This is a short blog post to clarify the difference between the securitization of home equities (home equity securitization) and the securitization of mortgages (mortgage securitization) as well as the most commonly misunderstood term of real estate derivatives by the some people vs. what they really meant, mortgage derivatives.
The key to understand the difference is to know that the underlying assets are quite different. One is equity in nature, the other is simply a debt. While there are often blatant abuses of debt by both the borrowers and the lenders through loose credit policy and practice, it is not possible to abuse the equity in the same way.
As I mentioned before in many earlier blog posts, securitizations and financial derivatives are extensions to either equity or debt like how glass-and-steel buildings could be built upon a foundation. If the foundation is a solid rock then the chances of the building to collapse is not much a concern as it would be if the building was built on slippery quick sands. So the problem is not the building but rather the foundation where the buildings are located.
Similarly the problems are not as much with either the securitization concept or the financial derivatives rather as with whether they were built on plain equity, conservative low leveraged debt or the risky over-stretched debt conducted on a loose credit practice.
FARJHO LLC member interests are ownership in the equity form just like corporate shares listed in the stock exchanges are in the form of equity. The purpose of FARJHO is to “corporatize home equities” or to “securitize home equities” for the various economic and social benefits discussed in details in earlier posts. It has nothing to do with any debt, loans, mortgages or financial derivatives. It is definitely not in any shape or form, a securitization of mortgages again.
It is as simple as a common stock of companies but the ownership represents a fractional interest in a homeowner’s home property instead, that is made possible by this new FARJHO concept.
SwapRent, on the other hand, is a new consumer version of equity based real estate derivatives or alternatively called, property derivatives. It is not a mortgage or a mortgage derivative. It is the various forms of mortgage derivatives, credit derivatives, CDOs, Credit Default Swaps etc. that have played a major role in the financial crises within the past few years, not these new “real estate derivatives”.
Therefore, although there seems to be plenty of hostility by certain people about financial innovations, mortgage securitizations, mortgage derivatives, the responsible, intelligent and educated consumers should have no problem in understanding that FARJHO and SwapRent are not related to any of those that have caused controversies in the past. Furthermore they should be regarded more as social innovations in housing and new home ownership concepts than purely another financial innovations for facilitating investors to make money more easily. Even though they do that as well, and they do it much more efficiently.