Form 424B5 Ellington Residential

December 28, 2017 4:13 PM


Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5)
Registration No. 333-220923
PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
(To prospectus dated December 28, 2017)
prospectussupplementimage.jpg
$85,841,137
Common Shares
We have entered into separate equity distribution agreements with each of Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. and JMP Securities LLC (each an “Agent” and together the “Agents”) relating to our common shares of beneficial interest, which we refer to as “common shares,” offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. In accordance with the terms of the equity distribution agreements, we may offer and sell common shares having a maximum aggregate gross offering price of up to $100.0 million from time to time through the Agents.
The common shares to which this prospectus supplement relates include the common shares having an aggregate offering price of up to $100,000,000 offered pursuant to an earlier prospectus supplement dated June 26, 2017. Of those common shares, we have offered and sold common shares having an aggregate gross offering price of $14,158,863 pursuant to the prospectus supplement dated June 26, 2017. As such, as of the date of this prospectus supplement, common shares having an aggregate gross offering price of $85,841,137 remain available for offer and sale pursuant to this prospectus supplement. This prospectus supplement supersedes the earlier prospectus supplement dated June 26, 2017 in its entirety.
Our common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, under the symbol “EARN.” The last reported sale price of our common shares on the NYSE on December 27, 2017 was $12.55 per share.
Sales of our common shares, if any, under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus may be made in negotiated transactions or transactions that are deemed to be “at the market” offerings as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, including, without limitation, sales made directly on the NYSE or any other existing trading market for our common shares or sales made to or through a market maker other than on an exchange. The Agents will make all sales using commercially reasonable efforts consistent with their normal trading and sales practices, on mutually agreed terms between the Agents and us.
Each Agent will be entitled to compensation of up to 2.0% of the gross proceeds from the sale of the common shares sold through it under the applicable equity distribution agreement, as further described herein under the caption “Plan of Distribution.” In connection with the sale of common shares on our behalf, the Agents may be deemed to be “underwriters” within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the compensation of the Agents may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts. Please see the section under the caption “Plan of Distribution” for further information relating to the compensation arrangements for the Agents.
 __________________________

Investing in our common shares involves significant risk. You should carefully read and consider the information referred to under “Risk Factors” on page S-3 of this prospectus supplement, as well as those described in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as updated and supplemented from time to time, and in our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other information that we file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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 to which it relates is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
__________________________
Ladenburg Thalmann                                JMP Securities

The date of this prospectus supplement is December 28, 2017.




TABLE OF CONTENTS
Prospectus Supplement
 
 
Page
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
 
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
 
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
 
INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF INFORMATION FILED WITH THE SEC
 
SUMMARY
 
THE OFFERING
 
RISK FACTORS
 
USE OF PROCEEDS
 
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
 
LEGAL MATTERS
 
EXPERTS
 
Prospectus
 
 
Page
ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS
 
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
 
ELLINGTON RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE REIT
 
RISK FACTORS
 
USE OF PROCEEDS
 
RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES AND OF EARNINGS TO COMBINED FIXED CHARGES AND PREFERRED SHARE DIVIDENDS
 
DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITIES WE MAY OFFER
 
DESCRIPTION OF OUR SHARES OF BENEFICIAL INTEREST
 
DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES
 
DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS
 
DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSITARY SHARES
 
DESCRIPTION OF RIGHTS
 
DESCRIPTION OF UNITS
 
GLOBAL SECURITIES
 
CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OF OUR DECLARATION OF TRUST AND BYLAWS
 
OPERATING PARTNERSHIP AND THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
 
MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS
 
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
 
LEGAL MATTERS
 
EXPERTS
 
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
 
You should rely only on the information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or any applicable free writing prospectus. We have not, and the Agents have not, authorized anyone to provide you with different information. No dealer, salesperson or other person is authorized to give any information or to represent anything not contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus. If anyone provides you with different, inconsistent or unauthorized information or representations, you must not rely on them. This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are an offer to sell only the securities offered by these documents and only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so. The information contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus or

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incorporated by reference in these documents is current only as of the respective dates of those documents or the dates that are specified therein.

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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
This document consists of two parts. The first part is this prospectus supplement, which describes the specific terms of the offering and also adds to and updates information contained in the accompanying prospectus and information incorporated by reference from filings we make with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the "SEC," under the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the "Exchange Act," prior to the date hereof. The second part is the accompanying prospectus, which gives more general information.
This prospectus supplement does not contain all of the information that is important to you. You should read the accompanying prospectus as well as the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. See “Where You Can Find More Information” in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. To the extent that there is a conflict between the information contained in this prospectus supplement, on the one hand, and the information contained in the accompanying prospectus or in the information incorporated by reference from any of our filings with the SEC under the Exchange Act prior to the date hereof, on the other hand, the information in this prospectus supplement shall control. In addition, any statement in a filing we make with the SEC under the Exchange Act after the date of this prospectus supplement that adds to, updates or changes information contained in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or an earlier filing we made with the SEC shall be deemed to modify and supersede such information in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or the earlier filing.
Except where the context suggests otherwise, “EARN,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT and its subsidiaries, our “Manager” refers to Ellington Residential Mortgage Management LLC, our external manager, and “Ellington” refers to Ellington Management Group, L.L.C. and its affiliated investment advisory firms, including our Manager. In certain instances, references to our Manager and services to be provided to us by our Manager may also include services provided by Ellington and its other affiliates from time to time. References to “Blackstone” mean The Blackstone Group LP. The “Blackstone Funds” means the group of funds that are managed by an affiliate of Blackstone and that helped form, and have a substantial investment in, our company.

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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
We make forward-looking statements in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents that are incorporated by reference into those documents that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements include information about possible or assured future results of our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, cash flow and plans and objectives. When we use the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “continue,” “intend,” “should,” “would,” “could,” “goal,” “objective,” “will,” “may,” “seek” or similar expressions or their negative forms, or refer to strategies, plans or intentions, 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 information currently in our possession. 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, anticipated or contemplated in our forward-looking statements. You should carefully consider these risks before you invest in our common shares, along with the following factors that could cause actual results to vary from our forward-looking statements:
the factors referenced in this prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus, including those set forth under the section captioned “Risk Factors” in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and those set forth under the sections captioned “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business” included in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in our subsequent filings with the SEC, which are incorporated by reference herein;
general volatility of the financial markets, including markets for mortgage securities;
our use of and dependence on leverage;
the impact of the Federal National Mortgage Association, or "Fannie Mae," and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or "Freddie Mac," being placed into conservatorship by the Federal Housing Administration, or “FHA,” and related events, including the lack of certainty as to the future roles and structures of these entities and changes to legislation and regulations affecting these entities;
deterioration in quality and ratings of existing or future issuances of the securities we intend to acquire and own;
changes in our business, strategy and investment guidelines;
changes in and our perception of changes in our industry;
changes in regional housing markets, job turnover, consumer debt levels, residential equity valuations, yield curve shape and direction, interest rates, interest rate spreads and volatility, foreclosure rates, U.S. Federal Reserve target rates, inflationary pressures and recession indicators;
changes in rates of default and/or vacancy rates on our non-Agency assets;
increases or decreases in prepayment rates on the mortgage loans securing the securities we intend to acquire and own;
the risks associated with investing in real estate assets, including changes in business conditions and the general economy;
changes in the market value of our assets, including the impact on collateral calls by lenders;
losses on our residential mortgage-backed securities that are issued and the principal and interest of which are not guaranteed by a federally chartered corporation, or "non-Agency RMBS," investments and other targeted assets;
risks associated with our hedging activities and the effectiveness of our risk management strategies generally;
the concentration of the risks to which we are exposed;
availability of suitable opportunities to acquire interest only securities;
availability of financing and the terms of such financings, including our ability to use our assets as collateral;
our ability to consummate contemplated investment opportunities;
the level of equity that may be required to support our borrowings;
the liquidity of our portfolio or lack thereof;
the degree and nature of our competition;
general volatility of the capital markets and a limited public market for our securities;
further deterioration in the credit markets;
the impact of a recession, inflation, deflation and stagflation on the value of the securities we intend to acquire and our ability to finance our portfolio on a leveraged basis;
availability of qualified personnel, including the continued availability of an external manager;
the existence of conflicts of interest in our relationship with our Manager, Blackstone and certain of our trustees and officers, which could result in decisions that are not in the best interest of our shareholders;
our ability to maintain our qualification as a real estate investment trust, or "REIT," for U.S. federal income tax purposes and the limitations imposed on our business by our status as a REIT, including limitations on our ability to hedge and acquire certain types of assets;

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our ability to maintain our exclusion from regulation as an investment company under the Investment Company Act or 1940, as amended, or “Investment Company Act,” and possible consequences of not qualifying for or losing that exemption;
changes in U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or “GAAP,” including interpretations thereof;
changes in applicable laws and regulations;
our expectations regarding the time during which we will be an emerging growth company under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or “JOBS Act”; and
other risks associated with investing in residential mortgage-backed securities, including changes in business conditions and the general economy.
These and other risks, uncertainties and factors, including the risk factors described in this prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus under the heading “Risk Factors” and the risks, uncertainties and factors described in this prospectus supplement and 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.


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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
We are subject to the informational requirements of the Exchange Act, and, in accordance with those requirements, file reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Copies of the registration statement, including the exhibits and schedules to the registration statement, may be examined without charge at the public reference room of the SEC, 100 F Street, N.E., Room 1580, Washington, D.C. 20549. Information about the operation of the public reference room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. Copies of all or a portion of the registration statement may be obtained from the public reference room of the SEC upon payment of prescribed fees. Our SEC filings, including our registration statement, are also available to you on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. In addition, copies of our SEC filings are available free of charge through our website (www.earnreit.com) as soon as reasonably practicable after filing with the SEC. Our internet website and the information contained therein or connected thereto does not constitute part of this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or any amendment or supplement thereto.
We have filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-3 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the "Securities Act," with respect to the common shares offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. This prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, which form a part of the registration statement, do not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement and its exhibits and schedules, certain parts of which are omitted in accordance with the SEC’s rules and regulations. For further information about us and our common shares, we refer you to the registration statement and to such exhibits and schedules. Statements contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus concerning the provisions of any document filed as an exhibit to the registration statement or otherwise filed with the SEC are not necessarily complete, and in each instance reference is made to the copy of such document so filed. Each such statement is qualified in its entirety by such reference.

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INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF INFORMATION FILED WITH THE SEC
The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying 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 supplement and the accompanying prospectus 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 our common shares by means of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus is terminated will automatically update and, where applicable, supersede any information contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus from an earlier filing.
We incorporate by reference the following documents or information filed with the SEC into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus (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 fiscal year ended December 31, 2016;
Our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2017, June 30, 2017 and September 30, 2017;
Our Current Reports on Form 8-K filed on March 6, 2017, May 9, 2017, May 12, 2017, May 18, 2017, June 13, 2017, June 26, 2017, September 12, 2017, December 12, 2017 and December 14, 2017;
Our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A filed with the SEC on March 30, 2017 in connection with our Annual Meeting of Shareholders held on May 16, 2017;
The description of our common shares incorporated by reference in our registration statement on Form 8-A filed on April 29, 2013 under the Exchange Act, including any amendment or report filed for the purpose of updating such description; and
all documents filed by us under Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act on or after the date of this prospectus supplement and before the termination of the offer and sale of common shares pursuant to this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus.
If any statement in this prospectus supplement is inconsistent with a statement in one of the incorporated documents incorporated by reference herein as of the date of this prospectus supplement, then the statement in the incorporated document will be deemed to have been superseded by the statement in this prospectus supplement.
To obtain a free copy of any of the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement (other than exhibits, unless they are specifically incorporated by reference in the documents) please contact us in writing or by phone at:
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT
53 Forest Avenue
Old Greenwich, CT 06870
(203) 698-1200

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SUMMARY

The following summary is qualified in its entirety by the more detailed information and financial statements and notes thereto appearing elsewhere in, 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
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT is a Maryland real estate investment trust formed in August 2012 that specializes in acquiring, investing in, and managing residential mortgage- and real estate-related assets. Our primary objective is to generate attractive current yields and risk-adjusted total returns for our shareholders by making investments that we believe compensate us appropriately for the risks associated with them. We seek to attain this objective by constructing and actively managing a portfolio comprised primarily of residential mortgage-backed securities, or “RMBS,” for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by a U.S. government agency or a U.S. government-sponsored entity, or “Agency RMBS,” and, to a lesser extent, RMBS backed by prime jumbo, Alternative A-paper, or “Alt-A,” manufactured housing, and subprime residential mortgage loans, or “non-Agency RMBS.” We also may opportunistically acquire other types of residential mortgage- and real estate-related asset classes, such as residential mortgage loans and mortgage servicing rights, or “MSRs.” We believe that being able to combine Agency RMBS with non-Agency RMBS and other residential mortgage- and real estate-related assets enables us to balance a range of mortgage-related risks.
We have elected to be taxed as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. We intend to maintain our exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act.
Our principal executive offices are located at 53 Forest Avenue, Old Greenwich, CT 06870. Our telephone number is (203) 698-1200. Our internet address is www.earnreit.com. Our internet website and the information contained therein or connected thereto does not constitute a part of this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or any amendment or supplement thereto.
Recent Developments
Our estimated book value per common share as of November 30, 2017, was $14.77. This estimate is subject to change and any such change could be material. Our registered independent public accountants have not performed the types of reviews or audits of our estimated book value per common share as of November 30, 2017 that they would perform for our quarterly or annual financial statements. It is possible that, if we were to undertake a more comprehensive valuation analysis and/or obtain a review or audit from our accountants for our the book value estimate set forth above, we could determine that our actual book value per common share as of November 30, 2017 differs materially from the estimate set forth above. Further, our results can fluctuate from month to month depending on a variety of factors, some of which are beyond our control and/or difficult to predict, including, without limitation, changes in interest rates, changes in default rates and prepayment speeds, and other changes in market and economic conditions, or the perception that such changes may occur. There can be no assurance that our estimated book value per common share as of November 30, 2017 is indicative of what our results are likely to be as of and for the three-month or one-year periods ending December 31, 2017, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise our estimated book value per common share prior to our issuance of financial statements for such three-month and one-year periods.
The estimated book value per common share and dilutive impact of our offering of common shares included in this prospectus supplement has been prepared by, and is the responsibility of, our management. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has not audited, reviewed, compiled, or performed any procedures with respect to this data. Accordingly, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP does not express an opinion or any other form of assurance with respect thereto.





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THE OFFERING

Issuer
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT
 
 
Common shares offered by us
Common shares having a maximum aggregate gross offering price of up to $85,841,137.
 
 
Manner of offering
“At the market” offerings that may be made from time to time through the Agents using commercially reasonable efforts, consistent with their normal trading and sales practices, on mutually agreed terms between the Agents and us. See “Plan of Distribution” in this prospectus supplement.
 
 
Use of Proceeds
We expect to use the net proceeds of this offering to acquire our targeted assets. We may also use the net proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes.
 
 
Ownership and transfer restrictions
To assist us in qualifying as a REIT, among other purposes, our charter generally limits beneficial and constructive ownership by any person to no more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our shares. In addition, our charter contains various other restrictions on the ownership and transfer of our common shares. See “Description of Our Shares of Beneficial Interest—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer” in the accompanying prospectus.
 
 
NYSE symbol
“EARN”
 
 
Risk Factors
Investing in our common shares involves significant risk. You should carefully read and consider the information set forth under “Risk Factors” and all other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus before investing in our common shares.
 
 
Material U.S. federal income tax considerations
For a description of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations that you may consider relevant to an investment in our common shares, please see “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” set forth in the accompanying prospectus.



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RISK FACTORS
Investing in our common shares involves significant risks. 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 herein), as well as the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus before making a decision to invest in our common shares. See “Where You Can Find More Information,” above.
If any of the risks described in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus occur, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. The risks and uncertainties described in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the information incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or not presently deemed material by us, may also impair our operations and performance.

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USE OF PROCEEDS
We expect to use the net proceeds of this offering to acquire our targeted assets, in accordance with our investment objectives and strategies. Our investment decisions will depend on prevailing market conditions and the opportunities we identify and may be adjusted in response to changes in interest rates or economic and credit environments. We may also use the net proceeds of this offering for working capital and general corporate purposes.
While we intend to use the net proceeds of this offering to acquire our 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.

