

an amount that is based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales; and

 

an amount that is based on the income or profits of a debtor, as long as the debtor derives substantially all of its income from the real property securing the debt from leasing substantially all of its interest in the property, and only to the extent that the amounts received by the debtor would be qualifying “rents from real property” if received directly by a REIT.

 

If a loan contains a provision that entitles a REIT to a percentage of the borrower’s gain upon the sale of the real property securing the loan or a percentage of the appreciation in the property’s value as of a specific date, income attributable to that loan provision will be treated as gain from the sale of the property securing the loan, which generally is qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests, provided that the property is not inventory or dealer property in the hands of the borrower or the REIT.

 

Interest on debt secured by a mortgage on real property or on interests in real property, including, for this purpose, market discount, original issue discount, discount points, prepayment penalties, loan assumption fees, and late payment charges that are not compensation for services, generally is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. However, except to the extent described below, if the loan is secured by real property and other property and the highest principal amount of a loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property securing the loan as of (i) the date the REIT agreed to originate or acquire the loan or (ii) as discussed below, in the event of a “significant modification,” the date we modified the loan, a portion of the interest income from such loan will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, but will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. The portion of the interest income that will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test will be equal to the portion of the principal amount of the loan that is not secured by real property—that is, the amount by which the loan exceeds the value of the real estate that is security for the loan. IRS guidance provides that we do not need to redetermine the fair market value of the real property securing a loan in connection with a loan modification that is occasioned by a borrower default or made at a time when we reasonably believe that the modification to the loan will substantially reduce a significant risk of default on the original loan. In addition, in the case of a loan that is secured by both real property and personal property, if the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all such property securing the loan, then the personal property securing the loan will be treated as real property for purposes of determining whether the interest on such loan is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test.

 

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We own RMBS, including non-Agency RMBS and Agency RMBS that are pass-through certificates, Agency RMBS that are CMOs, CMBS, ABS, residential and commercial loans and excess MSRs. Other than income from derivative instruments, as described below, we expect that all of the income of our RMBS, Agency RMBS that are CMOs, CMBS, commercial and residential mortgage loans, and excess MSRs will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. We expect that the Agency RMBS that are pass-through certificates will be treated as interests in a grantor trust for federal income tax purposes. Consequently, we would be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. The interest on such mortgage loans would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the obligation is secured by real property, as discussed above. Although the IRS has ruled generally that the interest income from Agency RMBS is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, it is not clear how this guidance would apply to secondary market purchases of Agency RMBS at a time when the loan-to-value ratio of one or more of the mortgage loans backing the Agency RMBS is greater than 100%. We expect that substantially all of our income from Agency RMBS will be qualifying income for the 75% gross income test. We expect that any Agency RMBS that are CMOs, non-Agency RMBS, and CMBS generally will be treated as interests in REMICs for federal income tax purposes. Income derived from REMIC interests generally will be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. If less than 95% of the assets of the REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC and income derived from the interest will qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In addition, some REMIC securitizations include imbedded interest rate swap or cap contracts or other derivative instruments that potentially could produce non-qualifying income for the holders of the related REMIC securities. Interest income from residential and commercial mortgage loans will be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the loan is secured by real property, as discussed above. We expect that the interest income from investments in ABS and any non-Agency RMBS and CMBS that are not interests in a REMIC will not be qualifying income for the 75% gross income test.

 

We may acquire participation interests, or subordinated mortgage interests, in mortgage loans and mezzanine loans. A subordinated mortgage interest is an interest created in an underlying loan by virtue of a participation or similar agreement, to which the originator of the loan is a party, along with one or more participants. The borrower on the underlying loan is typically not a party to the participation agreement. The performance of a participant’s investment depends upon the performance of the underlying loan and if the underlying borrower defaults, the participant typically has no recourse against the originator of the loan. The originator often retains a senior position in the underlying loan and grants junior participations, which will be a first loss position in the event of a default by the borrower. We anticipate any participation interests we acquire will qualify as real estate assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests described below and that interest derived from such investments will be treated as qualifying interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test. The appropriate treatment of participation interests for federal income tax purposes is not entirely certain, and no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge our treatment of any participation interests we acquire.

 

We have purchased and sold, and may purchase and sell in the future, Agency RMBS through forward contracts, or “TBAs,” and may recognize income or gains on the disposition of those TBAs, through dollar roll transactions or otherwise. While there is no direct authority with respect to the qualification of income or gains from dispositions of TBAs as gains from the sale of real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property) or other qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, we treat income and gains from our TBAs under which we contract to purchase a to-be-announced Agency MBS (“long TBAs”)as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, based on an opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP substantially to the effect that, for purposes of the 75% gross income test, any gain recognized by us in connection with the settlement of our long TBAs should be treated as gain from the sale or disposition of an interest in mortgages on real property. The opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is based on various assumptions related to our long TBAs and is conditioned on fact-based representations and covenants made by our management regarding our long TBAs. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert that our income and gain from TBAs is not qualifying income. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to qualify as a REIT if such income and any non-qualifying income exceeds 25% of our gross income. See “—Failure to Qualify.”

 

We own interests in mezzanine loans, which are loans secured by equity interests in an entity that directly or indirectly owns real property, rather than by a direct mortgage of the real property. In Revenue Procedure 2003-65, the IRS established a safe harbor under which loans secured by a first priority security interest in the ownership interests in a partnership or limited liability company owning real property will be treated as real estate assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests described below, and interest derived from those loans will be treated as qualifying income for both the 75% and 95% gross income tests, provided several requirements are satisfied. Although the Revenue Procedure provides a safe harbor on which taxpayers may rely, it does not prescribe rules of substantive tax law. Moreover, our mezzanine loans may not meet all of the requirements for reliance on the safe harbor. To the extent any mezzanine loans that we acquire do not qualify for the safe harbor described above, the interest income from the loans will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but there is a risk that such interest income will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In the event that we own a mezzanine loan or similar debt that does not meet the safe harbor, the IRS could challenge the treatment of the income from such loan or debt as qualifying income for the 75% gross income test and, if such a challenge were sustained, we could fail to qualify as a REIT. We intend to invest, in mezzanine loans in a manner that will enable us to continue to satisfy the REIT gross income and asset tests.

 

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We may also acquire distressed mortgage loans. Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides that that the IRS will treat distressed mortgage loans acquired by a REIT that are secured by real property and other property as producing, in part, non-qualifying income for the 75% gross income test. Specifically, Revenue Procedure 2014-51 indicates that interest income on such a distressed mortgage loan will be treated as qualifying income based on the ratio of: (i) the fair market value of the real property securing the debt determined as of the date the REIT committed to acquire the loan; and (ii) the face amount of the loan (and not the purchase price or current value of the loan). The face amount of a distressed mortgage loan will typically exceed the fair market value of the real property securing the mortgage loan on the date the REIT commits to acquire the loan. Accordingly, a distressed mortgage loan that is secured by real property and other property may produce a significant amount of non-qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test once the loan increases in value.

 

As noted above, the applicable Treasury regulations require the apportionment of interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test only if the mortgage loan in question is secured by both real property and other property. We believe that all or most of our distressed residential mortgage loans are secured only by real property and no other property value will be taken into account in our underwriting process. Accordingly, we do not own and do not anticipate regularly investing in residential mortgage loans to which the interest apportionment rules described above would apply, but we may acquire commercial real estate loans to which the interest apportionment rules may apply. It is unclear how the interest apportionment rules are affected by the recent legislative changes regarding the treatment of loans secured by both real property and personal property where the fair market value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the sum of the fair market values of the real property and personal property securing the loan. If the IRS were to assert successfully that our distressed residential mortgage loans were secured by property other than real property, then a significant portion of our interest income from any distressed residential mortgage loans we own could be treated as non-qualifying income for the 75% gross income test, which could cause us to fail to satisfy that test. If we did not satisfy the 75% gross income test, we could fail to qualify as a REIT or be required to pay a penalty to the IRS. We intend to invest in distressed mortgage loans in a manner consistent with maintaining our qualification as a REIT.

 

We may modify the term of our residential or commercial mortgage loans. Under the Code, if the terms of a loan are modified in a manner constituting a “significant modification,” such modification triggers a deemed exchange of the original loan for the modified loan. Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor pursuant to which we will not be required to redetermine the fair market value of the real property securing a loan for purposes of the gross income and asset tests in connection with a loan modification that is (i) occasioned by a borrower default or (ii) made at a time when we reasonably believe that the modification to the loan will substantially reduce a significant risk of default on the original loan. To the extent we significantly modify loans in a manner that does not qualify for that safe harbor, we will be required to redetermine the value of the real property securing the loan at the time it was significantly modified, which could result in a portion of the interest income on the loan being treated as nonqualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test and a portion of the value of our interest in the loan being treated as a nonqualifying asset for the 75% asset test. In determining the value of the real property securing such a loan, we generally will not obtain third-party appraisals but rather will rely on internal valuations.

 

We have also invested in excess MSRs, which represent the portion of the servicing fee paid to mortgage servicers in excess of the reasonable compensation that would be charged for mortgage servicing in an arm’s-length transaction. In private letter rulings issued to other taxpayers, the IRS ruled substantially to the effect that interest received in respect of an excess MSR will be considered interest on obligations secured by mortgages on real property for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Private letter rulings cannot be relied upon by persons other than the taxpayer to which they were issued. Nonetheless, we intend to treat income from our excess MSRs that have terms consistent with those described in the private letter rulings as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In the event that such income were determined not to be qualifying for the 75% gross income test, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to qualify as a REIT if such income together with our non-qualifying income for the 75% gross income test exceeds 25% of our gross income for any taxable year.

 

We may invest opportunistically in other types of mortgage and real estate-related assets. To the extent we invest in such assets, we intend to do so in a manner that will enable us to satisfy the 75% and 95% gross income tests described above.

