U.S. Puts GMAC Subsidiary Into Bankruptcy. Wait. What?


The U.S. mortgage industry imploded five years ago, but the financial consequences are still cascading through our economy. Here’s one to consider: what do these businesses all have in common?

ditech, LLC
DOA Holding Properties, LLC
DOA Properties IX (Lots-Other), LLC
EPRE LLC Equity Investment I, LLC
ETS of Virginia, Inc.
ETS of Washington, Inc.
Executive Trustee Services LLC
GMAC – RFC Holding Company, LLC
GMAC Model Home Finance I, LLC
GMAC Mortgage USA Corporation
GMAC Mortgage, LLC
GMAC Residential Holding Company, LLC
GMAC RH Settlement Service, LLC
GMACM Borrower LLC
GMACM REO LLC
GMACR Mortgage Products, LLC
HFN REO SUB II, LLC
Home Connects Lending Services, LLC
Homecomings Financial Real Estate Holdings, LLC
Homecomings Financial, LLC
Ladue Associates, Inc.
Passive Asset Transactions, LLC
PATI A, LLC PATI B, LLC
PATI Real Estate Holdings, LLC
RAHI A, LLC
RAHI B, LLC
RAHI Real Estate Holdings, LLC
RCSFJV2004, LLCResidential Accredit Loans, Inc.
Residential Asset Mortgage Products, Inc.
Residential Asset Securities Corporation
Residential Capital, LLC
Residential Consumer Services of Alabama, LLC
Residential Consumer Services of Ohio, LLC
Residential Consumer Services of Texas, LLC
Residential Consumer Services, LLC
Residential Funding Company, LLC
Residential Funding Mortgage Exchange, LLC
Residential Funding Mortgage Securities I, Inc.
Residential Funding Mortgage Securities II, Inc.
Residential Funding Real Estate Holdings, LLC
Residential Mortgage Real Estate Holdings, LLC
RFC – GSAP Servicer Advance, LLC
RFC Asset Holdings II, LLC
RFC Asset Management, LLC RFC
Borrower LLC
RFC Construction Funding, LLC
RFC REO LLC
RFC SFJV-2002, LLC

.

The answer: they are all subsidiaries of GMAC. What used to be General Motors’ financial arm got spun off some years ago, heavily invested in mortgage loan financial instruments and took a real thrashing. Since the crash in 2008, GMAC has become Ally Bank, shifted all of its bad divisions into a new subsidiary called RESCAP, and last week put RESCAP into Chapter 11 to reorganize its debts.

So that long list of businesses is owned by RESCAP. And RESCAP is owned by by Ally Bank, nee GMAC, nee General Motors Acceptance Corporation. And who owns Ally Bank? You do, you the American taxpayer. To the extent of 73.8% of issued and outstanding shares. The next biggest shareholder is Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm. You know, like The Mitt’s Bain Capital.

Oddly enough, Ally Bank as a whole was profitable, earning more than $1 billion in 2010. But its RESCAP subsidiary, where all of those carrion collateralized debt obligations had been dumped, was a serious drag. In fact, RESCAP contributed to Ally Bank’s failure to pass the Federal Reserve Bank’s “stress test” in March 2012. Hence, Chapter 11.

With 73.8% of the shares, the United States controls the board of directors of Ally Bank. So we have the picture of the United States voting to put part of a company it had rescued from financial ruin into bankruptcy. Which will doubtless injure the many creditors of RESCAP. None of whom are likely to be rescued from financial ruin by the U.S.

And a further consequence will be that all of the mortgages held by all of those various investors, Dietech through RFC, and likely others besides, will be frozen, with the homeowners unlikely to be able to work anything out, until the Chapter 11 is resolved. Those injured by RESCAP’s many subsidiaries won’t be able to pursue their claims. GMAC/Ally/RESCAP is headquartered in Michigan, and a high percentage of its loans are there. The Chapter 11 will add to that state’s misery. The federal government’s policy of helping homeowners saddled with bad loans will be deeply frustrated by . . . the federal government.

Even when every step along the way is logical and sensible, the outcomes can be contradictory, self-defeating and circular. GMAC Bank was too big to fail. The rest is just consequences.

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2 thoughts on “U.S. Puts GMAC Subsidiary Into Bankruptcy. Wait. What?

  1. I am not sure this is correct:

    ..a further consequence will be that all of the mortgages…will be frozen, with the homeowners unlikely to be able to work anything out, until the Chapter 11 is resolved.

    But then again, I’m not sure of much these days.

    • It’s true in two ways. Homeowners suing for fraud or misrepresentation – a series of class action lawsuits – will be “stayed,” enjoined from proceeding further without permission of the bankruptcy court. 11 U.S.C. §362. That’s not commonly granted. So there’s no relief through litigation.

      Additionally, a kind of mid-level paralysis sets in when a company goes into Chapter 11. Call it survival mode. Or, if you are cynical, line employees and middle management are spending so much time on polishing resumés and scheduling job interviews that nothing substantive gets done.

      Hence, WC’s conclusion.

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