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
We have entered into separate equity distribution agreements, dated as of June 26, 2017, with each of Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc., or Ladenburg, and JMP Securities LLC, or JMP. Pursuant to the equity distribution agreements, we may, from time to time, offer and sell up to an aggregate of $100,000,000 of common shares through the Agents, as our agents for the offer and sale of the common shares, or to the Agents for resale. Any such sales may be made in negotiated transactions or transactions that are deemed to be “at the market” offerings, as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act, including sales made directly on the NYSE or sales made to or through a market maker other than on an exchange.
The common shares to which this prospectus supplement relates include the common shares having an aggregate offering price of up to $100,000,000 offered pursuant to an earlier prospectus supplement dated June 26, 2017. Of those common shares, we have offered and sold common shares having an aggregate gross offering price of $14,158,863 pursuant to the prospectus supplement dated June 26, 2017. As such, as of the date of this prospectus supplement, common shares having an aggregate gross offering price of $85,841,137 remain available for offer and sale pursuant to this prospectus supplement. This prospectus supplement supersedes the earlier prospectus supplement dated June 26, 2017 in its entirety.
Upon acceptance of written instructions from us, in connection with the Agents acting as our agents, the Agents will use commercially reasonable efforts consistent with their normal sales and trading practices to sell our common shares under the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the equity distribution agreements. We will instruct the Agents as to the maximum amount of our common shares to be sold. Additionally, we will instruct the Agents not to sell our common shares if the sales cannot be effected at or above the price designated by us in any instruction. We or the Agents may suspend the sale of our common shares pursuant to the equity distribution agreements upon proper notice and subject to other conditions.
The Agents will provide written confirmation of any sales to us promptly following the close of trading on the NYSE on the trading day on which our common shares were sold under the applicable equity distribution agreement. Each confirmation will include the amount of our common shares sold on the trading day, the aggregate gross sales proceeds, the net proceeds to us and the compensation payable by us to the applicable Agent in connection with the sales.
We will pay commissions to the Agents for their services in acting as agent and/or principal in the sale of our common shares offered hereby. Under each equity distribution agreement, the Agents will be entitled to compensation of up to 2.0% of the gross sales price of our common shares sold through them as our agents. We have agreed to reimburse the Agents, in certain circumstances, for their actual and documented out-of-pocket expenses incurred by them in connection with the negotiation of and their performance under the equity distribution agreements, including fees and disbursements of counsel to the Agents, not to exceed $25,000. If we sell our common shares to the Agents, acting as principal, or if we sell our common shares through the Agents, as our agents, in privately negotiated transactions, we will enter into a separate agreement setting forth the terms of such transaction and, to the extent required by applicable law, we will describe such agreement in a separate prospectus supplement or pricing supplement.
We estimate that the total expenses for the offering, excluding compensation payable to the Agents under the terms of the equity distribution agreements, will be approximately $200,000. In connection with the sale of our common shares on our behalf, the Agents may be deemed to be “underwriters” within the meaning of the Securities Act, and the compensation of the Agents may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts.
Settlement of sales of our common shares will occur on the second business day (or such earlier day as is industry practice) following the date on which any sales are made, or on some other date that is agreed upon by us and the Agents in connection with a particular transaction, in return for payment of the net proceeds to us. There is no arrangement for funds to be received in an escrow, trust or similar arrangement. Sales of our common shares, if any, as contemplated by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, will be settled through the facilities of The Depository Trust Company or by such other means as we and the Agents may agree upon.
In connection with acting as our agents, the Agents will not engage in any transactions that stabilize our common shares.
We will report at least quarterly the amount of our common shares sold through the Agents under the equity distribution agreements, the net proceeds to us and the compensation paid by us to the Agents in connection with the sales, if any.
The Agents and their respective affiliates may provide various investment banking and advisory services for us from time to time for which they may receive customary fees and expenses.

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The Agents and their respective affiliates may, from time to time, engage in other transactions with and perform services for us in the ordinary course of their business. We are not under any contractual obligation to engage the Agents to provide investment banking, lending, asset management or financial advisory services to us in the future. If the Agents provide such services to us after this offering, we may pay the Agents fair and reasonable fees that would be determined at that time in an arms’ length negotiation. However, we will not enter into any agreement with the Agents, nor will we pay any fees for such services to the Agents, prior to the date which is 90 days after the date of this offering, unless such payment would not be deemed underwriters’ compensation in connection with this offering.
We have agreed to indemnify the Agents against specified liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or to contribute to payments that each such Agent may be required to make because of those liabilities.
The offering of our common shares pursuant to the equity distribution agreements will terminate upon the earlier of (1) the sale of all our common shares subject to the equity distribution agreements or (2) termination of the equity distribution agreements as provided therein. The equity distribution agreements may be terminated by the Agents or by us at any time.

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LEGAL MATTERS
Certain legal matters in connection with the issuance of the common shares issued under this prospectus supplement will be passed upon for us by Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. and, with respect to certain matters of Maryland law, by Venable LLP. Certain tax matters will be passed upon for us by Hunton & Williams LLP. Certain legal matters will be passed upon for the Agents by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP, New York, New York.


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EXPERTS
The financial statements incorporated in this Prospectus Supplement by reference to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 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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Prospectus  
earnlogoa06.jpg
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT
$500,000,000
Common Shares
Preferred Shares
Debt Securities
Warrants
Depositary Shares
Rights
Units

We may offer, issue and sell, from time to time, up to an aggregate of $500,000,000 of our common shares of beneficial interest, which we refer to as “common shares,” preferred shares of beneficial interest, which we refer to as “preferred shares,” debt securities, which may consist of debentures, notes, or other types of debt, which we refer to as “debt securities,” warrants to purchase common or preferred shares, which we refer to as “warrants,” depositary shares representing a fractional interest of a share of a particular class or series of our preferred shares, which we refer to as “depositary shares,” rights to purchase our common shares or preferred shares, which we refer to as “rights,” and units consisting of two or more of the foregoing, which we refer to as “units,” in one or more offerings. We will provide specific terms of each issuance of these securities in supplements to 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. You should read this prospectus and any supplement carefully before you decide to invest. This prospectus may not be used to consummate sales of these securities unless it is accompanied by a prospectus supplement.
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT is a Maryland real estate investment trust formed in August 2012 that specializes in acquiring, investing in and managing residential mortgage- and real estate-related assets. Our primary objective is to generate attractive current yields and risk-adjusted total returns for our shareholders by making investments that we believe compensate us appropriately for the risks associated with them. We seek to attain this objective by constructing and actively managing a portfolio comprised primarily of residential mortgage-backed securities, or “RMBS,” for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by a U.S. government agency or a U.S. government-sponsored entity, and to a lesser extent on other RMBS and mortgage- related assets.
Our common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or “NYSE,” under the symbol “EARN.” The last reported sale price of our common shares on the NYSE on December 27, 2017 was $12.55 per share.
We have elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes, or a “REIT.” To assist us in qualifying as a REIT, among other purposes, our declaration of trust generally limits beneficial ownership of our shares to no more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our shares. See “Description of Our Shares of Beneficial Interest—Restriction on Ownership and Transfer.”

Investing in these securities involves risks. You should carefully read and consider the information referred to under “Risk Factors” on page 3 of this prospectus and any applicable 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 December 28, 2017 





TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Page
About this Prospectus
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT
Risk Factors
Use of Proceeds
Ratio of Earnings to Fixed Charges and of Earnings to Combined Fixed Charges and Preferred Share Dividends
Description of Securities We May Offer
Description of Our Shares of Beneficial Interest
Description of Debt Securities
Description of Warrants
Description of Depositary Shares
Description of Rights
Description of Units
Global Securities
Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and Our Declaration of Trust and Bylaws
Operating Partnership and the Partnership Agreement
Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations
Plan of Distribution
Legal Matters
Experts
Where You Can Find More Information
Documents Incorporated By Reference


You should rely only on the information contained in or incorporated by reference into this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement, any applicable free writing prospectus prepared by us or information to which we have referred you. We have not authorized any other person to provide you with information that is different. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. We are not making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. The information contained in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement, any applicable free writing prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein or therein is current only as of their respective dates or on the date or dates which are specified in those documents. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospectus may have changed since those dates.


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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we filed with the SEC. Under this shelf registration statement, we may offer and sell any combination of our common shares, preferred shares, debt securities, warrants, depositary shares, rights and units 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, any applicable prospectus supplement and any applicable free writing prospectus together with additional information described under the headings “Where You Can Find More Information.”

The SEC allows us to incorporate by reference information that is contained in certain reports and other documents 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 part of this prospectus, and information that we file later with the SEC will automatically update and supersede this information.

Except where the context suggests otherwise, “EARN,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT and its subsidiaries, our “Manager” refers to Ellington Residential Mortgage Management LLC, our external manager, and “Ellington” refers to Ellington Management Group, L.L.C. and its affiliated investment advisory firms, including our Manager. In certain instances, references to our Manager and services to be provided to us by our Manager may also include services provided by Ellington and its other affiliates from time to time. References to “Blackstone” mean The Blackstone Group LP. The “Blackstone Funds” means the group of funds that are managed by an affiliate of Blackstone and that helped form, and have a substantial investment in, our company.


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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

We make forward-looking statements in this prospectus and in the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements include information about possible or assured future results of our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, cash flow and plans and objectives. When we use the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “continue,” “intend,” “should,” “would,” “could,” “goal,” “objective,” “will,” “may,” “seek” or similar expressions or their negative forms, or refer to strategies, plans or intentions, 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 information currently in our possession. 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, anticipated or contemplated in our forward-looking statements. You should carefully consider these risks before you invest in our securities, along with the following factors that could cause actual results to vary from our forward-looking statements:

the factors referenced in this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement, including those set forth under the section captioned “Risk Factors” in this prospectus and those set forth under the sections captioned “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business” included in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in our subsequent filings with the SEC, which are incorporated by reference herein;
general volatility of the financial markets, including markets for mortgage securities;
our use of and dependence on leverage;
the impact of the Federal National Mortgage Association, or “Fannie Mae,” and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or “Freddie Mac,” being placed into conservatorship by the Federal Housing Administration, or “FHA,” and related events, including the lack of certainty as to the future roles and structures of these entities and changes to legislation and regulations affecting these entities;
deterioration in quality and ratings of existing or future issuances of the securities we intend to acquire and own;
changes in our business, strategy and investment guidelines;
changes in and our perception of changes in our industry;
changes in regional housing markets, job turnover, consumer debt levels, residential equity valuations, yield curve shape and direction, interest rates, interest rate spreads and volatility, foreclosure rates, U.S. Federal Reserve target rates, inflationary pressures and recession indicators;
changes in rates of default and/or vacancy rates on our non-Agency assets;
increases or decreases in prepayment rates on the mortgage loans securing the securities we intend to acquire and own;
the risks associated with investing in real estate assets, including changes in business conditions and the general economy;
changes in the market value of our assets, including the impact on collateral calls by lenders;
losses on our residential mortgage-backed securities that are issued and the principal and interest of which are not guaranteed by a federally chartered corporation, or non-Agency RMBS, investments and other targeted assets;
risks associated with our hedging activities and the effectiveness of our risk management strategies generally;
the concentration of the risks to which we are exposed;
availability of suitable opportunities to acquire interest only securities;
availability of financing and the terms of such financings, including our ability to use our assets as collateral;
our ability to consummate contemplated investment opportunities;
the level of equity that may be required to support our borrowings;
the liquidity of our portfolio or lack thereof;
the degree and nature of our competition;

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changes in business conditions and the economy generally;
general volatility of the capital markets and a limited public market for our securities;
further deterioration in the credit markets;
the impact of a recession, inflation, deflation and stagflation on the value of the securities we intend to acquire and our ability to finance our portfolio on a leveraged basis;
availability of qualified personnel, including the continued availability of an external manager;
the existence of conflicts of interest in our relationship with our Manager, Blackstone and certain of our trustees and officers, which could result in decisions that are not in the best interest of our shareholders;
our ability to maintain our qualification as a real estate investment trust, or "REIT," and the limitations imposed on our business by our status as a REIT, including limitations on our ability to hedge and acquire certain types of assets;
our ability to maintain our exclusion from regulation as an investment company under the Investment Company Act or 1940, as amended, or “Investment Company Act,” and possible consequences of not qualifying for or losing that exemption;
changes in U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or “GAAP,” including interpretations thereof;
changes in applicable laws and regulations;
our expectations regarding the time during which we will be an emerging growth company under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or “JOBS Act”; and
other risks associated with investing in residential mortgage-backed securities, including changes in business conditions and the general economy.

These and other risks, uncertainties and factors, including the risk factors described in this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement under the heading “Risk Factors” and the risks, uncertainties and factors described in the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement, 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.


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ELLINGTON RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE REIT

Our Company
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT is a Maryland real estate investment trust formed in August 2012 that specializes in acquiring, investing in, and managing residential mortgage- and real estate-related assets. Our primary objective is to generate attractive current yields and risk-adjusted total returns for our shareholders by making investments that we believe compensate us appropriately for the risks associated with them. We seek to attain this objective by constructing and actively managing a portfolio comprised primarily of RMBS for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by a U.S. Government agency or a U.S. Government-sponsored entity, or “Agency RMBS,” and, to a lesser extent, RMBS backed by prime jumbo, Alternative A-paper, or “Alt-A,” manufactured housing, and subprime residential mortgage loans, or “non-Agency RMBS.” We also may opportunistically acquire other types of residential mortgage- and real estate-related asset classes, such as residential mortgage loans and mortgage servicing rights, or “MSRs.” We believe that being able to combine Agency RMBS with non-Agency RMBS and other residential mortgage and real estate-related asset classes enables us to balance a range of mortgage-related risks.
We were formed through an initial strategic venture among affiliates of Ellington, an investment management firm and registered investment adviser with a 22-year history of investing in a broad spectrum of mortgage-backed securities, or "MBS," and related derivatives, and the Blackstone Funds. As of June 30, 2017, the Blackstone Funds owned approximately 22% of our outstanding common shares. We intend to maintain our exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act.
We have elected to be taxed as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or "the Code," and have complied, and intend to continue to comply, with the provisions of the Code with respect thereto.
Our Manager and Ellington
We are externally managed and advised by our Manager, an affiliate of Ellington, pursuant to a management agreement. Our Manager was formed solely to serve as our manager and does not have any other clients. In addition, our Manager does not have any employees of its own and instead relies on the employees of Ellington to perform its obligations to us.
The members of our management team are Michael Vranos, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ellington, who serves as our Co-Chief Investment Officer and as a member of our Board of Trustees; Laurence Penn, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Ellington, who serves as our President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our Board of Trustees; Mark Tecotzky, a Managing Director of Ellington, who serves as our Co-Chief Investment Officer; Lisa Mumford, who serves as our Chief Financial Officer; Daniel Margolis, General Counsel of Ellington, who serves as our General Counsel; and Jason Frank, Associate General Counsel of Ellington, who serves as our Secretary. Each of these individuals is an officer of our Manager.
Our Manager is responsible for administering our business activities and day-to-day operations and, pursuant to a services agreement between our Manager and Ellington, relies on the resources of Ellington to support our operations. Ellington has well-established portfolio management resources for each of our targeted asset classes and an established infrastructure supporting those resources. Through our relationship with our Manager, we benefit from Ellington's highly analytical investment processes, broad-based deal flow, extensive relationships in the financial community, financial and capital structuring skills, investment surveillance capabilities, and operational expertise. Ellington's analytic approach to the investment process involves collection of substantial amounts of data regarding historical performance of RMBS collateral and RMBS market transactions. Ellington analyzes this data to identify possible relationships and trends and develops financial models used to support our investment and risk management process. In addition, throughout Ellington's 22-year history of investing in RMBS and related derivatives, it has developed strong relationships with a wide range of dealers and other market participants that provide Ellington access to a broad range of trading opportunities and market information. As a result, Ellington provides us with access to a wide variety of asset acquisition and disposition opportunities and information that assist us in making asset management decisions across our targeted asset classes, which we believe provides us with a significant competitive advantage. We also benefit from Ellington's finance, accounting, operational, legal, compliance, and administrative functions.
As of June 30, 2017, Ellington employed over 160 employees and had assets under management of approximately $6.2 billion, of which (i) approximately $4.2 billion consisted of our company, as well as Ellington Financial LLC, a specialty finance company listed on the NYSE under the ticker “EFC,” and various hedge funds and other alternative investment vehicles that employ financial leverage, and (ii) approximately $2.0 billion consisted of accounts that do not employ financial leverage.


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Our Corporate Information
Our principal executive offices are located at 53 Forest Avenue, Old Greenwich, CT 06870. Our telephone number is (203) 698-1200. Our internet address is www.earnreit.com. Our internet web site, and the information contained therein or connected thereto, does not constitute part of this prospectus.


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RISK FACTORS

Investment in our securities involves significant risks. 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 herein), as well as the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or in any applicable prospectus supplement hereto before making a decision to invest in our securities. See “Where You Can Find More Information,” below.

If any of the risks described in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement occurs, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. The risks and uncertainties described in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement hereto or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or not presently deemed material by us, may also impair our operations and performance.


3



USE OF PROCEEDS

Unless otherwise indicated in any applicable prospectus supplement, we intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of securities offered by this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement for the purchase of our targeted assets and for general corporate purposes.


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RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES AND OF EARNINGS TO COMBINED FIXED CHARGES AND PREFERRED SHARE DIVIDENDS
The following table sets forth our ratio of earnings to fixed charges and of earnings to combined fixed charges and preferred share dividends for each of the periods indicated:
 
 
Six Month Period Ended June 30, 2017
 
Fiscal Years Ended December 31,
 
September 25, 2012 (commencement of operations) to
December 31, 2012(2)
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
Ratio of Earnings to Fixed Charges (1)
 
1.5x
 
2.3x
 
1.0x
 
4.6x
 
0.4x
 

Ratio of Earnings to Combined Fixed Charges and Preferred Share Dividends(1)
 
1.5x
 
2.3x
 
1.0x
 
4.6x
 
0.4x
 

(1)
Fixed charges consist of interest expense for the six month period ended June 30, 2017 and for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013.
(2)
We incurred no fixed charges during the period.
We computed the ratio of earnings to fixed charges by dividing earnings by fixed charges. We computed the ratio of earnings to combined fixed charges and preferred share dividends by dividing earnings by the sum of fixed charges and dividends on outstanding preferred shares. In each case, earnings represent net income (loss) plus fixed charges and preferred share dividends, if any. Fixed charges include interest expense. During the periods presented in the table above, no preferred shares were outstanding.