 

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Hedging Transactions

 

From time to time, we may enter into hedging transactions with respect to one or more of our assets or liabilities. Our hedging activities may include entering into interest rate swaps, caps, and floors, options to purchase these items, short U.S. treasury positions, futures and forward contracts, short TBAs, and currency forward contracts. Income and gain from “hedging transactions” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests provided we satisfy the identification requirements and other requirements discussed below. A “hedging transaction” includes (i) any transaction entered into in the normal course of our trade or business primarily to manage the risk of interest rate changes, 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 a “liability hedge,” (ii) any transaction entered into primarily to manage risk of currency fluctuations with respect to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income test (or any property which generates such income or gain) or (iii) any transaction entered into to “offset” a transaction described in (i) or (ii) if a portion of the hedged indebtedness is extinguished or the related property is disposed. We are required to clearly identify any such hedging transaction before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated, or entered into and satisfy other identification requirements. To the extent that we hedge for other purposes, or to the extent that a portion of the hedged assets are not treated as “real estate assets” (as described below under “—Asset Tests”) or we enter into derivative transactions that are not liability hedges, the income from those transactions will likely be treated as nonqualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests, and thus cannot exceed 5% of our annual gross income. We intend to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our qualification as a REIT. We may conduct some or all of our hedging activities through a TRS or other corporate entity, the income from which may be subject to federal income tax, rather than by participating in the arrangements directly or through pass-through subsidiaries. No assurance can be given, however, that our hedging activities will not give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of either or both of the REIT gross income tests, or that our hedging activities will not adversely affect our ability to satisfy the REIT qualification requirements.

 

Even if the income from our hedging transactions is excluded from gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests, such income and any loss will be taken into account in determining our REIT taxable income and our distribution requirement. If the IRS disagrees with our calculation of the amount or timing of recognition of gain or loss with respect to our hedging transactions, our distribution requirement could increase, which could require that we correct any shortfall in distributions by paying deficiency dividends to our stockholders in a later year.

 

Dividends

 

Our share of any dividends received from any corporation (including dividends from any TRS, but excluding any REIT) in which we own an equity interest will qualify for purposes of the 95% gross income test but not for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Our share of any dividends received from our subsidiary REIT and any other REIT in which we own an equity interest will be qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests. Income inclusions with respect to equity investments in our foreign TRSs are qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test but not the 75% gross income test.

 

Fee Income

 

We may earn income from fees in certain circumstances. Fee income generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests if it is received in consideration for entering into an agreement to make a loan secured by real property, the fees are not determined by income and profits and the fees are not compensation for services. Other fees, including certain amounts received in connection with MSRs, generally are not qualifying income for purposes of either gross income test, and thus cannot exceed 5% of our annual gross income. We may conduct some or all of our fee-generating activities through a TRS or other corporate entity, the income from which may be subject to U.S. federal income tax. Any fees earned by a TRS, like other income earned by a TRS, will not be included in our gross income for purposes of the gross income tests.

 

COD Income

 

From time-to-time, we may recognize COD income in connection with repurchasing our debt at a discount. COD income is excluded from gross income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Any COD income that we recognize would be subject to the distribution requirements, subject to certain rules that apply to excess non-cash income, or we will incur corporate income tax and a 4% nondeductible excise tax with respect to any COD income.

 

Foreign Currency Gain

 

Certain foreign currency gains will be excluded from gross income for purposes of one or both of the gross income tests. “Real estate foreign exchange gain” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Real estate foreign exchange gain generally includes foreign currency gain attributable to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, foreign currency gain attributable to the acquisition or ownership of (or becoming or being the obligor under) obligations secured by mortgages on real property or an interest in real property and certain foreign currency gain attributable to certain “qualified business units” of a REIT. “Passive foreign exchange gain” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. Passive foreign exchange gain generally includes real estate foreign exchange gain as described above, and also includes foreign currency gain attributable to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test and foreign currency gain attributable to the acquisition or ownership of (or becoming or being the obligor under) any obligations. These exclusions for real estate foreign exchange gain and passive foreign exchange gain do not apply to foreign currency gain derived from dealing, or engaging in substantial and regular trading, in securities. Such gain is treated as nonqualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.

 

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Rents from Real Property

 

We do not currently own any real property for the production of rental income. If we were to acquire real property or an interest therein for the production of rental income, rents we receive would qualify as “rents from real property” in satisfying the gross income requirements for a REIT described above only if the following conditions are met:

 

First, the amount of rent must not be based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. An amount received or accrued generally will not be excluded, however, from rents from real property solely by reason of being based on fixed percentages of receipts or sales.

 

Second, rents we receive from a “related party tenant” will not qualify as rents from real property in satisfying the gross income tests unless the tenant is a TRS, at least 90% of the property is leased to unrelated tenants, the rent paid by the TRS is substantially comparable to the rent paid by the unrelated tenants for comparable space and the rent is not attributable to an increase in rent due to a modification of a lease with a “controlled TRS” (i.e., a TRS in which we own directly or indirectly more than 50% of the voting power or value of the stock). A tenant is a related party tenant if the REIT, or an actual or constructive owner of 10% or more of the REIT, actually or constructively owns 10% or more of the tenant.

 

Third, if rent attributable to personal property, leased in connection with a lease of real property, is greater than 15% of the total rent received under the lease, then the portion of rent attributable to the personal property will not qualify as rents from real property.

 

Fourth, we generally must not operate or manage our real property or furnish or render services to our tenants, other than through an “independent contractor” who is adequately compensated and from whom we do not derive revenue. We may, however, provide services directly to tenants if the services are “usually or customarily rendered” in connection with the rental of space for occupancy only and are not considered to be provided for the tenants’ convenience. In addition, we may provide a minimal amount of “non-customary” services to the tenants of a property, other than through an independent contractor, as long as our income from the services does not exceed 1% of our income from the related property. Furthermore, we may own up to 100% of the stock of a TRS, which may provide customary and non-customary services to tenants without tainting our rental income from the related properties.

 

Prohibited Transactions

 

A REIT will incur a 100% tax on the net income (including foreign currency gain) derived from any sale or other disposition of property, other than foreclosure property, but including mortgage loans, that the REIT holds primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business. Any such income will be excluded from the application of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Whether a REIT holds an asset “primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business” depends on the facts and circumstances in effect from time to time, including those related to a particular asset. We believe that none of our assets will be held primarily for sale to customers and that a sale of any of our assets will not be in the ordinary course of our business. No assurance, however, can be given that the IRS will not successfully assert a contrary position, in which case we would be subject to the prohibited transaction tax on the sale of those assets.

 

Foreclosure Property

 

We will be subject to tax at the maximum corporate rate on any income (including foreign currency gain) from foreclosure property, other than income that otherwise would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, less expenses directly connected with the production of that income. Gross income from foreclosure property will qualify, however, under the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Foreclosure property is any real property, including interests in real property, and any personal property incident to such real property:

 

that is acquired by a REIT as the result of the REIT having bid on such property at foreclosure, or having otherwise reduced such property to ownership or possession by agreement or process of law, after there was a default or default was imminent on a lease of such property or on indebtedness that such property secured;

 

for which the related loan or lease was acquired by the REIT at a time when the default was not imminent or anticipated; and

 

for which the REIT makes a proper election to treat the property as foreclosure property.

 

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A REIT will not be considered, however, to have foreclosed on a property where the REIT takes control of the property as a mortgagee-in-possession and cannot receive any profit or sustain any loss except as a creditor of the mortgagor. Property generally ceases to be foreclosure property at the end of the third taxable year following the taxable year in which the REIT acquired the property, or longer if an extension is granted by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. This grace period terminates and foreclosure property ceases to be foreclosure property on the first day:

 

on which a lease is entered into for the property that, by its terms, will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test (disregarding income from foreclosure property), or any amount is received or accrued, directly or indirectly, pursuant to a lease entered into on or after such day that will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test (disregarding income from foreclosure property);

  

on which any construction takes place on the property, other than completion of a building or any other improvement, where more than 10% of the construction was completed before default became imminent; or

 

which is more than 90 days after the day on which the REIT acquired the property and the property is used in a trade or business that is conducted by the REIT, other than through an independent contractor from whom the REIT itself does not derive or receive any income or a TRS.

 

Failure to Satisfy Gross Income Tests

 

If we fail to satisfy one or both of the gross income tests for any taxable year, we nevertheless may qualify as a REIT for that year if we are entitled to qualify for relief under certain provisions of the federal income tax laws. Those relief provisions generally will be available if:

 

our failure to meet those tests is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect; and

 

following such failure for any taxable year, a schedule of the sources of our income is filed with the IRS in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

 

We cannot with certainty predict whether any failure to meet these tests will qualify for the relief provisions. If these relief provisions are inapplicable to a particular set of circumstances involving us, we will not qualify as a REIT. As discussed above in “—Taxation of Our Company,” even if the relief provisions apply, we would incur a 100% tax on the gross income attributable to the greater of (i) the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test, or (ii) the excess of 95% of our gross income over the amount of gross income attributable to sources that qualify under the 95% gross income test, multiplied, in either case, by a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.

 

Asset Tests

 

To maintain our qualification as a REIT, we also must satisfy the following asset tests at the end of each quarter of each taxable year.

 

First, at least 75% of the value of our total assets must consist of:

 

cash or cash items, including certain receivables and investments in money market funds;

 

government securities;

 

interests in real property, including leaseholds and options to acquire real property and leaseholds, and personal property to the extent such personal property is leased in connection with real property and rents attributable to such personal property are treated as “rents from real property” as a result of such rents not exceeding 15% of the total rent attributable to personal property and real property under such lease;

 

interests in mortgage loans secured by real property and interests in mortgage loans secured by real property and personal property if the fair market value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all such property;

 

stock in other REITs and debt instruments issued by “publicly offered REITs” (however, see the Sixth asset test below);

 

investments in stock or debt instruments during the one-year period following our receipt of new capital that we raise through equity offerings or public offerings of debt with at least a five-year term; and

 

regular or residual interests in a REMIC. However, if less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC consist of assets that are qualifying real estate-related assets under the federal income tax laws, determined as if we held such assets, we will be treated as holding directly our proportionate share of the assets of such REMIC.

 

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Second, of our investments not included in the 75% asset class, the value of our interest in any one issuer’s securities (other than any TRS we may own) may not exceed 5% of the value of our total assets (the “5% asset test”).

 

Third, of our investments not included in the 75% asset class, we may not own more than 10% of the total voting power or 10% of the total value of any one issuer’s outstanding securities (the “10% vote test” and the “10% value test,” respectively).

 

Fourth, no more than 20% (25% for taxable years beginning before January 1, 2018) of the value of our total assets may consist of the securities of one or more TRSs.

 

Fifth, no more than 25% of the value of our total assets may consist of the securities of TRSs and other non-TRS taxable subsidiaries and other assets that are not qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test (the “25% securities test”).

