been and is to repay loans made to us under our warehouse credit facilities with the proceeds of securitizations. There can be no assurance that any securitization transaction will be available on terms acceptable to us, or at all. The timing of any securitization transaction is affected by a number of factors beyond our control, any of which could cause substantial delays, including, without limitation:
the approval by all parties of the terms of the securitization;
the availability of credit enhancement on acceptable terms; and
our ability to acquire a sufficient number of automobile contracts for securitization.
As stated elsewhere in this prospectus, since the fourth quarter of 2007 we have observed adverse changes in the market for securitized pools of automobile contracts, which has made permanent financing in the form of securiti- zation transactions difficult to obtain and more costly than in prior periods. These changes include reduced liquid- ity and reduced demand for asset-backed securities, particularly for securities carrying a financial guaranty or for securities backed by sub-prime automobile receivables. Should we choose not to securitize automobile contracts in the future or do so on the more costly terms prevalent in current market conditions, we could expect a further material adverse effect on our results of operations.
Our Results of Operations Will Depend on Cash Flows from Our Residual Interests in Our Securitization Program and Our Warehouse Credit Facilities.
When we finance our automobile contracts through securitizations and warehouse credit facilities, we receive cash and a residual interest in the assets financed. Those financed assets are owned by the special-purpose subsidi- ary that is formed for the related securitization. This residual interest represents the right to receive the future cash flows to be generated by the automobile contracts in excess of (i) the interest and principal paid to investors or lenders on the indebtedness issued in connection with the financing, (ii) the costs of servicing the automobile con- tracts and (iii) certain other costs incurred in connection with completing and maintaining the securitization or warehouse credit facility. We sometimes refer to these future cash flows as "excess spread cash flows."
Under the financial structures we have used to date in our securitizations and warehouse credit facilities, excess spread cash flows that would otherwise be paid to the holder of the residual interest are first used to increase over- collateralization or are retained in a spread account within the securitization trusts or the warehouse facility to pro- vide liquidity and credit enhancement for the related securities.
While the specific terms and mechanics vary among transactions, our securitization and warehousing agreements generally provide that we will receive excess spread cash flows only if the amount of overcollateralization and spread account balances have reached specified levels and/or the delinquency, defaults or net losses related to the automobile contracts in the automobile contract pools are below certain predetermined levels. In the event delin- quencies, defaults or net losses on automobile contracts exceed these levels, the terms of the securitization or warehouse credit facility:
may require increased credit enhancement, including an increase in the amount required to be on deposit in the spread account to be accumulated for the particular pool;
may restrict the distribution to us of excess spread cash flows associated with other securitized or warehoused pools; and
in certain circumstances, may permit affected parties to require the transfer of servicing on some or all of the securitized or warehoused automobile contracts from us to an unaffiliated servicer. We typically retain residual interests or use them as collateral to borrow cash. In any case, the future excess
spread cash flow received in respect of the residual interests is integral to the financing of our operations. The amount of cash received from residual interests depends in large part on how well our portfolio of securitized and warehoused automobile contracts performs. If our portfolio of securitized and warehoused automobile contracts has higher delinquency and loss ratios than expected, then the amount of money realized from our retained resi- dual interests, or the amount of money we could obtain from the sale or other financing of our residual interests, would be reduced. Such higher than expected losses have been incurred, which has had an adverse effect on our operations, financial condition and cash flows. Should losses continue to rise, we would expect further material adverse effects on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.