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DESCRIPTION OF THE SECURITIES WE MAY OFFER
This prospectus contains summary descriptions of our common shares, preferred shares, debt securities, warrants, depositary shares, rights and units 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 add, update or change the terms and conditions of the securities as described in this prospectus.


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DESCRIPTION OF OUR SHARES OF BENEFICIAL INTEREST
Although the following summary describes the material terms of our shares of beneficial interest, it is not a complete description of the Maryland REIT Law, or the “MRL,” the Maryland General Corporate Law, or the “MGCL,” provisions applicable to a Maryland real estate investment trust or our declaration of trust and bylaws, copies of which are incorporated by reference as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”
General
Our declaration of trust provides that we may issue up to 500,000,000 common shares of beneficial interest, $0.01 par value per share, or common shares, and 100,000,000 preferred shares of beneficial interest, $0.01 par value per share, or preferred shares. As of September 30, 2017, we had 13,335,804 common shares issued and outstanding. Our declaration of trust authorizes our Board of Trustees to approve amendments to our declaration of trust to increase or decrease the aggregate number of authorized shares or the number of shares of any class or series that we have authority to issue without shareholder approval.
Under Maryland law, shareholders are not personally liable for the obligations of a Maryland real estate investment trust solely as a result of their status as shareholders.
Common Shares
All of our common shares will, upon issuance, be duly authorized, fully paid and nonassessable. Subject to the preferential rights, if any, of holders of any other class or series of our shares of beneficial interest and to the provisions of our declaration of trust regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares of beneficial interest, holders of our common shares are entitled to receive distributions on such shares of beneficial interest out of assets legally available therefor if, as and when authorized by our Board of Trustees and declared by us, and the holders of our common shares are entitled to share ratably in our assets legally available for distribution to our shareholders in the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, after payment of or adequate provision for all of our known debts and liabilities, except that, to the extent we incur any tax under the Code as the result of any “excess inclusion income” of ours being allocated to a “disqualified organization” that holds our shares in record name, we will reduce distributions to such shareholder in an amount equal to such tax paid by us that is attributable to such shareholder’s ownership in accordance with applicable Treasury regulations. We do not currently intend to make investments or engage in activities that generate “excess inclusion income,” but our declaration of trust does not prevent “disqualified organizations” from owning our common shares. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of Our Company” and “—Requirements for Qualification—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income” for a discussion of “disqualified organizations” and “excess inclusion income.”
Our common shares are issued by us and do not represent any interest in or obligation of our Manager, Ellington or any of their affiliates. Further, the shares will not be a deposit or other obligation of any bank, will not be an insurance policy of any insurance company and will not be insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company, any other governmental agency or any insurance company. Our common shares will not benefit from any insurance guaranty association coverage or any similar protection.
Subject to the provisions of our declaration of trust regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our common shares and except as may otherwise be specified in the terms of any class or series of our shares, each outstanding common share entitles the holder to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of shareholders, including the election of trustees, and, except as provided with respect to any other class or series of our shares, the holders of such common shares will possess the exclusive voting power. There is no cumulative voting in the election of our trustees, which means that, subject to the rights of holders of any other class or series of our shares, the shareholders entitled to cast a majority of the votes entitled to be cast in the election of trustees can elect all of the trustees then standing for election, and the remaining shareholders will not be able to elect any trustees.
Holders of common shares generally have no preference, conversion, exchange, sinking fund, redemption or appraisal rights and have no preemptive rights to subscribe for any of our securities. Subject to the restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares contained in our declaration of trust and the terms of any other class or series of common shares, all of our common shares will have equal dividend, liquidation and other rights.
Preferred Shares

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Our Board of Trustees may authorize the issuance of preferred shares in one or more series and may determine, with respect to any such series, the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of the preferred shares of that series, including:
 
distribution rights;
conversion rights;
voting rights;
redemption rights and terms of redemptions; and
liquidation preferences.
The preferred shares we may offer from time to time under this prospectus, when issued, will be duly authorized, fully paid and nonassessable, and holders of preferred shares will not have any preemptive rights.
The issuance of preferred shares could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control or other transaction that might involve a premium price for our common shares or otherwise be in the best interests of our shareholders. In addition, any preferred shares that we issue could rank senior to our common shares with respect to the payment of distributions, in which case we could not pay any distributions on our common shares until full distributions have been paid with respect to such preferred shares.
The rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of each class or series of preferred shares will be set forth in articles supplementary relating to the series. We will describe the specific terms of the particular series of preferred shares in the prospectus supplement relating to that series, which terms will include:
 
the designation and par value of the preferred shares;
the voting rights, if any, of the preferred shares;
the number of preferred shares offered, the liquidation preference per preferred share and the offering price of the preferred shares;
the distribution rate(s), period(s) and payment date(s) or method(s) of calculation applicable to the preferred shares;
whether distributions will be cumulative or non-cumulative and, if cumulative, the date(s) from which distributions on the preferred shares will cumulate;
the procedures for any auction and remarketing for the preferred shares, if applicable;
the provision for a sinking fund, if any, for the preferred shares;
the provision for, and any restriction on, redemption, if applicable, of the preferred shares;
the provision for, and any restriction on, repurchase, if applicable, of the preferred shares;
the terms and provisions, if any, upon which the preferred shares will be convertible into common shares, including the conversion price (or manner or calculation) and conversion period;
the terms under which the rights of the preferred shares may be modified, if applicable;
the relative ranking and preferences of the preferred shares as to distribution rights and rights upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of our affairs;
any limitation on issuance of any other series of preferred shares, including any series of preferred shares ranking senior to or on parity with the series of preferred shares as to distribution rights and rights upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of our affairs;
any listing of the preferred shares on any securities exchange;
if appropriate, a discussion of any additional material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the preferred shares;
information with respect to book-entry procedures, if applicable;
in addition to those restrictions described below, any other restrictions on the ownership and transfer of the preferred shares; and
any additional rights, preferences, privileges or restrictions of the preferred shares.
Power to Reclassify Our Unissued Shares of Beneficial Interest
Our declaration of trust authorizes our Board of Trustees to classify and reclassify any unissued common or preferred shares into other classes or series of our shares of beneficial interest. Prior to the issuance of shares of each class or series, our Board of Trustees is required by Maryland law and by our declaration of trust to set, subject to the provisions of our declaration of trust regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares of beneficial interest, the preferences, conversion and other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends and other distributions, qualifications and terms or conditions of redemption for each class or series. Therefore, our Board of Trustees could authorize the issuance of common shares or preferred shares that have priority over our common shares as to voting rights, dividends or upon liquidation or with terms and conditions that could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control or other transaction that

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might involve a premium price for our common shares or otherwise be in the best interests of our shareholders. No preferred shares are presently outstanding, and we have no present plans to issue any preferred shares.
Power to Increase or Decrease Authorized Shares of Beneficial Interest and Issue Additional Common Shares and Preferred Shares
We believe that the power of our Board of Trustees to amend our declaration of trust to increase or decrease the number of authorized shares of beneficial interest, to authorize us to issue additional authorized but unissued common shares or preferred shares and to classify or reclassify unissued common shares or preferred shares and thereafter to authorize us to issue such classified or reclassified shares of beneficial interest will provide us with increased flexibility in structuring possible future financings and acquisitions and in meeting other needs that might arise. The additional classes or series, as well as the common shares, will be available for issuance without further action by our securityholders, unless such 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 Trustees does not intend to do so, it could authorize us to issue a class or series that could, depending upon the terms of the particular class or series, delay, defer or prevent a change in control or other transaction that might involve a premium price for our common shares or otherwise be in the best interests of our shareholders.
Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer
In order to qualify as a REIT for each taxable year, our shares 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, no more than 50% of the value of our outstanding shares may be owned, directly or constructively, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Code to include certain entities) during the second half of any calendar year.
Because our Board of Trustees believes it is at present essential for us to qualify as a REIT, among other purposes, our declaration of trust provides that, subject to certain exceptions, no person may beneficially or constructively own under the attribution provisions of the Code, more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our shares, which we refer to as the ownership limit.
Our declaration of trust also prohibits any person from (i) beneficially or constructively owning our shares if such ownership would result in our being “closely held” under Section 856(h) of the Code (without regard to whether the ownership interest is held during the last half of the taxable year) or would otherwise cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT, and (ii) transferring our shares after the date on which we first have 100 shareholders if such transfer would result in our capital shares being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons.
Our Board of Trustees, in its sole discretion, prospectively or retroactively, may exempt a person from the ownership limit or the other restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares described in the paragraph above and may establish or increase an excepted holder limit for such person. The person seeking an exemption must provide to our Board of Trustees any such representations, covenants and undertakings as our Board of Trustees may deem appropriate in order to conclude that granting the exemption and/or establishing or increasing an excepted holder limit, as the case may be, will not cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT. Our Board of Trustees may also require a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service, or the “IRS,” or an opinion of counsel in order to determine or ensure our status as a REIT. Our Board of Trustees may from time to time increase or decrease the ownership limit, but any decreased ownership limit will not be effective for any person whose percentage ownership of our shares is in excess of the decreased ownership limit until the person’s percentage ownership of our shares equals or falls below the decreased ownership limit (although any acquisition of our shares in excess of the decreased ownership limit will be in violation of the decreased ownership limit). Our Board of Trustees may not increase the ownership limit if the increase, taking into account any excepted holder limits, would allow five or fewer individuals (including certain entities) to beneficially own more than 49.9% in value of our outstanding shares.
Any person who acquires or attempts or intends to acquire beneficial or constructive ownership of our shares of beneficial interest that will or may violate the ownership limit or any of the other foregoing restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares of beneficial interest, or who is the intended transferee of shares of our beneficial interest which are transferred to the trust (as described below), must give written notice immediately to us or, in the case of a proposed or attempted transaction, to give at least 15 days prior written notice and must provide us with such other information as we may request in order to determine the effect of such transfer on our status as a REIT.
Any attempted transfer of our shares that, if effective, would result in a violation of any of the foregoing restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares, will cause the number of shares causing the violation (rounded up to the nearest whole share) to be automatically transferred to one or more charitable trusts for the exclusive benefit of one or more charitable

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beneficiaries and the proposed transferee will not acquire any rights in such shares, except that any transfer that results in the violation of the restriction relating to our shares being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons will be void ab initio. The automatic transfer will be deemed to be effective as of the close of business on the business day (as defined in our declaration of trust) prior to the date of the transfer. If, for any reason, the transfer to the trust would not be effective to prevent the violation of the foregoing restrictions, our declaration of trust provides that the purported transfer in violation of the restrictions will be void ab initio. Our shares held in the trust will be deemed to be issued and outstanding. The proposed transferee will not benefit economically from ownership of any shares held in the trust, will have no rights to dividends and no rights to vote or other rights attributable to the shares held in the trust.
The trustee of the trust will have all voting rights and rights to dividends or other distributions with respect to shares held in the trust. These rights will be exercised for the exclusive benefit of the charitable beneficiary. Any dividend or other distribution paid prior to our discovery that shares have been transferred to the trust will be paid by the recipient to the trustee upon demand. Any dividend or other distribution authorized but unpaid will be paid when due to the trustee. Any dividend or distribution paid to the trustee will be held in trust for the charitable beneficiary. Subject to Maryland law, the trustee will have the authority (i) to rescind as void any vote cast by the proposed transferee prior to our discovery that the shares have been transferred to the trust and (ii) to recast the vote in accordance with the desires of the trustee acting for the benefit of the charitable beneficiary. However, if we have already taken irreversible corporate action, then the trustee will not have the authority to rescind and recast the vote.
Within 20 days of receiving notice from us that shares have been transferred to the trust, the trustee must sell the shares to a person designated by the trustee, whose ownership of the shares will not violate the above ownership and transfer limitations. Upon such sale, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold will terminate and the trustee must distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the proposed transferee and to the charitable beneficiary as follows: The proposed transferee will receive the lesser of (i) the price paid by the proposed transferee for the shares or, if the event that resulted in the transfer to the trust did not involve a purchase of the shares at market price, the market price (as defined in our declaration of trust) of the shares on the day of the event causing the shares to be held in the trust and (ii) the price received by the trustee from the sale or other disposition of the shares (net of any commissions and other expenses). Any net sale proceeds in excess of the amount payable to the proposed transferee will be paid immediately to the charitable beneficiary. The trustee may reduce the amount payable to the proposed transferee by the amount of dividends and other distributions paid to the proposed transferee and owed by the proposed transferee to the trustee. If, prior to our discovery that shares have been transferred to the trust, the shares are sold by the proposed transferee, then (i) the shares will be deemed to have been sold on behalf of the trust and (ii) to the extent that the proposed transferee received an amount for the shares that exceeds the amount the proposed transferee was entitled to receive, the excess must be paid to the trustee upon demand.
In addition, shares held in the trust will be deemed to have been offered for sale to us, or our designee, at a price per share equal to the lesser of (i) the price per share in the transaction that resulted in the transfer to the trust (or, if the event that resulted in the transfer to the trust did not involve a purchase of the shares at market price, the market price of the shares on the day of the event causing the shares to be held in the trust) and (ii) the market price on the date we accept, or our designee accepts, the offer, which we may reduce by the amount of dividends and other distributions paid to the proposed transferee and owed by the proposed transferee to the trustee and pay such amount instead to the trust for the benefit of the charitable beneficiary. We will have the right to accept the offer until the trustee has sold the shares. Upon a sale to us, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold will terminate and the trustee must distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the proposed transferee and any dividends or other distributions held by the trustee with respect to such shares must be paid to the charitable beneficiary.
All certificated shares will bear a legend referring to the restrictions described above (or a declaration that we will furnish a full statement about certain restrictions on transferability to a shareholder on request and without charge).
Every owner of 5% or more (or such lower percentage as required by the Code or the Treasury regulations promulgated thereunder) of all classes or series of our shares, including common shares, within 30 days after the end of each taxable year, must give written notice to us stating the name and address of such owner, the number of shares of each class and series of our shares of beneficial interest that the owner beneficially owns and a description of the manner in which the shares are held. Each such owner must also provide to us such additional information as we may request in order to determine the effect, if any, of such beneficial ownership on our status as a REIT and to ensure compliance with the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares. In addition, each owner of our shares must, upon demand, provide to us such information as we may request, in good faith, in order to determine our status as a REIT and to comply with the requirements of any taxing authority or governmental authority or to determine such compliance and to ensure compliance with the ownership limit.

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These ownership and transfer limitations could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for our securities or might otherwise be in the best interests of our shareholders.
These restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares will not apply if our Board of Trustees determines that it is no longer in our best interests to continue to qualify as a REIT or that compliance is no longer required in order for us to qualify as a REIT.
Stock Exchange Listing
Our common shares are listed on the NYSE under the symbol “EARN.” As of September 30, 2017, no preferred shares were issued and outstanding.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common shares is American Stock Transfer & Trust Co.
Registration Rights
In connection with our September 2012 private placement, we entered into a registration rights agreement with an affiliate of Ellington, which together with its “permitted transferees” (as such term is defined in the registration rights agreement) we sometime refer to as the “Ellington Holders,” and the Blackstone Funds, which together with their permitted transferees we sometime refer to as the “Blackstone Holders.” Under the registration rights agreement, subject to certain limitations and customary cut-back rights, we have agreed to provide the Blackstone Holders and other holders of our “registrable common shares” (as such term is defined in the registration rights agreement) who become a party to the registration rights agreement with certain demand and/or piggy-back registration and shelf takedown rights. Pursuant to the registration rights agreement, subject to certain limitations, the Blackstone Holders may at any time and from time to time demand and we will facilitate (i) up to two registered offerings of registrable common shares held by the Blackstone Holders on a registration statement other than a Form S-3 registration statement, but only if the aggregate market value of the registrable common shares held by the Blackstone Holders and included in any such registration statement equals at least $50 million, and (ii) at such time when our company is eligible to utilize a registration statement on Form S-3, a shelf registration of registrable common shares held by the Blackstone Holders. We also have agreed, upon the written request of the Blackstone Holders, but not more than once in any twelve month period, to file and seek effectiveness of a post-effective amendment to an existing shelf registration statement in order to register additional registrable common shares.
In addition, upon demand of the Blackstone Holders in accordance with the registration rights agreement, we will facilitate an unlimited number of offerings of registrable common shares off of an effective shelf registration statement, or “shelf takedown”; provided, however, that the Blackstone Holders may not demand a shelf takedown for an underwritten offering unless the registrable common shares to be sold by the Blackstone Holders in such a shelf takedown have an aggregate market value of at least $35 million; and provided further, that (i) in no event shall the Blackstone Holders be permitted to request more than two shelf takedowns that are underwritten offerings during any twelve month period and (ii) no more than one shelf takedown during any twelve month period shall be an underwritten offering other than a “block trade” offering. Subject to certain limitations, holders of registrable common shares, other than the Blackstone Holders, that are, or become a party to, the registration rights agreement will be entitled to various piggy-back rights with respect to the registration, offering or sales rights provided to the Blackstone Holders under the registration rights agreement.
Pursuant to the registration rights agreement, we may postpone the filing or initial effectiveness of, or suspend use of, a demanded registration statement or suspend the use or effectiveness of any shelf registration statement for a reasonable “blackout period” not in excess of 90 days if our Board of Trustees determines that such registration or offering could materially interfere with a bona fide business or financing transaction of our company or is reasonably likely to require premature disclosure of information, the premature disclosure of which is reasonably likely to adversely affect us. The blackout period will end upon the earlier to occur of, (i) in the case of a bona fide business or financing transaction, a date not later than 90 days from the date such deferral commenced, and (ii) in the case of disclosure of non-public information, the earlier to occur of (x) the second business day following the filing of our next succeeding Form 10-K or Form 10-Q, or (y) the date upon which such information is otherwise disclosed. We will not be permitted to exercise a demand suspension more than once during any twelve month period.
Subject to certain exceptions, we are obligated to pay substantially all of the expenses relating to the registration or registered offerings of registrable common shares under the registration rights agreement, other than underwriters’, brokers’ and dealers’ discounts, or selling commissions and stock transfer taxes applicable to shares sold for the account of a holder, which

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will be borne instead by such holder. We have agreed to indemnify each selling shareholder for certain violations of federal or state securities laws in connection with any of the foregoing registration rights. In turn, each selling shareholder will agree to indemnify us for federal or state securities law violations that occur in reliance upon written information it provides to us for use in a registration statement and for failure to comply with applicable law in effecting the sale or other disposition of the securities covered by the registration statement.
The foregoing summary of certain provisions of the registration rights agreement does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, and qualified in its entirety by, all of the provisions of the registration rights agreement incorporated by reference as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.