 

Sixth, no more than 25% of the value of our total assets may consist of debt instruments issued by “publicly offered REITs” to the extent such debt instruments are not secured by real property or interests in real property.

 

For purposes of the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test and the 10% value test, the term “securities” does not include stock in another REIT, debt of “publicly offered REITs,” equity or debt securities of a qualified REIT subsidiary or TRS, mortgage loans or MBS that constitute real estate assets, or equity interests in a partnership. The term “securities”, however, generally includes debt securities issued by a partnership or another REIT (other than a “publicly offered REIT”), except that, for purposes of the 10% value test, the term “securities” does not include:

 

“straight debt” securities, which is defined as a written unconditional promise to pay on demand or on a specified date a sum certain in money if (i) the debt is not convertible, directly or indirectly, into stock, and (ii) the interest rate and interest payment dates are not contingent on profits, the borrower’s discretion, or similar factors. “Straight debt” securities do not include any securities issued by a partnership or a corporation in which we or any “controlled TRS” hold non-”straight” debt securities that have an aggregate value of more than 1% of the issuer’s outstanding securities. However, “straight debt” securities include debt subject to the following contingencies:

 

a contingency relating to the time of payment of interest or principal, as long as either (i) there is no change to the effective yield of the debt obligation, other than a change to the annual yield that does not exceed the greater of 0.25% or 5% of the annual yield, or (ii) neither the aggregate issue price nor the aggregate face amount of the issuer’s debt obligations held by us exceeds $1 million and no more than twelve months of unaccrued interest on the debt obligations can be required to be prepaid; and

 

a contingency relating to the time or amount of payment upon a default or prepayment of a debt obligation, as long as the contingency is consistent with customary commercial practice;

 

any loan to an individual or an estate;

 

any “section 467 rental agreement,” other than an agreement with a related party tenant;

 

any obligation to pay “rents from real property”;

 

certain securities issued by governmental entities that are not dependent in whole or in part on the profits of (or payments made by) a non-governmental entity;

 

any security (including debt securities) issued by another REIT;

 

any debt instrument of an entity treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes in which we are a partner to the extent of our proportionate interest in the equity and certain debt securities issued by that partnership; or

 

any debt instrument of an entity treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes not described in the preceding bullet points if at least 75% of the partnership’s gross income, excluding income from prohibited transactions, is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test described above in “—Gross Income Tests.”

 

We own RMBS, including non-Agency RMBS and Agency RMBS that are pass-through certificates in entities treated as grantor trusts for federal income tax purposes. We will be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. We have also invested in Agency RMBS that are CMOs, CMBS, ABS, residential and commercial mortgage loans, and excess MSRs. We expect that our investments in Agency RMBS that are CMOs, non-Agency RMBS and CMBS will generally be treated as interests in REMICs for federal income tax purposes. Such interests will generally qualify as real estate assets, and income derived from REMIC interests will generally be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the REIT income tests described above. If less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC and income derived from the interest qualifies for purposes of the REIT asset and income tests. To the extent any of our investments in Agency RMBS are not treated as real estate assets, we expect such Agency RMBS will be treated as government securities (and, therefore, as qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test) because they are issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the United States or by a person controlled or supervised by and acting as an instrumentality of the government of the United States pursuant to authority granted by the Congress of the United States. Our investments in ABS and non-Agency RMBS or CMBS that are not interests in a grantor trust or REMIC or government securities will not be treated as qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test and will be subject to the 5% asset test, the 10% value test, and the 25% securities test described above.

 

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We may invest directly in residential and commercial mortgage loans, including distressed loans. As discussed above under “—Gross Income Tests,” under the applicable Treasury regulations, if a loan is secured by real property and other property and the highest principal amount of the loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property (including, for loans secured by real property and personal property where the fair market value of the personal property is less than 15% of the total fair market value of all such property, such personal property) securing the loan as of (i) the date we agreed to acquire or originate the loan or (ii) in the event of a significant modification, the date we modified the loan, then a portion of the interest income from such a loan will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test but will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. Although the law is not entirely clear, a portion of the loan will also likely be a non-qualifying asset for purposes of the 75% asset test. The non-qualifying portion of such a loan would be subject to, among other requirements, the 10% vote test and the 10% value test. IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor under which the IRS has stated that it will not challenge a REIT’s treatment of a loan as being, in part, a qualifying real estate asset in an amount equal to the lesser of (i) the fair market value of the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date or (ii) the greater of (a) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date or (b) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the date the REIT committed to originate or acquire the loan. We intend to continue to invest in residential and commercial mortgage loans in a manner consistent with maintaining our qualification as a REIT.

 

We invest in mezzanine loans. As described above, Revenue Procedure 2003-65 provides a safe harbor pursuant to which certain mezzanine loans secured by a first priority security interest in ownership interests in a partnership or limited liability company will be treated as qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test (and therefore, are not subject to the 5% asset test and the 10% vote test or value test). See “—Gross Income Tests.” Although the mezzanine loans we acquire may not qualify for that safe harbor, we expect any mezzanine loans we acquire generally will be treated as qualifying assets for the 75% asset test or should be excluded from the definition of securities for purposes of the 10% value test. In the event that we own a mezzanine loan or similar debt that does not meet the safe harbor, the IRS could challenge such loan's treatment as a real estate asset for purposes of the REIT asset tests, and if such a challenge were sustained, we could fail to qualify as a REIT. We intend to continue to invest in mezzanine loans in a manner that will enable us to continue to satisfy the REIT asset tests.

 

We have entered into sale and repurchase agreements under which we nominally sold certain of our assets to a counterparty and simultaneously entered into an agreement to repurchase the sold assets in exchange for a purchase price that reflects a financing charge. Based on positions the IRS has taken in analogous situations, we believe that these transactions would be treated as secured debt, and that we are treated for REIT asset and income test purposes as the owner of the assets that are the subject of such agreements 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 our assets subject to sale and repurchase agreements during the term of such agreements, in which case we could fail to qualify as a REIT.

 

We have purchased, and may purchase in the future, Agency RMBS through TBAs. While there is no direct authority with respect to the qualification of TBAs as real estate assets or Government securities for purposes of the 75% asset test, we treat our long TBAs as qualifying assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests, based on an opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP substantially to the effect that for purposes of the REIT asset tests, our ownership of a long TBA should be treated as ownership of real estate assets. The opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is based on various assumptions related to our long TBAs and is conditioned on fact-based representations and covenants made by our management regarding our long TBAs. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert that our long TBAs are not qualifying assets. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our assets consists of TBAs.

 

We have acquired and may acquire in the future excess MSRs. In private letter rulings to other taxpayers, the IRS ruled substantially to the effect that excess MSRs represent interests in mortgages on real property and thus are qualifying “real estate assets” for purposes of the 75% asset test. Private letter rulings cannot be relied upon by persons other than the taxpayer to which they were issued. Nonetheless, we intend to treat excess MSRs that have terms consistent with those described in the private letter rulings as “real estate assets” for purposes of the 75% asset test. In the event that such assets were determined not to be qualifying for the 75% asset test, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to qualify as a REIT if the value of our excess MSRs and any non-qualifying assets exceeds 25% of our total assets at the end of any calendar quarter.

 

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We monitor the status of our assets for purposes of the various asset tests and seek to manage our portfolio to comply at all times with such tests. No assurance, however, can be given that we will continue to be successful in this effort. In this regard, to determine our compliance with these requirements, we will have to value our investment in our assets to ensure compliance with the asset tests. Although we seek to be prudent in making these estimates, no assurances can be given that the IRS might not disagree with these determinations and assert that a different value is applicable, in which case we might not satisfy the 75% asset test and the other asset tests and, thus, would fail to qualify as a REIT.

  

If we fail to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a calendar quarter, we will not lose our REIT qualification so long as:

 

we satisfied the asset tests at the end of the preceding calendar quarter; and

 

the discrepancy between the value of our assets and the asset test requirements arose from changes in the market values of our assets and was not wholly or partly caused by the acquisition of one or more non-qualifying assets.

 

If we did not satisfy the condition described in the second item, above, we still could avoid disqualification by eliminating any discrepancy within 30 days after the close of the calendar quarter in which it arose.

 

If we violate the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test or the 10% value test described above at the end of any calendar quarter, we will not lose our REIT qualification if (i) the failure is de minimis (up to the lesser of 1% of our assets or $10 million) and (ii) we dispose of assets causing the failure or otherwise comply with the asset tests within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identified such failure. In the event of a more than de minimis failure of any of the asset tests, as long as the failure was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, we will not lose our REIT qualification if we (i) dispose of assets or otherwise comply with the asset tests within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identified such failure, (ii) file a schedule with the IRS describing the assets that caused such failure in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and (iii) pay a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the highest corporate tax rate applied to the net income from the nonqualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy the asset tests. If these relief provisions are inapplicable to a particular set of circumstances involving us, we will not qualify as a REIT.

 

We believe that the Agency RMBS, non-Agency RMBS, CMBS, ABS, residential and commercial mortgage loans, excess MSRs and other assets that we hold will satisfy the foregoing asset test requirements. We will monitor the status of our assets and our future acquisition of assets to ensure that we continue to comply with those requirements, but we cannot assure you that we will be successful in this effort. No independent appraisals have been or will be obtained to support our estimates of and conclusions as to the value of our assets and securities, or in many cases, the real estate collateral for the mortgage loans that support our Agency RMBS and non-Agency RMBS. Moreover, the values of some assets may not be susceptible to a precise determination, and values are subject to change in the future. Furthermore, the proper classification of an instrument as debt or equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes may be uncertain in some circumstances, which could affect the application of the REIT asset requirements. As a result, no assurance can be given that the IRS will not contend that our ownership of securities and other assets violates one or more of the asset tests applicable to REITs.

 

Distribution Requirements

 

Each taxable year, we must distribute dividends, other than capital gain dividends and deemed distributions of retained capital gain, to our stockholders in an aggregate amount at least equal to:

 

the sum of

 

90% of our “REIT taxable income,” computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gain, and

 

90% of our after-tax net income, if any, from foreclosure property, minus

 

the sum of certain items of non-cash income.

