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Challenges to the MERS® System could pose counterparty, operational, reputational and legal risks for us.
MERSCORP, Inc. is a privately held company that maintains an electronic registry (the “MERS System”) that tracks servicing rights and ownership of loans in the United States. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”), a wholly owned subsidiary of MERSCORP, Inc., can serve as a nominee for the owner of a mortgage loan and, in that role, become the mortgagee of record for the loan in local land records. Fannie Mae seller/servicers may choose to use MERS as a nominee; however, we have prohibited servicers from initiating foreclosures on Fannie Mae loans in MERS’s name. Approximately half of the loans we own or guarantee are registered in MERS’s name and the related servicing rights are tracked in the MERS System. The MERS System is widely used by participants in the mortgage finance industry. Along with a number of other organizations in the mortgage finance industry, we are a shareholder of MERSCORP, Inc.
Several legal challenges have been made disputing MERS’s legal standing to initiate foreclosures and/or act as nominee in local land records. These challenges have focused public attention on MERS and on how loans are recorded in local land records. As a result, these challenges could negatively affect MERS’s ability to serve as the mortgagee of record in some jurisdictions. In addition, where MERS is the mortgagee of record, it must execute assignments of mortgages, affidavits and other legal documents in connection with foreclosure proceedings. As a result, investigations by governmental authorities and others into the servicer foreclosure process deficiencies discussed above may impact MERS. On April 13, 2011, federal banking regulators and FHFA announced that they were taking enforcement action against MERS to address significant weaknesses in, among other things, oversight, management supervision and corporate governance at MERS that were uncovered as part of the regulators’ review of mortgage servicers’ foreclosure processing. Failures by MERS to apply prudent and effective process controls and to comply with legal and other requirements could pose counterparty, operational, reputational and legal risks for us. If investigations or new regulation or legislation restricts servicers’ use of MERS, our counterparties may be required to record all mortgage transfers in land records, incurring additional costs and time in the recordation process. At this time, we cannot predict the ultimate outcome of these legal challenges to MERS or the impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Item 2.   Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
Under the terms of our senior preferred stock purchase agreement with Treasury, we are prohibited from selling or issuing our equity interests, other than as required by (and pursuant to) the terms of a binding agreement in effect on September 7, 2008, without the prior written consent of Treasury.
We previously provided stock compensation to employees and members of the Board of Directors under the Fannie Mae Stock Compensation Plan of 1993 and the Fannie Mae Stock Compensation Plan of 2003 (the “Plans”). During the quarter ended March 31, 2011, 73,094 restricted stock units vested, as a result of which 48,419 shares of common stock were issued, and 24,675 shares of common stock that otherwise would have been issued were withheld by us in lieu of requiring the recipients to pay us the withholding taxes due upon vesting. All of these restricted stock units were granted prior to our entering into conservatorship. Restricted stock units granted under the Plans typically vest in equal annual installments over three or four years beginning on the first anniversary of the date of grant. Each restricted stock unit represents the right to receive a share of common stock at the time of vesting. As a result, restricted stock units are generally similar to restricted stock, except that restricted stock units do not confer voting rights on their holders. All restricted stock units were granted to persons who were employees or members of the Board of Directors of Fannie Mae.
During the quarter ended March 31, 2011, 154 shares of common stock were issued upon conversion of 100 shares of 8.75% Non-Cumulative Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock, Series 2008-1, at the option of