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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 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 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. For a more detailed description regarding our risk exposure on our repurchase agreements, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation—Liquidity and Capital Resources” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC, as updated by our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and incorporated herein by reference.
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 our repurchase agreements, 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.
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;

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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;
our ability 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 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 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;
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:
any limitations on transfer or exchange rights or the right to obtain the registration of transfer;
any limitations on the right to obtain definitive certificates of the Debt Securities; and
any other matters incidental to the Debt 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 U.S. federal income tax consequences applicable to the Debt Securities.
For more information, see Section 3.01 of the applicable 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.

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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, no payment of principal of, including redemption and sinking fund payments, or any premium or interest on, the Subordinated Debt Securities may be made if:
 
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.
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 applicable 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 applicable Debt Securities Indenture.
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 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);
for the payment of money relating to any lease that is capitalized on our consolidated balance sheet in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; or
indebtedness evidenced by bonds, debentures, notes or other similar instruments.
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 that amount. For more information, see Sections 2.01 and 3.02 of the applicable 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 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 applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

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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 applicable 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
register the transfer of, or exchange any, Debt Securities selected for redemption except the unredeemed portion of any Debt Securities being partially redeemed.
For more information, see Section 3.05 of the applicable 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 applicable 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 applicable 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 applicable 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 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 4.03 and 4.04 of the applicable 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 applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

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Consolidation, Merger and Sale of Assets
We may not consolidate with or merge into any other person, 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 any 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 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 applicable Debt Securities Indenture.
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 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 applicable 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 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:

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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 applicable Debt Securities Indenture.
The applicable Debt Securities Indenture includes 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 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 applicable 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 applicable 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 a majority in principal amount of the outstanding Debt Securities of all series with respect to which an event of default 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 applicable 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 applicable 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 Section 6.06 of the applicable 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 our 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 provisions 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;

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to establish the form or terms of Debt Securities according to the provisions of the applicable indenture;
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; or
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 applicable 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 6.07 of the applicable 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 applicable Debt Securities Indenture).
The Trust Indenture Act 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 applicable 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 issued pursuant to a Debt Securities Indenture, considered as one class, is required to change in any manner the applicable indenture pursuant to one or more supplemental indentures. If less than all of the series of Debt Securities outstanding under a Debt Securities Indenture 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 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
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.

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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 applicable 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 holder 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 applicable 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. For more information, see Section 7.01 of the applicable 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 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 Trustees 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 applicable Debt Securities Indenture.
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 applicable 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 applicable Debt Securities Indenture.

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Governing law
The Debt Securities Indenture 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 applicable Debt Securities Indenture.


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DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS
We may issue warrants to purchase common shares or preferred shares. Warrants may be issued independently or together with any securities or 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 by us with a bank or trust company, as warrant agent, as specified in the applicable prospectus supplement. The warrant agent will act solely as our agent in connection with the warrants and will not assume any obligation or relationship of agency or trust for or with any holders or beneficial owners of warrants.
We will describe the specific terms of any warrants we may offer in the prospectus supplement relating to those warrants, which terms will include:
 
the title of the warrants;
the aggregate number of warrants;
the price or prices at which the warrants will be issued;
the designation, amount and terms of the securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants;
any provisions for adjustment of the number of securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants or the exercise price of the warrants;
the designation and terms of the other securities, if any, with which the warrants are to be issued and the number of the warrants issued with each security;
if applicable, the date on and after which the warrants and the securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants will be separately transferable;
the price or prices at which the securities purchasable upon exercise of the warrants may be purchased;
the minimum or maximum number of warrants which may be exercised at any one time;
the date on which the right to exercise the warrants shall commence and the date on which the right shall expire;
if appropriate, a discussion of any material federal income tax considerations applicable to the warrants;
information with respect to book-entry procedures, if applicable; and
any additional terms of the warrants, including terms, procedures and limitations relating to the exchange and exercise of the warrants.
Each warrant will entitle the holder of the warrant to purchase for cash the amount of common shares or preferred shares, as applicable, at the exercise price stated or determinable in the applicable prospectus supplement. Warrants may be exercised at any time up to the close of business on the expiration date shown in the applicable prospectus supplement, unless otherwise specified in such prospectus supplement. After the close of business on the expiration date, unexercised warrants will become void. Warrants may be exercised as described in the applicable prospectus supplement. When the warrant holder makes the payment and properly completes and signs the warrant certificate at the corporate trust office of the warrant agent or any other office indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, we will, as soon as possible, forward the common shares or preferred shares, as applicable, that the warrant holder has purchased. If the warrant holder exercises the warrant for less than all of the warrants represented by the warrant certificate, we will issue a new warrant certificate for the remaining warrants.
Additionally, in order to enable us to preserve our status 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.


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DESCRIPTION OF DEPOSITARY SHARES
General
We may issue receipts for depositary shares, each of which will represent a fractional interest of a preferred share of a particular class or series, as specified in the applicable prospectus supplement. Preferred shares of each class or series represented by depositary shares will be deposited under a separate deposit agreement among us, the depositary named therein and the holders from time to time of the depositary receipts. Subject to the terms of the applicable deposit agreement, each owner of a depositary receipt will be entitled, in proportion to the fractional interest of a preferred share of a particular class or series represented by the depositary shares evidenced by such depositary receipt, to all the rights and preferences of the preferred shares represented by such depositary shares (including dividend, voting, conversion, redemption and liquidation rights).
The depositary shares will be evidenced by depositary receipts issued pursuant to the applicable deposit agreement. Immediately following the issuance and delivery of the preferred shares by us to a preferred share depositary, we will cause such preferred shares depositary to issue, on our behalf, the depositary receipts. Copies of the applicable form of deposit agreement and depositary receipt may be obtained from us upon request, and the statements made hereunder relating to the deposit agreement and the depositary receipts to be issued thereunder are summaries of certain provisions thereof and do not purport to be complete and are subject to, and qualified in their entirety by reference to, all of the provisions of the applicable deposit agreement and related depositary receipts.
Dividends and Other Distributions
The preferred share depositary will distribute all cash dividends or other cash distributions received in respect of the preferred shares to the record holders of depositary receipts evidencing the related depositary shares in proportion to the number of such depositary receipts owned by such holders, subject to certain obligations of holders to file proofs, certificates and other information and to pay certain charges and expenses to the preferred shares depositary.
In the event of a distribution other than in cash, the preferred shares depositary will distribute property received by it to the record holders of depositary receipts entitled thereto, subject to certain obligations of holders to file proofs, certificates and other information and to pay certain charges and expenses to the preferred shares depositary, unless the preferred shares depositary determines that it is not feasible to make such distribution, in which case the preferred shares depositary may, with our approval, sell such property and distribute the net proceeds from such sale to such holders.
No distribution will be made in respect of any depositary share to the extent that it represents any preferred shares converted into other securities.
Withdrawal of Shares
Upon surrender of the depositary receipts at the corporate trust office of the applicable preferred shares depositary (unless the related depositary shares have previously been called for redemption or converted into other securities), the holders thereof will be entitled to delivery at such office, to or upon such holder’s order, of the number of whole or fractional preferred shares and any money or other property represented by the depositary shares evidenced by such depositary receipts. Holders of depositary receipts will be entitled to receive whole or fractional preferred shares on the basis of the proportion of preferred shares represented by each depositary share as specified in the applicable prospectus supplement, but holders of such preferred shares will not thereafter be entitled to receive depositary shares therefor. If the depositary receipts delivered by the holder evidence a number of depositary shares in excess of the number of depositary shares representing the number of preferred shares to be withdrawn, the preferred shares depositary will deliver to such holder at the same time a new depositary receipt evidencing such excess number of depositary shares.
Redemption of Depositary Shares
Whenever we redeem preferred shares held by the preferred shares depositary, the preferred shares depositary will redeem as of the same redemption date the number of depositary shares representing preferred shares so redeemed, provided we shall have paid in full to the preferred shares depositary the redemption price of the preferred shares to be redeemed plus an amount equal to any accrued and unpaid dividends thereon to the date fixed for redemption. The redemption price per depositary share will be equal to the corresponding proportion of the redemption price and any other amounts per share payable with respect to the preferred shares. If fewer than all the depositary shares are to be redeemed, the depositary shares to be redeemed will be selected pro rata (as nearly as may be practicable without creating fractional depositary shares) or by any

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other equitable method determined by us that will not result in a violation of the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares set forth in our declaration of trust. See “Description of Our Shares of Beneficial Interest—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”
From and after the date fixed for redemption, all dividends in respect of the preferred shares so called for redemption will cease to accrue, the depositary shares so called for redemption will no longer be deemed to be outstanding and all rights of the holders of the depositary receipts evidencing the depositary shares so called for redemption will cease, except the right to receive any moneys payable upon such redemption and any money or other property to which the holders of such depositary receipts were entitled upon such redemption and surrender thereof to the preferred shares depositary.
Voting of the Depositary Shares
Upon receipt of notice of any meeting at which the holders of the applicable preferred shares are entitled to vote, the preferred shares depositary will mail the information contained in such notice of meeting to the record holders of the depositary receipts evidencing the depositary shares which represent such preferred shares. Each record holder of depositary receipts evidencing depositary shares on the record date (which will be the same date as the record date for the preferred shares) will be entitled to instruct the preferred shares depositary as to the exercise of the voting rights pertaining to the amount of preferred shares represented by such holder’s depositary shares. The preferred shares depositary will vote the amount of preferred shares represented by such depositary shares in accordance with such instructions, and we will agree to take all reasonable action which may be deemed necessary by the preferred shares depositary in order to enable the preferred shares depositary to do so. The preferred shares depositary will abstain from voting the amount of preferred shares represented by such depositary shares to the extent it does not receive specific instructions from the holders of depositary receipts evidencing such depositary shares. The preferred shares depositary shall not be responsible for any failure to carry out any instruction to vote, or for the manner or effect of any such vote made, as long as any such action or non-action is in good faith and does not result from negligence or willful misconduct of the preferred shares depositary.
Liquidation Preference
In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, whether voluntary or involuntary, the holders of each depositary receipt will be entitled to the fraction of the liquidation preference accorded each preferred share represented by the depositary shares evidenced by such depositary receipt, as set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement.
Conversion of the Depositary Shares
The depositary shares, as such, are not convertible into common shares, preferred shares or any of our other securities or property. Nevertheless, if so specified in the applicable prospectus supplement relating to an offering of depositary shares, the depositary receipts may be surrendered by holders thereof to the preferred shares depositary with written instructions to the preferred shares depositary to instruct us to cause conversion of the preferred shares represented by the depositary shares evidenced by such depositary receipts into whole common shares or other preferred shares or other securities or property, and we will agree that, upon receipt of such instructions and any amounts payable in respect thereof, we will cause the conversion thereof utilizing the same procedures as those provided for delivery of preferred shares to effect such conversion. If the preferred shares represented by depositary shares evidenced by a depositary receipt are to be converted in part only, a new depositary receipt or receipts will be issued for any depositary shares representing preferred shares not to be converted. No fractional shares will be issued upon conversion, and if such conversion would result in a fractional share being issued, an amount will be paid in cash by us equal to the value of the fractional interest based upon the closing price of the shares of such class or series on the last business day prior to the conversion.
Amendment and Termination of Deposit Agreement
The form of depositary receipt evidencing the depositary shares which represent the preferred shares and any provision of the deposit agreement may at any time be amended by agreement between us and the preferred shares depositary. However, any amendment that materially and adversely alters the rights of the holders of depositary receipts or that would be materially and adversely inconsistent with the rights granted to the holders of the related preferred shares will not be effective unless such amendment has been approved by the existing holders of at least two-thirds of the applicable depositary shares evidenced by the applicable depositary receipts then outstanding. No amendment shall impair the right, subject to certain exceptions in the deposit agreement, of any holder of depositary receipts to surrender any depositary receipt with instructions to deliver to the holder the related preferred shares and all money and other property, if any, represented thereby, except in order to comply with law. Every holder of an outstanding depositary receipt at the time any such amendment becomes effective shall be deemed, by

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continuing to hold such receipt, to consent and agree to such amendment and to be bound by the deposit agreement as amended thereby.
The deposit agreement may be terminated by us upon not less than 30 days’ prior written notice to the preferred shares depositary if (i) such termination is reasonably necessary to preserve our status as a REIT or (ii) a majority of each series of preferred shares affected by such termination consents to such termination, whereupon the preferred shares depositary shall deliver or make available to each holder of depositary receipts, upon surrender of the depositary receipts held by such holder, such number of whole or fractional preferred shares as are represented by the depositary shares evidenced by such depositary receipts together with any other property held by the preferred shares depositary with respect to such depositary receipts. We will agree that if the deposit agreement is terminated to preserve our status as a REIT, then we will use our best efforts to list the preferred shares issued upon surrender of the related depositary shares on a national securities exchange. In addition, the deposit agreement will automatically terminate if (i) all outstanding depositary shares shall have been redeemed, (ii) there shall have been a final distribution in respect of the related preferred shares in connection with our liquidation, dissolution or winding up and such distribution shall have been distributed to the holders of depositary receipts evidencing the depositary shares representing such preferred shares or (iii) each related preferred share shall have been converted into our securities not so represented by depositary shares.
Charges of Preferred Shares Depositary
We will pay all transfer and other taxes and governmental charges arising solely from the existence of the deposit agreement. In addition, we will pay the fees and expenses of the preferred shares depositary in connection with the performance of its duties under the deposit agreement. However, holders of depositary receipts will pay the fees and expenses of the preferred shares depositary for any duties requested by such holders to be performed which are outside of those expressly provided for in the deposit agreement.
Resignation and Removal of Depositary
The preferred shares depositary may resign at any time by delivering to us notice of its election to do so, and we may at any time remove the preferred shares depositary, any such resignation or removal to take effect upon the appointment of a successor preferred shares depositary. A successor preferred shares depositary must be appointed within 60 days after delivery of the notice of resignation or removal and must be a bank or trust company having its principal office in the United States and having a combined capital and surplus of at least $10,000,000.
Miscellaneous
The preferred shares depositary will forward to holders of depositary receipts any reports and communications from the Company which are received by the preferred shares depositary with respect to the related preferred shares.
Neither the preferred shares depositary nor the Company will be liable if it is prevented from or delayed in, by law or any circumstances beyond its control, performing its obligations under the deposit agreement. The obligations of us and the preferred shares depositary under the deposit agreement will be limited to performing their duties thereunder in good faith and without negligence (in the case of any action or inaction in the voting of preferred shares represented by the depositary shares), gross negligence or willful misconduct, and we and the preferred shares depositary will not be obligated to prosecute or defend any legal proceeding in respect of any depositary receipts, depositary shares or preferred shares represented thereby unless satisfactory indemnity is furnished. We and the preferred shares depositary may rely on written advice of counsel or accountants, or information provided by persons presenting preferred shares represented thereby for deposit, holders of depositary receipts or other persons believed in good faith to be competent to give such information, and on documents believed in good faith to be genuine and signed by a proper party.
In the event the preferred shares depositary shall receive conflicting claims, requests or instructions from any holders of depositary receipts, on the one hand, and us, on the other hand, the preferred shares depositary shall be entitled to act on such claims, requests or instructions received from us.
Restrictions on Ownership
Holders of depositary receipts will be subject to the ownership restrictions set forth in the declaration of trust. See “Description of Our Shares of Beneficial Interest—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”


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DESCRIPTION OF RIGHTS
We may issue rights to our shareholders for the purchase of our common shares or preferred shares. Each series of rights will be issued under a separate rights agreement to be entered into between us and a bank or trust company, as rights agent, all as set forth in the prospectus supplement relating to the particular issue of rights. The rights agent will act solely as our agent in connection with the certificates relating to the rights of such series and will not assume any obligation or relationship of agency or trust for or with any holders of rights certificates or beneficial owners of rights. The rights agreement and the rights certificates relating to each series of rights will be filed with the SEC and incorporated by reference as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.
The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the terms of the rights to be issued, including the following, where applicable:
 
the date for determining the shareholders entitled to the rights distribution;
the designation and terms of any class or series of preferred shares purchasable upon exercise of the rights;
the aggregate number of shares purchasable upon exercise of such rights and the exercise price;
the aggregate number of rights being issued;
the date, if any, on and after which such rights may be transferable separately;
the date on which the right to exercise such rights shall commence and the date on which such right shall expire;
any special U.S. federal income tax consequences; and
any other terms of such rights, including terms, procedures and limitations relating to the distribution, exchange and exercise of such rights.
Restrictions on Ownership
Holders of rights will be subject to the ownership restrictions set forth in the declaration of trust. See “Description of Our Shares of Beneficial Interest—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”


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DESCRIPTION OF UNITS
This section describes some of the general terms and provisions applicable to units we may issue from time to time. We will describe the specific terms of a series of units and the applicable unit agreement in the applicable prospectus supplement. The following description and any description of the units in the applicable prospectus supplement may not be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to the terms and provisions of the applicable unit agreement. A form of the unit agreement reflecting the particular terms and provisions of a series of offered units will be filed with the SEC in connection with the offering and incorporated by reference in the registration statement and this prospectus.
We may issue units from time to time in such amounts and in as many distinct series as we determine. We will issue each series of units under a unit agreement to be entered into between us and a unit agent to be designated in the applicable prospectus supplement. When we refer to a series of units, we mean all units issued as part of the same series under the applicable unit agreement.
We may issue units consisting of any combination of two or more securities described in this prospectus. Each unit will be issued so that the holder of the unit is also the holder of each security included in the unit. Thus, the holder of a unit will have the rights and obligations of a holder of each included security. The unit agreement under which a unit is issued may provide that the securities included in the unit may not be held or transferred separately, at any time or at any time before a specified date.
The applicable prospectus supplement will describe the terms of the units offered pursuant to it, including one or more of the following:
 
the designation and terms of the units and of the securities comprising the units, including whether and under what circumstances those securities may be held or transferred separately;
the aggregate number of, and the price at which we will issue, the units any provisions for the issuance, payment, settlement, transfer or exchange of the units or of the securities comprising the units;
whether the units will be issued in fully registered or global form;
the name of the unit agent;
a description of the terms of any unit agreement to be entered into between us and a bank or trust company, as unit agent, governing the units;
if appropriate, a discussion of the material federal income tax consequences applicable to the units; and
whether the units will be listed on any securities exchange.
Additionally, in order to enable us to preserve our status 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.