 

We must make such distributions in the taxable year to which they relate, or in the following taxable year if either (i) we declare the distribution before we timely file our federal income tax return for the year and pay the distribution on or before the first regular dividend payment date after such declaration or (ii) we declare the distribution in October, November or December of the taxable year, payable to stockholders of record on a specified day in any such month, and we actually pay the dividend before the end of January of the following year. The distributions under clause (i) are taxable to the stockholders in the year in which paid, and the distributions in clause (ii) are treated as paid on December 31 of the prior taxable year to the extent of undistributed earnings and profits as of December 31 of the prior taxable year. In both instances, these distributions relate to our prior taxable year for purposes of the 90% distribution requirement.

 

If we cease to be a “publicly offered REIT,” then in order for distributions to be counted as satisfying the annual distribution requirements for REITs, and to provide us with a REIT-level tax deduction, the distributions must not considered to be “preferential dividends.” A dividend is not a preferential dividend if the distribution is (i) pro-rata among all outstanding shares of stock within a particular class and (ii) in accordance with the preferences among different classes of stock as set forth in our organizational documents.

 

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We will pay federal income tax on taxable income, including net capital gain, that we do not distribute to stockholders. Furthermore, if we fail to distribute during a calendar year, or by the end of January following the calendar year in the case of distributions with declaration and record dates falling in the last three months of the calendar year, at least the sum of:

 

85% of our REIT ordinary income for such year;

 

95% of our REIT capital gain income for such year; and

 

any undistributed taxable income from prior periods,

 

we will incur a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the amounts we actually distribute.

 

We may elect to retain and pay income tax on the net long term capital gain we recognize in a taxable year. If we so elect, we will be treated as having distributed any such retained amount for purposes of the REIT distribution requirements and the 4% nondeductible excise tax described above. We intend to continue to make timely distributions in the future sufficient to satisfy the annual distribution requirements and to avoid corporate income tax.

 

It is possible that, from time to time, we may experience timing differences between the actual receipt of cash, including distributions from our subsidiaries, and actual payment of deductible expenses and the inclusion of that income and deduction of such expenses in arriving at our REIT taxable income. Possible examples of those timing differences include the following:

 

Because we may deduct capital losses only to the extent of our capital gains, we may have taxable income that exceeds our economic income.

 

We will recognize taxable income in advance of the related cash flow with respect to our investments that are deemed to have original issue discount. We generally must accrue original issue discount based on a constant yield method that takes into account projected prepayments but that defers taking into account credit losses until they are actually incurred.

 

We have acquired investments that are treated as having “market discount” for federal income tax purposes, because the investments are debt instruments that we acquired for an amount less than their principal amount. We have not elected, and do not intend to elect, to recognize market discount currently. Under the market discount rules, we may be required to treat portions of gains on sale of market discount bonds as ordinary income and may be required to include some amounts of principal payments received on market discount bonds as ordinary income. The recognition of market discount upon receipt of principal payments results in an acceleration of the recognition of taxable income to periods prior to the receipt of the related income. Further, to the extent that such an investment does not fully amortize according to its terms, we may never receive the economic income attributable to previously recognized market discount.

 

We may recognize phantom taxable income from any residual interests in REMICs or retained ownership interests in mortgage loans subject to CMO debt.

 

Although several types of non-cash income are excluded in determining the annual distribution requirement, we will incur corporate income tax and the 4% nondeductible excise tax with respect to those non-cash income items if we do not distribute those items on a current basis. As a result of the foregoing, we may have less cash than is necessary to distribute all of our taxable income and thereby avoid corporate income tax and the excise tax imposed on certain undistributed income. In such a situation, we may need to borrow funds, sell assets or make taxable distributions of our capital stock or debt securities.

 

We may satisfy the REIT annual distribution requirements by making taxable distributions of our stock or debt securities. The IRS has issued a revenue procedure authorizing publicly offered REITs to treat certain distributions that are paid partly in cash and partly in stock as dividends that would satisfy the REIT annual distribution requirement and qualify for the dividends paid deduction for federal income tax purposes. Under IRS Revenue Procedure 2017-45, as a publicly offered REIT, as long as at least 20% of the total dividend is available in cash and certain other requirements are satisfied, the 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). We currently do not intend to pay taxable dividends payable in cash and stock.

 

Determination of our REIT taxable income involves the application of highly technical and complex Code provisions for which only limited judicial and administrative authorities exist. If the IRS disagrees with our determination, it could affect our satisfaction of the distribution requirements. Under certain circumstances, we may be able to correct a failure to meet the distribution requirement for a year by paying “deficiency dividends” to our stockholders in a later year. We may include such deficiency dividends in our deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year. Although we may be able to avoid income tax on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends, we will be required to pay interest and a penalty to the IRS based upon the amount of any deduction we take for deficiency dividends.

 

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Recordkeeping Requirements

 

We must maintain certain records in order to maintain our qualification as a REIT. In addition, to avoid a monetary penalty, we must request on an annual basis information from our stockholders designed to disclose the actual ownership of our outstanding stock. We intend to continue to comply with these requirements.

 

Failure to Qualify

 

If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification, other than the gross income tests and the asset tests, we could avoid disqualification if our failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect and we pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure. In addition, there are relief provisions for a failure of the gross income tests and asset tests, as described in “—Gross Income Tests” and “—Asset Tests.”

 

If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year, and no relief provision applies, we would be subject to federal income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates. Further, if we fail to qualify as a REIT, we might need to borrow money or sell assets in order to pay any resulting tax. Our payment of income tax would decrease the amount of our income available for distribution to our stockholders. In calculating our taxable income in a year in which we fail to qualify as a REIT, we would not be able to deduct amounts paid out to stockholders. In fact, we would not be required to distribute any amounts to stockholders in that year. In such event, to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, all distributions to stockholders would be taxable as ordinary income. Subject to certain limitations of the federal income tax laws, corporate stockholders might be eligible for the dividends received deduction and stockholders taxed at individual rates might be eligible for the reduced federal income tax rate of 20% on such dividends. Our failure to qualify as a REIT could impair our ability to expand our business and raise capital, and it would adversely affect the value of our capital stock. Unless we qualified for relief under specific statutory provisions, we also would be disqualified from taxation as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which we ceased to qualify as a REIT. We cannot predict whether in all circumstances we would qualify for such statutory relief.

 

Taxation of U.S. Holders

 

The term “U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of our capital stock that, for federal income tax purposes, is:

 

a citizen or resident of the United States;

 

a corporation (including an entity treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes) created or organized under the laws of the United States, any of its States or the District of Columbia;

 

an estate whose income is subject to federal income taxation regardless of its source; or

 

any trust if (i) a U.S. court is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of such trust and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (ii) it has a valid election in place to be treated as a U.S. person.

 

If a partnership, entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes holds our capital stock, the federal income tax treatment of a partner in the partnership will generally depend on the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. If you are a partner in a partnership holding our capital stock, you should consult your tax advisor regarding the consequences of the purchase, ownership and disposition of our capital stock by the partnership.

 

Taxation of U.S. Holders on Distributions on Capital Stock

 

As long as we qualify as a REIT, a taxable U.S. holder must generally take into account as ordinary income distributions made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits that we do not designate as capital gain dividends or retained long-term capital gain. For purposes of determining whether a distribution is made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, our earnings and profits will be allocated first to our preferred stock dividends and then to our common stock dividends. A U.S. holder will not qualify for the dividends received deduction generally available to corporations.

 

For taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026, individuals, trusts and estates may deduct up to 20% of certain pass-through income, including ordinary REIT dividends that are not “capital gain dividends” or “qualified dividend income,” subject to certain limitations (the “pass-through deduction”). For taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026, the maximum federal income tax rate for U.S. holders taxed at individual rates is 37%. For taxpayers qualifying for the full pass-through deduction, the effective maximum federal tax rate on ordinary REIT dividends for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026 would be 29.6% (exclusive of the 3.8% Medicare tax). To qualify for the pass-through deduction, the stockholder receiving such dividend must hold the dividend-paying REIT shares for at least 46 days (taking into account certain special holding period rules) of the 91-day period beginning 45 days before the shares become ex-dividend, and cannot be under an obligation to make related payments with respect to a position in substantially similar or related property.

 

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The maximum federal income tax rate for “qualified dividend income” received by taxpayers taxed at individual rates is 20%. Qualified dividend income generally includes dividends paid to U.S. holders taxed at individual rates by domestic C corporations and certain qualified foreign corporations. Because we are not generally subject to federal income tax on the portion of our REIT taxable income distributed to our stockholders (see “—Taxation of Our Company” above), our dividends generally will not be eligible for the 20% rate on qualified dividend income. As a result, our ordinary REIT dividends will be taxed at a higher tax rate as described above. However, the 20% tax rate for qualified dividend income will apply to our ordinary REIT dividends (i) attributable to dividends received by us from certain non-REIT corporations (e.g., dividends from any domestic TRSs), (ii) to the extent attributable to income upon which we have paid corporate income tax (e.g., to the extent that we distribute less than 100% of our taxable income) and (iii) attributable to income in the prior taxable year from the sales of “built-in gain” property acquired by us from C corporations in carryover basis transactions (less the amount of corporate tax on such income). In general, to qualify for the reduced tax rate on qualified dividend income, a U.S. holder must hold our capital stock for more than 60 days during the 121-day period beginning on the date that is 60 days before the date on which our capital stock becomes ex-dividend.

 

A U.S. holder generally will take into account distributions that we properly designate as capital gain dividends as long-term capital gain, to the extent that they do not exceed our actual net capital gain for the taxable year, without regard to the period for which the U.S. holder has held our capital stock. A corporate U.S. holder may, however, be required to treat up to 20% of certain capital gain dividends as ordinary income.

 

We may elect to retain and pay income tax on the net long-term capital gain that we recognize in a taxable year. In that case, to the extent we designate such amount on a timely notice to such stockholder, a U.S. holder would be taxed on its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain. The U.S. holder would receive a credit or refund for its proportionate share of the tax we paid. The U.S. holder would increase the basis in its capital stock by the amount of its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain, minus its share of the tax we paid.

