The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued on October 13, 2010 a proposal to enhance disclosure to investors in the asset-backed securities market. The proposed rule requires issuers of asset-backed securities (ABS) to perform a review of the assets underlying the securities, and publicly disclose information relating to the review. The proposal also requires an issuer or underwriter of ABS to make publicly available the findings and conclusions of any third-party due diligence report.

  • The SEC’s proposed rule would enhance ABS disclosure in three ways:
    Issuers of ABS that are registered with the SEC would be required to perform a review of the bundled assets that underlie the ABS.
  • Proposed amendments to Regulation AB would require an ABS issuer to disclose the nature, findings and conclusions of this review of assets.
  • Issuer or underwriter of both registered and unregistered ABS offerings would be required to disclose the findings and conclusions of any review performed by a third-party that was hired to conduct such a review.

In addition to this rule, the Commission last week proposed regulations that require issuers of ABS — and credit rating agencies that rate ABS — to provide investors with new disclosures about representations, warranties, and enforcement mechanisms. And, in April 2010, the Commission proposed rules that would revise the disclosure, reporting and offering process for ABS to better protect investors in the securitization market.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires the Commission to adopt rules regarding the review of assets, such as loans, underlying the securities no later than 180 days after enactment.