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GLOBAL SECURITIES
We may issue some or all of our securities or any series as global securities. We will register each global security in the name of a depositary identified in the applicable prospectus supplement. The global securities will be deposited with a depositary or nominee of the custodian for the depositary and will bear a legend regarding restrictions on exchanges and registration of transfer as discussed below and any other matters to be provided pursuant to the indenture.
As long as the depositary or its nominee is the registered holder of a global security, that person will be considered the sole owner and holder of the global security and the securities represented by it for all purposes under the securities and the indenture, depositary agreement, warrant agreement or rights agreement, as applicable. Except in limited circumstances, owners of a beneficial interest in a global security:
 
will not be entitled to have the global security or any securities represented by it registered in their names;
will not receive or be entitled to receive physical delivery of certificated securities in exchange for the global security; and
will not be considered to be the owners or holders of the global security or any securities represented by it for any purposes under the securities or the indenture, depositary agreement, warrant agreement or rights agreement, as applicable.
We will make all payments of principal and any premium and interest on a global security to the depositary or its nominee as the holder of the global security. The laws of some jurisdictions require that certain purchasers of securities take physical delivery of securities in definitive form. These laws may impair the ability to transfer beneficial interests in a global security.
Ownership of beneficial interests in a global security will be limited to institutions having accounts with the depositary or its nominee, called “participants” for purposes of this discussion, and to persons that hold beneficial interests through participants. When a global security is issued, the depositary will credit on its book-entry, registration and transfer system the principal amounts of securities represented by the global security to the accounts of its participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in a global security will be shown only on, and the transfer of those ownership interests will be effected only through, records maintained by:
 
the depositary, with respect to participants’ interests; or
any participant, with respect to interests of persons held by the participants on their behalf.
Payments by participants to owners of beneficial interests held through the participants will be the responsibility of the participants. The depositary may from time to time adopt various policies and procedures governing payments, transfers, exchanges and other matters relating to beneficial interests in a global security. None of the following will have any responsibility or liability for any aspect of the depositary’s or any participant’s records relating to, or for payments made on account of, beneficial interests in a global security, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to those beneficial interests:
 
us or our affiliates;
the trustee under any indenture; or
any agent of any of the above.


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CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OF OUR
DECLARATION OF TRUST AND BYLAWS
Although the following summary describes certain provisions of Maryland law and of our declaration of trust and bylaws, it is not a complete description of Maryland law and our declaration of trust and bylaws, copies of which are available from us upon request. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”
Number of Trustees; Qualifications; Vacancies
Our declaration of trust and bylaws provide that the number of our trustees may be established by our Board of Trustees but may not be less than three nor more than the maximum number, if any, permitted under Maryland law. Our declaration of trust and bylaws also provide that, except as may be provided by our Board of Trustees in setting the terms of any class or series of shares, any and all vacancies on our Board of Trustees may be filled only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining trustees in office, even if the remaining trustees do not constitute a quorum, and any individual elected to fill such vacancy will serve for the remainder of the full term of the class in which the vacancy occurred and until a successor is duly elected and qualifies.
Each of our trustees will be elected by our shareholders to serve until the next annual meeting of shareholders until his or her successor is duly elected and qualifies. A plurality of all votes cast on the matter at a meeting of shareholders at which a quorum is present is sufficient to elect a trustee. The presence in person or by proxy of shareholders entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast at a meeting constitutes a quorum.
Pursuant to the shareholders agreement between us and our initial investors, so long as our Manager remains our manager, we must nominate up to two individuals designated by Ellington for election as trustees, and so long as the Blackstone Funds and their permitted transferees continue to beneficially own, in the aggregate, more than 70% of the common shares that they owned upon completion of our initial public offering and their interest in our Manager, we must nominate one individual designated by the Blackstone Funds for election as a trustee. Under the shareholders agreement and our bylaws, while we are required to nominate their designees for election as trustees, Ellington and the Blackstone Funds have the exclusive right to designate a nominee to fill any vacancy on our Board of Trustees created by the death, removal or resignation of their respective designees. The shareholders agreement also requires that any remaining individuals nominated for election as trustees satisfy all listing requirements of the NYSE or such other national exchange on which our common shares are listed. Our bylaws provide that, in order to be qualified to be nominated for election as a trustee, or to serve as a trustee, any individual, if elected as a trustee (whether at a meeting of stockholders or to fill a vacancy on our Board of Trustees), must not cause us to violate, and must meet all other requirements specified in, the shareholders agreement.
Removal of Trustees
Our declaration of trust provides that, subject to the rights of holders of any series of preferred shares, a trustee may be removed only for “cause,” and then only by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast generally in the election of trustees. For this purpose, “cause” means, with respect to any particular trustee, conviction of a felony or a final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction holding that such trustee caused demonstrable, material harm to us through bad faith or active and deliberate dishonesty. These provisions, when coupled with the exclusive power of our Board of Trustees to fill vacancies on our Board of Trustees, generally precludes shareholders from removing incumbent trustees except for “cause” and with a substantial affirmative vote and filling the vacancies created by such removal with their own nominees.
Business Combinations
Under certain provisions of the MGCL applicable to Maryland real estate investment trusts, 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 real estate investment trust and an “interested shareholder” or, generally, any person who, directly or indirectly, beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of the trust’s outstanding voting shares or an affiliate or associate of the trust 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 voting shares of beneficial interest of the trust, or an affiliate of such an interested shareholder, are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the interested shareholder becomes an interested shareholder. Thereafter, any such business combination must be recommended by the board of trustees of such real estate investment trust and approved by the affirmative vote of at least (a) 80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding voting shares of beneficial interest of the trust and (b) two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of voting shares of beneficial interest in the trust other than shares held by the interested shareholder with whom (or with whose affiliate) the business combination is to be effected or held by an affiliate or

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associate of the interested shareholder, unless, among other conditions, the trust’s shareholders 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 shareholder for its shares. Under the MGCL, a person is not an “interested shareholder” if the board of trustees approved in advance the transaction by which the person otherwise would have become an interested shareholder. A real estate investment trust’s board of trustees may provide that its approval is subject to compliance with any terms and conditions determined by it.
These provisions of the MGCL do not apply, however, to business combinations that are approved or exempted by a board of trustees prior to the time that the interested shareholder becomes an interested shareholder. Pursuant to the statute, our Board of Trustees has by resolution exempted business combinations between us and any other person from these provisions of the MGCL, provided that the business combination is first approved by our Board of Trustees, including a majority of our trustees who are not affiliates or associates of such person, and, consequently, the five year prohibition and the supermajority vote requirements will not apply to such business combinations. As a result, any person may be able to enter into business combinations with us that may not be in the best interests of our shareholders 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. If this resolution is repealed, or our Board of Trustees does not otherwise approve a business combination, the statute may discourage others from trying to acquire control of us and increase the difficulty of consummating any offer.
The business combination statute may discourage others from trying to acquire control of us and increase the difficulty of consummating any offer.
Control Share Acquisitions
The MGCL provides that holders of “control shares” of a Maryland real estate investment trust acquired in a “control share acquisition” have no voting rights with respect to the control shares except to the extent approved by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, excluding shares of beneficial interest in a real estate investment trust 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 trustees: (1) a person who makes or proposes to make a control share acquisition, (2) an officer of the trust or (3) an employee of the trust who is also a trustee of the trust. “Control shares” are voting shares 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 trustees 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 shareholder approval. 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 the MGCL), may compel a Maryland real estate investment trust to call a special meeting of shareholders 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 real estate investment trust may itself present the question at any shareholders’ 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 trust 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 the last control share acquisition by the acquirer or of any meeting of shareholders at which the voting rights of such shares are considered and not approved. If voting rights for control shares are approved at a shareholders’ meeting and the acquirer becomes entitled to vote a majority of the shares entitled to vote, all other shareholders may exercise appraisal rights. 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 (a) shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or share exchange if the trust is a party to the transaction or (b) acquisitions approved or exempted by the declaration of trust or bylaws of the trust.
Our bylaws contain a provision exempting from the control share acquisition statute any and all acquisitions by any person of our shares. There is no assurance that such provision will not be amended or eliminated at any time in the future.

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Subtitle 8
Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the MGCL permits a Maryland real estate investment trust with a class of equity securities registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the “Exchange Act,” and at least three independent trustees to elect to be subject, by provision in its declaration of trust or bylaws or a resolution of its board of trustees and notwithstanding any contrary provision in the declaration of trust or bylaws, to any or all of five provisions:
 
a classified board;
a two-thirds vote requirement for removing a trustee;
a requirement that the number of trustees be fixed only by vote of the trustees;
a requirement that a vacancy on the board be filled only by the remaining trustees and for the remainder of the full term of the class of trustees in which the vacancy occurred; and
a majority requirement for the calling of a special meeting of shareholders.
Our declaration of trust and bylaws are silent with respect to Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the MGCL. However, through provisions in our declaration of trust and bylaws unrelated to Subtitle 8, we already (1) require the affirmative vote of the holders of not less than two-thirds of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter for the removal of any trustee from the board, which removal will be allowed only for cause, (2) vest in the board the exclusive power to fix the number of trusteeships, (3) require that a vacancy on the board be filled only by a majority of the remaining trustees and (4) that special meetings of shareholders may be called only by (i) the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, (ii) our Chief Executive Officer or (iii) one-third of the total authorized number of trustees.
Meetings of Shareholders
Pursuant to our declaration of trust and bylaws, a meeting of our shareholders for the purpose of the election of trustees and the transaction of any business will be held annually on a date and at the time and place set by our Board of Trustees. In addition, our chairman, chief executive officer and one-third of the total authorized number of trustees of our Board of Trustees may call a special meeting of our shareholders.
Mergers; Extraordinary Transactions
Under the Maryland REIT Law, or “MRL,” a Maryland real estate investment trust generally cannot merge with another entity unless advised by its board of trustees and approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter unless a lesser percentage (but not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter) is set forth in the trust’s declaration of trust. Our declaration of trust provides that these mergers must be deemed advisable by a majority of our entire Board of Trustees and approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our declaration of trust also provides that we may consolidate with another entity into a new entity or sell or transfer all or substantially all of our assets if deemed advisable by a majority of our entire Board of Trustees and approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. However, many of our operating assets will be held by our subsidiaries, and these subsidiaries may be able to sell all or substantially all of their assets or merge with another entity without the approval of our shareholders.
Amendment to Our Declaration of Trust and Bylaws
Under the MRL, a Maryland real estate investment trust generally cannot amend its declaration of trust unless advised by its board of trustees and approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders 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 trust’s declaration of trust.
Except for amendments to the provisions of our declaration of trust related to the removal of trustees and the vote required to amend the removal provision (each of which require the affirmative vote of shareholders 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 declaration of trust that require only approval by our Board of Trustees, our declaration of trust may be amended only if advised by our Board of Trustees and approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter.
Our Board of Trustees has the exclusive power to adopt, alter or repeal any provision of our bylaws and to make new bylaws.

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Our Termination
Our declaration of trust provides for us to have a perpetual existence. Our termination must be approved by a majority of our entire Board of Trustees and the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter.
Advance Notice of Trustee Nominations and New Business
Our bylaws provide that, with respect to an annual meeting of shareholders, nominations of individuals for election to our Board of Trustees at an annual meeting and the proposal of business to be considered by shareholders may be made only (1) pursuant to our notice of the meeting, (2) by or at the direction of our Board of Trustees or (3) by a shareholder of record both at the time of giving notice and at the time of the annual meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting in the election of such individual or on such other business and who has complied with the advance notice provisions set forth in our bylaws. Our bylaws currently require the shareholder generally 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 trustees at the preceding year’s annual meeting.
With respect to special meetings of shareholders, only the business specified in our notice of meeting may be brought before the meeting. Nominations of individuals for election to our Board of Trustees at a special meeting may be made only (1) by or at the direction of our Board of Trustees or (2) provided that the special meeting has been called in accordance with our bylaws for the purpose of electing trustees, by a shareholder of record both at the time of giving notice and at the time of the meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting in the election of each individual so nominated and who has complied with the advance notice provisions set forth in our bylaws. Such shareholder may nominate one or more individuals, as the case may be, for election as a trustee if the shareholder’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 Trustees to be elected at the meeting.
Our declaration of trust provides that submission of any action by us to our shareholders for approval must first be approved by our Board of Trustees.
Anti-takeover Effect of Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and of Our Declaration of Trust and Bylaws
If the applicable exemption in our bylaws is repealed and the applicable resolution of our Board of Trustees is repealed, the control share acquisition provisions and the business combination provisions of the MGCL, respectively, as well as the provisions in our declaration of trust and bylaws, as applicable, on removal of trustees and the filling of trustee vacancies and the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares of beneficial interest, together with the advance notice and provisions of our bylaws, alone or in combination, could serve to delay, deter or prevent a transaction or a change in our control that might involve a premium price for holders of our common shares or otherwise be in their best interests.
Indemnification and Limitation of Trustees’ and Officers’ Liability
Maryland law permits a Maryland real estate investment trust to include in its declaration of trust a provision eliminating the liability of its trustees and officers to the trust and its shareholders for money damages except for liability resulting from:
 
actual receipt of an improper benefit in money, property or services, or
active or deliberate dishonesty that is established by a final judgment and is material to the cause of action.
Our declaration of trust contains a provision that eliminates the liability of our trustees and officers to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law.
In addition, our declaration of trust provides that, to the maximum extent permitted by law and subject to certain exceptions, our initial shareholders and our trustees, and their affiliates (which includes the Blackstone Funds, Ellington, our trustees who are nominated by affiliates of the Blackstone Funds or Ellington and our officers who are also employees of Ellington), have no duty to refrain from competing with us, owning any investments or engaging in any business activities (including investments and business activities that are similar to our current or proposed investments or business activities) or buying, selling or trading any securities or commodities for their own accounts (including taking positions contrary to ours), and no such person will be liable to us or any shareholder for a conflict of interest or a breach of any duty by reason of the fact that the person participates in any such activity. Our declaration of trust also provides that, to the maximum extent permitted by law, none of our initial shareholders or trustees, or their affiliates, are required to present any business opportunity to us, and we

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waive any interest or expectancy in any such opportunity, unless the opportunity is expressly offered to such person in his or her capacity as a trustee or officer of us.
Our declaration of trust also authorizes us, and our bylaws require us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law, to indemnify (i) any present or former trustee or officer or (ii) any individual who, while serving as our trustee or officer and at our request, serves or has served another real estate investment trust, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or any other enterprise as a trustee, director, officer, partner, member, manager, employee or agent, in either case, who is made or threatened to be made a party to or witness in the proceeding by reason of his or her service in any such capacity, from and against any claim or liability to which the individual may become subject or incur by reason of his or her service in any such capacity and to pay or reimburse his or her reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding.
Maryland law permits a Maryland real estate investment trust to indemnify and advance expenses to its trustees, officers, employees and agents to the same extent as permitted for directors and officers of Maryland corporations. Maryland law 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:
 
the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and (i) was committed in bad faith or (ii) was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty;
the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property or services; or
in the case of any criminal proceeding, the director or officer had reasonable cause to believe that the act or omission was unlawful.
Under Maryland law, a Maryland corporation may not indemnify a director or officer with respect to a proceeding brought by or on behalf of the corporation in which the director or officer was adjudged liable to the corporation or a proceeding charging improper personal benefit to the director or officer in which the director or officer was adjudged liable on the basis that 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 or on behalf of the corporation, 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 Maryland corporation to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer upon the corporation’s receipt of:
 
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
a written undertaking by the director or officer or on his or her behalf to repay the amount paid or reimbursed by the corporation if it is ultimately determined that he or she did not meet the standard of conduct.
We have entered into indemnification agreements with each of our trustees and executive officers that provide for indemnification to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law and advancement by us of expenses and costs relating to certain claims, suits or proceedings arising from their service to us.
Approval of Certain Matters by the Board of Trustees
The action of a majority of the members of our Board of Trustees present at a meeting at which a quorum is initially present is generally sufficient to approve any matter.
REIT Qualification
Our declaration of trust provides that our Board of Trustees may revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election, without approval of our shareholders, if it determines that it is no longer in our best interest to continue to qualify as a REIT.