 

A U.S. holder will not incur tax on a distribution in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits if the distribution does not exceed the adjusted basis of the U.S. holder’s capital stock. As stated above, for purposes of determining whether a distribution is made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, our earnings and profits will be allocated first to our preferred stock dividends, and then to our common stock dividends. Instead, the distribution will reduce the adjusted basis of such capital stock. A U.S. holder will recognize a distribution in excess of both our current and accumulated earnings and profits and the U.S. holder’s adjusted basis in his or her capital stock as long-term capital gain, or short-term capital gain if the shares of capital stock have been held for one year or less, assuming the shares of capital stock are a capital asset in the hands of the U.S. holder. In addition, if we declare a distribution in October, November or December of any year that is payable to a U.S. holder of record on a specified date in any such month, such distribution, to the extent of undistributed earnings and profits as of December 31 of such year, shall be treated as both paid by us and received by the U.S. holder on December 31 of such year, provided that we actually pay the distribution during January of the following calendar year, as described in “—Distribution Requirements.”

 

Stockholders may not include in their individual income tax returns any of our net operating losses or capital losses. Instead, these losses are generally carried over by us for potential offset against our future income or capital gains. Such carry forwards do not reduce earnings and profits in the year of offset.

 

Taxable distributions from us and gain from the disposition of our capital stock will not be treated as passive activity income and, therefore, stockholders generally will not be able to apply any “passive activity losses,” such as losses from certain types of limited partnerships in which the stockholder is a limited partner, against such income. In addition, taxable distributions from us and gain from the disposition of our capital stock generally will be treated as investment income for purposes of the investment interest limitations. We will notify stockholders after the close of our taxable year as to the portions of the distributions attributable to that year that constitute ordinary income, return of capital, qualified dividend income and capital gain.

 

Certain U.S. holders who are individuals, estates or trusts and whose income exceeds certain thresholds will be required to pay a 3.8% Medicare tax. The Medicare tax will apply to, among other things, dividends and other income derived from certain trades or business and net gains from the sale or other disposition of property, such as our capital stock, subject to certain exceptions. Our dividends and any gain from the disposition of our capital stock generally will be the type of gain that is subject to the Medicare tax.

 

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We may recognize taxable income in excess of our economic income, known as phantom income, in the first years that we hold certain investments or in the year that we modify certain loan investments, and we may only experience an offsetting excess of economic income over our taxable income in later years, if at all. As a result, U.S. holders at times may be required to pay federal income tax on distributions that economically represent a return of capital rather than a dividend. These distributions would be offset in later years by distributions representing economic income that would be treated as returns of capital for federal income tax purposes. Taking into account the time value of money, this acceleration or increase of federal income tax liabilities may reduce a U.S. holder’s after-tax return on his or her investment to an amount less than the after-tax return on an investment with an identical before-tax rate of return that did not generate phantom income. For example, if an investor with a 30% tax rate purchases a taxable bond with an annual interest rate of 10% on its face value, the investor’s before-tax return on the investment would be 10% and the investor’s after-tax return would be 7%. However, if the same investor purchased our capital stock at a time when the before-tax rate of return was 10%, the investor’s after-tax rate of return on such stock might be somewhat less than 7% as a result of our phantom income. In general, as the ratio of our phantom income to our total income increases, the after-tax rate of return received by a taxable stockholder will decrease.

  

To the extent that we have available net operating losses and capital losses carried forward from prior tax years, such losses may, subject to limitations, reduce the amount of distributions that must be made in order to comply with the REIT distribution requirements. See “-Taxation of Our Company” and “-Distribution Requirements.” Such losses, however, are not passed through to U.S. holders and do not offset income of U.S. holders from other sources, nor do they affect the character of any distributions that are actually made by us, which are generally subject to tax in the hands of U.S. holders to the extent that we have current or accumulated earnings and profits.

 

If excess inclusion income from a taxable mortgage pool or REMIC residual interest is allocated to any U.S. holder that income will be taxable in the hands of the U.S. holder and would not be offset by any net operating losses of the U.S. holder that would otherwise be available. See “—Requirements for Qualification—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.” As required by IRS guidance, we intend to notify our stockholders if a portion of a dividend paid by us is attributable to excess inclusion income.

 

Taxation of U.S. Holders on the Disposition of Capital Stock

 

In general, a U.S. holder who is not a dealer in securities must treat any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of our capital stock as long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. holder has held such capital stock for more than one year and otherwise as short-term capital gain or loss. In general, a U.S. holder will realize gain or loss in an amount equal to the difference between the sum of the fair market value of any property and the amount of cash received in such disposition and the U.S. holder’s adjusted tax basis. A holder’s adjusted tax basis generally will equal the U.S. holder’s acquisition cost, increased by the excess of net capital gains deemed distributed to the U.S. holder less tax deemed paid by it and reduced by any returns of capital. However, a U.S. holder must treat any loss upon a sale or exchange of capital stock held by such holder for six months or less as a long-term capital loss to the extent of capital gain dividends and any other actual or deemed distributions from us that such U.S. holder treats as long term capital gain. All or a portion of any loss that a U.S. holder realizes upon a taxable disposition of the capital stock may be disallowed if the U.S. holder purchases other capital stock within 30 days before or after the disposition.

 

Redemption of Preferred Stock

 

A redemption of preferred stock will be treated under section 302 of the Code as a distribution that is taxable as dividend income (to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits), unless the redemption satisfies certain tests set forth in section 302(b) of the Code enabling the redemption to be treated as a sale of the preferred stock (in which case the redemption will be treated in the same manner as a sale described above in “—Taxation of U.S. Holders on the Disposition of Capital Stock”). The redemption will satisfy such tests if it (i) is “substantially disproportionate” with respect to the U.S. holder’s interest in our stock, (ii) results in a “complete termination” of the U.S. holder’s interest in all classes of our stock or (iii) is “not essentially equivalent to a dividend” with respect to the U.S. holder, all within the meaning of section 302(b) of the Code. In determining whether any of these tests have been met, stock considered to be owned by the U.S. holder by reason of certain constructive ownership rules set forth in the Code, as well as stock actually owned, generally must be taken into account. Because the determination as to whether any of the three alternative tests of section 302(b) of the Code described above will be satisfied with respect to any particular U.S. holder of preferred stock depends upon the facts and circumstances at the time that the determination must be made, prospective investors are urged to consult their tax advisors to determine such tax treatment. If a redemption of preferred stock does not meet any of the three tests described above, the redemption proceeds will be taxable as a dividend, as described above in “—Taxation of U.S. Holders.” In that case, a U.S. holder’s adjusted tax basis in the redeemed preferred stock will be transferred to such U.S. holder’s remaining stockholdings in our company. If the U.S. holder does not retain any of our stock, such basis could be transferred to a related person that holds our stock or it may be lost.

 

Conversion of Preferred Stock

 

Except as provided below, (i) a U.S. holder generally will not recognize gain or loss upon the conversion of preferred stock into our common stock, and (ii) a U.S. holder’s basis and holding period in our common stock received upon conversion generally will be the same as those of the converted preferred stock (but the basis will be reduced by the portion of adjusted tax basis allocated to any fractional share exchanged for cash). Any of our shares of common stock received in a conversion that are attributable to accumulated and unpaid dividends on the converted preferred stock will be treated as a distribution that is potentially taxable as a dividend. Cash received upon conversion in lieu of a fractional share generally will be treated as a payment in a taxable exchange for such fractional share, and gain or loss will be recognized on the receipt of cash in an amount equal to the difference between the amount of cash received and the adjusted tax basis allocable to the fractional share deemed exchanged. This gain or loss will be long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. holder has held the preferred stock for more than one year at the time of conversion. U.S. holders are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the federal income tax consequences of any transaction by which such holder exchanges shares of our common stock received on a conversion of preferred stock for cash or other property.

 

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Capital Gains and Losses

 

A taxpayer generally must hold a capital asset for more than one year for gain or loss derived from its sale or exchange to be treated as long-term capital gain or loss. For taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026, the highest marginal individual income tax rate is 37%. The maximum tax rate on long-term capital gain applicable to U.S. holders taxed at individual rates is 20% for sales and exchanges of assets held for more than one year. The maximum tax rate on long-term capital gain from the sale or exchange of “section 1250 property,” or depreciable real property, is 25%, which applies to the lesser of the total amount of the gains or the accumulated depreciation on the Section 1250 property. Individuals, trusts and estates whose income exceeds certain thresholds are also subject to a 3.8% Medicare tax on gain from the sale of our capital stock.

 

With respect to distributions that we designate as capital gain dividends and any retained capital gain that we are deemed to distribute, we will designate whether such a distribution is taxable to U.S. holders taxed at individual rates at a 20% or 25% rate. Thus, the tax rate differential between capital gain and ordinary income for those taxpayers may be significant. In addition, the characterization of income as capital gain or ordinary income may affect the deductibility of capital losses, including capital losses recognized upon the disposition of our stock. A non-corporate taxpayer may deduct capital losses not offset by capital gains against its ordinary income only up to a maximum annual amount of $3,000. A non-corporate taxpayer may carry forward unused capital losses indefinitely. A corporate taxpayer must pay tax on its net capital gain at ordinary corporate rates. A corporate taxpayer may deduct capital losses only to the extent of capital gains, with unused losses being carried back three years and forward five years.

 

Information Reporting Requirements and Withholding

 

We will report to U.S. holders and to the IRS the amount and the tax character of distributions we pay during each calendar year, and the amount of tax we withhold, if any. Under the backup withholding rules, a U.S. holder may be subject to backup withholding with respect to distributions unless such holder:

 

is a corporation or comes within certain other exempt categories and, when required, demonstrates this fact; or

 

provides a taxpayer identification number, certifies as to no loss of exemption from backup withholding, and otherwise complies with the applicable requirements of the backup withholding rules.

 

A stockholder who does not provide us with its correct taxpayer identification number also may be subject to penalties imposed by the IRS. Any amount paid as backup withholding will be creditable against the stockholder’s income tax liability. In addition, we may be required to withhold a portion of capital gain distributions to any stockholders who fail to certify their non-foreign status to us.

 

Backup withholding will generally not apply to payments of dividends made by us or our paying agents, in their capacities as such, to a non-U.S. holder provided that the non-U.S. holder furnishes to us or our paying agent the required certification as to its non-U.S. status, such as providing a valid IRS Form W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E or W-8ECI, or certain other requirements are met. Notwithstanding the foregoing, backup withholding may apply if either we or our paying agent has actual knowledge, or reason to know, that the holder is a U.S. person that is not an exempt recipient. Payments of the net proceeds from a disposition or a redemption effected outside the U.S. by a non-U.S. holder made by or through a foreign office of a broker generally will not be subject to information reporting or backup withholding. However, information reporting (but not backup withholding) generally will apply to such a payment if the broker has certain connections with the United States unless the broker has documentary evidence in its records that the beneficial owner is a non-U.S. holder and specified conditions are met or an exemption is otherwise established. Payment of the net proceeds from a disposition by a non-U.S. holder of our shares made by or through the U.S. office of a broker is generally subject to information reporting and backup withholding unless the non-U.S. holder certifies under penalties of perjury that it is not a U.S. person and satisfies certain other requirements, or otherwise establishes an exemption from information reporting and backup withholding.