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OPERATING PARTNERSHIP AND THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
The following summary of the terms of the agreement of limited partnership of our operating partnership does not purport to be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to the Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Ellington Residential Mortgage LP. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”
Management
Our operating partnership is organized as a Delaware limited partnership. A wholly owned subsidiary of our company is the sole general partner of our operating partnership. We conduct substantially all of our operations and make substantially all of our investments through the operating partnership and its subsidiaries. Pursuant to the partnership agreement through the general partner, we have full, exclusive and complete responsibility and discretion in the management and control of the operating partnership, including the ability to cause the operating partnership to enter into certain major transactions including investments, acquisitions, dispositions and financings (including the sale of limited partnership interests to us or to third party investors), to make distributions to partners, and to cause changes in the operating partnership’s business and investment activities.
The partnership agreement requires that the operating partnership be operated in a manner that enables us to satisfy the requirements for being classified as a REIT, to avoid any U.S. federal income or excise tax liability imposed by the Code (other than any U.S. federal income tax liability associated with our retained capital gains) and to ensure that the partnership will not be classified as a “publicly traded partnership” taxable as a corporation under Section 7704 of the Code.
Transferability of Interests
We may not voluntarily withdraw from the operating partnership or transfer or assign our interest in the operating partnership or engage in any merger, consolidation or other combination, or sale of all or substantially all of our assets in a transaction which results in a change of control of our company unless we receive the approval of the holders of our common shares in accordance with the terms of our declaration of trust and bylaws.
We also may (i) transfer all or any portion of our general partnership interest to (A) a wholly owned subsidiary or (B) a parent company or a majority-owned subsidiary of a parent company, and following such transfer may withdraw as the general partner and (ii) engage in a transaction required by law or by the rules of any national securities exchange on which our common shares are listed.
No limited partner may transfer its limited partner interests in our operating partnership:
(i) if our Board of Trustees determines that the transfer would either (x) jeopardize our ability to elect to be treated as a REIT or (y) cause our operating partnership to be treated as a publicly traded partnership within the meaning of Section 7704 of the Code;
(ii) except as contemplated pursuant to the registration rights agreement, if the transfer would require the registration of such partnership interest to be transferred pursuant to any applicable foreign, federal, provincial or state securities laws;
(iii) if the transfer would subject us, our operating partnership, any of our or operating partnership’s securityholders or any of their respective affiliates to regulation under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the fiduciary responsibility provisions of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, or “ERISA,” or would subject us, our operating partnership, any of our or our operating partnership’s securityholders or any of their respective affiliates to regulation under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended;
(iv) if the transfer would result in a violation of any applicable law;
(v) if the transfer would require us or any of our direct or indirect subsidiaries to obtain any licensing or regulatory consent other than any such license or regulatory consent that is immaterial or ministerial in nature or that is a condition to the transfer;
(vi) if the transfer would reasonably be expected to have an adverse regulatory impact (other than an immaterial impact) on us or any of our direct or indirect subsidiaries; or
(vii) if the transfer is made to any person or entity who lacks the legal right, power or capacity to own the partnership interests or common shares issuable upon any redemption of the partnership interests.

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Capital Contribution
The partnership agreement provides that if the operating partnership requires additional funds at any time in excess of funds available to the operating partnership from borrowing or capital contributions, we may borrow such funds from a financial institution or other lender and lend such funds to the operating partnership on the same terms and conditions as are applicable to our borrowing of such funds. Under the partnership agreement, we are obligated to contribute substantially all of the net proceeds of any future offering of shares as additional capital to the operating partnership. If we contribute additional capital to the operating partnership, we will receive additional partnership units and our percentage interest will be increased on a proportionate basis based upon the amount of such additional capital contributions and the value of the operating partnership at the time of such contributions. Conversely, the percentage interests of the other limited partners will be decreased on a proportionate basis in the event of additional capital contributions by us. In addition, if we contribute additional capital to the operating partnership, we will revalue the assets of the operating partnership to its fair market value (as determined by us) and the capital accounts of the partners will be adjusted to reflect the manner in which the unrealized gain or loss inherent in such assets (that has not been reflected in the capital accounts previously) would be allocated among the partners under the terms of the partnership agreement if there were a taxable disposition of such assets for their fair market value (as determined by us) on the date of the revaluation. The operating partnership may issue preferred partnership interests, in connection with acquisitions of assets or otherwise, which could have priority over operating partnership units issued by the operating partnership, or "OP units," with respect to distributions from the operating partnership, including the OP units we own as the general partner.
Redemption Rights
Pursuant to the partnership agreement, beginning one year after the issuance of any OP units, limited partners (other than us) have redemption rights, which enable them to cause the operating partnership to redeem their OP units in exchange for cash or, at our option, our common shares on a one-for-one basis. The cash redemption amount per unit is based on the market price of our common shares at the time of redemption. The number of our common shares issuable upon redemption of limited partnership interests held by limited partners may be adjusted upon the occurrence of certain events such as share dividends, share subdivisions or combinations. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a limited partner will not be entitled to exercise its redemption rights if the delivery of common shares to the redeeming limited partner would:
 
result in any person owning, directly or indirectly, common shares in excess of the share ownership limit in our declaration of trust;
result in our common shares being owned by fewer than 100 persons (determined without reference to any rules of attribution);
result in our being “closely held” within the meaning of Section 856(h) of the Code;
cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT under the Code; or
cause the acquisition of common shares by such redeeming limited partner to be “integrated” with any other distribution of common shares for purposes of complying with the registration provisions of the Securities Act.
We may, in our sole and absolute discretion, waive any of these restrictions.
Partnership Expenses
In addition to the administrative and operating costs and expenses incurred by the operating partnership, the operating partnership generally will pay all of our administrative costs and expenses, including:
 
all expenses relating to our continuity of existence and our subsidiaries’ operations;
all expenses relating to offerings and registration of securities;
all expenses associated with the preparation and filing of any of our periodic or other reports and communications under federal, state or local laws or regulations;
all expenses associated with our compliance with laws, rules and regulations promulgated by any regulatory body; and
all of our other operating or administrative costs incurred in the ordinary course of business on behalf of the operating partnership.
These expenses, however, do not include any of our administrative and operating costs and expenses incurred that are attributable to assets that are owned by us directly rather than by the operating partnership or its subsidiaries.
Fiduciary Responsibilities
Our trustees have duties under applicable Maryland law to manage us in a manner consistent with our best interests. At the same time, we, through our wholly owned subsidiary, the general partner of our operating partnership, will have fiduciary

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duties to manage our operating partnership in a manner beneficial to our operating partnership and its partners. Our duties, through our wholly owned subsidiary, as general partner to our operating partnership and its limited partners, therefore, may come into conflict with the duties of our trustees to us. We will be under no obligation to give priority to the separate interests of the limited partners of our operating partnership or our company in deciding whether to cause the operating partnership to take or decline to take any actions.
The limited partners of our operating partnership expressly acknowledge that, as the general partner of our operating partnership, our wholly owned subsidiary is acting for the benefit of the operating partnership, the limited partners and our company collectively.
Distributions
The partnership agreement provides that the operating partnership will distribute cash from operations (including net sale or refinancing proceeds, but excluding net proceeds from the sale of the operating partnership’s assets in connection with the liquidation of the operating partnership) at such time and in such amounts as determined by us in our sole discretion, to us and the limited partners in accordance with their respective percentage interests in the operating partnership.
Upon liquidation of the operating partnership, after payment of, or adequate provision for, debts and obligations of the partnership, including any partner loans, any remaining assets of the partnership will be distributed to us and the limited partners with positive capital accounts in accordance with their respective positive capital account balances.
LTIP Units
In general, the long term incentive plan units, or “LTIP units,” are a class of partnership units in our operating partnership and will receive the same quarterly per unit distributions as the other outstanding OP units in our operating partnership. Initially, each LTIP unit will have a capital account balance of zero and, therefore, will not have full parity with OP units with respect to liquidating distributions.
However, the operating partnership agreement provides that “book gain,” or economic appreciation, in our assets realized by our operating partnership as a result of the actual sale of all or substantially all of our operating partnership’s assets or the revaluation of our operating partnership’s assets as provided by applicable U.S. Department of Treasury regulations, or Treasury Regulations, will be allocated first to the LTIP unit holders until the capital account per LTIP unit is equal to the average capital account per-unit of our OP units in our operating partnership. The partnership agreement provides that our operating partnership’s assets will be revalued upon the occurrence of certain events, specifically additional capital contributions by us or other partners, the redemption of a partnership interest, a liquidation (as defined in the Treasury Regulations) of our operating partnership or the issuance of a partnership interest (including LTIP units) to a new or existing partner as consideration for the provision of services to, or for the benefit of, our operating partnership.
Upon equalization of the capital accounts of the LTIP unit holders with the average per-unit capital account of our OP units, the LTIP units will achieve full parity with the OP units for all purposes, including with respect to liquidating distributions. If such parity is reached, vested LTIP units may be converted into an equal number of OP units at any time, and thereafter enjoy all the rights of OP units. If a sale or revaluation of assets occurs at a time when our operating partnership’s assets have appreciated sufficiently since the last revaluation, the LTIP units would achieve full parity with the OP units upon such sale or revaluation. In the absence of sufficient appreciation in the value of our operating partnership’s assets at the time of a sale or revaluation, full parity would not be reached.
Consequently, an LTIP unit may never become convertible because the value of our operating partnership’s assets has not appreciated sufficiently between revaluation dates to equalize capital accounts. Until and unless parity is reached, the value for a given number of vested LTIP units will be less than the value of an equal number of our common shares.
Allocations
Profits and losses of the partnership (including depreciation and amortization deductions) for each fiscal year generally will be allocated to us and the other limited partners in accordance with the respective percentage interests in the partnership. Notwithstanding the foregoing, our operating partnership will allocate gain on the sale of all or substantially all of its assets first to holders of LTIP units, and will, upon the occurrence of certain specified events, revalue its assets with any net increase in valuation allocated first to the LTIP units, in each case to equalize the capital accounts of such holders with the average capital account per unit of the general partner’s OP units. All of the foregoing allocations are subject to compliance with the provisions of Sections 704(b) and 704(c) of the Code and Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder. To the extent Treasury

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Regulations promulgated pursuant to Section 704(c) of the Code permit, we, as the general partner, shall have the authority to elect the method to be used by the operating partnership for allocating items with respect to contributed property acquired in connection with an offering for which fair market value differs from the adjusted tax basis at the time of contribution, and such election shall be binding on all partners.
Term
The operating partnership will continue indefinitely, or until sooner dissolved upon:
 
the dissolution or our company, together with the consent of the general partner and of the limited partners holding more than 50% of the percentage interests of the limited partners;
the passage of 90 days after the sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the partnership;
the redemption of all partnership units (other than those held by us, if any); or
an election by us in our capacity as the general partner.
Registration Rights
Subject to the terms of any other agreement between the general partner of our operating partnership and a limited partner with respect to OP units held by such limited partner, a holder of our OP units will only be entitled to the registration rights set forth in that certain registration rights agreement we entered into in September 2012 with an affiliate of Ellington and the Blackstone Funds, as the same may be amended from time to time. See “Description of Our Shares of Beneficial Interest—Registration Rights Agreement” for a description of the registration rights agreement.
Tax Matters
Our partnership agreement provides that our wholly owned subsidiary, as the sole general partner of the operating partnership, is the tax matters partner of the operating partnership and, as such, has authority to handle tax audits and to make tax elections under the Code on behalf of the operating partnership.


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MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS
This section summarizes the material U.S. federal income tax considerations that you, as a securityholder, may consider relevant. Hunton & Williams LLP has acted as our 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 securityholders in light of their personal investment or tax circumstances, or to certain types of securityholders that are subject to special treatment under the U.S. federal income tax laws, such as:
insurance companies;
tax-exempt organizations (except to the extent discussed in “—Taxation of Tax-Exempt U.S. Holders” below);
financial institutions or broker-dealers;
non-U.S. individuals and non-U.S. corporations (except to the extent discussed in “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders” below);
U.S. expatriates;
persons who mark-to-market our securities;
subchapter S corporations;
U.S. shareholders (as defined below) whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar;
regulated investment companies and REITs, and their investors;
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 our securities through a partnership or similar pass-through entity; and
persons holding a 10% or more (by vote or value) beneficial interest in our shares.

This summary assumes that securityholders hold our securities as capital assets for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which generally means as property held for investment.
The statements in this section are not intended to be, and should not be construed as, tax advice. The statements in this section are based on the Code, current, temporary and proposed Treasury regulations, the legislative history of the Code, current administrative interpretations and practices of the IRS and court decisions. The reference to IRS interpretations and practices includes the IRS practices and policies endorsed in private letter rulings, which are not binding on the IRS except with respect to the taxpayer that receives the ruling. In each case, these sources are relied upon as they exist on the date of this discussion. Future legislation, Treasury regulations, administrative interpretations and court decisions could change current law or adversely affect existing interpretations of current law on which the information in this section is based. Any such change could apply retroactively. We have not received any rulings from the IRS concerning our qualification as a REIT. Accordingly, even if there is no change in the applicable law, no assurance can be provided that the statements made in the following discussion, which do not bind the IRS or the courts, will not be challenged by the IRS or will be sustained by a court if so challenged.
WE URGE YOU TO CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISER 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 ADVISER 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.
Taxation of Our Company
We elected to be taxed as a REIT under Sections 856 through 860 of the Code commencing with our short taxable year ended December 31, 2013. We believe that, commencing with our short taxable year ended December 31, 2013, we were organized and have operated and will continue to operate in such a manner as to qualify for taxation as a REIT under the U.S. 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 U.S. federal income tax treatment of a REIT and its securityholders. These laws are highly technical and complex.
In the opinion of Hunton & Williams LLP, we qualified to be taxed as a REIT under the U.S. federal income tax laws for our short taxable year ended December 31, 2013 through our taxable year ended December 31, 2016, and our organization and current and proposed method of operation will enable us to satisfy the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the U.S. federal income tax laws for our taxable year ending December 31, 2017 and subsequent taxable years. Investors

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should be aware that Hunton & Williams 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 & Williams LLP’s opinion is based on existing U.S. 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 U.S. 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 share ownership, and the percentage of our earnings that we distribute. Hunton & Williams 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. Hunton & Williams LLP’s opinion does not foreclose the possibility that we may have to use one or more of the REIT relief 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 U.S. federal income tax on our REIT taxable income that we currently distribute to our securityholders, 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 U.S. federal tax in the following circumstances:
We will pay U.S. federal income tax on our taxable income, including net capital gain, that we do not distribute to shareholders during, or within a specified time period after, the calendar year in which the income is earned.

We may be subject to the “alternative minimum tax” on any items of tax preference, including any deductions of net operating losses, that we do not distribute or allocate to shareholders.

We will pay U.S. federal 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.

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 product of the highest U.S. federal corporate tax rate (currently, 35%) and the net income from the non-qualifying 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 shareholders, as described below in “—Requirements for Qualification.”

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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 U.S. federal income tax on our net long-term capital gain. In that case, a U.S. shareholder 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 shareholder) 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 TRS that are not conducted on an arm’s-length basis.

The earnings of any TRS that we form 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 up to 10-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 be subject 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 shares 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 U.S. federal income tax purposes. Moreover, as further described below, any domestic TRS in which we own an interest will be subject to U.S. 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.
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 U.S. federal income tax laws.

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4.It is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to special provisions of the U.S. 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 U.S. 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. Requirements 5 and 6 began applying to us during our 2014 taxable year. If we comply with all the requirements for ascertaining the ownership of our outstanding shares 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 share 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 U.S. federal income tax laws, however, and beneficiaries of such a trust will be treated as holding our shares in proportion to their actuarial interests in the trust for purposes of requirement 6.
We believe that we have issued shares with sufficient diversity of ownership to satisfy requirements 5 and 6. In addition, our declaration of trust restricts the ownership and transfer of our shares so that we should continue to satisfy these requirements. These restrictions, however, may not ensure that we will, in all cases, be able to satisfy these share ownership requirements. If we fail to satisfy these share ownership requirements, our qualification as a REIT may terminate. The provisions of our declaration of trust restricting the ownership and transfer of the shares are described under the heading “Description of Our Shares of Beneficial Interest—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”
To monitor compliance with the share 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 shares 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 U.S. 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 status. We believe we have complied, and 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 U.S. 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 shares of which is owned, directly or through one or more qualified REIT subsidiaries or disregarded entities, by the REIT. Thus, in applying the requirements described herein, all assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit of any qualified REIT subsidiary that we own 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 limited liability company, that has a single owner for U.S. federal income tax purposes generally is not treated as an entity separate from its parent for U.S. 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 U.S. federal income tax purposes generally is treated as a partnership for U.S. 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. 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. 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 U.S. 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.
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 U.S. federal income tax purposes. Instead, the subsidiary would have multiple owners for U.S. 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.”
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 outstanding securities 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 25% (20% for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017) 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 U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, a domestic TRS would generally be subject to 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 shareholders.
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 from the subsidiary. 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 REIT’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 non-qualifying hedging income or inventory sales).
Certain restrictions imposed on TRSs are intended to ensure that such entities will be subject to appropriate levels of U.S. federal income taxation. First, 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 that we form will be conducted on an arm’s- length basis, but there can be no assurance that we will be successful in this regard.