 

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be refunded or credited against the stockholder’s federal income tax liability if certain required information is furnished to the IRS. Stockholders are urged consult their tax advisors regarding application of backup withholding to them and the availability of, and procedure for obtaining an exemption from, backup withholding.

 

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FATCA Withholding

 

A U.S. holder who does not provide us with its correct taxpayer identification number also may be subject to penalties imposed by the IRS. Any amount paid as backup withholding will be creditable against the U.S. holder’s income tax liability. Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will also be imposed on dividends received by U.S. holders who own our capital stock through foreign accounts or foreign intermediaries if certain disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership are not satisfied. We will not pay any additional amounts in respect of amounts withheld.

 

Taxation of Tax-Exempt Stockholders

 

Tax-exempt entities, including qualified employee pension and profit sharing trusts and individual retirement accounts, generally are exempt from federal income taxation. They are subject, however, to taxation on their UBTI. While many investments in real estate generate UBTI, the IRS has issued a ruling that dividend distributions from a REIT to an exempt employee pension trust do not constitute UBTI. Based on that ruling, amounts that we distribute to tax-exempt stockholders generally should not constitute UBTI so long as shares of our stock are not otherwise used in an unrelated trade or business. However, if a tax-exempt stockholder were to finance its acquisition of capital stock with debt, a portion of the income that it receives from us would constitute UBTI pursuant to the “debt-financed property” rules. In addition, our dividends that are attributable to excess inclusion income will constitute UBTI in the hands of most tax-exempt stockholders. See “—Requirements for Qualification—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.” Moreover, social clubs, voluntary employee benefit associations, supplemental unemployment benefit trusts and qualified group legal services plans that are exempt from taxation under special provisions of the federal income tax laws are subject to different UBTI rules, which generally will require them to characterize distributions that they receive from us as UBTI. Furthermore, a tax-exempt stockholder’s share of any excess inclusion income that we recognize would be subject to tax as UBTI. Finally, in certain circumstances, a qualified employee pension or profit sharing trust that owns more than 10% of our stock must treat a percentage of the dividends that it receives from us as UBTI. Such percentage is equal to the gross income we derive from an unrelated trade or business, determined as if we were a pension trust, divided by our total gross income for the year in which we pay the dividends. That rule applies to a pension trust holding more than 10% of our stock only if:

 

the percentage of our dividends that the tax-exempt trust must treat as UBTI is at least 5%;

 

we qualify as a REIT by reason of the modification of the rule requiring that no more than 50% of our stock be owned by five or fewer individuals that allows the beneficiaries of the pension trust to be treated as holding our stock in proportion to their actuarial interests in the pension trust; and

 

either:

 

one pension trust owns more than 25% of the value of our stock; or

 

A group of pension trusts individually holding more than 10% of the value of our stock collectively owns more than 50% of the value of our stock.

 

Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders

 

The term “non-U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of our capital stock that is not a U.S. holder or a partnership (or entity treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes). The rules governing federal income taxation of nonresident alien individuals, foreign corporations, foreign partnerships and other foreign holders are complex. This section is only a summary of such rules. We urge non-U.S. holders to consult their tax advisors to determine the impact of federal, state and local income tax laws on ownership of our capital stock, including any reporting requirements.

 

Distributions

 

A non-U.S. holder that receives a distribution that is not attributable to gain from our sale or exchange of a “United States real property interest,” as defined below, and that we do not designate as a capital gain dividend or retained capital gain will recognize ordinary income to the extent that we pay the distribution out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits. A withholding tax equal to 30% of the gross amount of the distribution ordinarily will apply unless an applicable tax treaty reduces or eliminates the tax. Our dividends that are attributable to excess inclusion income will be subject to the 30% withholding tax, without reduction for any otherwise applicable income tax treaty. See “—Requirements for Qualification—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.” However, if a distribution is treated as effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s conduct of a U.S. trade or business, the non-U.S. holder generally will be subject to federal income tax on the distribution at graduated rates, in the same manner as U.S. holders are taxed on distributions and also may be subject to the 30% branch profits tax in the case of a corporate non-U.S. holder. In general, non-U.S. holders will not be considered to be engaged in a U.S. trade or business solely as a result of their ownership of our stock. We plan to withhold U.S. income tax at the rate of 30% on the gross amount of any distribution that we do not designate as a capital gain distribution or retained capital gain and is paid to a non-U.S. holder unless either:

 

a lower treaty rate applies and the non-U.S. holder files an IRS Form W-8BEN or IRS Form W-8BEN-E evidencing eligibility for that reduced rate with us, or

 

the non-U.S. holder files an IRS Form W-8ECI with us claiming that the distribution is effectively connected income.

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However, reduced treaty rates are not available to the extent that the income allocated to the non-U.S. holder is excess inclusion income.

 

Capital gain dividends received or deemed received by a non-U.S. holder from us that are not attributable to gain from our sale or exchange of “United States real property interests,” as defined below, are generally not subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax, unless either (1) the non-U.S. holder’s investment in our capital stock is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. holder (in which case the non-U.S. holder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. holders with respect to such gain) or (2) the non-U.S. holder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the U.S. (in which case the non-U.S. holder will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s net capital gain for the year).

 

A non-U.S. holder will not incur tax on a distribution on the capital stock in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits if the excess portion of the distribution does not exceed the adjusted basis of its capital stock. Instead, the excess portion of the distribution will reduce the adjusted basis of that capital stock. A non-U.S. holder will be subject to tax on a distribution that exceeds both our current and accumulated earnings and profits and the adjusted basis of the capital stock, if the non-U.S. holder otherwise would be subject to tax on gain from the sale or disposition of its capital stock, as described below. Because we generally cannot determine at the time we make a distribution whether the distribution will exceed our current and accumulated earnings and profits, we normally will withhold tax on the entire amount of any distribution at the same rate as we would withhold on a dividend. However, a non-U.S. holder may obtain a refund of amounts that we withhold if we later determine that a distribution in fact exceeded our current and accumulated earnings and profits.

 

A U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will also be imposed on dividends paid to certain non-U.S. holders if certain disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership are not satisfied. If payment of withholding taxes is required, non-U.S. holders that are otherwise eligible for an exemption from, or reduction of, U.S. withholding taxes with respect to such dividends and proceeds will be required to seek a refund from the IRS to obtain the benefit or such exemption or reduction. We will not pay any additional amounts in respect of any amounts withheld.

 

For any year in which we qualify as a REIT, a non-U.S. holder may incur tax on distributions that are attributable to gain from our sale or exchange of “United States real property interests” under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Act of 1980, or FIRPTA. The term “United States real property interests” includes interests in real property and shares in corporations at least 50% of whose assets consist of interests in real property. The term “United States real property interests” generally does not include mortgage loans or mortgage-backed securities such as non-Agency RMBS or Agency RMBS. As a result, we do not anticipate that we will generate material amounts of gain that would be subject to FIRPTA. Under the FIRPTA rules, subject to exceptions discussed below, a non-U.S. holder is taxed on distributions attributable to gain from sales of United States real property interests as if the gain were effectively connected with a U.S. business of the non-U.S. holder. A non-U.S. holder thus would be taxed on such a distribution at the normal capital gain rates applicable to U.S. holders, subject to applicable alternative minimum tax and a special alternative minimum tax in the case of a nonresident alien individual. A non-U.S. corporate holder not entitled to treaty relief or exemption also may be subject to the 30% branch profits tax on such a distribution. Unless a non-U.S. holder qualifies for the exception described in the next paragraph, we must withhold 21% of any such distribution that we could designate as a capital gain dividend. A non-U.S. holder may receive a credit against such holder’s tax liability for the amount we withhold.

 

Capital gain distributions on our capital stock that are attributable to our sale of real property will be treated as ordinary dividends rather than as gain from the sale of a United States real property interest, as long as (i) (a) the applicable class of our capital stock is “regularly traded” on an established securities market in the United States and (b) the non-U.S. holder does not own more than 10% of our capital stock during the one-year period preceding the distribution date or (ii) the non-U.S. holder was treated as a “qualified shareholder” or a “qualified foreign pension fund” (each, as defined in the Code). As a result, non-U.S. holders generally would be subject to withholding tax on such capital gain distributions in the same manner as they are subject to withholding tax on ordinary dividends. We believe our capital stock currently is treated as regularly traded on an established securities market. If our capital stock is not regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States or the non-U.S. holder owned more than 10% of our capital stock any time during the one-year period prior to the distribution, capital gain distributions that are attributable to our sale of real property would be subject to tax under FIRPTA. Moreover, if a non-U.S. holder disposes of our capital stock during the 30-day period preceding a dividend payment, and such non-U.S. holder (or a person related to such non-U.S. holder) acquires or enters into a contract or option to acquire our capital stock within 61 days of the 1st day of the 30 day period described above, and any portion of such dividend payment would, but for the disposition, be treated as a United States real property interest capital gain to such non-U.S. holder, then such non-U.S. holder shall be treated as having United States real property interest capital gain in an amount that, but for the disposition, would have been treated as United States real property interest capital gain.

 

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Dispositions of Capital Stock

 

A non-U.S. holder generally will not incur tax under FIRPTA with respect to gain realized upon a disposition of shares of our capital stock as long as we are not a United States real property holding corporation during a specified testing period. If at least 50% of a REIT’s assets are United States real property interests, then the REIT will be a United States real property holding corporation. We do not anticipate that we will be a United States real property holding corporation based on our investment strategy. In the unlikely event that at least 50% of the assets we hold were determined to be United States real property interests, gains from the sale of our capital stock by a non-U.S. holder could be subject to a FIRPTA tax. However, even if that event were to occur, a non-U.S. holder generally would not incur tax under FIRPTA on gain from the sale of our capital stock if we were a “domestically controlled qualified investment entity.” A domestically controlled qualified investment entity includes a REIT in which, at all times during a specified testing period, less than 50% in value of its shares are held directly or indirectly by non-U.S. holders. We believe that we are a domestically controlled qualified investment entity, and that a sale of our capital stock should not be subject to taxation under FIRPTA. No assurance can be given, however, that we are or will remain a domestically controlled qualified investment entity.

 

If the applicable class of our capital stock is regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States, an additional exception to the tax under FIRPTA will be available, even if we do not qualify as a domestically controlled qualified investment entity at the time the non-U.S. holder sells our capital stock. Under that exception, the gain from such a sale by such a non-U.S. holder will not be subject to tax under FIRPTA if:

 

the applicable class of our capital stock is considered regularly traded under applicable Treasury regulations on an established securities market, such as the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE; and

 

the non-U.S. holder owned, actually or constructively, 10% or less of the applicable class of our capital stock at all times during a specified testing period.

 

As noted above, we believe that our capital stock is currently treated as being regularly traded on an established securities market.

 

If the gain on the sale of our capital stock were taxed under FIRPTA, a non-U.S. holder would be taxed on that gain in the same manner as U.S. holders, subject to applicable alternative minimum tax and a special alternative minimum tax in the case of nonresident alien individuals. Furthermore, a non-U.S. holder generally will incur tax on gain not subject to FIRPTA if:

 

the gain is effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. trade or business, in which case the non-U.S. holder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. holders with respect to such gain, or

 

the non-U.S. holder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the United States, in which case the non-U.S. holder will incur a 30% tax on his or her capital gains.

 

Qualified Shareholders

 

Subject to the exception discussed below, any distribution to a “qualified shareholder” who holds REIT stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to federal income taxation under FIRPTA and thus will not be subject to special withholding rules under FIRPTA. While a “qualified shareholder” will not be subject to FIRPTA withholding on REIT distributions, the portion of REIT distributions attributable to certain investors in a “qualified shareholder” (i.e., non-U.S. persons who hold interests in the “qualified shareholder” (other than interests solely as a creditor), and directly or indirectly hold more than 10% of the stock of such REIT (whether or not by reason of the investor’s ownership in the “qualified shareholder”)) may be subject to FIRPTA withholding. REIT distributions received by a “qualified shareholder” that are exempt from FIRPTA withholding may still be subject to regular U.S. withholding tax.

 

In addition, a sale of our capital stock by a “qualified shareholder” who holds such capital stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) generally will not be subject to federal income taxation under FIRPTA. As with distributions, the portion of amounts realized attributable to certain investors in a “qualified shareholder” (i.e., non-U.S. persons who hold interests in the “qualified shareholder” (other than interests solely as a creditor), and directly or indirectly hold more than 10% of the stock of such REIT (whether or not by reason of the investor’s ownership in the “qualified shareholder”)) may be subject to federal income taxation and FIRPTA withholding on a sale of our capital stock.

 

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A “qualified shareholder” is a foreign person that (i) either is eligible for the benefits of a comprehensive income tax treaty which includes an exchange of information program and whose principal class of interests is listed and regularly traded on one or more recognized stock exchanges (as defined in such comprehensive income tax treaty), or is a foreign partnership that is created or organized under foreign law as a limited partnership in a jurisdiction that has an agreement for the exchange of information with respect to taxes with the United States and has a class of limited partnership units representing greater than 50% of the value of all the partnership units that is regularly traded on the NYSE or Nasdaq markets, (ii) is a qualified collective investment vehicle (defined below), and (iii) maintains records on the identity of each person who, at any time during the foreign person’s taxable year, is the direct owner of 5% or more of the class of interests or units (as applicable) described in (i), above.

 

A qualified collective investment vehicle is a foreign person that (i) would be eligible for a reduced rate of withholding under the comprehensive income tax treaty described above, even if such entity holds more than 10% of the stock of such REIT, (ii) is publicly traded, is treated as a partnership under the Code, is a withholding foreign partnership, and would be treated as a “United States real property holding corporation” if it were a domestic corporation, or (iii) is designated as such by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and is either (a) fiscally transparent within the meaning of section 894 of the Code, or (b) required to include dividends in its gross income, but is entitled to a deduction for distributions to its investors.

 

Qualified Foreign Pension Funds

 

Any distribution to a “qualified foreign pension fund” (or an entity all of the interests of which are held by a “qualified foreign pension fund”) who holds REIT stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to federal income taxation under FIRPTA and thus will not be subject to special withholding rules under FIRPTA. REIT distributions received by a “qualified foreign pension fund” that are exempt from FIRPTA withholding may still be subject to regular U.S. withholding tax. In addition, a sale of our capital stock by a “qualified foreign pension fund” that holds such capital stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to federal income taxation under FIRPTA.

 

A qualified foreign pension fund is any trust, corporation, or other organization or arrangement (i) which is created or organized under the law of a country other than the United States, (ii) which is established by such country or an employer to provide retirement or pension benefits to participants or beneficiaries that are current or former employees (or persons designated by such employees) of one or more employers in consideration for services rendered, (iii) which does not have a single participant or beneficiary with a right to more than 5% of its assets or income, (iv) which is subject to government regulation and with respect to which annual information reporting about its beneficiaries is provided or otherwise available to the relevant tax authorities in the country in which it is established or operates, and (v) with respect to which, under the laws of the country in which it is established or operates, (a) contributions to such organization or arrangement that would otherwise be subject to tax under such laws are deductible or excluded from the gross income of such entity or taxed at a reduced rate, or (b) taxation of any investment income of such organization or arrangement is deferred or such income is taxed at a reduced rate.

 

Conversion of Preferred Stock

 

The conversion of our preferred stock into our common stock may be a taxable exchange for a non-U.S. holder if our preferred stock constitutes a United States real property interest. Even if our preferred stock constitutes a United States real property interest, provided our common stock also constitutes a United States real property interest, a non-U.S. holder generally will not recognize gain or loss upon a conversion of preferred stock into our common stock so long as certain FIRPTA-related reporting requirements are satisfied. If our preferred stock constitutes a United States real property interest and such requirements are not satisfied, however, a conversion will be treated as a taxable exchange of preferred stock for our common stock. Such a deemed taxable exchange will be subject to tax under FIRPTA at the rate of tax, including any applicable capital gains rates, that would apply to a U.S. holder of the same type (e.g., a corporate or a non-corporate stockholder, as the case may be) on the excess, if any, of the fair market value of such non-U.S. holder’s common stock received over such non-U.S. holder’s adjusted basis in its preferred stock. Collection of such tax will be enforced by a refundable withholding tax at a rate of 15% of the value of the common stock.

 

Non-U.S. holders are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the federal income tax consequences of any transaction by which such non-U.S. holder exchanges shares of our common stock received on a conversion of preferred stock for cash or other property.

 

Redemption of Preferred Stock

 

For a discussion of the treatment of a redemption of preferred stock, see “Taxation of U.S. Holders—Redemption of Preferred Stock.”

 

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FATCA Withholding

 

Under FATCA, a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will be imposed on dividends paid on our capital stock received by certain non-U.S. holders if certain disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership are not satisfied. If payment of withholding taxes is required, non-U.S. holders that are otherwise eligible for an exemption from, or reduction of, U.S. withholding taxes with respect of such dividends and proceeds will be required to seek a refund from the IRS to obtain the benefit of such exemption or reduction. We will not pay any additional amounts in respect of any amounts withheld.

 

Information Reporting Requirements and Withholding

 

We will report to our stockholders and to the IRS the amount of distributions we pay during each calendar year, and the amount of tax we withhold, if any. Under the backup withholding rules, a stockholder may be subject to backup withholding, at a rate of 24%, with respect to distributions unless the stockholder:

 

is a corporation or qualifies for certain other exempt categories and, when required, demonstrates this fact; or

 

provides a taxpayer identification number, certifies as to no loss of exemption from backup withholding, and otherwise complies with the applicable requirements of the backup withholding rules.

 

A stockholder who does not provide us with its correct taxpayer identification number may also be subject to penalties imposed by the IRS. Any amount paid as backup withholding will be creditable against the stockholder’s income tax liability. In addition, we may be required to withhold a portion of capital gain distributions to any stockholders who fail to certify their non-foreign status to us.

 

Backup withholding will generally not apply to payments of dividends made by us or our paying agents, in their capacities as such, to a non-U.S. holder provided that the non-U.S. holder furnishes to us or our paying agent the required certification as to its non-U.S. status, such as providing a valid IRS Form W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E or W-8ECI, or certain other requirements are met. Notwithstanding the foregoing, backup withholding may apply if either we or our paying agent has actual knowledge, or reason to know, that the holder is a U.S. person that is not an exempt recipient. Payments of the proceeds from a disposition or a redemption effected outside the U.S. by a non-U.S. holder made by or through a foreign office of a broker generally will not be subject to information reporting or backup withholding. However, information reporting (but not backup withholding) generally will apply to such a payment if the broker has certain connections with the U.S. unless the broker has documentary evidence in its records that the beneficial owner is a non-U.S. holder and specified conditions are met or an exemption is otherwise established. Payment of the proceeds from a disposition by a non-U.S. holder of capital stock made by or through the U.S. office of a broker is generally subject to information reporting and backup withholding unless the non-U.S. holder certifies under penalties of perjury that it is not a U.S. person and satisfies certain other requirements, or otherwise establishes an exemption from information reporting and backup withholding.

 

Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be refunded or credited against the stockholder’s federal income tax liability if certain required information is furnished to the IRS. Stockholders should consult their tax advisors regarding application of backup withholding to them and the availability of, and procedure for obtaining an exemption from, backup withholding.

 

Legislative or Other Actions Affecting REITs

 

The present federal income tax treatment of REITs may be modified, possibly with retroactive effect, by legislative, judicial, or administrative action at any time. The REIT rules are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury which may result in statutory changes as well as revisions to regulations and interpretations. Additional changes to the tax laws are likely to continue to occur. We cannot predict the long-term effect of the any recent or future tax law changes on REITs and their stockholders. Prospective investors are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the effect of potential changes to the federal tax laws on an investment in our capital stock.

 

State, Local and Foreign Taxes

 

We and/or our securityholders may be subject to taxation by various states, localities or foreign jurisdictions, including those in which we or a securityholder transacts business, owns property or resides. We may own properties located in numerous jurisdictions and may be required to file tax returns in some or all of those jurisdictions. The state, local and foreign tax treatment may differ from the federal income tax treatment described above. Consequently, securityholders should consult their tax advisors regarding the effect of state, local and foreign income and other tax laws upon an investment in our securities.