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We may form or invest in domestic or foreign TRSs in the future. 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 shareholders 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 Taxable U.S. Holders on Distributions on Shares.”
Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income
An entity, or a portion of an entity, 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 U.S. federal income tax purposes and cannot be included in any consolidated U.S. 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, then 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 shareholders 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 shareholder’s share of excess inclusion income (i) would not be allowed to be offset by any losses otherwise available to the shareholder, (ii) would be subject to tax as unrelated business taxable income, or UBTI, in the hands of most types of shareholders that are otherwise generally exempt from U.S. 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 shareholders. IRS guidance indicates that a REIT’s excess inclusion income will be allocated among its shareholders 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 shareholders 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 shares 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. If as a result of ownership by “disqualified organizations,” we are subject to tax on any excess inclusion income, under our declaration of trust, we will reduce distributions to such shareholders by the amount of tax paid by us that is attributable to such shareholder’s ownership. Treasury regulations provide that such a reduction in distributions does not give rise to a preferential dividend that could adversely affect our compliance with the distribution requirement. See “—Distribution Requirements.” To the extent that shares owned by “disqualified organizations” are 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 shares 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 shares 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 (other than through a TRS) or engage in financing activities that may result in treatment of us or a portion of our assets as a taxable mortgage pool.

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Gross Income Tests
We must satisfy two gross income tests annually to qualify and 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;

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);

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 shares 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.

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 for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, 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.
As discussed below, with respect to forward settling Agency RMBS transactions where the pool is “to-be-announced” that are not hedging transactions, the law is unclear with respect to the qualification of gains from dispositions of such contracts 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.
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.
Certain income items do not qualify for either gross income test. Other types of income are excluded from both the numerator and the denominator in one or both of the gross income tests. For example, gross income from the sale of property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, income and gain from “hedging transactions,” as defined in “—Hedging Transactions,” and gross income attributable to cancellation of indebtedness, or COD, income 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”). For purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests, we are treated as receiving our proportionate share of the gross income of any partnership or disregarded entity we own (including the gross income of our operating partnership). We will monitor the amount of our non-qualifying income and will seek to manage our investment portfolio to comply at all times with the gross income tests, but we cannot assure you that we will be successful in this effort. 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 any TRS we may form, 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.

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Interest and Income from Mortgage-Backed Securities
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 (and not the purchase price or current value of the loan) 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 balance exceeds the applicable value of the real estate that secures 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, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, 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.
We intend to continue to invest primarily in Agency residential mortgage backed securities, or Agency RMBS, including both pass-through certificates and collateralized mortgage obligations, or CMOs, and, to a lesser extent, non-Agency RMBS CMOs, and we may invest directly in residential mortgage loans. Other than income from derivative instruments, as described below, we expect that all of the income of our Agency RMBS, non-Agency RMBS and residential mortgage loans will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. In the case of RMBS treated as interests in a grantor trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes, 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 and any residential mortgage loans that we own directly would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the obligation is adequately secured (or solely secured) by real property, as discussed above. Accordingly, we intend to treat residential mortgage loans underlying Agency RMBS as “real estate assets” and the income derived therefrom as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In the case of RMBS treated as regular interests in a REMIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes, income derived from REMIC interests will generally 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. We believe that all of the income that we derive from interests in Agency REMICs will be qualifying income 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. We expect that any interest income from an RMBS that is not treated as an interest in a grantor trust or an interest in a REMIC will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. We expect that a sufficient portion of our income from our Agency RMBS, non-Agency RMBS and residential mortgage loans will be qualifying income so that we will satisfy both the 75% and 95% gross income tests. However, there can be no assurance that we will satisfy both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.

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We generally intend to engage in forward settling Agency RMBS transactions where the pool is “to-be-announced,” or TBAs, that are treated as “hedging transactions” as defined in “—Hedging Transactions.” From time to time we also invest in TBAs as a means of acquiring exposure to Agency RMBS, or for speculative purposes. With respect to contracts for forward settling transactions such as TBAs that are not hedging transactions, the law is unclear with respect to the qualification of gains from dispositions of contracts for forward settling transactions 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. Until we receive a favorable private letter ruling from the IRS or we receive an opinion of counsel to the effect that income and gain from the disposition of such contracts for forward settling transactions should be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, we will limit our gains from dispositions of such contracts for forward settling transactions (other than hedging transactions) and any other non-qualifying income to no more than 25% of our gross income for each calendar year. Accordingly, our ability to dispose of such contracts for forward settling transactions, through dollar roll transactions or otherwise, could be limited. Moreover, even if we are advised by counsel that income and gains from dispositions of such contracts for forward settling transactions should be treated as qualifying income, it is possible that the IRS could successfully take the position that such income is not qualifying income. 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 and any other non-qualifying income exceeds 25% of our gross income. See “—Failure to Qualify.”
Although we have not yet acquired distressed mortgage loans, we may acquire distressed mortgage loans in the future. 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. To the extent we invest in distressed mortgage loans, we intend to do so in a manner consistent with maintaining our qualification as a REIT.
We may modify the term of any residential mortgage loans we acquire. 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. IRS 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 non-qualifying 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 non-qualifying 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 may invest opportunistically in other types of mortgage and real estate-related assets. To the extent we invest in such assets, we must do so in a manner that will enable us to satisfy the 75% and 95% gross income tests described above.
Hedging Transactions
From time to time, we will 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 and TBAs. Except to the extent provided by Treasury Regulations, 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 after December 31, 2015 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. We are required to match the tax character and timing of income, deduction, gain or loss from hedging transactions as closely as possible with the tax character

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and timing of income, deduction, gain or loss from the item or items being hedged. 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 or we fail to satisfy the identification requirements with respect to a hedging transaction, the income from those transactions will likely be treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests. We intend to structure any hedging transactions so that they are excluded from gross income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests, including the satisfaction of the identification, tax character matching and other requirements described above, but these requirements involve the application of highly technical and complex Code provisions for which only limited judicial and administrative authorities exist, and we cannot assure you that that the IRS will not successfully assert a contrary position. We may conduct some or all of our hedging activities (including hedging activities relating to currency risk) through a TRS or other corporate entity, the income from which may be subject to U.S. 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.
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 mortgage servicing rights, generally are not qualifying income for purposes of either gross income test. 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.
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) 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 non-qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.
Rents from Real Property
We do not currently own and have no current intention to acquire real property or an interest therein in the future. To the extent that we acquire real property or an interest therein, rents we receive will 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.


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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, 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. To the extent we intend to dispose of an asset that may be treated as held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business, we may contribute the asset to a TRS prior to the disposition. However, no assurance can be given that the IRS will respect the transaction by which property that may be characterized as held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business is contributed to a TRS; if such transaction is not respected, then we may be treated as having engaged in a prohibited transaction, and our net income therefrom would be subject to a 100% tax.
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.

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);


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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, with respect to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, 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 U.S. 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 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.
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, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, 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”;

interests in mortgage loans secured by real 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 U.S. 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.
 
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).

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Fourth, no more than 25% (20% for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017) 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 these asset tests, we are treated as holding our proportionate share of the assets of any partnership and disregarded entity that we own, including our operating partnership. 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 mortgage-backed securities 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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.”

For purposes of the 10% value test, our proportionate share of the assets of a partnership is our proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership, without regard to the securities described in the last two bullet points above.
We intend to continue to invest primarily in Agency RMBS and, to a lesser extent, non-Agency RMBS that are pass- through certificates or CMOs, and we may invest directly in residential mortgage loans. In the case of RMBS treated as interests in a grantor trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we will be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. Such mortgage loans, and any residential mortgage loans that we own

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directly, will generally qualify as real estate assets for purposes of the 75% asset test to the extent that they are secured by real property as described in the following paragraph. In the case of RMBS treated as regular interests in a REMIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes, such interests will generally qualify as real estate assets for purposes of the 75% asset test. 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 qualifies as a real estate asset for purposes of the REIT asset test. 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 non-Agency RMBS 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, the 10% vote test and the 25% securities test described above.
We may also invest directly in residential 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 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. 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. It is unclear how the safe harbor in Revenue Procedure 2014-51 is affected by the subsequent 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. To the extent we invest in residential mortgage loans (including distressed loans), we intend to do so in a manner consistent with qualifying and maintaining our qualification as a REIT.
We enter into repurchase agreements under which we nominally sell certain of our assets to a counterparty and simultaneously enter 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 would be treated for REIT asset and income test purposes as the owner of the assets that would be 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 Agency RMBS through forward settling transactions, including TBAs, and may do so in the future. The law is unclear with respect to the qualification of contracts for forward settling transactions as real estate assets or Government securities for purposes of the 75% asset test. Until we receive a favorable private letter ruling from the IRS or we receive an opinion from counsel to the effect that contracts for forward settling transactions should be treated as qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test, we will limit our investment in contracts for forward settling transactions and any other non-qualifying assets to no more than 25% of our total assets at the end of any calendar quarter and will limit our investments in contracts for forward settling transactions with a single counterparty to no more than 5% of our total assets at the end of any calendar quarter. Accordingly, our ability to purchase Agency RMBS through contracts for forward settling transactions could be limited. Moreover, even if we are advised by counsel that contracts for forward settling transactions should be treated as qualifying assets, it is possible that the IRS could successfully take the position that such assets are not qualifying assets. 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 contracts for forward settling transactions and any other non-qualifying assets exceeds 25% of our total assets at the end of any calendar quarter or if the value of our investments in contracts for forward settling transactions with a single counterparty exceeds 5% of our total assets at the end of any calendar quarter. See “—Failure to Qualify.”
Derivative instruments, other than possibly TBAs as discussed in the prior paragraph, generally are not qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test. Thus, derivative instruments such as interest rate swaps, futures contracts, and other similar instruments, even if used in and identified as “hedging transactions” as described in “—Hedging Transactions,” are non-qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test. Therefore, we will limit our investment in such derivative instruments and any other non-qualifying assets to no more than 25% of our total assets at the end of any calendar quarter.

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As discussed above, we may invest opportunistically in other types of mortgage-related assets. To the extent we invest in such assets, we intend to do so in a manner that will enable us to satisfy each of the asset tests described above. However, we cannot assure you that we will be able to satisfy the asset tests described above. We will 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 the total value 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 product of the highest U.S. federal corporate tax rate (currently, 35%) and the net income from the non-qualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy the asset tests. If the IRS were to determine that we failed the 5% asset test or 75% asset test because contracts for forward settling transactions are not qualifying assets, it is possible that the IRS would not consider our position taken with respect to such assets, and accordingly our failure to satisfy the 5% asset test or 75% asset test, to be due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect. If the IRS were to successfully assert these positions, we would fail to qualify as a REIT. See “—Failure to Qualify.” Accordingly, it is not possible to state whether we would be entitled to the benefit of these relief provisions with regard to this issue or in any other circumstances. If these relief provisions are inapplicable to a particular set of circumstances involving us, we will fail to qualify as a REIT.
We believe that the Agency RMBS, non-Agency RMBS, 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 comply with those requirements, but we cannot assure you that we will be successful in this effort. No independent appraisals 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. 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 shareholders 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.


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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 U.S. 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 shareholders 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 shareholders 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.
With respect to our 2014 and 2013 taxable years, 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 for those taxable years, the distributions that we made must not be considered to have been “preferential dividends.” A dividend is not considered to be a preferential dividend if the distribution is (i) pro-rata among all outstanding shares within a particular class and (ii) in accordance with the preferences among different classes of shares as set forth in our organizational documents. However, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2014, the preferential dividend rule does not apply to “publicly offered REITs.” Thus, so long as we continue to qualify as a “publicly offered REIT,” the preferential dividend rule will not apply to our 2015 and subsequent taxable years.
We will pay U.S. federal income tax on taxable income, including net capital gain, that we do not distribute to shareholders. 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. See “—Taxation of U.S. Holders—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders on Distributions on Capital Shares.” 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 believe we have made, and intend to make in the future, timely distributions sufficient to satisfy the annual distribution requirements and to avoid corporate income tax and the 4% nondeductible excise 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 may acquire investments that are treated as having “market discount” for U.S. federal income tax purposes, because the investments are debt instruments that we acquire for an amount less than their principal amount. We 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 economic 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.


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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 shares or debt securities.
We may satisfy the 90% distribution test with taxable distributions of our shares 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 shares as dividends that would satisfy the REIT annual distribution requirement and qualify for the dividends paid deduction for federal income tax purposes. We have no current intention to make a taxable dividend payable partly in cash and partly in our shares.
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 shareholders 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 may be required to pay a penalty to the IRS based upon the amount of any deduction we take for deficiency dividends.
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 shareholders designed to disclose the actual ownership of our outstanding shares. We believe we have complied, and 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 U.S. federal income tax and any applicable alternative minimum 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 shareholders. 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 shareholders. In fact, we would not be required to distribute any amounts to shareholders in that year. In such event, to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, all distributions to shareholders would be taxable as ordinary income. Subject to certain limitations of the U.S. federal income tax laws, corporate shareholders might be eligible for the dividends received deduction and shareholders taxed at individual rates might be eligible for the reduced U.S. federal income tax rate of 20% on such dividends. In addition, subject to the limitations of the Code, corporate distributions may be eligible for the dividends received deduction. 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 shares. 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 the Operating Partnership
Our operating partnership currently is a disregarded entity because we own 100% of the interests in it, directly or through other disregarded entities. If we admit other limited partners, our operating partnership will be treated as a partnership for tax purposes, as described below.
Under the Code, a partnership generally is not subject to U.S. federal income tax, but is required to file a partnership tax information return each year. In general, the character of each partner’s share of each item of income, gain, loss, deduction, credit, and tax preference is determined at the partnership level. Each partner is then allocated a distributive share of such items in accordance with the partnership agreement and is required to take such items into account in determining such partner’s income. Each partner includes such amount in income for any taxable year of the partnership ending within or with the taxable year of the partner, without regard to whether the partner has received or will receive any cash distributions from the

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partnership. Cash distributions, if any, from a partnership to a partner generally are not taxable unless and to the extent they exceed the partner’s basis in its partnership interest immediately before the distribution. Any amounts in excess of such tax basis will generally be treated as a sale or exchange of such partner’s interest in the partnership.
If and when our operating partnership becomes taxable as a partnership, rather than a disregarded entity, we generally will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as contributing our assets to the operating partnership at such time. If our assets are appreciated at such time, we could recognize a smaller share of tax depreciation, and a larger share of tax gain on sale, from such properties subsequent to that deemed contribution, as compared to our percentage interest in the operating partnership. This deemed contribution also could trigger tax gain in some circumstances, but we expect to structure the admission of outside partners in a manner that should avoid any such gain.
As noted above, for purposes of the REIT income and asset tests, we are treated as receiving or holding our proportionate share of our operating partnership’s income and assets, respectively. We control, and intend to continue to control, our operating partnership and intend to operate it consistently with the requirements for our qualification as a REIT.
We may issue equity compensation to employees in the form of interests in our operating partnership that provide for capital gain treatment to the employees but do not generate a corresponding deduction for our operating partnership.
The discussion above assumes that our operating partnership will be treated as a “partnership” for U.S. federal income tax purposes once it is no longer treated as a disregarded entity. Generally, a domestic unincorporated entity with two or more partners is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes unless it affirmatively elects to be treated as a corporation. However, certain “publicly traded partnerships” are treated as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Once our operating partnership is no longer a disregarded entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we intend to comply with one or more exceptions to treatment of our operating partnership as a corporation under the publicly traded partnership rules. Failure to qualify for such an exception would prevent us from qualifying as a REIT.
Taxation of U.S. Holders
The term “U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of our capital shares that, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, is:
a citizen or resident of the United States;

a corporation (including an entity treated as a corporation for U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. federal income tax purposes holds our capital shares, the U.S. 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 and certain determinations made at the partner level. If you are a partner in a partnership holding our capital shares, you should consult your tax advisor regarding the consequences of the purchase, ownership and disposition of our capital shares by the partnership.
Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders on Distributions on Capital Shares
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 share dividends, if any, and then to our common share dividends. A U.S. holder will not qualify for the dividends received deduction generally available to corporations.
The maximum 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 taxable C corporations and certain qualified foreign corporations. Because we are not generally subject to U.S. federal income tax on the portion of our REIT taxable income distributed to our shareholders (see “—Taxation of Our Company” above), our dividends paid to a U.S. holder generally will not be eligible for the 20% rate on qualified dividend income.

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As a result, our ordinary REIT dividends will be taxed at the higher tax rate applicable to ordinary income. Currently, the highest marginal individual income tax rate on ordinary income is 39.6%. 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 shares 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 shares become ex-dividend. Individuals, trusts and estates whose income exceeds certain thresholds are also subject to a 3.8% Medicare tax on dividends received from us.
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 shares. 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 shareholder, 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 shares 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 shares. Instead, the distribution will reduce the adjusted basis of such capital shares. 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 shares as long-term capital gain, or short-term capital gain if the capital shares have been held for one year or less, assuming the capital shares 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.”
Shareholders 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.
Taxable distributions from us and gain from the disposition of our capital shares will not be treated as passive activity income and, therefore, a U.S. holder generally will not be able to apply any “passive activity losses,” such as losses from certain types of limited partnerships in which such U.S. holder is a limited partner, against such income. In addition, taxable distributions from us and gain from the disposition of our capital shares generally will be treated as investment income for purposes of the investment interest limitations. We will notify shareholders 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 and capital gain.
We may recognize taxable income in excess of our economic income, known as phantom income, in the first years that we hold certain investments, and experience an offsetting excess of economic income over our taxable income in later years. As a result, U.S. holders at times may be required to pay U.S. federal income tax on distributions taxable as dividends that economically represent a return of capital rather than a dividend. These distributions would be offset in later years by distributions that would be treated as returns of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Taking into account the time value of money, this acceleration of U.S. 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 common shares at a time when the before-tax rate of return was 10%, the investor’s after-tax rate of return on such common shares 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 U.S. holder will decrease.
To the extent that we have available net operating losses and capital losses carried forward from prior tax years, such losses may 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.

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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 would notify our shareholders if a portion of a dividend paid by us is attributable to excess inclusion income. We intend to avoid generating excess inclusion income for our shareholders.
Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders on the Disposition of Capital Shares
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 shares as long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. holder has held such capital shares 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 (discussed above) less tax deemed paid by such U.S. holder on such gains and reduced by any returns of capital. However, a U.S. holder must treat any loss upon a sale or exchange of capital shares 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 our capital shares may be disallowed if the U.S. holder purchases our capital shares (or substantially similar capital shares) within 30 days before or after the disposition.
Taxation of U.S. Holders on a Redemption of Preferred Shares
A redemption of preferred shares 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 shares (in which case the redemption will be treated in the same manner as a sale described above in “—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders on the Disposition of Capital Shares”). The redemption will satisfy such tests if it (i) is “substantially disproportionate” with respect to the U.S. holder’s interest in our shares, (ii) results in a “complete termination” of the U.S. holder’s interest in all of our classes of shares or (iii) is “not essentially equivalent to a dividend” with respect to the shareholder, all within the meaning of Section 302(b) of the Code. In determining whether any of these tests have been met, shares considered to be owned by the holder by reason of certain constructive ownership rules set forth in the Code, as well as shares 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 shares 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 shares 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 shares will be transferred to such U.S. holder’s remaining shareholdings in us. If the U.S. holder does not retain any of our shares, such basis could be transferred to a related person that holds our shares or it may be lost.
Under proposed Treasury regulations, if any portion of the amount received by a U.S. holder on a redemption of any class of our preferred shares is treated as a distribution with respect to our shares but not as a taxable dividend, then such portion will be allocated to all shares of shares of the redeemed class held by the redeemed shareholder just before the redemption on a pro-rata, share-by-share, basis. The amount applied to each share of shares will first reduce the redeemed U.S. holder’s basis in that share and any excess after the basis is reduced to zero will result in taxable gain. If the redeemed shareholder has different bases in its shares of shares, then the amount allocated could reduce some of the basis in certain shares of shares while reducing all the basis and giving rise to taxable gain in others. Thus, the redeemed U.S. holder could have gain even if such U.S. holder’s basis in all its shares of shares of the redeemed class exceeded such portion. The proposed Treasury regulations permit the transfer of basis in the redeemed shares of preferred shares to the redeemed U.S. holder’s remaining, unredeemed shares of preferred shares of the same class (if any), but not to any other class of shares held (directly or indirectly) by the redeemed U.S. holder. Instead, any unrecovered basis in the redeemed shares of preferred shares would be treated as a deferred loss to be recognized when certain conditions are satisfied. The proposed Treasury regulations would be effective for transactions that occur after the date the regulations are published as final Treasury regulations. There can, however, be no assurance as to whether, when and in what particular form such proposed Treasury regulations will ultimately be finalized.

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Taxation of U.S. Holders on a Conversion of Preferred Shares
Except as provided below, (i) a U.S. holder generally will not recognize gain or loss upon the conversion of preferred shares into our common shares, and (ii) a U.S. holder’s basis and holding period in our common shares received upon conversion generally will be the same as those of the converted preferred shares (but the basis will be reduced by the portion of adjusted tax basis allocated to any fractional share exchanged for cash). Any of our common shares received in a conversion that are attributable to accumulated and unpaid dividends on the converted preferred shares 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 shares, 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. The gain or loss will be long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. holder has held the preferred shares for more than one year at the time of conversion. Shareholders are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of any transaction by which such holder exchanges shares received on a conversion of preferred shares for cash or other property.
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. 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 shares.
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. The highest marginal individual income tax rate currently is 39.6%. 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 shares. 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 or the applicable withholding agent 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 at a rate of 28% 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 U.S. holder who does not provide the applicable withholding agent 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. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be refunded or credited against the U.S. holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability if certain required information is timely furnished to the IRS. U.S. holders are urged to consult their own tax advisors regarding application of backup withholding to them and the availability of, and procedure for obtaining an exemption from, backup withholding. In addition, the applicable withholding agent may be required to withhold a portion of distributions to any U.S. holders who fail to certify their U.S. status. Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will be imposed on dividends received by U.S. holders who own our capital shares through foreign accounts or foreign intermediaries if certain disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership are not satisfied. In addition, if those disclosure requirements are not satisfied, a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will be imposed, for payments made after December 31, 2018, on proceeds from the sale of our capital shares received by U.S. holders who own our capital shares through foreign accounts or foreign intermediaries. We will not pay any additional amounts in respect of amounts withheld.

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Taxation of Tax-Exempt U.S. Holders
Tax-exempt entities, including qualified employee pension and profit sharing trusts and individual retirement accounts, generally are exempt from U.S. 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 shareholders generally should not constitute UBTI so long as our capital shares are not otherwise used in an unrelated trade or business. However, if a tax-exempt shareholder were to finance its investment in our capital shares 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 shareholders. See “—Requirements for Qualification—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.” However, we intend to avoid generating excess inclusion income for our shareholders. 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 U.S. 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. Finally, in certain circumstances, a qualified employee pension or profit sharing trust that owns more than 10% of our shares 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 shares 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 shares be owned by five or fewer individuals that allows the beneficiaries of the pension trust to be treated as holding our shares in proportion to their actuarial interests in the pension trust; and

either:

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

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

Tax-exempt U.S. holders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal, state, local, and foreign tax consequences of owning our capital shares.
Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders
The term “non-U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of our capital shares that is not a U.S. holder or a partnership (or an entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes). The rules governing U.S. 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 U.S. federal, state and local income tax laws on ownership of our capital shares, including any reporting requirements.
For most non-U.S. holders, investment in a REIT that invests principally in mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities is not the most tax-efficient way to invest in such assets. That is because receiving distributions of income derived from such assets in the form of REIT dividends subjects most non-U.S. holders to withholding taxes that direct investment in those asset classes, and the direct receipt of interest and principal payments with respect to them, would not.
The portion of distributions received by non-U.S. holders payable out of our earnings and profits that are not attributable to gains from sales or exchanges of “United States real property interests” (as defined below) and which are not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the non-U.S. holder will generally be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax at the rate of 30%, unless reduced or eliminated by an applicable income tax treaty. Under some treaties, however, lower rates generally applicable to dividends do not apply to dividends from REITs. 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.” We intend to avoid generating excess inclusion income for our shareholders. If a distribution is treated as effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s conduct of a U.S. trade or business, the distribution will not incur the 30% withholding tax, but the non-U.S. holder generally will be subject to U.S. 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-

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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 capital shares. It is expected that the applicable withholding agent will 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 with the applicable withholding agent an IRS Form W‑8BEN or W‑8BEN-E evidencing eligibility for that reduced rate, or

the non-U.S. holder files with the applicable withholding agent an IRS Form W‑8ECI claiming that the distribution is effectively connected 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 shares 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 shares in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits if the excess portion of the distribution does not exceed the adjusted tax basis of its capital shares. Instead, the excess portion of the distribution will reduce such non-U.S. holder’s adjusted tax basis of its capital shares. 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 its capital shares, if the non-U.S. holder otherwise would be subject to tax on gain from the sale or disposition of its capital shares, 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, it is expected that the applicable withholding agent normally will withhold tax on the entire amount of any distribution at the same rate applicable to withholding on a dividend. However, a non-U.S. holder may obtain a refund of amounts that the applicable withholding agent withheld if we later determine that a distribution in fact exceeded our current and accumulated earnings and profits.
Under FATCA, a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will 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. In addition, if those disclosure requirements are not satisfied, a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will be imposed, for payments made after December 31, 2018, on proceeds from the sale of our capital shares received by certain non-U.S. holders. 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 of 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 special provisions of the U.S. federal income tax laws known as the “Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax 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 residential mortgage loans or mortgage-backed securities such as Agency RMBS or non-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, 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, the applicable withholding agent must withhold 35% 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 withheld.
Capital gain distributions on our capital shares 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 shares 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 the applicable class of our capital shares during the one-year period preceding the distribution date or (ii) the non-U.S. holder was treated as a “qualified shareholder” or “qualified foreign pension fund.” 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

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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 New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, or National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, or NASDAQ, markets, (ii) is a qualified collective investment vehicle, 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.
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 common shares currently are treated as being regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States. If the applicable class of our capital shares is not regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States or the non-U.S. holder owned more than 10% of the applicable class of our capital shares at any time during the one-year period prior to the distribution, capital gain distributions that are attributable to our sale of real property generally would be subject to tax under FIRPTA. Moreover, if a non-U.S. holder disposes of our capital shares 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 shares 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 will 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.
A non-U.S. holder generally will not incur tax under FIRPTA with respect to gain realized upon a disposition of our capital shares 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 shares 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 shares 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. persons. We believe that we likely are a domestically controlled qualified investment entity, and that a sale of our capital shares would not be subject to taxation under FIRPTA. However, we do not intend to maintain records to determine whether we are a domestically controlled qualified investment entity for this purpose and no assurance can be given that we are or will remain a domestically controlled qualified investment entity.
If the applicable class of our capital shares are regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States, an additional exception to the tax under FIRPTA on gain from share sales 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 shares. 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 shares is considered regularly traded under applicable U.S. Treasury regulations on an established securities market, such as the NYSE; and

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

As noted above, we believe our common shares are currently treated as being regularly traded on an established securities market. If the gain on the sale of our capital shares 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.
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 the applicable withholding 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 the applicable withholding 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 United States 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

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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 net proceeds from a disposition by a non-U.S. holder of capital 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 non-U.S. holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability if certain required information is timely furnished to the IRS. Non-U.S. holders are urged to consult their own tax advisors regarding application of backup withholding to them and the availability of, and procedure for obtaining an exemption from, backup withholding.
Conversion of Preferred Shares
The conversion of our preferred shares into our common shares may be a taxable exchange for a non-U.S. holder if our preferred shares constitutes a “United States real property interest.” Even if our preferred shares constitutes a “United States real property interest,” provided our common shares 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 shares into our common shares so long as certain FIRPTA-related reporting requirements are satisfied. If our preferred shares 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 shares for our common shares. 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 shareholder, as the case may be) on the excess, if any, of the fair market value of such non-U.S. holder’s common shares received over such non-U.S. holder’s adjusted basis in its preferred shares. Collection of such tax will be enforced by a refundable withholding tax at a rate of 15% of the value of the common shares. Non-U.S. holders are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal income tax consequences of any transaction by which such non-U.S. holder exchanges shares of our common shares received on a conversion of preferred shares for cash or other property.
Redemption of Preferred Shares
For a discussion of the treatment of a redemption of preferred shares, see “—Taxation of U.S. Holders on a Redemption of Preferred Shares.”
Legislative or Other Actions Affecting REITs
The present U.S. federal income tax treatment of REITs may be modified, possibly with retroactive effect, by legislative, judicial or administrative action at any time. The REIT rules are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department, which may result in statutory changes as well as revisions to regulations and interpretations. In addition, as a result of the recent change in presidential administration, there may be significant reform of the Code, including significant changes to the taxation of both business entities and individuals. There is a substantial lack of clarity around both the timing and the details of any such tax reform and the impact of any potential tax reform on an investment in us. We cannot assure our shareholders that any such changes will not adversely affect the taxation of a shareholder. Prospective shareholders are urged to consult with their own tax advisors regarding the effect of potential changes to the U.S. federal tax laws on an investment in our securities.
State, Local and Foreign Taxes
We and/or our subsidiaries and securityholders may be subject to taxation by various states, localities or foreign jurisdictions, including those in which we, our subsidiaries, or our securityholders transact business, own property or reside. We or our subsidiaries 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 of us and our securityholders may differ from the U.S. federal income tax treatment of us and our securityholders described above. Consequently, securityholders should consult their tax advisors regarding the application and 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 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.
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 shares, 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 shares, which are currently listed on the NYSE. We currently intend to list

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any common shares sold pursuant to this prospectus on the NYSE. We may elect to list any series of preferred shares 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 securities, but underwriters will not be obligated to do and may discontinue any market making at any time without notice. Therefore, we can give no assurance about the liquidity of 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.
In compliance with the guidelines of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”), the maximum aggregate discounts, commissions, agency fees or other items constituting underwriting compensation to be received by any FINRA member or independent broker-dealer will not exceed 8% of the aggregate offering price of the securities offered pursuant to this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement.
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.
If indicated in an applicable prospectus supplement, we may authorize underwriters or other persons acting as our agents to solicit offers by institutions to purchase securities from us pursuant to contracts providing for payment and delivery on a future date. 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. 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.
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.

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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. 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 applicable prospectus supplement will describe the commission payable for solicitation of those contracts.
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 business.


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LEGAL MATTERS
Certain legal matters in connection with the issuance of the securities issued under this prospectus will be passed upon for us by Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.  and, with respect to certain matters of Maryland law, by Venable LLP. Certain tax matters will be passed upon for us by Hunton & Williams LLP. 

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EXPERTS
The financial statements incorporated in this Prospectus by reference to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 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
This prospectus is only part of a registration statement on Form S-3 we have filed with the SEC under the Securities Act and therefore omits some of the information contained in the registration statement. We have also filed exhibits and schedules to the registration statement which are excluded from this prospectus, and you should refer to the applicable exhibit or schedule for a complete description of any statement referring to any contract or other document. You may inspect or obtain a copy of the registration statement, including the exhibits and schedules, as described in the previous paragraph.
Copies of the registration statement, including the exhibits and schedules to the registration statement, may be examined without charge at the public reference room of the SEC, 100 F Street, N.E., Room 1580, Washington, D.C. 20549. Information about the operation of the public reference room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. Copies of all or a portion of the registration statement may be obtained from the public reference room of the SEC upon payment of prescribed fees. Our SEC filings, including our registration statement, are also available to you on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. In addition, copies of our SEC filings are available free of charge through our website (www.earnreit.com) as soon as reasonably practicable after filing with the SEC. The information contained on, or otherwise accessible through, our website is not part of, or incorporated by reference into, this prospectus.


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DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
We have elected to “incorporate by reference” certain information into this prospectus. By incorporating by reference, we are disclosing important information to you by referring you to documents we have filed separately with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is deemed to be part of this prospectus, except for information incorporated by reference that is superseded by information contained in this prospectus. These documents contain important information about us, our business and our finances. The following documents previously filed with the SEC pursuant to the Exchange Act, are incorporated by reference into this prospectus and registration statement of which this prospectus is a part except for any document or portion thereof deemed to be “furnished” and not filed in accordance with SEC rules:
 
Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016;
Our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2017 and June 30, 2017;
Our Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on March 6, 2017, May 9, 2017, May 12, 2017, May 18, 2017, June 13, 2017, June 26, 2017 and September 12, 2017;
Our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A filed with the SEC on March 30, 2017 in connection with our Annual Meeting of Shareholders held on May 16, 2017;
All other reports we have filed with the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a), 13(c), 14 and 15(d) of the Exchange Act since December 31, 2016; and
The description of our common shares incorporated by reference in our registration statement on Form 8-A filed on April 29, 2013 under the Exchange Act, including any amendment or report filed for the purpose of updating such description.
If any statement in this prospectus is inconsistent with a statement in one of the incorporated documents referred to above, then the statement in the incorporated document will be deemed to have been superseded by the statement in this prospectus.
We also incorporate by reference any of the following documents that we file with the SEC after the date of the initial registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part and prior to the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part through the date upon which we sell all the securities we offer with this prospectus and any prospectus supplement (other than any portion of these documents that is furnished or otherwise deemed not to be filed):
 
Reports filed under Section 13(a) and (c) of the Exchange Act;
Definitive proxy or information statements filed under Section 14 of the Exchange Act in connection with any subsequent shareholders’ meeting; and
Any reports filed under Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.
To obtain a free copy of any of the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus (other than exhibits, unless they are specifically incorporated by reference in the documents) please contact us in writing or by phone at:
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT
53 Forest Avenue
Old Greenwich, CT 06870
(203) 698-1200


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Up to $85,841,137
Common Shares
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Prospectus Supplement
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Ladenburg Thalmann
JMP Securities

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December 28, 2017
 




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