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

 

We may sell the securities offered by this prospectus from time to time in one or more transactions, including without limitation:

 

through underwriters or dealers;

 

directly to purchasers;

 

in a rights offering;

 

in “at the market” offerings within the meaning of Rule 415(a)(4) of the Securities Act to or through a market maker or into an existing trading market on an exchange or otherwise;

 

through agents;

 

through a combination of any of these methods; or

 

through any other method permitted by applicable law and described in a prospectus supplement.

 

The prospectus supplement with respect to any offering of securities will include the following information:

 

the terms of the offering;

 

the names of any underwriters or agents;

 

the name or names of any managing underwriter or underwriters;

 

the purchase price or initial public offering price of the securities;

 

the net proceeds from the sale of the securities;

 

any delayed delivery arrangements;

 

any underwriting discounts, commissions and other items constituting underwriters’ compensation;

 

any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers;

 

any commissions paid to agents; and

 

any securities exchange on which the securities may be listed.

 

Sale through Underwriters or Dealers

 

If underwriters are used in the sale, the underwriters may resell the securities from time to time in one or more transactions, including negotiated transactions, at a fixed public offering price or at varying prices determined at the time of sale. Underwriters may offer securities to the public either through underwriting syndicates represented by one or more managing underwriters or directly by one or more firms acting as underwriters. Unless we inform you otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, the obligations of the underwriters to purchase the securities will be subject to certain conditions, and the underwriters will be obligated to purchase all of the offered securities if they purchase any of them. The underwriters may change from time to time any initial public offering price and any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers.

 

We will describe the name or names of any underwriters, dealers or agents and the purchase price of the securities in a prospectus supplement relating to the securities.

 

In connection with the sale of the securities, underwriters may receive compensation from us or from purchasers of the securities, for whom they may act as agents, in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions. Underwriters may sell the securities to or through dealers, and these dealers may receive compensation in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from the underwriters and/or commissions from the purchasers for whom they may act as agents, which is not expected to exceed that customary in the types of transactions involved. Underwriters, dealers and agents that participate in the distribution of the securities may be deemed to be underwriters, and any discounts or commissions they receive from us, and any profit on the resale of the securities they realize may be deemed to be underwriting discounts and commissions, under the Securities Act. The prospectus supplement will identify any underwriter or agent and will describe any compensation they receive from us.

 

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Underwriters could make sales in privately negotiated transactions and/or any other method permitted by law, including sales deemed to be an “at the market” offering, sales made directly on the NYSE, the existing trading market for our common stock, Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock, or such other exchange or automated quotation system on which our securities trade, or sales made to or through a market maker other than on an exchange. The name of any such underwriter or agent involved in the offer and sale of our securities, the amounts underwritten, and the nature of its obligations to take our securities will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement.

 

Unless otherwise specified in the prospectus supplement, each series of the securities will be a new issue with no established trading market, other than our common stock, Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock, which are currently listed on the NYSE. We currently intend to list any shares of common stock sold pursuant to this prospectus on the NYSE. We may elect to list any series of preferred stock on an exchange, but are not obligated to do so. It is possible that one or more underwriters may make a market in a series of the securities, but underwriters will not be obligated to do so and may discontinue any market making at any time without notice. Therefore, we can give no assurance about the liquidity of or the trading market for any of the securities.

 

Under agreements we may enter into, we may indemnify underwriters, dealers, and agents who participate in the distribution of the securities against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or contribute with respect to payments that the underwriters, dealers or agents may be required to make. Unless otherwise set forth in the accompanying prospectus supplement, the obligations of any underwriters to purchase any of the securities will be subject to certain conditions precedent.

 

To facilitate the offering of securities, certain persons participating in the offering may engage in transactions that stabilize, maintain or otherwise affect the price of the securities. This may include over-allotments or short sales of the securities, which involve the sale by persons participating in the offering of more securities than we sold to them. In these circumstances, these persons would cover such over-allotments or short positions by making purchases in the open market or by exercising their over-allotment option, if any. In addition, these persons may stabilize or maintain the price of the securities by bidding for or purchasing securities in the open market or by imposing penalty bids, whereby selling concessions allowed to dealers participating in the offering may be reclaimed if securities sold by them are repurchased in connection with stabilization transactions. The effect of these transactions may be to stabilize or maintain the market price of the securities at a level above that which might otherwise prevail in the open market. These transactions may be discontinued at any time.

 

From time to time, we or our affiliates may engage in transactions with these underwriters, dealers and agents in the ordinary course of business. Underwriters have from time to time in the past provided, and may from time to time in the future provide, investment banking services to us for which they have in the past received, and may in the future receive, customary fees.

 

Direct Sales and Sales through Agents

 

We may sell the securities directly. In this case, no underwriters or agents would be involved. We may also sell the securities through agents designated by us from time to time. In the applicable prospectus supplement, we will name any agent involved in the offer or sale of the offered securities, and we will describe any commissions payable to the agent. Unless we inform you otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, any agent will agree to use its reasonable best efforts to solicit purchases for the period of its appointment.

 

We may sell the securities directly to institutional investors or others who may be deemed to be underwriters within the meaning of the Securities Act with respect to any sale of those securities. We will describe the terms of any sales of these securities in the applicable prospectus supplement.

 

Remarketing Arrangements

 

Securities may also be offered and sold, if so indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, in connection with a remarketing upon their purchase, in accordance with a redemption or repayment pursuant to their terms, or otherwise, by one or more remarketing firms, acting as principals for their own accounts or as agents for us. Any remarketing firm will be identified and the terms of its agreements, if any, with us and its compensation will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement.

 

Delayed Delivery Contracts

 

If we so indicate in the applicable prospectus supplement, we may authorize agents, underwriters or dealers to solicit offers from certain types of institutions to purchase securities from us at the public offering price under delayed delivery contracts. Institutions with which we may make these delayed delivery contracts include commercial and savings banks, insurance companies, pension funds, investment companies, educational and charitable institutions and others. These contracts would provide for payment and delivery on a specified date in the future. The contracts would be subject only to those conditions described in the applicable prospectus supplement. The obligations of any purchaser under any such delayed delivery contract will be subject to the condition that the purchase of the securities shall not at the time of delivery be prohibited under the laws of the jurisdiction to which the purchaser is subject. The underwriters and other agents will not have any responsibility with regard to the validity or performance of these delayed delivery contracts. The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the commission payable for solicitation of those contracts.

 

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General Information

 

We may have agreements with the underwriters, dealers, agents and remarketing firms to indemnify them against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or to contribute with respect to payments that the underwriters, dealers, agents or remarketing firms may be required to make. Underwriters, dealers, agents and remarketing firms may be customers of, engage in transactions with or perform services for us in the ordinary course of their businesses.

 

CERTAIN LEGAL MATTERS

 

The legality of the securities offered by this prospectus will be passed upon for us by Venable LLP. Certain legal matters will be passed upon for the underwriters or agents, if any, by the counsel named in the prospectus supplement. In addition, we have based the description of federal income tax consequences in “Material Federal Income Tax Considerations” upon the opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.

 

EXPERTS

 

The financial statements and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting (which is included in Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting) incorporated into this Prospectus by reference to the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 have been so incorporated in reliance on the report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.

 

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

 

We are required to file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Our filings with the SEC are also available to the public through the SEC’s Internet site at www.sec.gov. We have filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-3 relating to the securities covered by this prospectus. This prospectus is part of the registration statement and does not contain all the information in the registration statement. Wherever a reference is made in this prospectus to a contract or other documents of ours, the reference is only a summary and you should refer to the exhibits that are a part of the registration statement for a copy of the contract or other document. You may review a copy of the registration statement at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

 

Our Internet address is www.agmit.com. We make available free of charge, on or through the “SEC Filings” section of our website, Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. Also posted on our website, and available in print upon request to our Investor Relations Department, are the charters for our Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, and our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, which governs our directors, officers and employees. Information on our website is not part of this prospectus.

 

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF INFORMATION FILED WITH THE SEC

 

The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” into this prospectus the information we file with the SEC, which means that we can disclose important business, financial and other information to you by referring you to other documents separately filed with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this prospectus from the date we file that document. Any reports filed by us with the SEC after the date of this prospectus and before the date that the offering of the securities by means of this prospectus is terminated will automatically update and, where applicable, supersede any information contained in this prospectus or incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

 

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We incorporate by reference the following documents or information filed with the SEC:

 

our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed with the SEC on February 23, 2021;

 

our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2021, filed with the SEC on May 7, 2021;

 

our Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on February 11, 2021, March 18, 2021 and April 5, 2021;

 

our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, filed with the SEC on April 16, 2021 (solely to the extent incorporated by reference into Part III of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020);

 

the description of our common stock in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A, filed with the SEC on April 25, 2011;

 

the description of our Series A Preferred Stock in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A, filed with the SEC on August 2, 2012;

 

the description of our Series B Preferred Stock in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A, filed with the SEC on September 24, 2012; and

 

the description of our Series C Preferred Stock in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A, filed with the SEC on September 16, 2019.

 

We are also incorporating by reference additional documents that we file with the SEC pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act: (i) after the date of the initial registration statement of which this prospectus is a part and prior to effectiveness of the registration statement and (ii) after the date of this prospectus and prior to the termination of the offering of the securities described in this prospectus. We are not, however, incorporating by reference any documents or portions thereof, whether specifically listed above or filed in the future, that are not deemed “filed” with the SEC, including any information furnished pursuant to Items 2.02 or 7.01 of Form 8-K or certain exhibits furnished pursuant to Item 9.01 of Form 8-K.

 

We will provide copies of all documents incorporated into this prospectus by reference, without charge, upon oral request to our Corporate Secretary at the number listed below or in writing by first class mail to the address listed below. Requests for such documents incorporated by reference should be directed to AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., c/o Secretary, 245 Park Avenue, 26th Floor, New York, New York 10167 or by calling our Corporate Secretary at (212) 692-2000.

 

56

 

 

7,000,000 Shares

 

 

 

AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc.

 

Common Stock

 

 

 

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

 

Book Running Managers

 

Credit Suisse JMP Securities Wells Fargo Securities

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods

A Stifel Company

 

November      , 2021

 

 

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